Fresh Energy, St. Paul, Minnesota

This job listing is a paid promotion and the Energy News Network is not responsible for its contents. To submit a listing, go to our main job board page.

CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search on behalf of Fresh Energy for their next Executive Director.

Fresh Energy seeks a charismatic and inspirational leader to serve as its next Executive Director. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assume leadership of a prominent clean energy and climate policy nonprofit that has a regional impact and national influence during a moment in time with an unprecedented amount of federal support for climate action.

As experts in clean energy and climate, Fresh Energy understands that there are solutions within reach that can help us prevent the very worst damages of climate change. For 30 years, Fresh Energy has been speeding Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy economy to ensure that our region enjoys good health, a vibrant economy, and thriving, equitable communities today and for generations to come. Fresh Energy’s mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to create equitable carbon-neutral economies.

Fresh Energy has historically worked to decarbonize Minnesota’s electric power sector and facilitate the deployment of carbon-free renewables like wind and solar, while also implementing and expanding energy efficiency solutions. Over the last decade, in addition to expanding our equity-focused work by launching an Energy Access and Equity program, Fresh Energy’s future-focused policy work has grown to include additional sectors of the economy—including buildings, industry, and transportation—that also require urgent decarbonization.

In order to achieve the level of carbon reduction we need now, Fresh Energy is committed to taking a multifaceted, thoughtful, and equitable approach that decarbonizes our electricity sector, creates a carbon-neutral economy through high-impact and integrated solutions, ensures an equitable and just energy transition, and builds a shared commitment to climate action.

Working purely in the public interest, Fresh Energy’s team of scientists, economists, policy analysts, and educators develop and advance solutions that secure a clean energy future where all can thrive.


  • Clean Electricity: Speeding the transition to a zero-carbon electric grid through effective, innovative, and data-driven policy solutions
  • Energy Access and Equity: Ensuring equity in both process and outcomes as we advance clean energy solutions for all Minnesotans
  • Energy News Network: Shining a light on energy-decision making and elevating diverse stories in the transition to a zero-carbon economy
  • Energy Transition: Creating a carbon-neutral economy through strategies that blend energy efficiency, strategic electrification, innovation, and more across Minnesota’s industrial, transportation, agricultural, and building economies
  • Public Affairs: Building a shared commitment to a zero-carbon future and driving ambitious policy change at multiple levels of government


  • We act with courage and determination: We recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold change at scale
  • We act with honesty and integrity: We pursue the most effective policy solutions based on holistic analysis and open-minded, transparent evaluation
  • We act to advance equity and justice: We are committed to a clean energy transition that improves people’s lives and confronts systemic racial and economic inequities
  • We act in the spirit of cooperation and inclusion: We value collaboration and honor diverse perspectives in our programs and organization
  • We act as responsible stewards: We honor the time and talents of our staff and volunteers, model environmental responsibility, and spend wisely the funds entrusted to us

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law, effectively making the largest investment in climate action in U.S. history. The $369 billion climate and tax package will impact all facets of our energy and transportation systems, aiming to drive down emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

The new Executive Director will join Fresh Energy at this exciting moment in time with an unprecedented amount of federal support for climate action coming down the pipeline. In collaboration with the Fresh Energy staff, Board of Directors, and key external partners, Fresh Energy’s next leader will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to impact the implementation of this historic bill’s new and updated energy, climate, and equity programs and policies in our region.

The Executive Director will oversee a widely recognized nonprofit with a proven track record for achieving measurable progress toward a strong and prosperous energy economy and will play a key leadership role across the clean energy and climate community in the Upper Midwest region and beyond.

The next leader of Fresh Energy will inherit an established yet growing organization with a strong mission, healthy balance sheet, talented and passionate team, and a workplace culture described by staff as empathetic, empowering, innovative, inclusive, and positive. The Fresh Energy team values an environment of collaboration, one in which the Executive Director calls on staff knowledge and expertise in decision making.

Fresh Energy firmly centers principles of anti-racism, justice, and equity in its work toward a just, prosperous, and resilient future powered by a shared commitment to a carbon-neutral economy and is committed to co-creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace. The Executive Director will be a champion of this commitment.

The Executive Director reports to the Fresh Energy Board of Directors and will provide leadership to a current team of 30+ full-time staff members. The Executive Director has three direct reports, including the Executive Lead of Policy and Programs, Executive Lead of Organizational Health, and Senior Lead of Philanthropy.

