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Sustainability and Planning Strategist

Fuse Corps

Fuse Corps

Durham, NC, USA
Posted on Monday, September 4, 2023

The City of Durham, North Carolina, is dedicated to reducing climate change impacts through equitable strategic planning and policy implementation. The FUSE Executive Fellow will help create and implement a strategic plan to electrify both the City’s fleet and residents’ personal vehicles, thereby drastically reducing carbon emissions and improving environmental justice for historically disinvested communities.

Fellowship Dates: October 23, 2023 – October 21, 2024

Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.


FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.

When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.


Cities across the nation are proactively addressing climate risks and improving long-term health by actively reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through environmentally friendly economic opportunities. These initiatives not only lead to positive economic outcomes, but also foster accessibility and innovation in communities that are typically marginalized in urban planning efforts.

In Durham, a partnership between the city and FUSE aims to develop and implement a strategic plan for equitable electrification of the City's fleet and residents' personal vehicles. This initiative will drastically reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental justice for historically disinvested communities. It presents an exciting opportunity to create a plan for providing at-home charging station options in an equitable manner, especially for beneficiaries living in multi-family housing and communities where electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are currently lacking. The FUSE Executive Fellow will conduct a listening tour to assess EV infrastructure needs and gather stakeholder insights. They will also research successful program models incorporating public-private partnerships, contribute to developing an EV Strategic Plan, and serve as a liaison between the city, community stakeholders, consultants, and private partners during program implementation.

This work aligns with the City's goal of decreasing GHG emissions, simultaneously addressing disparities, and promoting environmental justice in historically disinvested communities. The potential for new and innovative public-private partnerships remains untapped. It will be a focal point for the Executive Fellow, aiming to normalize EV vehicle maintenance, charging, and usage while ensuring equitable access for all.


Beginning in October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will collaborate with city, community, and private stakeholders to research, recommend, and implement a strategy to achieve Durham’s vehicle electrification goals by 2030. The ultimate aim is for Durham to become carbon neutral, providing residents with cleaner air, healthy homes, and safe, user-friendly transportation options, while expanding the existing network of EV charging stations.

The Executive Fellow will begin by conduct a listening tour, engaging relevant stakeholders to gather information about current EV infrastructure, transportation electrification demand (both current and projected), public-private partnerships, community needs and perceptions, regional plans or policies that may influence decision-making, and ideas for new EV infrastructure and charging sites, investments, programs, and incentives. This tour will give particular attention to vulnerable communities, ensuring that EV strategies prioritize high-risk, historically disinvested areas most impacted by environmental challenges. Additionally, the Executive Fellow will research successful programs nationwide and worldwide, drawing on sector-specific best practices and lessons learned.

Using the collected information, the Executive Fellow will assist City partners in designing an effective Vehicle Electrification Strategic Plan. This plan will accelerate EV adoption and expand EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) infrastructure for both the City fleet and the general public. It will involve developing policies and strategies to support the expansion of charging stations throughout the city, including at-home charging options, to enhance the accessibility and convenience of EVs. It will also explore enabling third-party companies to provide charging services and incentivizing new public-private partnerships to encourage businesses and landlords to be "charge-ready." Furthermore, the plan will incorporate incentive and innovation strategies to support residents in purchasing affordable and accessible EV models, marketing and outreach strategies to educate consumers about the need and benefits of switching to EVs, methods to evaluate electric grid resiliency for optimal performance, and strategies for maintaining collaboration during implementation.

The Executive Fellow will establish clear frameworks and mechanisms for implementing the new plan and tracking the goals, programs, and policies resulting from it. They will work closely with city and community stakeholders, including public-private partners, to prioritize projects based on community-identified needs, focusing on addressing historical inequities throughout Durham. The Executive Fellow will also develop long-term implementation strategies, identify funding opportunities and devise marketing and communication plans to ensure the sustainable execution of the new plan.

By October 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:

  • A thorough and equitable review of the current landscape – Conducted a listening tour to become familiar with the City’s current electric transportation infrastructure needs and actions; engaged with all relevant stakeholders, including other departments and public agencies, staff members, private business, and community members to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to electrification; reviewed national, local, and global models for EV transition to identify successful strategies that are scalable in Durham.
  • Formed a comprehensive strategic plan and implementation framework – Assisted with the development of a strategic plan for City fleet and private vehicle electrification that includes at-home charging, ensuring that community needs, perspectives, and equity for historically disinvested communities were centered in all strategies; determine overall objectives and methodology for goal setting, evaluation, reporting, and initiating EV transition; established a timeline for implementation aligned with the City’s carbon neutrality goals; identified and implemented city procurement policies; identified public and private partnership and funding opportunities, and a communications plan for successful program implementation.


  • Executive Sponsor – Bertha Johnson, Deputy City Manager; City of Durham, NC
  • Project Supervisor – Amy Armbruster, Sustainability Manager; General Services Department, Sustainability and Energy Management Team, City of Durham, NC


  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
  • Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing and excels in both active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
  • Previous experience working with fleets and EV transitions.