The City of Los Angeles is working against climate change with a plan to lead the world toward a low-carbon, green-energy future. The FUSE Executive Fellow will provide the foundational research towards developing a climate resilience plan that equitably addresses energy resilience throughout The City of Los Angeles.
Fellowship Dates: April 22, 2024 – April 21, 2025
Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual 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.
Under the Mayoral guidance, the City of Los Angeles leadership recognizes the pressing urgency of the climate crisis as one of the foremost challenges confronting the city. They view it as a challenge and a remarkable opportunity for Los Angeles to revamp its infrastructure and invest in a more equitable future. The City understands that addressing the catastrophic consequences of climate change entails transforming the economy and rectifying decades of environmental injustices that have disproportionately burden marginalized communities with pollution and neglect. In this endeavor, the City of LA aspires to set an example by prioritizing the interests of communities of color and working-class individuals in its policies and programs.
Residents’ fundamental rights include access to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment in their residence, work, and recreation. Unfortunately, many cities, including Los Angeles, fail to safeguard these fundamental rights. While the adverse health effects of toxic air, polluted water, and contaminated soil affect all Angelenos, these harms disproportionately afflict low-income Latino, Black, and immigrant neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Conversely, environmental benefits like open spaces, parks, and tree canopy coverage are significantly less accessible to these communities.
The City has already taken steps toward preparing for a sustainable future, including developing a Sustainable City Plan and the ongoing city-wide vulnerability assessment. The City has also received recognition for its climate protection efforts, thanks to the dedication of a past FUSE Executive Fellow.
The City of Los Angeles will collaborate with FUSE to craft a comprehensive climate resilience plan that spans the entire city and is informed by neighborhood-specific considerations. The FUSE Executive Fellow will chart the current climate resilience landscape, identify gaps for future planning, and establish a hyper-local baseline, primarily focusing on addressing the needs and building capacity in neighborhoods across Los Angeles. The FUSE Executive Fellow will also collaborate on developing department-specific directives, including resource allocation and locally-led innovative designs.
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.
Starting in April 2024, the FUSE Executive Fellow will undertake a comprehensive landscape analysis to catalog climate-related project requirements across all City departments. This will include conducting a listening tour with key stakeholders. The FUSE Executive Fellow will assess successful strategies from various localities and engage with relevant stakeholders, including other city departments, government agencies, private enterprises, and community members. This engagement aims to better understand existing and future funding opportunities at local, state, and national levels.
Moreover, the fellow will begin a collaborative effort, working through the Mayor’s Office, to formulate a strategic, interdepartmental vision that ensures equitable energy resilience and enhances environmental justice for historically underserved communities throughout the City of Los Angeles.
Ultimately, this initiative will accelerate energy adaptation and scaling within different neighborhoods of Los Angeles, each with unique challenges, needs, and opportunities. For instance, Venice will present distinct challenges compared to Los Feliz. Within this project lies the potential for the City of Los Angeles to develop a scalable model for equitably managing energy adaptation and achieving true climate resilience, which can serve as a global example.
The FUSE Executive Fellow will establish the energy-resilient baseline for the City of Los Angeles by conducting an equity-centered review of various sources. Recognizing the diverse needs of the City’s many neighborhoods, the fellow will adopt a hyper-local approach, emphasizing historically marginalized neighborhoods. This approach will examine equitable access to public transportation, green spaces, emergency evacuation routes and methods, EV charging stations, and other relevant factors.
By April 2025, the FUSE Executive Fellow will have:
- Created a guide for future planning of collaborative, community-led opportunities for energy resilience– conducted a thorough listening tour to identify foundational current and past initiatives and priorities; identified models of energy resilience planning and operationalization strategies other cities are implementing that could be applicable in Los Angeles; reviewed a wide range of the City of Los Angeles specific energy resilience reports, assessments, and research that inform the creation of the energy resilience plan, and ongoing support of the Mayor’s Office.
- Established collaborative departmental-specific directives– provided resource allocation suggestions; created innovative energy resilience systems designs for departments; created specific achievable energy resilience goals and targets for each department; and encouraged and facilitated cross-departmental partnerships towards energy resilience in The City of Los Angeles.
- Executive Sponsor – Nancy Sutley, Deputy Director for Energy and Sustainability; Mayor’s office, City of Los Angeles
- Executive Sponsor – Steve Baule-Executive Officer, Mayor’s Office of Energy and Sustainability, City of Los Angeles
- Project Supervisor – Daniela Simunovic – Senior Director of Climate and Sustainability, Mayor’s Office of Energy and Sustainability, City of Los Angeles
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in project management, community organizing, familiarity with California’s legislative process, and experience related to environmental justice and or resilience 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 complex 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 to support more effective decision-making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders 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.