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Energy Program Manager

Energy Program Manager
Organization: Western Conservation Funds
Location: Remote (NV or NM)
Date Posted: 10/26/2023

Bonsai Leadership Group is excited to support the Western Conservation Foundation’s search to find their next Energy Program Manager.

About Western Conservation Foundation

Founded in 2005, Western Conservation Foundation (WCF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Denver, Colorado. Alongside our 501(c)(4) advocacy organization Western Conservation Action, Western Conservation Foundation provides grants to nonprofits to support their public education and lobbying activities that build stronger leaders to protect the West’s land, air, and water.

WCF is distinguished by its ability to be crafty, nimble, entrepreneurial, tenacious, and synergistic. They are game changers who put a premium on turning new ideas into action and effectively educating the decision makers who influence conservation and climate policies in the West. WCF is committed to changing the conservation and climate policy and advocacy landscape by supporting the power, voices, and visibility of historically underrepresented groups and diverse voices.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Director of Energy Programs, the campaign-savvy Energy Program Manager will lead WCF’s work to build leaders supporting state and local level clean energy policies in Arizona, New Mexico, and/or Nevada to seize the opportunity presented by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): significant federal investments that could fund this clean energy buildout at the necessary speed and scale.

The Energy Program Manager will strategically support elevating the voice of grantees (especially those in frontline communities) and other key stakeholders through the development of clean energy and climate-focused education and advocacy campaign strategies. Campaign strategies will focus on educating key decision-makers at various policymaking venues including but not limited to: Local Governments, State Legislatures, Governors and their Administrations, State Agencies, and Regulatory Boards and Commissions. Additionally, this position will work closely with WCF’s funding and policy partners to maximize impact and reduce duplication of efforts.

The Energy Program Manager will be responsible for the following: Program Management

  • Aggressively track climate issues and opportunities for policy advancement in your geographies, documenting public statements, actions, and intentions of key city and state officials and regulators on energy and climate issues.
  • Monitor outside interest groups and players to identify opportunities for alignment and to anticipate potential attacks on clean energy, climate policies, and city, state, and federal clean energy investments.
  • Identify and recruit racially and politically diverse grantees and consultants to support the overarching programmatic strategy that encourages elected and appointed leaders to take increasingly strong public positions and concrete actions in advancing city and state policy agendas and investment in support of clean energy.
  • Oversee and ensure effective execution of campaign strategies, including rapid response communication and outreach tactics, and take into account the motivations of key decision-makers and who are the most effective messengers.
  • Engage grantees, public relations consultants, and partners from politically and racially diverse and influential constituencies to amplify their voices and support their work to educate decision-makers, the press, and the public.
  • Collaborate with grantees to develop metrics of success and deliverables for grant proposals. Work with grantees to troubleshoot solutions to any roadblocks that they encounter.
  • Fund and provide technical support to grantees for creative and impactful paid and earned media initiatives that raise the saliency of climate and energy issues and build public support.
  • Collaborate with key state climate policy and strategic leaders and other WCF program areas to deploy innovative and creative campaigns.
  • Collaborate frequently with energy program funding partners on joint funding initiatives and to align campaign strategies and strategic plans.
  • Write detailed grant activity reports for funders.
  • Develop and closely track annual budgets, ensuring that WCF funds are deployed efficiently, accurately tracked, and spent in legally appropriate ways.

Experience & Attributes

A successful candidate should have 5-10 years of demonstrated experience in the following areas:

Strategy Development: Researching challenges, proposing creative strategies, and effectively structuring philanthropic investments to produce results that would not have been delivered without your leadership. Creating and managing strategic campaigns that promote an issue or policy to bring about change.

Project Management: Overseeing and structuring projects, delivering quality end-products on or ahead of schedule and within budget. Pivoting when necessary to achieve desired results. Creative, outside-the-box multi-tasking to quickly turn ideas into action.

External Relations: Acting as an effective behind-the-scenes ambassador, building connections, providing strategic campaign guidance, and strengthening relationships with outside consultants, grantees, and partners. Working with coalitions effectively.

Communication: Producing strong written documents, editing effectively, and engaging in effective verbal communication within a low drama/high impact culture. Proactively sharing key info with the right people at the right time, soliciting ideas and info from colleagues, and working as a team to advance goals. Creating and managing paid media strategies that create awareness and build support.

Attention to Detail: Prioritizing administrative responsibilities and effectively navigating nonprofit legal and logistical structures. Noticing and fixing errors that others might overlook while acknowledging mistakes and turning them into learning opportunities. Leaving things better than you found them.

Commitment to Social Justice and Racial Equity: Ensuring your work strengthens historically underrepresented voices and visibility in public lands decision-making and advocacy. Continuously learning about the role of race, gender, and other identities in shaping policy and raising your understanding of the historical context for racial inequity and its present-day implications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strategic thinker who brings political acumen, a campaign mentality, and an understanding of state and/or local politics and how it influences policymaking.
  • Prior experience working on a political campaign and/or working for an elected official.
  • Knowledge of climate and energy issues.
  • Prior experience in a nonprofit organization or similar entity.
  • Experience designing impactful public relations campaigns, including earned and paid media.


Travel to Arizona, New Mexico, and/or Nevada is required, as well as regular visits to WCF’s headquarters in Denver, CO. Approximately 20% of your time will be spent traveling.


This position is based out of your home office in Nevada, Arizona, or New Mexico.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is $90,000-$110,000 annually with an anticipated starting salary dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the hired candidate. In addition, Western Conservation Foundation offers an outstanding benefits package to include:

  • 100% of health insurance premiums for employees and their families.
  • Health Reimbursement Account ($2000.00 for individuals and $3000.00 for families where all members participate in WCF’s group policy).
  • 10% contribution of employee salary to a Simplified Employee Pension.
  • 11 Paid Holidays and one floating holiday.
  • Up to three years of service, 20 days of paid leave; 3+ years of service 25 days of paid leave.
  • 12 days of sick leave.
  • Family Medical Leave.
  • Bereavement leave.

How to Apply

Bonsai Leadership Group has been exclusively retained for this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in this role, please email and include “WCF Energy Program Manager” in the subject line. All applications must include a letter of interest and a resume.

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Applications will be screened against the criteria listed in this profile.

All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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