Executive Director, Sustainability Accelerator/

Stanford University
United States

This position is based on Stanford’s main campus with consideration given to the option for a hybrid work schedule (partially onsite and offsite), subject to operational need. Interested candidates must include a resume and cover letter to be considered for this position. 

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment VISA.

About Us 
The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability (SDSS) has a unifying goal of creating a future in which humans and nature thrive together in concert and in perpetuity. The school’s unique three-part structure consisting of departments to drive scholarship and educate students, institutes to innovate across disciplines, and an accelerator to drive policy and technology solutions reimagines how universities can contribute to the planet’s sustainability. We focus on creating knowledge and scaling solutions that benefit our local community and people globally, while also creating a school community that is inclusive of all people.

The Stanford Sustainability Accelerator is an organization within School of Sustainability that focuses on co-creating and launching innovative solutions that can be rapidly progressed at “speed and scale” to address humanity- and planetary-scale climate and sustainability challenges and opportunities. Work within the Accelerator will bridge a broad spectrum of domains, from scaling new technology from the lab to the market, to launching digital platforms and social movements, to addressing public policy and governance challenges.

We seek an innovative, inspirational and ambitious leader to be the Executive Director (ED) of the Accelerator.

“Climate and sustainability are the new computer science,” says John Doerr, co-chair of the SDSS Advisory Council. Stanford helped give birth to Silicon Valley.  “The Accelerator has the potential to create the next Silicon Valley for sustainability,” says John Hennessy, Former President of Stanford, Chairman of Alphabet, and co-chair of the SDSS Advisory Council. “Launching the Accelerator reminds me of the early days of ARPA-E; and the Accelerator is broader in scope, with a laser focus on proof of scalability before launching technology, policy and other sustainability solutions,” says Arun Majumdar, the Founding Director of ARPA-E and the Dean of SDSS

The Executive Director is a new position and serves as the most senior staff leader for the Sustainability Accelerator. They will be a key participant in strategic planning and process development, in partnership with the Dean, the Faculty Director, Advisory Council and the faculty council. They will provide management, develop operations, and catalyze coordination of a global network of partners, oversee grant making, and provide project mentorship, with the purpose to co-create and launch sustainability solutions at speed and scale.

To be successful in this position you will need to have the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

1.    Deep knowledge of issues and the communities broadly related to climate and sustainability (climate, energy, water, food, biodiversity, ecology, global health)
2.    Demonstrated ability to integrate technology, supply chains, policy, markets, social equity, finance and develop pathways to scale solutions for broad societal and planetary impact.
3.    Demonstrated inclusive leadership skills with the ability to influence and motivate constituencies that could span multiple organizational boundaries.
4.    Knowledge of solutions-driven academic research and the potential to translate to societal impact.
5.    Demonstrated ability to recruit diverse talent and create an organization with the culture and values of constructive debate, inclusion and trust building within Stanford and with relevant external communities (e.g., academic institutions, corporations, governments, citizen and professional groups, non-profits, etc.)
6.    Demonstrated ability to lead a team with the discipline to execute on a plan towards desired outcomes within a desired timeframe.
7.    Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence people, solve problems, trouble shoot, think creatively and resolve conflicts.
8.    Highest integrity with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to cultivate strong collaborative relationships with communities within and outside of Stanford University.


* – The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities.  Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility.  Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


In Addition to the above requirements, the minimum requirements for this position are:

•    Bachelor’s degree and ten years of relevant experience in administrative and financial management, or combination of education and relevant experience.
•    Demonstrated strategic leadership, planning and change management skills.
•    Ability to demonstrate a high level of diplomacy in persuading and influencing a wide variety of people at various levels to achieve results.
•    Excellent strategic planning skills.
•    Excellent communication skills. Able to influence people, solve problems, trouble shoot, think creatively and resolve conflicts.
•    Advanced financial expertise in accounting, budget planning, and financial forecasting.
•    Advanced expertise in grants and contract administration.
•    Exceptional negotiation and effective interpersonal skills negotiation and political acumen skills.
•    Attention to detail and accuracy.
•    Expert analytical and problem solving skills.
•    Strong knowledge of industry standards, trends and/or regulatory requirements.
•    Subject matter expertise for area(s) of responsibility.
•    Advanced expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
•    Broad understanding of information technology hardware and software infrastructure.
•    Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines.
•    Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to cultivate strong collaborative relationships with faculty and able to anticipate faculty needs.

* – Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

The expected pay range for this position is $228,000 to $310,000 per annum.

Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location and external market pay for comparable jobs.

At Stanford University, base pay represents only one aspect of the comprehensive rewards package. The Cardinal at Work website ( provides detailed information on Stanford’s extensive range of benefits and rewards offered to employees. Specifics about the rewards package for this position may be discussed during the hiring process.

Want to share
your Green Job?

Send us the job details to [email protected]
We will let you know the different publication options including free and featured ones.