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 and include the Title and Job Code 584 in the Subject Line.