Buildings Director

December 19, 2023

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a leading national research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, seeks a buildings program director. The ideal candidate will be a buildings expert comfortable with both research and policy as well as an experienced leader and manager. The buildings sector accounts for about one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key pillar of ACEEE’s multi-year efforts to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change. The buildings program director will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals.

ACEEE’s buildings program covers a variety of topics including new construction, building codes, retrofits, and product and equipment efficiency, and works at the federal, state, and local levels. We view changes in the buildings sector as critical not only to emissions reductions but also to energy and housing affordability, community health, and economic well-being. The buildings director should share this vision.

About ACEEE:

ACEEE conducts independent analysis and develops transformative polices to build a vibrant and equitable economy that uses energy more productively, protects the environment, and promotes the health, safety, and well-being of everyone.

ACEEE’s organizational culture is collaborative and team-oriented with a strong commitment to its mission. Staff work at an energetic pace within a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment with opportunities for professional growth and development. There is a high degree of workplace flexibility, with an emphasis on results, making ACEEE an enjoyable and fulfilling place to work. ACEEE is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion while weaving equity into our research and policy work.

Position Description:

ACEEE seeks a director to lead the organization’s research, policy, and technical assistance activities in the buildings sector. Responsibilities include the following:

  • Promoting the development and implementation of net-zero-energy and net-zero-carbon codes, policies, and programs.
  • Accelerating building retrofit activity, with an emphasis on under-served communities.
  • Maximizing product and equipment efficiency.
  • Leveraging our partnerships to advance energy efficiency and building decarbonization in service of housing affordability, workforce development, healthy/resilient housing, and emissions reductions.

This position is an exciting opportunity for a candidate with experience working on buildings-related issues, a passion for addressing climate change, and an interest in furthering their career in a dynamic and growing sector.

The director supervises a team of nine, including a team launching the National Energy Codes Collaborative, reports to ACEEE’s senior director for research, and collaborates closely with other teams at ACEEE, especially the local policy program and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. The director leads or oversees research that often results in externally reviewed research reports, fact sheets, formal presentations, webinars, press interviews, and/or blog posts. This role provides technical assistance to outside partners and policymakers on matters related to energy efficiency policy and research, particularly federal and state equipment efficiency standards, building energy codes, building and product labeling, and voluntary efficiency specifications. Technical assistance can include presenting ACEEE research, writing memos, and submitting formal regulatory or legislative testimony or comments. The director collaborates with colleagues from other organizations to develop policy positions, advocate for desired outcomes, and negotiate with industry. The director also helps develop ACEEE’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings—a biennial conference held since 1980. The buildings director is a highly visible role, representing ACEEE externally through press interviews, webinars, and other forms of communication.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Implement a strategic vision for buildings research and policy activities to create a low carbon, equitable, and affordable buildings sector in the United States.
  • Develop new projects and ensure sustainable funding for ACEEE buildings research and policy priorities, in partnership with ACEEE’s development team and working with energy, environment, climate, equity, and place-based funders.
  • Supervise a team, guiding and mentoring staff and positioning them as subject matter experts.
  • Coordinate and oversee large research, policy, and technical assistance projects managing teams of internal and external researchers and policy experts.
  • Build and cultivate relationships and partnerships with policymakers, community-based organizations, manufacturers and other corporate allies, trade associations, and other NGOs.
  • Represent ACEEE's buildings interests externally to media, stakeholders, funders, and the environmental, efficiency, and buildings communities as a recognized expert.
  • Serve as ACEEE’s in-house expert on buildings, leading and supporting crosscutting organizational efforts to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions economy-wide.
  • Oversee program budgets and work plans.


  • Strategic thinker and ability to develop and implement a program vision
  • Sound understanding of the role of nonprofit organizations in the policy landscape
  • Knowledge of buildings industry trends and ability to identify new opportunities for research and policy advocacy
  • Demonstrated experience building enduring relationships with partners and stakeholders; ability to create inclusive spaces for the exchange of ideas and solicit diverse viewpoints respectfully
  • Superb project management and problem-solving skills
  • Highly analytical and an eye for detail
  • Ability to manage competing deadlines and priorities
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Dedication to equity and justice, with a passion for advancing social and racial equity through ACEEE’s work and within the organization
  • Strong interpersonal and supervisory skills with a demonstrated ability to build and lead diverse teams and coach, mentor, and support employees at varying career stages


  • At least 15 years of work experience in the buildings field. Experience with buildings and energy efficiency and climate policy preferable.
  • Recognized expert in issues at the intersection of buildings, grid, climate, and equity with a track record of representing/discussing priorities in public forums.
  • Comfortable in external-facing role with various members of the public (stakeholders, legislators, funders). 
  • Project and staff management experience.


  • An advanced degree in a relevant field including (but not limited to) architecture, building science, mechanical engineering, environmental science, energy and the environment, or urban planning

Preferred start date: February 2024. The position is located in Washington, DC or can be remote.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary range is $ 120,666–$160,000 and includes ACEEE’s generous benefits package which includes 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 link below to access the Paylocity Recruitment portal. Be sure to submit your cover letter and resume. We do not accept phone calls or emails about the position.

Apply Here

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ACEEE is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability. ACEEE is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in its organization and encourages applicants with diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply.

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