web analytics

Alliance for Climate Education: Executive Director

About The Organization

The Alliance for Climate Education seeks an Executive Director who will lead a team of talented and passionate professionals to realize ACE’s mission.

About The Alliance for Climate Education

The mission of the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. Since 2009 ACE has educated nearly 3 million students, built an action network of 300,000 youth, and trained thousands of youth climate leaders. Through a carefully refined engagement ladder, ACE has tracked over one million actions that range from sharing climate-related content on social media, to initiating climate conversations with family and friends, to registering and turning out to vote for climate leadership. ACE has demonstrated its impact through peer-reviewed research with top universities and focuses its work in strategic geographies where youth can play a pivotal role in advancing just and equitable climate action. At its core, ACE believes in the power of young people to bring about a rapid and lasting shift to a future that is safe from the climate crisis.

The organization is driven by powerful storytelling and action, and employs data to inform strategy and measure its impact. ACE values creativity, inclusiveness, and fun, which it incorporates into all areas of work. Currently, ACE has a staff of 12, an annual budget of $2.2 million, and is planning for significant growth over the next two years. ACE operations and development staff are based in the ACE headquarters in Boulder, CO, and the rest of the team works remotely. To see more about ACE’s strategic geographies and programmatic impact, see ACE’s 2020 Strategic Plan and visit acespace.org.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, organizational management, communications, and program implementation to ensure long-term impact and financial sustainability.

ACE seeks an Executive Director with an established track record of leading an organization, managing a highly motivated team, developing and executing financial and programmatic growth strategies, fundraising, and building partnerships to advance an organization’s mission. This is a high-profile opportunity for a dynamic professional who will be responsible for expanding ACE’s impact with the goal of building youth power in the climate movement.

ACE will consider candidates with a range of career profiles whose core values and leadership abilities match the demands of the Executive Director role. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors, and work closely with the Board, staff, partners, teachers, and youth leaders to implement the organization’s fundraising efforts and execute the strategic plan.

Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director will have the following responsibilities:

Strategy / Fundraising

  • In collaboration with the Board and Director of Philanthropy, develop and execute a diversified fundraising plan to significantly increase revenue from major donors, foundations, and other constituencies – allowing the organization to grow and significantly increase its impact.
  • Lead staff in executing the current strategic plan through 2020.
  • In partnership with the Board and staff, lead a multi-year strategic planning process with inclusion of youth, funders, partners, and other ACE stakeholders.
  • Work with the Board in developing and executing a Board member recruitment strategy to increase the fundraising capacity, racial diversity, and geographic representation of the Board.
  • Commitment to frequent travel to tell the story of ACE, to build and maintain relationships with ACE stakeholders, and fundraise.

Organizational Management

  • Work collaboratively with staff and lead the Executive Team to ensure organizational strategy, objectives, and priorities are clear and aligned with the strategic vision of the Board.
  • Cultivate and sustain a productive and mutually supportive relationship with the Board by informing them of material issues, risks, and opportunities that may affect the organization, making recommendations, and appropriately soliciting Board input about key decisions.
  • Effectively include Board members in fundraising and other engagement opportunities.
  • Create a work environment that is supportive, performance-driven, and fosters creativity and learning.
  • Advance goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion within ACE.


  • Represent the organization at regional and national events and in the press to enhance the organization’s profile, while elevating opportunities for youth leadership.
  • Work with staff leadership to develop strategic communications to organizational stakeholders including funders, teachers, youth, and partners, as well as to promote its content in the media.
  • Proactively seek out opportunities to strengthen the ACE brand and make ACE a ‘household name’ across the country.

Program Implementation and Evaluation

  • Continue to refine and implement measurement metrics to quantify the cost and impact of ACE’s programs.
  • Lead the annual work planning and budgeting process to support the multi-year strategic plan goals.
  • Set appropriate goals and objectives for programs consistent with the strategic plan, and ensure expectations are met or exceeded while fostering collaboration, inclusion, and excellence.
  • Ensure alignment between strategic goals and available resources.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Substantive, relevant work experience, with at least 5 to 7 years in a senior managerial role.
  • Experience leading fundraising relationships with institutions and individual donors.
  • Demonstrated track record of major donor cultivation including securing 6-figure gifts.
  • Well-versed in climate science, climate and energy policy, climate justice, and the climate movement landscape.
  • An understanding of sound development systems and a commitment to growing a diverse base of funders, including from key states.
  • A strong network within the climate and sustainability space.
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors and recruitment of new Board members to meet agreed upon organizational goals.
  • A record of sound financial management in developing and executing an annual budget of approximately $1 – $2 million, including financial reporting, tax, and audit experience.
  • Experience in implementing HR policies and procedures including recruiting diverse talent, performance evaluations, compensation strategy, and strong equity/inclusion practices.
  • Proven management skills with experience to plan, organize, and execute a program of work, analyze and solve complex issues, obtain significant funding support, and work closely with aBoard of Directors.
  • Working knowledge of organizational analytics, research, and evaluation.
  • Understanding of tech platforms used for social-media marketing, network activation, SMS engagement, databases, and project management.
  • Experience managing remote teams and using online collaboration tools.
  • Experience coaching, mentoring, and developing staff to optimize their capabilities and address the evolving needs of the organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree desired.

Personal Attributes

  • A passion for working on environmental, sustainability, or conservation issues.
  • A passion for serving youth and supporting their leadership.
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Comfort making and executing tough decisions to ensure things get done.
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to connect with diverse communities.

Apply For This Position

To apply, fill out the form below or email us your cover letter and resume expressing your interest in this position to search@blueridgeadvisorsllc.com with "Alliance for Climate Education - Executive Director" in the subject line. We also accept nominations of qualified candidates. All applications and nominations will be held in the strictest confidence.