City of Boston

Chief Climate Officer

Req ID
2024-26470
Dept
Environment Department
Position
Regular Full-Time
Location
Environment Department
Union
CDH
Openings
1
Posting End Date
8/9/2024
Contact Email
domingo.coto@boston.gov

Overview:

The Chief role spearheads the Mayor’s agenda on climate as the Chief Climate Officer for the City of Boston and through leadership of the Energy, Environment, and Open Space Cabinet (EEOS). The mission of the EEOS Cabinet is to lead multiple City departments and programs to prepare for climate change, enhance sustainability, protect the health and safety of the built environment, steward our open space resources, and provide public spaces to gather and recreate in Boston. As Chief Climate Officer for the City, this role serves the City and Mayor in leading the development and implementation of climate policy focused on decarbonization and climate resilience, and coordinating the delivery of climate action across relevant city cabinets and with other state and federal government agencies.

 

Qualities of the Ideal Candidate

  • Executive leadership - the Chief, first and foremost, is a people leader who must excel at: 
  • Setting clear goals: defining a concrete vision, priorities, metrics, and direction for staff, in close consultation with the Mayor. 
  • Team-building: hiring, motivating staff, establishing clear organizational and decision-making structures, implementing performance management where needed. Since the EEOS Cabinet consists of 300+ employees, the Chief must have experience managing large teams, especially with a unionized workforce.
  • Systems change: with a big picture perspective, shift our city organization towards climate so that the whole is greater than the sum of our individual parts; willingness to break through long-standing barriers.
  • Technical expertise and implementation experience - no single person can be an expert at everything, but we would like a Chief with technical fluency and specific implementation experience in as many of these areas as possible:
  • Decarbonization strategy
  • Green buildings, energy efficiency, retrofits
  • Energy planning and procurement
  • Policy and program development
  • Climate change resilience and preparedness
  • Sustainability best practices
  • Climate change planning 
  • State and Federal environmental regulations and permitting 
  • Urban conservation and biodiversity
  • Air and water quality 
  • Waste and consumption
  • Workforce development
  • Inside and outside experience - as climate policy and action inherently requires a whole of city government approach along with public and private sector partnership, the Chief must have experience in both direct and collaborative executive leadership in both the public and private sectors.  
      • Local experience and connection to Boston neighborhoods and communities
      • National or international climate experience to bring best practices and and outside knowledge to Boston
      • Experience driving policy and regulatory development
      • Private sector and/or business experience - be able to sit in shoes of others at the table from an implementation perspective
  • Strong communicator and known collaborator across all stakeholders, especially with an environmental justice lens - climate requires creative approaches to partnership and consensus-building. Experience working with diverse stakeholders such as:
      • Local, state, federal levels of government
      • Grassroots, community leaders, environmental justice advocates, and overall advocacy ecosystem
      • Labor community
      • Workforce development partners
      • Real estate development community
      • Requires humility and skills necessary to know when to support the leadership of other departments and organizations, and when to build bridges between organizations so that Boston’s actions can be most effective
      • Commitment to embedding equity and intersectionality in climate work
      • Commitment to transparency and accountability

Responsibilities:

  • Currently, the EEOS Cabinet encompasses the Environment Department, Parks & Recreation Department, Office of Food Justice, and Office of Historic Preservation, including the Archaeology team.
  • On behalf of the Mayor and in coordination with other relevant Cabinet Chiefs, lead the development and enactment of climate goals and policy focused on decarbonization and climate resilience. 
  • Represent the Mayor and City in coordination of climate policy development and enactment with relevant state and federal government agencies. 
  • Co-chair a Green New Deal Cabinet with the Green New Deal Director, a task force of Cabinet Chiefs with shared responsibility to implement climate action policy for the City of Boston.
  • Lead EEOS departments in visioning and execution of high-visibility long range plans, target-setting, and reporting (e.g., Climate Action Plan and GHG accounting).
  • Represent City on intergovernmental boards and committees (e.g., MWRA, GWSA IAC) and advance City interests.
  • Oversee Cabinet administrative functions including annual budgeting and financial administration; human resources, recruiting, and organizational alignment; performance management and organizational  improvement.  
  • Lead and expand EEOS’s role as the City’s core organizational division for climate change policy, technical practice capabilities, and climate science, serving to guide the Mayor’s climate agenda and offer foundational support for cabinets and partners that are implementing climate solutions.
  • Manage departments in their administration of regulations and ordinances and development of new policies that advance climate and equity objectives.
  • Serve as thought leader, as well as internal and external communicator on the Mayor’s climate agenda.
  • Oversight of the Air Pollution Control Commission, Conservation Commission, wetlands protection and environmental quality initiatives 
  • Green and open spaces: oversee 218 City parks, playgrounds and athletic fields, two golf courses, 65 squares, 17 fountains, 75 game courts, 16 historic and three active cemeteries, 31 urban wilds, four High School Athletic Fields, Animal Care and Control Shelter and approximately 125,000 trees, all covering 2,346 acres.

 

Example projects and deliverables:

 

  • Regular update and implementation of the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan, including:
  • Climate Ready Boston, Coastal Resilience Solution Neighborhood plans, and the Heat Resilience plan
  • Implementation of BERDO 2.0 and other priority decarbonization initiatives 
  • Strategy and implementation for municipal facility decarbonization and transition to renewable energy
  • Community Choice Electricity, grid modernization and a just energy transition for Boston’s residents
  • Advance Franklin Park Action Plan, Boston Common Action Plan and Moakley Park Plan 
  • Execute on Urban Forestry Plan - priority zones, key partnerships, decrease response times
  • Collaborate on resilience strategies and green infrastructure initiatives on capital projects in Parks, etc.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

  • At least 15 years of full time, relevant professional experience, most recently of which should be in a supervisory capacity;
  • Proven track record of coordination and leadership across similarly complex organizations;
  • Command of technical environmental principles and decarbonization from an operational perspective;
  • Experience with local government operations and processes; experience managing complex government programs in a political environment a plus
  • Experience developing strategic plans and delivering on short and long-term goals for an organization;

 

Boston residency is required.

 

Terms:

Non- Union, Salary $150,000 - $195,000 commensurate with experience. 

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