Associate Director and Climate Action Manager, Stanford University

Posted by: CAKE Team
Post Date: 7/10/2023
Opportunity Type: Other
Organization/Grantor: Stanford University
Position/Title/Fund: Associate Director and Climate Action Manager - Full-time, permanent
Location: Redwood City, California
Deadline: Aug 05, 2023

Salary: $119,000 - $160,000

The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management within Land, Buildings, and Real Estate at Stanford University has an immediate opening for an Associate Director and Climate Change Manager. This is a hybrid opportunity with the expectation to be on-site 2 days per week with the flexibility to report to the Redwood City and Palo Alto Campus. If you are passionate about climate action planning and greenhouse gas emissions analysis methodologies this role is perfect for you! In this role you can expect to serve as a key leader to develop and implement the vision and strategic plan for the Office of Sustainability and help to implement innovative research. 

Stanford launched the first new school in seventy years in 2022, the Doerr School of Sustainability, dedicated to high-impact solutions to pressing planetary challenges. Stanford has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 80% from its baseline and in March 2022 achieved the milestone of 100% renewable electricity. There is an opportunity for the Sustainability and Energy Management department within LBRE to build upon successful operational sustainability initiatives and expand on energy, water, and waste reduction savings and partner with the Doerr School of Sustainability to advance Stanford into the next phase of climate action planning as it plans to eliminate Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases and achieve net zero no later than 2050. Multiple academic and operational departments are showing interest in how to integrate sustainability into their plans, policies, and practices, and there is a need to develop models to allow for integration across the university. The Climate Action Manager/Associate Director will lead climate and sustainability action planning and reporting. 

The ideal candidate will be a strategic planner, convener of diverse stakeholders, and highly knowledgeable about climate action planning and greenhouse gas emissions analysis methodologies and strategies for mitigating climate change. They will have experience developing and meeting emissions reduction milestones and goals, and be a skilled facilitator who brings diverse stakeholders together to align around ambitious strategies. The manager must be passionate about climate and sustainability and willing to learn the tools and processes used to track and improve Stanford’s emissions performance. 


Manage the University’s Climate Action Plan - 40% 

  • Lead climate action planning efforts for Stanford University in coordination with staff across Stanford University, including LBRE, Business Affairs, Residential and Dining Enterprises, the Doerr School of Sustainability, and beyond to achieve the goal becoming a Net Zero University. 
  • Lead the strategy to mitigate and manage Stanford’s greenhouse gas emissions to achieve short and long-term GHG reduction and net-zero goals. 
  • Direct and develop vision and strategies to modify existing programs as needed to meet emissions targets and reporting requirements, including Stanford’s Climate Bond, California Air Resources Board, and similar regional, state, and national regulations.
  • Research and make recommendations about alternatives to achieving emissions reductions without the use of offsets. Lead strategy around offsets for remaining emissions. 
  • If/where zero emission solutions are not feasible, research and recommend high-quality, mission-driven offsets programs (e.g., programs that support local community, align with environmental and social justice principles, support equity and inclusivity, and/or accelerate other environmental goals like waste minimization, water conservation, or protection of biodiversity).
  • Analyze how Stanford’s emissions reduction goals compare to state, national, international, and peer institution reduction targets, and propose phased implementation plan to reach climate goals.
  • Collaborate with Sustainability and Energy Management leadership, Office of Sustainability Outreach, and University Communications to align on emissions goals and progress shared publicly.
  • Complete quarterly and annual evaluations of University progress in meeting emissions targets and propose modifications to strategies, as needed.
  • Manage vendor contracts, expenses, and budget to support Climate Action Plan research and implementation, including proposing rebate or incentive programs, infrastructure investments, and additional staff positions or vendor resources as needed.
  • Manage student interns, create and support opportunities for other students to learn from and contribute to emissions goals, and support faculty research related to Stanford’s Climate Action Plans.

