Jacksonville, and neighboring North Florida communities are experiencing rapid growth while striving to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The FUSE Executive Fellow will work with regional leaders to conduct greenhouse gas emissions inventories and prioritize strategic projects that promote sustainable development and climate resilience. Their efforts aim to accommodate the area’s population and economic growth while ensuring long-term environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change.

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 helps local governments and communities address pressing challenges more effectively 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 local governments 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 can effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and placed in government agencies for approximately 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 help build partnerships between governments and communities.

PROJECT CONTEXT

The City of Jacksonville, Florida, recently ranked as one of the United States’ top five COVID-19 boom towns. When remote workers realized they no longer had to live close to the office, many of them were drawn to Jacksonville by the low cost of living and Florida sunshine. As a result, the population grew 5% between 2019 and 2021 and is poised to sustain this growth in the future. While these new residents are excellent for the economy and housing prices, it puts unexpected strain on the City’s transportation, energy grid, housing stock, and green spaces.

At the same time, the City is expanding its climate resilience work. Jacksonville’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer was hired in 2021. So far, the Resilient Jacksonville team has focused on identifying and reducing the community’s climate risks and building residents’ abilities to overcome shocks and stressors such as hurricanes or extreme heat. However, the City aims to partner with other North Florida communities to pursue an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant to reduce their air pollution. Infrastructure investments to accommodate new population growth (such as multimodal transportation or expansions of green space) provide the City with the perfect opportunity to reinforce Jacksonville’s climate resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Jacksonville will contract with FUSE to place an Executive Fellow to facilitate climate action planning across North Florida. The FUSE Executive Fellow will develop a greenhouse gas inventory of Jacksonville and engage points of contact from communities across North Florida on their inventories. The Executive Fellow will collaborate with regional governments and local stakeholders to identify and prioritize projects to reduce their emissions and pollution, preparing them to apply to the EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant. The final deliverable will be a fully developed and published Climate Action Plan for North Florida. As a result of this work, the City of Jacksonville and the surrounding communities will have the knowledge and planning necessary to reduce pollution and build long-term climate resilience while facilitating economic and population growth.

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 October 2023, the FUSE Executive Fellow will build deep relationships with various critical stakeholders. This will include leaders in the Jacksonville government (e.g., Department of Public Works), North Florida leaders (e.g., points of contact from other cities, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization), local energy authorities (e.g., Jacksonville Energy Authority, Florida Power and Light), private sector partners, local environmental and economic justice leaders, and members of the public (with an emphasis on BIPOC communities) to understand the strengths, needs, opportunities, and aspirations these partners have for Jacksonville and North Florida’s growth, climate resilience, and environmental impact. At the same time, the Executive Fellow will conduct an extensive desk review to identify best practices and innovative approaches to facilitating inclusive, equitable climate action planning in cities similar to Jacksonville.

Next, the Executive Fellow will conduct a greenhouse gas inventory of Jacksonville, tallying the total greenhouse gas emissions and sinks across the City. They will also serve as a point of contact coordinating with other North Florida communities as they develop their inventories.

Once the inventories are complete, the Executive Fellow will coordinate internally with the City and externally with regional leaders to identify and prioritize projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building climate resilience and accommodating regional growth. Prioritization should include sustainable workforce development and inclusion of small, local, and historically-disadvantaged businesses in potential procurements or subgrants as key considerations.

Finally, the Executive Fellow will compile the region’s greenhouse gas inventories and investment priorities into a comprehensive North Florida Climate Action Plan. This plan should map out the regional approach to reducing climate impacts through strategic investments and collaboration. In addition, the plan should equip regional leaders with the vision and information necessary to apply for and secure the EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant and other resilience funding opportunities.

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

  • Conduct a Stakeholder Listening Tour – Develop relationships with stakeholders in government, the private sector, local community groups, and members of the public, with an emphasis on BIPOC businesses and residents. In addition, conduct a literature review of climate action planning that has been effective in cities similar to Jacksonville.
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories – Develop Jacksonville’s greenhouse gas inventory. Serve as the point of contact for North Florida local government leaders who are developing inventories for their communities.
  • Project Prioritization – Engage internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions across North Florida.
  • Climate Action Plan – Compile the inventory and prioritization findings into a comprehensive, regional climate action plan that leaders can leverage to advance climate resilience and pursue strategic funding.

 

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor – Anne Coglianese, Chief Resilience Officer

QUALIFICATIONS

In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in greenhouse gas inventories and multi-stakeholder climate action 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 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.

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.