Managing Director

 In Jobs

Managing Director | New Energy Nexus | Oakland, CA

The Organization

New Energy Nexus is an international non-profit organization that supports clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators and networks. We started in California and have expanded operations into China, India, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. Our mission is to support diverse entrepreneurs to drive innovation and build equity in the global clean energy economy. Our goal is to support 100,000 startups to succeed by 2030 – a decisive decade in our collective struggle with climate change. With our network, we directly boost hundreds of entrepreneurs annually while uplifting thousands more. Since 2004, New Energy Nexus (formerly known as California Clean Energy Fund) has leveraged billions in investment, invested in 100s of clean energy enterprises, and launched industry leading centers for solution collaboration. Learn more at

The Opportunity

We are looking to hire a Managing Director who manages and strategically grows all our start-up support programming in the state of California. We are seeking a seasoned executive who can build, grow and oversee extensive and impactful programs to support entrepreneurs, as well as amplify New Energy Nexus’ role in the California Energy Innovation Ecosystem, all in alignment with California’s ambitious equitable climate mitigation policy road map. Reporting to the CEO, the California Managing Director will be a key leader within the global New Energy Nexus organization and will be accountable for a $3M and growing annual operational budget, $10+M annual investments into clean energy startups, and a team of 10 staff.

This is an exciting opportunity to help drive innovation and social equity into California’s energy transition. Our work in California is centered on leveraging available resources from state agencies, cleantech investors, and strategic partner communities into breakthrough innovations. We bring passion, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a deep commitment to equity and inclusion to our work to help achieve the state’s clean energy transition in the shortest time possible for every Californian.

Beyond California, this role will help identify how the learnings and resources from California can help inform and accelerate the clean energy transition beyond the state’s borders.


The ideal candidate has:

  • Extensive experience building programs and working with startups.
  • A working knowledge of clean energy technologies, policy, and the California Energy Innovation Ecosystem.
  • A broad knowledge of funding resources relevant to clean energy startups and non-profits working in the space.

And the ideal candidate will be able to build on this knowledge and experience to advance the state’s energy transition, including skillfully and effectively navigating the ecosystem and its diverse stakeholder perspectives. Prior experience building government funded programs from creative program design phases to budgeting, contract negotiations and the day to day oversight of program implementation is strongly preferred. Prior experience in entrepreneurial support organizations, technology transfer initiatives or innovation ecosystem management is preferred but not required.

The role requires a proven, sophisticated people leader, who is results-oriented, can manage a team with diverse skills levels and backgrounds, including accomplished managers of program teams, and who embraces servant leadership. The ideal candidate must be able to set the vision and manage complex daily operations, balancing strategic work with practical problem-solving as part of their daily agenda.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Managing Director will oversee and drive strategy for the existing California-based programs (CalSEEDCalTestBed, Calcharge and the Clean Energy Business Roundtable) as well as hold the executive level relationships with the California Energy Commission for the existing programs and new program opportunities.

  • They will shape the vision, secure funding and other ecosystem support for new ground-breaking programs, that might include such things as: Supporting inclusive innovation in battery supply chains in Southern California around the so-called Lithium Valley emerging at the Salton Sea
  • Identify pathways to expand our Explorer in Residence (XIR) program that launches clean energy entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities
  • Build out a programmatic strategy for entrepreneurial opportunities as workforce demand in the clean energy sector expands far beyond the available supply

Primary accountabilities include:

(1) Lead existing program & teams (initially ~75% of time)

  • Develop program staff for increased strategic responsibility and improved self-management
  • P&L and budget responsibility, including resource allocation
  • Secure ongoing program funding
  • Strategic decision making on major program milestones (e.g. engagement of major subs)
  • Strategic management and risk balancing of complex government contracts

(2) Stakeholder Relationships and Business Development (initially ~25% of time)

  • Develop new relationships with funders (corporate, government and philanthropic)
  • Envision, design, and fund new startup support programs
  • Hire staff for new programs and spec out roles for startup support
  • Manage the various CA stakeholder networks, including internal leadership circle relationships for synergies across the global organization
  • Represent the New Energy Nexus chapter in the media and political policy development, and as a visible spokesperson for the CA clean energy ecosystem

Preferred Qualifications & Skills Requirements

  • Results-driven leader, capable of building high-performing teams and developing talent at all levels, managing complex relationships, and navigating ambiguity
  • Experience in programs related to energy, climate, technology, or social entrepreneurship and financial innovation is a strong plus, especially if it includes non-government fundraising for innovation work
  • Experience building entrepreneurial organizations and/or supporting entrepreneurs in a hands-on capacity
  • Program and fundraising development experience, from the program concept, through grant proposal writing, contracting detailed program planning, and implementation
  • Program budgeting and ongoing reforecasting
  • Experience managing complex government contracts, including oversight of contract compliance, and relationships with sophisticated funders
  • Demonstrated fluency in pursuing a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) mindset in everything that you do
  • Sophisticated thinker about organizational design and development, excited to help build and design a globally networked organization that thrives within a fast-paced, flexible, high growth organizational environment
  • Minimum of 10-12 years of work experience
  • Must be located in California with the ability to be in the Oakland office 60% of the time once New Energy Nexus emerges from its COVID precautionary work-from-home state

In addition to a detailed CV, please send a cover letter providing specific examples of your professional experience and learning pertaining to the required list of skills.


USD150,000 – 170,000 p.a. will be the range of basic remuneration offered. Other employment benefits will be offered including, but not limited to medical and paid time off.

New Energy Nexus values and celebrates diversity among our employees and in our movement. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer – all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, family/marital status or veteran status. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will compensate competitively, provide good benefits and a supportive culture.

Click here to apply for this position

Recent Posts
Take Survey