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Sustainability Strategist

Fuse Corps

Fuse Corps

Washoe County, NV, USA
Posted on Monday, September 4, 2023

Washoe County, NV, is working towards an equitable, climate-resilient community to help mitigate the effects of climate change that are affecting the ecosystems, health, livelihoods, and security of its residents. The FUSE Executive Fellow will help create a community-facing strategy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping Washoe County strengthen community resilience, accelerate economic recovery, and improve equity outcomes for its residents.

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.

ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP

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. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. They receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE throughout their fellowships 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.

PROJECT CONTEXT

The negative impacts of climate change are affecting the long-term health and vitality of communities across the country every day. These effects are disproportionately felt by vulnerable communities, including low-income populations, marginalized groups, and areas prone to environmental injustice that often lack resources and infrastructure that can buffer against climate-related risks. In 2022, Washoe County, NV, developed a “Green Recovery Plan” that outlines climate actions that can simultaneously improve air pollution that contributes to climate change while also addressing the inequitable public health and economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for historically disinvested communities.

Under this plan, the County is working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Strategies outlined to reach this goal include: 1) conduct a community-wide GHG inventory to monitor and report progress; 2) establish GHG reduction targets that align with state and federal targets; 3) gain SolSmart designation to facilitate solar expansion; and 5) launch a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.

Washoe County will partner with FUSE to develop and implement a community-facing greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy. This work will help Washoe County reach its climate action goals to reduce climate pollution, strengthen community resilience, accelerate economic recovery, and improve equity outcomes for its residents.

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and the FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.

Beginning in October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will begin conducting a thorough landscape analysis to inventory community greenhouse gas emissions. The Executive Fellow will use ClearPath, an online software tool developed by ICLEI USA, for gathering, analyzing, and reporting community-scale emissions. Based on the results, the Executive Fellow will use forecasted emission reductions for ClearPath-identified actions to establish feasible GHG reduction goals that align with state and federal targets. The Executive Fellow will also assess successful strategies for emission reduction from other localities.

The Executive Fellow will engage with community stakeholders and partners (e.g., commercial and residential developers, transportation, community organizations, and the public) to conduct a listening tour that will increase understanding of community needs and perspectives as they relate to GHG emissions, impacts, and effects of potential reduction strategies. This will include developing and implementing community outreach strategies such as community surveys, listening sessions, and round tables.

The Executive Fellow will use the collected information and community insights to help develop a county-wide, community-facing GHG emission reduction strategy that will guide the community’s response to

climate change. Importantly, this plan will prioritize benefits for communities that have historically been excluded from or harmed by policy decisions and as a result see disproportionate impacts from climate change.

As capacity allows, the Executive Fellow will provide implementation support for other actions outlined in the Green Recovery Plan. This may include, but is not limited to 1) working to achieve SolSmart designation to increase solar adoption rates throughout the community; 2) convening vision and planning conversations among local food leaders in and around Truckee Meadows to solicit vision, goals, milestones, and work plans to develop and implement a Local Food Action Plan that will strengthen food security and access to healthy foods; and 3) working with Nevada Clean Energy Fund to develop a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE).

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

  • Conduct a thorough landscape analysis and listening tour - Inventory and analyze current community GHG emissions; research local and national models and strategies to reduce community GHG emissions; engage with all relevant stakeholders, including private businesses, community organizations, and community members, to better understand community needs and opinions related to GHG emissions reduction opportunities.
  • Form a comprehensive GHG reduction strategic plan - Design an effective strategic plan for reducing community greenhouse gas emissions using community input; ensure community needs, perspectives, and equity for historically disinvested communities are centered in all recommendations.
  • Implement Green Recovery Plan initiatives – As capacity allows, work to implement SolSmart designation, Local Food Action Plan, and C-PACE programming.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor – David Solaro, Assistant County Manager, County Manager’s Office, Washoe County, NV
  • Project Supervisor – Brian Beffort, Sustainability Manager, County Manager’s Office, Washoe County, NV

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in sustainability planning, community engagement, data analysis, and project management is strongly preferred for this project.

  • 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 verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision-making .
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, particularly 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.

FUSE is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.