The City of Cincinnati is committed to embracing sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices to reach the newly affirmed 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2050 and 50% by 2030. The FUSE Executive Fellow will champion an exciting transition from the data gathering phase into the activation phase of climate centric programs and partnerships moving Cincinnati into its next era of energy and climate resilience.
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. 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.
The City of Cincinnati is committed to embracing sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices to reach the newly affirmed 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2050 and 50% by 2030. Under the new provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Cincinnati aims to accelerate its efforts to convert to renewable sources and electricity-fueled buildings and vehicles just as the region is transitioning to a cleaner grid. This project will collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to expand renewable energy generation and build electrification on public and private properties leveraging existing and new incentives.
Cities around the world are examining their relationships with energy and equity. This project further provides an exciting opportunity for Cincinnati to establish practices and policies to right past wrongs relating to communities previously left out of such planning and infrastructure development. Under the emerging provisions of the IRA and the IIJA, Cincinnati is positioned to scale renewable energy and electrification efforts in ways that systemically address inequities in energy poverty, air quality, and jobs with marginalized communities.
For Cincinnati, like many cities working towards transitioning their infrastructure and policies towards a clean energy future, the price tags to do this work are significant and can complicate and delay desired changes. Understanding and collaboratively pursuing and securing some of the significant federal dollars available is important in making progress toward these large-scale clean energy infrastructure changes. Developing public/private partnerships and receiving philanthropic support from like-minded values driven institutions can also contribute significant resources toward this work.
The City of Cincinnati will partner with the FUSE Executive Fellow to significantly increase the capacity and accessibility of renewable energy and electrification infrastructure within the City through strategic thinking, outreach, and collaborative action to activate the community’s utilization of the IRA and IIJA. The FUSE Fellow will increase the City’s ability to maximize the benefits of these federal resources and other partnerships. The Fellow will also work with partners to develop policy mechanisms, make program and process improvements, and facilitate grant submissions setting the City on a path to achieve 100% carbon neutrality by 2050.
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 FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will begin by thoroughly reviewing the opportunities presented by the IRA and IIJA and beginning to build tools to increase local understanding and utilization of these opportunities. Concurrently, the Executive Fellow will conduct a listening tour to hear directly from stakeholders that have a vested interest in the region’s clean energy growth and development. This initial study and tour will enable the Executive Fellow to get a sense of the landscape and opportunities in which the clean energy changes need to take place and bring key internal and external stakeholders up to speed.
The Executive Fellow will also gather best practices from innovative financing strategies that promote climate resilience and clean energy. utilized by other cities who have succeeded in funding clean energy transitions that can be informative as Cincinnati develops its own plan.
The Executive Fellow will then work in collaboration with local and regional partners to develop and activate a strategy that may include policy tools, program improvements, and funding approaches to expand the use of clean energy in Cincinnati – both renewable energy and electrified technologies.
By October 2024, the FUSE Executive Fellow will have worked with the City of Cincinnati to do the following:
- Conduct a comprehensive, community-wide listening and learning tour that supports City leaders and partners in understanding and maximizing the benefits of IRA and IIJA to support adoption of clean energy generation and electrified technologies across sectors – Assess current clean energy understanding and related project needs and interests across public and private partners. Research local and national models for clean energy funding activation. Engage with relevant stakeholders including other departments, staff members, government agencies, philanthropic partners, private businesses, and community members to better understand priorities and innovative financing options.
- Develop & activate a multi-sector clean energy strategy – Design a collaborative, innovative, and strategic clean energy strategy focused on financial incentives, policy mechanisms, process improvements and program enhancements. Support the creation and activation of a cross-agency clean energy coalition to continue the Executive Fellow’s work. Develop a sustainable fundraising vision with buy-in from all stakeholders.
- Coordinate at least one clean energy procurement process – Work with relevant stakeholders to coordinate a process for leveraging federal incentives for a City project. Support similar efforts being executed by a local partner.
- Executive Sponsor – Oliver Kroner, Director; Office of Environment & Sustainability
- Project Supervisor – Robert McCracken, Energy Manager; Office of Environment & Sustainability
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in government relations, community relations, public/private partnership building, strategic planning, and an active commitment to renewable energy and environmental justice are 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 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.
- 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.