Research Director

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About the Clean Energy Transition Institute

Founded in 2018, the Clean Energy Transition Institute is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to accelerate an equitable transition to a clean energy economy in the Northwest by advancing deep decarbonization strategies. We provide unbiased research and analysis to guide climate and energy policy and a neutral platform to help diverse stakeholders debate and resolve the trade-offs associated with deep decarbonization.

Why Join the Clean Energy Transition Institute?

In just three years, the Clean Energy Transition Institute has become a reliable source for independent analysis of how to transform the Northwest to a clean energy economy. We developed the research and modeling that showed how the region could decarbonize affordably by 2050, which led to our being chosen by the Washington State Department of Commerce to conduct the technical analysis that underpins the Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy.

That work, in turn, led to our providing analysis that substantiated the Montana Governor’s 2020 Climate Solutions Council’s recommendations for decarbonization strategies and modeling in Oregon, where our work helped win passage of the nation’s most ambitious clean energy standard in June 2021.

We are focused now on helping Washington and Oregon get on the path to decarbonization by 2030 by translating high-level modeling results into concrete actions and explaining how the clean energy transition can unfold in the Northwest.

As the Institute’s Research Director, you would play a critical role in developing and focusing our research and policy analysis and building the team that would develop the data and analytics to guide policy makers in moving the region swiftly to a clean energy future. You would report directly to the Executive Director.

About this Position

The Research Director will be responsible for setting the Institute’s research direction; developing assumptions for the studies we commission; managing experts we work with to provide top-notch data and analytics; establishing our research protocols; and hiring in-house research analysts. You will analyze studies, policies, and data related to deep decarbonization; develop strategies and roadmaps to achieve an equitable clean energy transition in the Northwest; write and edit reports and blogs; and present our findings at convenings and conferences.

The Ideal Candidate

We seek a Research Director with existing knowledge of deep decarbonization and energy systems as well as a proven track record of producing high-quality research and data analysis, who is committed to a rapid and equitable clean energy transition in the Northwest. Successful candidates will have a minimum of three years post-graduate school in a think tank, academic institution, or policy institute, ideally where they were engaged in energy analysis related to decarbonization strategies and clean energy policy, systems, and technology. Ideal candidates will be highly organized with excellent analytical and data analysis skills, keenly attentive to detail, and independent, creative thinkers capable of working in a start-up environment.

Required Skills and Qualifications

We are looking for a skilled Research Director with strong verbal and writing skills who gathers, synthesizes, and presents complex data and information (both qualitative and quantitative) in an accessible manner to influence climate and clean energy policy. For this position, we particularly value:

  • Experience developing research papers and data analysis
  • Experience working with economics and/or energy modelers
  • Experience collecting, organizing, and interpreting data and research from online databases, models, books, journal articles, newspapers, surveys/polls, and interviews
  • Ability to evaluate data and interpret patterns and trends in the energy sector to translate them into meaningful, non-technical communication materials
  • Skill documenting research/data analysis processes, describing findings, and making recommendations in published reports and presentations
  • A healthy skepticism, an attention to detail, and a commitment to accuracy
  • An understanding of economics, particularly related to the energy sector
  • Ability to think innovatively and strategically about, and participate in, advancing the Institute’s long-term goals using an equity lens
  • Master’s degree or equivalent work experience (minimum) in STEM and/or economics/environmental policy
  • Skill with math and statistical analysis, data analysis, coding, and modeling; ability to use Python (preferred) or R programming languages
  • Proficiency with Tableau

Essential Functions and Specific Responsibilities

  • Work with energy sector stakeholders and community experts to develop assumptions and produce reports to substantiate clean energy policies to accelerate equitable deep decarbonization strategies in the Northwest
  • Manage projects, modeling exercises, data analysis, research, and studies
  • Perform qualitative and quantitative research
  • Research and interpret data
  • Consult and collaborate with other regional and national universities, think tanks, and institutes
  • Document, report, and present research findings to stakeholders and the public
  • Build a team of research and policy analysts
  • Foster teamwork, collaboration, and learning to contribute to a positive work environment

Equal Opportunity

We actively seek applicants and employees of diverse race, religion, creed, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political ideology, ancestry, national origin, citizenship status, disability, veteran status, and medical conditions.


This is a competitive, full-time position, with compensation commensurate with the job requirements and the candidate’s experience.

How to Apply

Please email your resume, cover letter, and writing sample assembled in a single PDF and labeled with your name to Your electronic cover letter can be addressed to Eileen V. Quigley, Executive Director, Clean Energy Transition Institute.

Application Deadline is
November 30, 2021
Application is open until position has been filled.
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