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Executive Director of the Sustainability Accelerator

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The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability (SDSS) is the first school Stanford has launched in 75 years to address the defining challenge and opportunity of the 21st century. A key and unique element of SDSS is the Stanford Sustainability Accelerator. We seek an innovative, inspirational and ambitious leader to be the Executive Director of the Accelerator. 

The Stanford Sustainability Accelerator is an organization that focuses on co-creating and launching innovative solutions with external partners, ones that can be rapidly progressed at "speed and scale" to address humanity- and planetary-scale climate and sustainability challenges and opportunities. Work within the Accelerator will bridge a broad spectrum of domains, from scaling new technology from the lab to the market, to launching digital platforms and social movements, to addressing public policy and governance challenges. 

"Climate and sustainability are the new computer science," says John Doerr, co-chair of the SDSS Advisory Council. Stanford helped give birth to Silicon Valley. "The Accelerator has the potential to create the next silicon valley for sustainability," says John Hennessy, Former President of Stanford, Chairman of Alphabet, and co-chair of the SDSS Advisory Council. “Launching the Accelerator reminds me of the early days of ARPA-E; and the Accelerator is broader in scope, with a laser focus on proof of scalability before launching technology, policy and other sustainability solutions,” says Arun Majumdar, the Founding Director of ARPA-E and the Dean of SDSS. 

The Executive Director needs to have the following knowledge, skills and abilities: 

  • Deep knowledge of issues and the communities broadly related to climate and sustainability (climate, energy, water, food, biodiversity, ecology, global health) 
  • Demonstrated ability to integrate technology, supply chains, policy, markets, social equity, finance and develop pathways to scale solutions for broad societal and planetary impact 
  • Demonstrated inclusive leadership skills with the ability to influence and motivate constituencies that could span multiple organizational boundaries. Knowledge of solutions-driven academic research and the potential to translate to societal impact
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit diverse talent and create an organization with the culture and values of constructive debate, inclusion and trust building within Stanford and with relevant external communities (e.g., academic institutions, corporations, governments, citizen and professional groups, non-profits, etc) 
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team with the discipline to execute on a plan towards desired outcomes within a desired timeframe. 
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence people, solve problems, trouble shoot, think creatively and resolve conflicts High integrity with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to cultivate strong collaborative relationships with communities within and outside of Stanford University. 

    The Executive Director is a new position and serves as the most senior staff leader for the Sustainability Accelerator. They will be a key participant in strategic planning and process development, in partnership with the Dean, a Faculty Director, Advisory Council and the faculty council. They will provide management, develop operations, and catalyze coordination of a global network of partners, grant making, project mentorship, with the purpose to co-create and launch sustainability solutions at speed and scale. 

    Candidates interested in this position could upload their Cover letter Resume/CV (2-page maximum) here.