Buildings Program Director - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) #2021-2603

Location US-DC-Washington, D.C.
Job ID


Buildings Program Director


As our Buildings Program Director, you will further the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) mission of reducing energy and carbon emissions through whole-building solutions that significantly improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and new construction. You will help create a strategic vision for the Buildings program, establish priorities for the program, and oversee buildings research projects. You will support development and adoption of federal, state, and local building policies, focusing resources on high-impact activities. You will develop new initiatives and form strategic partnerships to help achieve our goals established in the Call to Action.


A national nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., ACEEE is America’s leading center of expertise on energy efficiency, actively contributing to debates on energy policy and climate change. We are nationally recognized for leadership in promoting energy efficiency policies. ACEEE believes that the United States can harness the full potential of energy efficiency to boost economic prosperity, improve health, and protect the environment for all its people. Our research and analysis are widely relied on by policymakers, business and industry decision makers, consumers, media, and other energy professionals. We have contributed provisions to all major federal energy legislation since the 1980s, provided guidance and support to federal agencies and presidential administrations, and engaged on energy efficiency policies and programs in over three dozen states and numerous cities. ACEEE is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion while weaving equity into our research and policy work.


Reporting to the Senior Director for Research, you will supervise Buildings team staff, manage your program’s budget, and oversee additional staff contributions to Buildings projects. You will engage with funders and policymakers, develop partnerships with other organizations, and give media interviews and webinars. You will help develop our Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings—a biennial conference held since 1980. Using your knowledge, your research skills, and your creativity, you will grow awareness of our work and help ACEEE strengthen its leadership role in the industry.


In this role, you will help define and lead the strategic direction and research priorities for the Buildings program, inspiring the team to produce high-quality work. You will lead teams of experts with varying backgrounds producing peer-reviewed research reports, white papers, and other project deliverables (e.g., fact sheets, policy briefs, formal presentations, blog posts, op eds). You will provide technical assistance to outside stakeholders on matters related to building energy efficiency policy and research, particularly federal and state equipment efficiency standards, building energy codes, building and product labeling, and voluntary efficiency specifications (through presenting ACEEE research, writing memos, and submitting formal comments). Collaborating with staff and colleagues from other organizations, you will develop policy positions, advocate for desired outcomes, and negotiate with industry. 



  • Direct the Buildings Program—work with others to establish program priorities, develop budgets, and ensure funding is adequate and all financial goals are met.
  • Hire, train, and supervise Buildings team staff; provide oversight and mentorship to program staff on their projects and skill development.
  • Develop new projects and research proposals; interact with funders and explore new funding sources.
  • Provide oversight of research projects, ensuring project deliverables stay on schedule and within the prescribed budget.
  • Oversee the quality and relevance of all project work within the Buildings program.
  • Collaborate with other directors and the executive team on issues related to organizational planning and implementation of organization policies.
  • Undertake policy and technical research projects serving as a research advisor on some projects, principal investigator on others.
  • Engage with policymakers and energy efficiency advocates to develop energy efficiency policies and programs.
  • Balance time between ongoing research projects and technical assistance requests as they arise.
  • Maintain relationships with corporate and trade association leaders, buildings energy efficiency programs, non-governmental organizations, and national and state policy leaders.
  • Represent ACEEE externally to media, stakeholders, funders, and the efficiency community as a recognized expert. Represent the program at meetings.



  • An advanced degree in a relevant field required, such as architecture, building science, mechanical engineering, environmental science, urban planning, etc.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in the buildings field with at least 15 years of relevant work experience.
  • Nationally recognized subject matter expert with track record of publications.
  • Comfortable in external-facing role with various members of the public (stakeholders, legislators, funders).
  • Proven ability to manage diverse teams and oversee several ongoing projects with competing deadlines.
  • Demonstrated skills to collect and disseminate large amounts of data and information and conduct complex research projects.
  • Able to proactively assess and address the social and equity implications of research findings and various policy and program designs.



  • Leader. You are a thought leader and team builder. You have proven experience coaching, mentoring, and developing staff at all professional levels. You work as an integral part of a team that works and wins together.
  • Effective communicator. You are a superb writer, thinker, and listener. You respectfully listen to and learn from others, collaborate on projects, and communicate results.
  • Organizationally agile. You seek out and respect other viewpoints and you share your insights as well. You effectively work across agencies and organizations to build long-standing relationships.
  • Supreme relationship builder. You have a proven track record of getting results by building strong relationships and partnerships. You are self-confident and assertive, approachable and responsive.
  • Skilled project manager. Whether it’s something that requires a quick turnaround or a long-term commitment, you take full responsibility from start to finish. You bring order to competing priorities and keep things running smoothly.


What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?

  • You take pride in the work we do. This is a high visibility role where you will have a leadership platform to enact significant advancements in energy efficiency.
  • We are a mission-driven, collaborative, entrepreneurial organization that offers workplace flexibility and professional development. You will find your colleagues to be friendly and pleasant, and the work to be intellectually stimulating.
  • In this role, you will have a high degree of autonomy to shape the research strategy and future of the program for this area of work, thinking creatively about the best way to build on ACEEE’s achievements.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with an outstanding organization that provides information and advice to policymakers, the business community, and consumers, shaping energy programs and policies that protect the environment, promote energy security, and enhance the economy.
  • ACEEE offers competitive compensation, based on qualifications and experience, with opportunities for career development. Benefits include ACEEE’s generous package of health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage; a 403(b)-retirement plan; transportation and bike share benefits; three weeks of vacation in the first year and four weeks thereafter.


To Apply

Use the "Apply" button on this page or simply email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “ACEEE –Buildings #2021-2603 SA” as the subject of the email. Please include your resume as a Word or PDF attachment to the email and paste your cover letter in the body of your email.


Job responsibilities are similar to the following positions: Program Director, Director of Policy and Programs,  Director of Research, Program Manager, Energy Specialist, Energy Manager, Research Associate, Senior Analyst


Salary range: $110-$140K, commensurate with experience.


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