Director, Research & Development (#584) - Albany or New York City Office

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) is hiring a new leader of its climate technology Research and Development (“R&D”) programs. The State of New York (the “State”) has committed, through legislation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. The State and NYSERDA rely on the R&D team to deliver a broad set of technologies and innovations to meet their decarbonization goals. By supporting needed innovations to decarbonize the State’s economy, the 13th largest in the world, the R&D team will catalyze global efforts to combat climate change.

The NYSERDA R&D team consists of ~10-15 experienced R&D professionals (the “R&D Group”) that invest in climate innovations including feasibility assessments, applied research studies, product development, and pilots.  The current portfolio includes over $100 million in investments, including in energy storage technologies, clean heating and cooling solutions, and grid modernization and optimization technologies. In addition to funding, members of the R&D Group provide early stage companies expert technical advice and commercialization support, including linkage to NYSERDA’s Technology-to-Market and Market Development programs, initial customers, corporate and other potential partners.

The R&D Group works closely with other State, national and private R&D organizations to coordinate its investments with the broader climate technology ecosystem. As an example, the R&D Group oversees NYSERDA’s administration of the $40m U.S. National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium on behalf of the Department of Energy and provides additional R&D investments in coordination with the State’s regulated utilities and the Department of Public Service.  

The Director, R&D will be expected to travel 20-25% of his or her professionally committed time to meet with team members, stakeholders and potential partners. The Director, R&D will report to the Vice President of Innovation and collaborate closely with NYSERDA’s Technology-to-Market program and other State R&D institutions.

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Develop and maintain a diversified portfolio of investments including a prioritized set of technology focus areas into which NYSERDA will direct its funding and support resources
  • Manage the development of new competitive grants, prizes and other investment programs to optimize the portfolio pipeline
  • Actively manage the >$100 million existing portfolio of R&D contracts including substantial focal areas of transportation, renewable energy optimization, energy storage, net zero buildings, and smart grid technologies
  • Effectively use scarce internal resources and leverage external capital and partnerships to maximize the impact of NYSERDA funds
  • Maintain best practices in tracking and reporting the portfolio’s financial and climate impacts, including by tracking patents, follow-on funding, expected greenhouse gas mitigation, and impact on embedded carbon in the economy
  • Lead a high-impact, entrepreneurial team
  • Cultivate and maintain strong connections with the investment community, corporate/strategic partners, policy experts, and other stakeholders to continuously inform program focus and design, identify partners in the ecosystem, and act as an ambassador for NYSERDA to these communities
  • Stay current with developments in innovation, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization
  • Serve as a thought leader within NYSERDA and the State; communicate research and development strategy and updates to executive management and State energy and climate leadership
  • Support the State in its utilization and expectations of R&D as part of the State’s broader strategy to meet its decarbonization goals
  • Drive organizational change, accountability, consistency, quality, and process standardization across all phases of research and development
  • Perform other responsibilities as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • 10 years of relevant experience in leadership positions related to climate technology research and development, technology commercialization and innovation best practices and policies
  • A strong existing network of climate-related researchers, funding organizations, businesses, universities, and policymakers
  • Knowledge of and insight into the investment landscape, commercialization processes and scalability for climate-related technologies including both hardware and software innovations and others
  • Demonstrated success at formulating organizational strategy and program design
  • A proven track record in leading teams

 The successful candidate should be:

  • Mission-driven; motivated to solve the world’s biggest climate and environmental challenges
  • A demonstrated problem-solver; resourceful, with an instinct for surfacing value and pragmatic solutions
  • Analytical in his or her decision-making and process driven
  • A change agent and creative/innovative thinker
  • Detail-oriented with strong planning and critical thinking skills
  • An excellent presenter with strong interpersonal skills; able to communicate persuasively, concisely and unambiguously in speech and in writing

To Apply

Please submit one file that includes both your cover letter and resume to recruiter@nyserda.ny.gov and include the Title and Job Code 584 in the Subject Line.