In collaboration with Fresh Energy’s staff, Board of Directors, and key external partners, the Executive Director will have primary responsibility for the following key accountabilities:

Management & Leadership

  • Model behavior and maintain a culture that is consistent with Fresh Energy’s mission, core values, and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism
  • Empower staff to take charge of key initiatives, while successfully deploying the Executive Director’s knowledge and relationships to leverage the full impact of Fresh Energy
  • Assist staff to grow to their potential and achieve the highest possible impact on the organization’s mission
  • Develop and maintain internal performance systems that ensure accountability and encourage high-level performance

External Relations

  • Act as effective lead spokesperson on behalf of Fresh Energy to key stakeholders including government, nonprofit, business, and other community partners
  • Ensure alignment and consistency between the organization’s goals and strategies and all direct communications and public statements
  • Build collaborative and strategic alliances to further advance the organization’s mission

Fundraising & Resource Development

  • Raise funds necessary to accomplish the objectives delineated in the Fresh Energy strategic plan
  • Act to diversify the organization’s sources of funding and, specifically, increase the fraction of support from unrestricted sources
  • Promote an organizational culture of philanthropy

Strategy & Planning

  • Implement and continue to develop the strategic plan for the organization by working effectively with staff, Board, and external partners
  • Conduct on-going assessment of future challenges and opportunities as well as effective organizational design

Policy & Program Leadership

  • Lead Fresh Energy staff and manage resources to meet policy goals that have the highest possible impact on the organization’s mission
  • Maintain clean energy policy and marketplace knowledge, staying abreast of changes in the public discourse and policy climate

Operations & Financial Management

  • Ensure that revenues cover or exceed expenses and that Fresh Energy operates within the budget approved by the board
  • Shape and support organization-wide systems for effective nonprofit operations

With a commitment to bold policy for a just, carbon-free future, the ideal Executive Director candidate is a charismatic and inspirational leader with 7-10+ years of executive leadership experience with increasing levels of responsibility. Strong candidates will have a working knowledge of clean energy policy and economy, the nonprofit industry, community and economic development, and climate science, advocacy, and movements. A Master’s degree in business, finance, environmental law, public policy, or a related field is preferred.

While no one candidate will bring all of the criteria below, the ideal candidate is a leader who possesses many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Proven experience as:

  • A successful leader of a growing, human-focused, and equity and inclusion dedicated organization
  • An exceptional relationship builder with the ability to engage across government, business, and other sectors, including connecting with those who may not share the same objectives
  • A fundraiser with demonstrated experience identifying, securing, and cultivating funds from a variety of philanthropic and government sources
  • A strategic leader with an ability to align internal and external stakeholders around big picture visions, goals, and outcomes
  • An inspirational spokesperson and motivational public speaker with an ability to translate complex issues and topics for broad audiences
  • A fiscally responsible leader who ensures the operational health of an organization

A leader who is:

  • Committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism, with an understanding of the important role equity has in a carbon-free future
  • Innovative with a track record of driving implementation at scale
  • Collaborative, humble, and embodies an empowering and trust-based management style
  • A voracious learner who can quickly grasp new concepts, issues, and technologies
  • Positive and optimistic about achieving a fair, just, and carbon-free energy future
  • A courageous, ambitious, yet pragmatic individual who gets things accomplished

Working knowledge and/or experience in:

  • Clean energy policy
  • Clean energy economy and marketplace
  • Climate science, advocacy, and movements

The expected salary for this role is in the $150,000 – 200,000 range, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Fresh Energy offers its staff a robust benefits and employee wellbeing package that includes healthcare, a 403(b)-retirement contribution and employee match, generous paid time off, transit incentives, and more.

Fresh Energy fosters a respectful, collaborative, and fun work environment. Learn more about working at Fresh Energy here:

The Executive Director position is based out of Fresh Energy’s office in Saint Paul, Minnesota. All Fresh Energy staff can work at Fresh Energy’s office space or from home/remotely depending on the function. To promote safety for all employees, Fresh Energy is a fully vaccinated workplace. Occasional travel throughout the Midwest and United States is required for the Executive Director position.

For more information, or to submit your resume expressing your interest in the Executive Director position, please email All inquiries will remain confidential.

Fresh Energy’s Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflects its commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities: The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.