Manage Internal and External Partnerships to Support Climate Action Plan Strategies - 30% 

  • Lead a Climate Working Group of Stanford content experts including staff and faculty (e.g., Scope 3 Emissions Program, Financial Management Services/Procurement, LBRE’s Transportation and Department of Project Management, etc.) to conduct long term infrastructure, program and policy planning to support Climate Action Plan development and implementation. 
  • Foster mutual goals and strategies among Stanford partners to help ensure alignment (e.g., electrification of equipment and assets, building operations and maintenance, LBRE’s Facility Design Guidelines, renewable energy projects, carbon neutral building design and land use planning, etc.).
  • Serve as primary contact for senior leadership on carbon reduction and climate action data requests (e.g., compiling data relevant to Stanford’s Doerr School of Sustainability, creating or advising on Board of Trustees and investment group presentations, etc.).
  • Advance Stanford participation in the external community and sustainability industry by establishing relationships with key stakeholders to facilitate an ongoing positive dialogue.
  • Submit proposals for national and regional conferences and serve as university spokesperson in industry and community events related to Stanford’s climate action planning. 

Serve as the Associate Director of the Office of Sustainability; Oversee Sustainability Reporting, Data, and Analytics Team – 30% 

  • Serve as a key leader to develop and implement the vision and strategic plan for the Office of Sustainability.
  • Lead the Office of Sustainability’s strategic data reporting and analysis; identify how the Office of Sustainability and Sustainability and Energy Management can best use and communicate key data to track and report on progress to achieve climate and sustainability targets. 
  • Supervise the Sustainability Manager, Assessments, GHG Emissions and RECs Portfolio.
  • Supervise and direct strategic submissions to select regional, state, and national reporting and ranking systems; in particular, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) of the Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and ensure that Stanford maintains its status as a Platinum-rated institution. 
  • Provide support and guidance to the Manager for improving emissions and renewable energy credit (REC) tracking and analysis methodologies and conduct quality control activities to prepare for audits.
  • Collaborate with the Manager to gather key emissions metrics and projections to ensure data aligns with and supports Climate Action Plan strategies and benchmarking.
  • Ensure there is resiliency in the emissions analysis portfolio to be sure that processes are clearly documented and so knowledge can be transferrable to peers, stakeholders and partners.
  • Collaborate with the Manager to analyze and identify emissions data, tools and frameworks to ensure the efficiency, accuracy, comprehensiveness and integrity of emissions analysis and reporting (e.g., CDP, Science Based Targets initiative, The Climate Registry’s Water-Energy Nexus framework).
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree or combination of education and relevant experience with data analysis/reporting and sustainability. 
  • 8 or more years related work experience.
  • Demonstrated skill in emissions accounting and familiarity with industry sustainability reporting standards, such as the GHG Protocol.
  • Demonstrated skill in the use of spreadsheets, database programs, and word processing programs, specifically strong proficiency with Microsoft Excel and presentation software.
  • Capability to diplomatically bridge the gap between sustainability idealists and pragmatists to motivate and align diverse interests to advance climate action on the campus; ability to build consensus among diverse interest groups. 
  • Polished communications skills, both written and oral (including developing and making formal presentations).
  • Adept at understanding and communicating sustainability principles to others and ability to integrate those principles into campus operations.
  • Ability to manage a complex and often competing set of priorities in a results-oriented environment.
  • Experience with strategic planning in a complex stakeholder environment. 
  • Experience with climate data collection, storage, and analysis.
  • Familiarity with complex organizational and operational structures with the ability to objectively think through initiatives’ impact in an institutional setting.
  • Possess strong organizational, time management and project management skills, with the ability to support multiple projects at various stages with emphasis on accuracy and meeting deadlines.
  • Possess high degree of discretion and judgment; ability to resolve interdependent deadlines with tact and diplomacy.
  • Possess high degree of energy and initiative, with the ability to work both independently with moderate or little supervision and as part of a team.


  • Advanced degree in climate science and/or climate policy or related field strongly preferred.
  • Technical knowledge in green building design, urban planning, and/or LEED AP accreditation is a plus.
  • Interest in and academic background in sustainability; especially common sustainability metrics.
  • Familiarity with higher education preferred.