Associate Director, State Climate Policy

Reports to: Senior Director, Domestic Climate and Energy Policy
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Energy and Environment
Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 6
Minimum compensation: $77,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress is seeking a highly motivated and organized professional to serve as Associate Director for State Climate Policy. This individual will have a strong climate policy, advocacy, and organizing background and an understanding of strategic program management.

American Progress is seeking a highly motivated and organized professional to serve as Associate Director for State Climate Policy. This individual will have a strong climate policy, advocacy, and organizing background and an understanding of strategic program management.

The Associate Director will work to advance state and local climate action throughout the country and will lead American Progress’ State-Federal Climate Initiative (SFCI) as part of the Energy and Environment department’s Domestic Climate team. They will work in close coordination with American Progress’ Energy and Environment Campaigns team and Government Affairs staff.

American Progress is focused on encouraging nationwide adoption of ambitious, equitable, and just state, local, and federal climate policies—with a particular focus on promoting clean energy, environmental justice, and high-quality union jobs. This work includes examination of both the policies and the coalition-building and advocacy strategies that can engage broad and diverse constituencies to achieve successful outcomes. Since 2022, American Progress has been particularly focused on supporting state and local governments in the implementation of historic new federal climate investments through the Inflation Reduction Act and other new federal initiatives that have created massive opportunities for bold action at the subnational level. American Progress’ SFCI initiative also works with partners to amplify and elevate lessons learned on successful state climate action to the federal government and to ensure federal investments and policies empower continued state and local government climate leadership.

The successful candidate will be guided by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. The Associate Director will join a committed group of colleagues with extensive research expertise to strengthen American Progress’ policy and advocacy work in support of the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health


  • Lead work supporting bold state and local policies and effective implementation of federal investments to achieve progress on climate action, good jobs, and environmental justice.
  • Lead American Progress’ SFCI, including working with partners to elevate lessons from successful state climate action to the federal government and to ensure that federal investments and policies empower continued state and local government climate leadership.
  • Follow the local, state, and national political and policy conversation regarding energy and climate change and make strategic decisions for American Progress’ engagement.
  • Author products including columns, reports, and op-eds, and draft messaging guidance and talking points.
  • Plan and host coalition meetings, convenings, and public events with diverse partners to share ideas and identify key lessons learned on climate action from the state and local levels.
  • Identify, cultivate, and foster productive working relationships with partner organizations and individuals at the national, state, and local levels who support climate action, with a particular focus on advancing the team’s existing partnerships with environmental justice organizations and labor unions.
  • Manage relationships with external vendors; secure needed approvals on contracts with vendors; instruct vendors on workstreams and deliverables; and track progress to inform future scopes of work.
  • Represent American Progress in coalition meetings and in media and social media communications.
  • In partnership with the Government Affairs department, conduct targeted educational outreach to the administration and to members of Congress and staff to share ideas from the states, and connect state- and local-level partners with federal-level allies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required skills:

  • Relationship building: The Associate Director will excel at developing the connections and relationships necessary to make advocacy efforts more effective by supporting the team’s partnerships with environmental justice organizations, labor groups, national climate groups, community groups, and elected officials. This includes utilizing one-on-one, small, and large group meetings. This person will be a connector and a facilitator.
  • Strategic vision and planning: The Associate Director will enjoy working strategically and casting a critical eye toward opportunities for elevating state messages; highlighting federal opportunities for states and localities; and engaging in conversations that further climate change policy debates and political opportunities. They will know how to craft and direct messages at intended audiences.
  • Creative and nimble problem solving: The Associate Director will constantly search for new and creative ways to share American Progress’ products and ideas, and they will find new levers to pull in the development and elevation of written products, events, and more.
  • Policy analysis: The Associate Director will have background and expertise in policy research, analysis, and development to help inform state and local policymakers and advocates both individually and collectively.
  • Concise and clear writing: The Associate Director will have comfort and capability in drafting written products in multiple formats and lengths that are concise and easy to follow, driving home key policy narratives.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • At least six years of relevant experience—which may include experience in organizing, campaigns, legislative and administrative advocacy, or coalition building—or relevant graduate studies in related fields.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills as well as excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated understanding of state- and local-level politics and policymaking, with a strong preference for climate and environmental experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to make strategic connections between external partners, facilitate sharing of ideas, and plan convenings and coalition meetings, all with minimal oversight.
  • Self-starter who takes initiative and seeks support as needed.
  • Superb research and writing ability and the ability to plan ahead and set priorities.
  • Prior experience working with labor and/or environmental justice groups and on labor and/or environmental justice issues is preferred but not required.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals, particularly equitable and just action to tackle the climate crisis and improve people’s lives—especially those who have been or will be disproportionately affected by toxic pollution, climate impacts, and shifting industries.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position has a minimum salary of $77,000.

American Progress’ hybrid work policy is posted on our Jobs page. Please visit this page for updates. The Energy and Environment staff work in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Any changes to this policy will also be communicated at the time of hire.

Preferred application deadline: February 21, 2024.

Apply Now

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.