Chief of Staff


About Climate Central: 

Climate Central is an independent group of scientists and science translators who research and report the facts about our changing climate and how it affects people’s lives. We use science and tech to generate thousands of local storylines and compelling visuals that make climate change relevant and show what can be done about it. We address climate science, sea level rise, extreme weather, energy, and related topics. We collaborate with journalists, TV meteorologists, and other respected messengers, reaching broad audiences through local voices in the US and 150 nations. Our research and visuals appear in thousands of TV spots and tens of thousands of other news stories each year, and our impact is growing.

About the role: 

Climate Central is seeking a highly skilled, dynamic and passionate leader to join our team as our first Chief of Staff. Reporting to Chief Executive Officer Ben Strauss, the Chief of Staff (COS) will serve as a high-functioning catalyst for the CEO’s priorities and the organization’s overall effectiveness. The COS will support and advise the CEO, manage our leadership teams, lead cross-organizational initiatives and special projects, advise department and program leaders and address organizational challenges. The COS will be a key member of our Executive Team and work in close partnership with department and program leaders, helping to “hold the whole” of the organization. The COS will be responsible for managing complex situations and multiple responsibilities simultaneously, mixing long-term projects with the urgency of immediate demands. They will consistently wear many hats flexing across multiple organizational areas, seamlessly shifting– sometimes hour by hour– between different issues and roles, acting as advisor, collaborator, and implementer.

The ideal COS candidate understands the importance of, and knows how to build, high-trust, authentic, enduring relationships with staff and stakeholders at all levels and from different backgrounds. They are just as comfortable and skilled at building a relationship with a Board member as with the most junior member of staff. The ideal candidate has a track record of exercising exceptional judgment, navigating ambiguity with a high level of comfort, creativity and sound reasoning. They have a high level of personal responsibility, holding themselves to a high standard, following through on the commitments they make and executing high quality work. They are experts in understanding organizational dynamics and developing structures and systems that support strategy, further professionalize an organization and address emergent and ongoing challenges. The ideal candidate has strong problem solving skills and a track record of making thoughtful, strategic and values-aligned decisions. They are willing to tackle any issue that comes their way– no issue is too big or too small– and are happy to serve as the organization’s “problem solver in chief”. Finally, they are flexible and have a “low ego”, just as willing to order food for a staff event in a pinch as they are to develop and oversee a multi-year organizational development strategy.

If this sounds like you and you’re passionate about science, communications, and addressing climate change, please take a look at our website to learn more about our work and our impressive team of scientists, communicators, tech wizards, and analysts, and submit your application.

Job activities include but are not limited to:

Serve as an advisor and support to the CEO to maximize their effectiveness (45% of time)

  • Match the CEO’s priorities and commitments to their schedule, ensuring time is well spent and aligned with organizational needs

  • Track CEO projects and tasks, ensuring needed decisions are made and projects completed

  • Lead and support CEO communications, including overseeing development of and directly writing leadership presentations and organization-wide messages

  • Supervise an Administrative Assistant who provides scheduling, travel and other administrative support to the CEO

  • Attend meetings on behalf of the CEO as needed, representing their perspectives and sharing their insights

  • Act as a “bridge” between the CEO and staff, bringing staff issues to the attention of the CEO and keeping staff informed about CEO priorities and whereabouts

  • Provide advice, guidance and general support to CEO across any and all organizational issues; anticipate opportunities and problems that are likely to arise; and act as a key thought partner, brainstorming and identifying solutions to challenges

  • Own special Executive Office projects as needed

Enable and support senior leadership effectiveness through ownership of senior leadership engagements (25% of time)

  • Drive successful leadership team performance and health through design and implementation of meeting, retreat and planning structures and processes 

  • Bring organization-wide or cross-functional challenges, questions and issues to resolution through leadership team discussion and decision-making

  • Develop and manage leadership team internal communication strategies to ensure decisions and other actions are clearly communicated to staff in a timely way, and to support strong organizational culture and alignment 

  • Act as a “bridge” between staff and the leadership teams, keeping staff informed about leadership team priorities and decisions

  • Drive organizational-wide strategy and accomplishment of goals as member of the Executive Team

  • Embrace, model and operationalize Climate Central’s commitment to DEI, helping to develop and drive success of a multi-year plan to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion

Drive organizational effectiveness through ownership of cross organizational planning, alignment and strengthening efforts (25% of time)

  • In partnership with other leaders, design and lead long-term and annual planning and priority-setting

  • In partnership with other leaders, design and oversee accountability and progress monitoring processes to ensure Climate Central meets its organizational goals

  • In partnership with others leaders and staff, design and own monthly all staff meetings and bi-annual retreats

  • Identify organizational strengthening and professionalization needs and design and implement strategies and plans to address

  • Own special cross organizational projects as needed

Support high functioning governance through effective Board management (5%)

  • In partnership with other leaders, own development of Board and committee meeting agendas and prep

  • In partnership with Development and CEO, develop and support Board development plan

  • Support CEO in managing Board operations and member interactions

Essential qualifications

Mission & Values. You are passionate about and genuinely interested in Climate Central’s mission to inform and catalyze action at the scale the climate crisis demands, through making accurate and effective climate communication ubiquitous. You further embrace Climate Central’s core values, including scientific and journalistic integrity; the importance of effective communication; equity; collaboration; and policy neutrality, an important ingredient of our impact and effectiveness.  

