Program Director, City Climate Innovation 

Website LACI

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy, and sustainable cities, and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs.

Position Summary:

The City Climate Innovation Director will play a critical role in bringing LACI’s proven innovation model forward to help cities and regions across California and the nation deploy and scale cleantech solutions. This role initially focuses on directing LACI’s inaugural City Climate Innovation Challenge for Zero Emission Delivery, working with local municipalities to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery vehicles and technologies to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance overall livability of urban environments.

The role will be integral to working with the CEO and SVP of Market Transformation to build the City Climate Innovation platform that builds on LACI’s model developed in Greater Los Angeles. In doing so, LACI will be expanding its thought leadership and impact to other cities and regions through helping local–and in the future, potentially regional agencies or  state–governments identify challenges and opportunities to accelerate equitable climate action. In turn, LACI will help  invite startup and corporate innovation into  “innovation sandboxes” where solutions can be piloted. LACI will then work with the government entities  to fund the pilots with selected startups, and then work together to scale the most promising  policy and business model  solutions while helping the startups scale via LACI’s debt and venture funds (along with other LACI resources and offerings).

Based on the first Challenge, the director will lead a national cohort of 9 local municipalities (Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; Miami-Dade County, FL; New York City, NY; Oakland, CA; Pittsburgh, PA;  Portland, OR; Santa Monica, CA;  and Washington D.C.) to identify startup and corporate solutions to be piloted in innovation “sandboxes” along with access to pilot funding for select startup solutions, technical support, data analysis, peer-to-peer learnings, & convenings with existing private sector delivery companies. Once successful solutions are identified, LACI will work with the cities to scale the policy and business model innovations while providing access to debt and venture funding for startups.

The cities’ combined metropolitan populations represent 55 million people–one in every six Americans–representing a bold market signal for zero emissions delivery, and an exciting opportunity for the City Climate Innovation Director to lead LACI’s efforts to help the cities accelerate equitable climate action & address local needs.

What You’ll Do:

  • Strategic Planning with CEO and SVP of Market Transformation: Determine annual goals for LACI’s inaugural Zero Emission Delivery Zone City Climate Innovation Challenge, plan the strategies and actions needed to achieve those goals, and oversee day-to-day implementation and evaluation of those actions. Identify the focus for the next City Climate Innovation Challenge while helping CEO and SVP fundraise for future Challenges and pilot funds.
  • Facilitate the National  Zero Emission Delivery City Cohort: Plan and execute  bi-monthly virtual meetings of the full cohort to advance the goals  of the City Climate Innovation Challenge. Develop strong working relationships with each individual city partner and work with them to identify and advance solutions that meet their unique needs. Convene in person meetings of the cohort to facilitate deeper interactions and exchange of knowledge. Convene leaders from the private sector to share pain points, lessons learned and opportunities for zero emission delivery solutions with the cohort. Develop strong working relationships with and collaborate with LACI’s City Climate Innovation Challenge partners at C40 and Climate Mayors
  • Oversee  Related Research: Publish an RFI to create a bench of potential innovation partners for initial pilots and ideas for future by pilots by other cities. Lead research to identify ideal sites for delivery charging depots and community-accessible charging resources in two cities. Manage subrecipient research on the landscape for zero emission delivery, as well as related  business and policy model options
  • Lead Pilot Selection, Design, Implementation and Analysis: Lead the selection, design and  implementation of zero emission delivery pilots with a subset of the cities, including the deployment of both delivery vehicles and EVSE. Oversee the collection and analysis of data throughout the pilots
  • Fundraising and Grant Management: In collaboration with SVP of Market Transformation, VP of Development, and CEO, identify and assess prospective funding opportunities (government, corporate and foundation), and lead relevant grant writing opportunities. Oversee execution of current and future grant funding related to the City Climate Innovation Challenge, including ensuring timely, quality completion of deliverables, managing subrecipients, and completing  timely and accurate reporting
  • Serve as LACI’s Subject Matter Expert on Zero Emission Delivery Solutions: Based on previous or adjacent experience along with self education, be prepared to serve as LACI’s internal subject matter expert on zero emission delivery solutions  to inform startup priorities and workforce development trainings and serve as a conduit to facilitate meaningful customer engagements between promising startups and LACI  partners, as appropriate. The Director must stay current on market trends and will educate LACI and the broader ecosystem on relevant policy, regulatory, technology, and industry trends via internal briefings, LACI publications, and speaking at thought leadership events, etc. Craft and weigh in on related policies at the local, regional, state and federal levels with LACI leadership and external partners

Why You’re Right for the Job:

  • You’re authentic and approachable.  Your demeanor and openness often lead people to approach you with their honest thoughts and feelings. You’ve been told that your responses to problems are refreshingly authentic and empathetic. You hold these confidences with care, so people know they can confide in and depend on you.
  • You have a highly collaborative and inclusive approach to leadership. You naturally build strong relationships and establish credibility with a wide-range of leaders and employees across the organization as a trusted colleague and mentor.
  • You are an exceptional communicator. You know how to synthesize and translate complex information for a broad spectrum of audiences, from technologists and engineers, to investors, to cross collaborative team members.
  • You are adaptable, strategic and agile. You naturally anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into program plans, and when things (inevitably) don’t go according to plan — you know how to roll with the punches.
  • You’re a master planner and capacity builder. You know how to operationalize program strategy and develop the plans, processes and people to execute, ensuring the department runs smoothly and goals are met.


Basically, we want to know you can get the job done. This means you have:

  • BA/BS degree in relevant field, preferred
  • 6+  years related experience, preferred
  • Experience in deploying innovation as a city staff member and/or with local governments as well as with subject matter experts to scale equitable climate action
  • Strong project management skills including ability to assess dependencies, manage details, adhere to deadlines, and follow up on action items without micromanagement
  • Passionate about helping cities to innovate to creatively and effectively deploy climate solutions
  • Approaches opportunities and challenges with an empowered, resourceful mindset
  • Ability to be flexible in approach and pivot when necessary to achieve project objectives
  • Demonstrates LACI’s core values: catalytic, systemic, inclusive and impact-oriented
  • Strong interpersonal skills as LACI is a fast-paced matrixed organization in which cross collaboration across other internal teams and programs is essential for success
  • Strong oral, written and presentation skills;  ability to communicate clearly and effectively with and between stakeholder groups, project teams, and internal staff
  • Ability to manage up, consciously establishing a good working relationship with your supervisor to ensure mutual success
  • Proven ability to manage project budgets with multiple funding sources

Preferred Qualifications

  • Command of zero emission delivery vehicle and infrastructure business and policy issues at the local, regional, state and federal levels
  • Previous work with local government
  • Understanding of project implementation requirements with city and county governments
  • Previous work planning and implementing clean technology pilots

Work Requirements

  • Must work onsite from LA office two to three days/week

Position Details:

This is a full-time position, starting immediately. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus, in the bustling Downtown LA Arts District. Since we are rapidly growing, you will be getting in on the ground floor at LACI, with the opportunity to evolve with us and shape your future here. Some travel may be required.

Salary Range: Director Range $88-105k commensurate with experience, education, skills, etc and total compensation package including health benefits, 401k match, professional development, commuter benefits and more.

In addition to working on a campus with other innovators, we offer industry competitive benefits including: paid holidays, vacation/sick time, health benefits, 401(k) plan with match, and paid parking (with EV charge stations). We also support alternative transportation with a metro pass and bikeshare for every employee.

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