Climate Program Director

Climate Program Director

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
Stolte Family Foundation

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Salary Range: 
Job Category: 
Program Management
Organizational Overview: 

Our vision for this position

We are looking for an experienced leader and strategic thinker who demonstrates a personal and professional commitment to climate and decarbonization policies and practices. The candidate understands the importance of building relationships and a holistic approach to clean energy solutions. The ideal candidate can thrive in a small team, can work independently as well as collaboratively, and can build bridges and work across constituencies. They are an adaptive, curious and analytical thinker who is driven by both data and an informed intuition. Critical thinking and emotional intelligence are key. While a majority of our partnerships and investments are dedicated to strengthening systems in Washington and Oregon, Stolte Family Foundation (SFF) intends to widen the portfolio with a strategic expansion in Michigan. Given our commitment to diversity and racial equity, the candidate must also be committed to advancing this issue and possess knowledge, skills, and experience that would enhance our work.

The climate program director, working under the guidance of the Executive Director and closely with SFF co-founder, Chris Stolte, will be responsible for the strategy and administration of SFF’s climate and clean energy grantmaking process, policy priorities, impact investments and evaluation of SFF’s work to strengthen climate and decarbonization efforts. The director will help identify the most promising opportunities for SFF to impact climate and clean energy systems at scale.

Role Responsibilities: 

Climate Program Director Responsibilities

  • We believe a strong strategy is one that is reflected upon regularly. The program director will be a lead architect in the foundation’s climate program, including frequent strategy assessment and refinement.
  • Identify climate-related funding measures of success and use them to regularly assess our progress towards our long-term goals.
  • Serve as the primary grantmaking officer of a $3.0 million annual foundation grantmaking portfolio (if aligned with giving outside of the foundation, annual investments total $4m).
  • Lead day-to-day management of grants, including reviewing letters of inquiry and applications, conducting due diligence, conducting site visits or annual calls, and monitoring the status of grants. Also, take responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the grants database, grant files, and other grant-related records. 
  • Monitor, understand and distill the emerging strategies, policy approaches, technology advances and models for decarbonization and building to a clean energy future.
  • Keep an eye on the ecosystem, observing and reacting to the health of partners, capacity needs and gaps. Be an active partner and contributor, advancing opportunities for system-wide strengthening.
  • We believe in partnership and collaborative learning. With the guidance, and at the request of our partners, the director should engage in a close working relationship with grantees, extending support beyond the grant.
  • Participate in legislative sessions, focused on key initiatives and a supportive role to grantmaking partners.
  • With the goal of ensuring our strategy is in alignment and collaboration with others, participate in the selected policy tables, coalitions, networking and aligned funding convenings to stay informed and connected to the field. The director will play a key role as spokesperson for the strategy.
  • Identify and facilitate partnership and co-funding opportunities to advance SFF’s strategies.
  • Leverage insights from community leaders, tribes, researchers, scientists, academia, funders, innovators, and frontline communities to inform SFF program outcomes and drive positive results.
  • Prepare reports for the Executive Director and Chris Stolte focused on SFF’s impact.
  • Be an active and contributing member to our team. Attend, support, and lead climate & clean energy topics at quarterly team meetings and retreats. Distill relevant information on a regular basis to keep the SFF team informed on key issues.
  • Research relevant topics as determined by Chris and the Executive Director. Ensure Chris is deeply knowledgeable about the strategy and have sufficient information to foster strong intellectual dialogue about strategic direction.
  • Take responsibility for potential program expansions which could include increased impact investments (PRI or private equity), applying a climate justice lens to the foundation portfolio, and assessing opportunities in rural communities.
Candidate Qualifications: 


  • Experience in building, constantly refining, and executing on a strategy.
  • Understanding of the complexities of decarbonization and policy. A sophisticated level of policy intelligence is just as important as an understanding of climate science.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the field of science, climate and clean energy, and public policy.
  • Understanding of community-based and community-led approaches, multi-sector and multi-racial coalition work and a positive reputation as an effective collaborator.
  • Experience in advancing racial equity and social justice in an organization or communities.
  • Solid understanding of service delivery, funding, advocacy, and system-wide issues related to climate and clean energy programs.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to effectively manage time, meet multiple competing deadlines, develop thoughtfully written materials, maintain a positive attitude under pressure, and manage budgets.

Skills and Strengths

  • Curious and analytical.
  • Self-driven and independent.
  • Ability to “think big” at the strategic level while also being able to focus on and prioritize tactical goals.
  • Strength of character and conviction coupled with reflective listening skills. Demonstrates the ability to have crucial conversations with a focus on improvement and progress, across a diverse constituency.
  • Professional yet approachable demeanor with strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a start-up culture with a small collaborative team and limited administrative support. Self-motivated and able to work independently.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with partner organizations and build a network of advisors and relationships to inform SFF.
  • Open, flexible, and culturally competent when working with BIPOC-led community-based organizations.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills and the ability to distill complex ideas effectively.
  • Unwavering commitment to confidentiality.
  • If requested, references should reflect relationships across a diverse constituency – policy nonprofits, academics, and community leaders.

Education and Experience

  • We are looking for a senior level professional with a demonstrated base of knowledge and experience.
  • Preferably 10+ years of relevant professional experience in a foundation, management, policy, or consulting practice.
  • Experience working in or influencing a strategy field is a plus.
  • Familiarity with WA and OR policy is a plus.
  • Previous grantmaking experience is not required, but valued, along with a demonstrated track-record of effective relationships with BIPOC-led community organizations, policymakers and funders.

Field Work 

We expect that 40% of the time will be spent in the field. Candidate must have access to reliable transportation for field work; mileage will be reimbursed. With the possibility of an expansion into Michigan, some out of state travel will be required, though it is yet to be determined.

Additional Details

This position will advise the Stolte family across a spectrum of impact vehicles. While the primary work will focus on and involve the foundation, a strong candidate will have the ability to advise the family on a broader policy and political strategy, and potentially an investment strategy.

The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. The candidate may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.

The Stolte Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We value and encourage a culture of diversity and celebrate our employees’ differences in age, color, race and ethnicity, gender identity or expression, language, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and veteran status. We strongly encourage candidates of color and other underrepresented groups to apply.

Download pdf1.16 MB

How to Apply

Application Contact:
Application Deadline: 
May 24, 2021
Application Instructions: 
Send resume and cover letter via email to Please include your first and last name in the subject line. Materials will be reviewed until Monday, May 24, 2021. We will facilitate initial phone interviews during this period. Based on the expected volume of interest in this position opening, we will not be able to speak with everyone.