Relationship Building. You can demonstrate a track record of building high-trust, authentic relationships across differences. You bring well developed active listening skills and have a high level of emotional intelligence, empathy, humility and self awareness. You embody a growth mindset, approach your relationships and work with a learning orientation, and continuously seek to improve your work and the work of the organization. You possess a deep appreciation for diversity, equity and inclusion and seek to bring people together along lines of difference, and bring a well developed equity analysis and practice.

Strategic Thinking & Judgment. You can demonstrate data-driven, analytical, strategic thinking skills, a commitment to getting to the root cause of challenges, and a track record of developing relevant, creative and innovative solutions. You thrive in ambiguous situations with shifting priorities - your superpower is making sense of complicated situations. You have a track record of being on the right side of tough judgment calls by carefully assessing complex situations, weighing all options and making humane, just and impact-driven decisions.

Cross-Organizational Leadership. You have held roles that required leadership across the whole of an organization. You demonstrate an understanding of the unique functions within an organization and an ability to drive projects and decisions across different teams. You have a track record of promoting a mission-centric environment that encourages cross-functional collaboration, innovation, team building, open dialogue, inclusivity and performance. Your colleagues have experienced you as a highly capable, knowledgeable, trusted leader and mentor.

Project Management. You are a systems thinker and have a deep love for effective and efficient processes. You have the skills required to naturally and effectively translate concepts into actionable plans and ensure clear communication of goals, responsibilities, and deadlines. You have a track record of anticipating roadblocks and using deliberate, yet thoughtful action to keep projects on target and move them toward completion. You have exceptional organizational skills and practices - creating organizational systems and project plans are among your favorite activities, and you are fluid in using different technologies to support this work.

Executive Support. You demonstrate an understanding of the multi-faceted and complex roles that executives play and have held roles where you developed and managed systems and practices that maximize their effectiveness. You take great pleasure in helping executives fulfill their commitments and achieve their goals and generally making their jobs sustainable and impactful. You are comfortable being “behind the curtain” and providing the support an executive needs to be the chief internal and external ambassador of the organization. You are unfailingly trustworthy and have a history of regularly being exposed to highly confidential and sensitive information and managing it with care and sound judgment. 

Communication. You are an excellent verbal and written communicator. Your draft documents are consistently strong and when needed, you’re able to learn to communicate in someone else’s “written voice”. You thrive on direct, honest, and supportive communication and are unafraid to respectfully speak your mind. You know how to use technology to communicate ideas and plans and are a pro at creating slide decks and other presentations. 

Preference will be given to candidates who have:

  • Experience with nonprofit organizations. 

  • Served on executive or senior leadership teams. 

  • Experience with nonprofit Boards of Directors.  

  • Experience coaching organizational leaders. 

  • Experience with talent, culture and change management.

  • Supervision experience.

Compensation: The expected base salary range for this position is $160,000-$180,000. Within the range, individual pay is determined by work location and additional factors, including job-related skills, experience, and relevant education or training . Climate Central offers generous benefits including more than 7 weeks paid vacation and holidays available annually, 12 weeks paid family leave, medical, dental, 401K with up to 12% matching, and partial college tuition for children of employees who qualify.

Location and employment eligibility: This position can be mostly remote, in accordance with Climate Central organizational policy. Presence at headquarters or other U.S.-based locations is required for periodic team and organizational meetings, events and retreats. Climate Central’s headquarters are in Princeton, N.J., operating under standard U.S. Eastern time business hours. Preference will be given to candidates who are able to be present in our Princeton, NJ office at least twice per month, and ideally once per week or more. Candidates must be eligible for employment in the United States.

Equal Employment Opportunity at Climate Central: Climate Central is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace. We do not discriminate against any applicant for employment or employee on the basis of race, color, religious creed, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws.

How To Apply

Please apply via this link. The application deadline is April 17th, 2024.  

Please note that our application process requires the submission of a resume only. We are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one with your application. 

If you choose to include your education history in your resume, please remove the name of your school from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., “B.A. Communication”), but please remove any undergraduate or graduate school names. This is one part of our effort to assess candidates against the essential qualifications for this role and to mitigate bias in the decision making process.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, Climate Central is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.