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Managing Director – Sustainable Finance Practice

Rocky Mountain Institute is seeking a talented and strategic Managing Director who can lead RMI into the future of sustainable finance, building on RMI’s longstanding strengths in technology and systems design.

This Managing Director, essentially a senior partner, will firmly establish RMI as a thought leader and an execution leader in bringing scale to key arenas for sustainable finance. These areas include aggregating buildings efficiency loans, creating processes for corporate borrowers, syndicating renewable finance to public markets, and removing barriers to the purchase of renewable electricity. This position reports to the CEO and collaborates closely with other Managing Directors in the Research and Collaboration (R&C) team to execute RMI’s programmatic strategies. This individual will also build and lead teams, and help create a high-performance working environment where our staff can realize professional growth and success. Finally, the Managing Director will take a very active role in pursuing the funding, through philanthropic, government and collaboration revenue, for initiatives.

Specific Position Description

RMI has a well-established reputation and extensive capabilities in designing and executing collaborative problem solving and solution scaling teams.   Across all of our practices, the shift from fossil fuels to renewable and efficiency means, in practice, reducing operational costs, while in many cases increasing or at least changing the nature of capital costs.  Finding and reducing the cost of capital is core to our mission.  We seek a highly creative, entrepreneurial yet deeply and broadly experienced finance professional to join our team and shape what will be one of the world’s biggest growth businesses – sustainable finance.

The Sustainable Finance Managing Director works with the RMI CEO, fellow Managing Directors and our Development (fundraising) team to continually shape and fund our work on sustainable finance projects, meeting both longer-term objectives and strong annual progress commitments to donors and collaboration partners.  At present, RMI’s budget is at least $13 million. The budget related to Sustainable Finance is at least $1 million per year, funded through philanthropy, government research projects, and company-funded collaboration projects. We expect significant growth across all of our practices (Buildings, Transportation, Electricity, Industry).

The Sustainable Finance Managing Director helps shape and drive RMI's reputation through highly visible engagement of a wide range of trade and professional groups.

Key Success Factors – Finance MD

  • Develops RMI’s expertise and reputation on sustainable finance, and builds a high caliber team with professional experience.
  • Drives the development of standardized products, documentation and ratings for distributed solar finance; increases volume of distributed solar finance.
  • Builds an industry wide understanding of value and risk considerations driving towards wide scale capital investment in building retrofits, following both deep and broad/portfolio strategies.
  • Develops other innovative financing strategies driving uptake of renewables and efficiency.
  • Supports RMIs work in the energy transition for communities and internationally with innovative thinking about new financing solutions.
  • Builds a world class RMI finance team.
  • Grows the revenue stream for the finance practice to $2-3 million over three years.
  • Demonstrates organization wide leadership, helping set a culture of impact, accountability and entrepreneurship.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the senior team to set RMI program strategy
  • Serve as a public face and thought leader of RMI, particularly on finance and risk topics
  • Work with the other Managing Directors to set the overall direction of the programmatic work and manage the entire R&C organization
  • Develop and scale the overall finance program to ensure large-scale impact in the US and beyond
  • Identify and shape specific finance program initiatives, likely in combination with other MDs focusing on topics like distributed solar or commercial retrofits
  • Working with and mentoring Principals, and testing the ideas to ensure they deliver the needed impact and stimulate donor engagement
  • Determine specific staffing needs and hire R&C permanent staff
  • Support and guide Principals in running performance management process and make the resulting promotion/career-change decisions
  • Mentor key individuals, especially at Manager level and above
  • Together with our chief scientist, Amory Lovins, identify and track a set of themes around which future RMI initiatives might be developed
  • Play the key role in fundraising for the Sustainable Finance program, including developing and maintaining specific donor relationships
  • Identify, shape, and contract DOE and other government research projects, and shape and deliver collaborative efforts with companies and industry groups


  • Deep understanding of how the US finance industry is moving on sustainability and energy efficiency, particularly for commercial buildings and renewable energy and communities
  • Well established national network with a particular emphasis on project finance and securitization (scaling) approaches
  • Established reputation in relevant Finance segments in the US (international experience is a plus)
  • 10+ years of experience in related fields of finance such as project finance, syndication, municipal finance, real estate finance, or other relevant areas such as investment banking in the energy sector

Education and Experience

  • Graduate degree(s) in business/finance, economics or management fields
  • 15–20 years’ work experience with heavy emphasis on project-based environments including project development, consulting, or professional services
  • Strong outreach capability: Speaking and writing to business and donor audiences
  • Proven selling capabilities to investors, companies, donors and decision- makers
  • A strong creative streak: proven ability to find new and impactful approaches, influence others’ thinking, and demonstrate entrepreneurial leadership
  • Ability and interest in working with colleagues across a broad range of energy-related topics including the electricity system, solar power, transportation system design, and corporate sustainability strategy

Interested applicants should send their resume and cover letter to rmi@sixdegreepeople.com.

RMI is an equal opportunity employer.

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