Director, Policy

Job Location: 
San Diego, CA, Oakland, CA

About the Center for Sustainable Energy®

Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is an independent, mission-driven nonprofit organization with offices in San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles and Boston. We accelerate the adoption of clean and efficient energy solutions via program administration, technical assistance, policy innovation, and other forms of market facilitation. We are uniquely positioned and engaged with a variety of stakeholders and market actors, including policy-makers, state and federal agencies, regional and local governments, utilities, business and civic leaders, and individuals in both the general market and equity sectors. Our technical areas of focus include distributed energy resources (renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, fuel cells, combined heat and power) and clean transportation.

Directs CSE’s policy activities including regulatory, government affairs, and external relations. Oversees team of policy and subject matter experts who lead, develop and support innovative approaches to the critical issues of energy, transportation, and environment. Identifies policy opportunities and establishes strategies that support CSE’s core mission and strengthen its long-term development. Serves as a spokesperson for CSE; builds alliances and relationships throughout the clean energy industry. In fulfilling this role, the Director of Policy will seek to maximize CSE’s impact by working closely with the Communications and Development teams.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Establish strategic vision and plans that ensure the continued success and growth of CSE’s policy engagement.
  • Lead the Policy team in defining CSE positions on specific legislative and regulatory efforts in Distributed Energy Resources, Transportation, and Climate Change.
  • Represent CSE, its programs, and its policy positions in a variety of public and official forums.
  • Lead annual and multi-year resource planning and budgeting for the Policy team.
  • Oversee all aspects of Policy team success including priority setting, budgeting, reporting, analysis, quality control, and employee development and performance.
  • Work with program directors and managers to identify strategic opportunities for programs to provide additional support to local, state, and national clean energy policy goals.
  • Lead a team of policy and subject-matter experts to ensure programs follow regulatory and legislative requirements for implementation and reporting.
  • May serve as a subject matter expert on technology areas to communicate organizational goals to regulatory and state agencies and legislatures.
  • Build and maintain long-term relationships with partners and clients to position CSE for continued growth.
  • Recruit, manage, and mentor a team of policy specialists to support the development and execution of CSE’s policy objectives.
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish and monitor priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals.
  • Promote a culture of respect, performance, continuous learning, and a commitment to the individual.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned


Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:


  • Deep familiarity with the policy landscape including local, state, and federal policy, funding sources and opportunities, and best practices for program design and implementation.
  • Experience developing and maintaining relationships with industry stakeholders and appointed and elected officials.
  • Proven experience developing new business, including identifying opportunities, building partnerships, and developing policy actions that generate revenue.
  • Demonstrated experience growing and leading teams to success.
  • Ability to create and identify policy opportunities, develop forward-looking strategies, and lead a cross-functional team to achieve organizational success.
  • A proven track record demonstrating the ability to work in a fast-paced, forward-moving environment with the ability to quickly learn new policies, concepts, and technologies.
  • Significant experience writing and editing official reports, comments, and analyses, as well as developing new policy concepts in the regulatory and legislative settings.
  • Demonstrated experience as a public speaker and spokesperson.
  • Outstanding communication skills with the proven ability to utilize these skills across groups within and outside the organization.
  • Ability to support the organization’s strategic planning process and help define potential opportunities.
  • Understanding of the multidisciplinary aspects of energy and transportation projects including planning, permitting, finance, and technology.
  • Knowledge of state energy and transportation policies, priorities, and budgets and ability to identify opportunities for growth for CSE programs.
  • Management experience, including tactical decision-making, facilitation, communications, and the ability to develop and attain goals.
  • Business/finance skills sufficient to understand and develop budgets as well as financial payback analyses.
  • Demonstrated success in drafting scopes of work, budgets, and complex proposals that result in contracts.
  • Motivated and inspirational, capable of mobilizing a large workforce around a shared mission.
  • Self-directed, effective communicator, strong time management skills, and a creative problem solver.
  • Commitment to values of mutual respect and collaboration, teamwork and diversity.



  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Masters or Juris doctorate degree preferred


  • 10 -15 years of prior work experience at a management level in nonprofit, clean energy and/or utility company is preferred.

CSE is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.


CSE participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with Form I-9 information to confirm U.S. work authorization.

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CSE reaffirms its commitment to provide Equal Opportunity and affirmative action in its employee policies and practices