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Position: Executive Director
Organization: Zero Emission Innovation Centre
Workplace: Metro Vancouver, BC

Status: Permanent, Full Time
Reports to: Zero Emission Innovation Centre Board of Directors

The Position

Are you a visionary, entrepreneurial leader who is interested in shaping strong climate action and impact investment to affect rapid change in Metro Vancouver?

The newly created Zero Emission Innovation Centre (ZEIC) is seeking a multi-faceted leader to serve as their Executive Director (ED), creating ZEIC’s first strategic plan and establishing successful operations for the organization. Working with a new Board, the Executive Director will help drive a zero-emission future in Metro Vancouver and beyond, through building a strong team and overseeing programming, granting, and investment activities.

The Executive Director will support Board committees and be responsible for leveraging and matching the $21.7M endowment from the federal government through investment strategies executed in collaboration with the Investment Committee. The Executive Director will lead development of management systems that support the success of the new organization, and will fulfil reporting requirements to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Board.

An intimate knowledge of issues related to advancing climate action, impact investing and policy innovation is preferred. The Executive Director will manage the organization’s key partnerships and activities, oversee business development, and hire and lead the initial team. Subject to Board approval, the Executive Director will integrate staff from the Zero Emission Building Exchange (ZEBx) over the next year to support building sector programming for the ZEIC.

Key Competencies

  • Entrepreneurship – The ideal candidate is ambitious, goal-oriented and entrepreneurial and will have demonstrated the ability to build a new organisation or key initiatives. The ED will need to be creative,think outside of the box and present bold ideas to the Board.
  • Leadership – The ideal candidate will execute the vision and will mobilize the organisation’s internal and external stakeholders. They will lead the ZEIC team with inclusive leadership, creating a work environment that is positive, collaborative and motivating, even in challenging or uncertain situations. Notably, they will need the ability to build a team, develop policies and partnerships, make strategic choices and initiate projects.
  • Networking and Relationship Building – The ideal candidate will develop and maintain a network of key contacts among stakeholders in the fight against climate change and will have demonstrated their capacity to establish cross-sectoral partnerships. Ideally, they will already be known for their work within the greater Vancouver region.
  • Communication – The ideal candidate expresses themselves with conviction and clarity in order to present and promote the ZEIC’s mission and projects in various contexts, including to foster collaboration with key partners. They will be a skilled public speaker and will have exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Planning and Organizing – The ideal candidate will have experience in management and organizational planning. They will define the ZEIC’s priorities and manage its human and financial resources in order to reach the ZEIC’s goals.
  • Resource, Fiscal and Risk Management – The ideal candidate understands how to adequately manage risks relating to the stewardship of ZEIC’s resources through effective internal controls and has a proven track record in effective fiscal management.


As the ZEIC’s first employee, the ED will be the cornerstone of the organization. They will be responsible for establishing and operationalizing the ZEIC, as well as leading its ongoing activities.

Organizational development

  • Develop, with the Board of Directors and other key stakeholders, the ZEIC’s first strategic plan that will lay the foundation for annual workplans.
  • Build the ZEIC team, on-board ZEBx staff (subject to Board approval) and establish a dynamic organizational culture.
  • Develop the requisite organizational systems, structures and policies.
  • Oversee and govern the creation of a high-performing organization focused on capacity building, policy innovation, collaboration and impact investment to drive deep carbon reductions across the Metro Vancouver region and B.C.
  • Lead and coach team members and implement processes aimed at developing skills and capacities while making professional development an integral part of organizational culture.
  • Ensure that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in the relationships, operations and work culture of the organization.

Reporting requirements

  • Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors to fulfill the organization’s mission.
  • Act as the primary liaison with the Board of Directors, Investment Committee and the LC3 network.
  • Manage, monitor, and be accountable for the successful operation of ZEIC and reporting on compliance and fund results.
  • Ensure the organization meets FCM’s administrative, governance, program development and risk management requirements, as per established agreements (including requirements to establish the new LC3 entity and demonstrate readiness to receive the $21.7 million LC3 grant funds).

Program development and execution

  • Lead the business/work planning process and implementation with input from the Board of Directors, Advisory Group, Investment Committee and others as required.
  • Provide subject matter expertise related to the Centre’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs and investment activities.
  • Stay abreast of sustainability trends, financing products, and legislation that directly impacts the Centre’s operations, strategy, and long-term plans.

Financial management and fund development

  • Oversee, in collaboration with the Investment Committee, the prudent deployment of the ZEIC’s capital assets in ways that drive mandate-related results while producing stable income.
  • Serve as primary fundraiser for program activities and endowment matching.
  • Provide prudent fiscal management of the Centre’s resources, including tracking and monitoring the performance of investments to ensure sufficient return to fund Centre operations and to ensure the Federal $21.7M endowment has been matched within ten years.

Relationship building and communications

  • Represent the ZEIC in the community, providing thought-leadership and establishing/maintaining partnerships, including promoting the ZEIC’s mandate at provincial gatherings of stakeholders (e.g. UBCM, Professional and Industry Associations).
  • Develop and maintain relationships/partnerships with the community and other stakeholders, key influencers, thought leaders and advocates as well as like-minded external organizations to advance the ZEIC’s purpose and offerings.
  • Work towards developing and maintaining working relationships with First Nations and Indigenous organizations and peoples, consistent with efforts of reconciliation.


Required Qualifications

  • Ten years’ experience in a senior operations leadership role leading a collaborative team in the private, public or non-profit sector, preferably in the climate change and/or energy field involving investing, philanthropy, business development, fundraising, and sustainable climate financing.
  • Experience in holding accountability within a formal governance structure and working closely with a board of directors.
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills–a clear and articulate communicator who is at ease speaking to senior leaders and diverse audiences with a strong ability to build relationships and connect with others.
  • Experience in integrated strategic planning.
  • Experience with directing a team and managing staff professionals and external partners in a complex environment with a focus on evidence-based decisions.
  • Project management experience including the coordination and completion of projects involving multiple stakeholders on time within budget and scope.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in fundraising.
  • Excellent understanding of urban greenhouse gas reduction efforts, opportunities and challenges.
  • Positive “can-do” attitude, hands-on, results-driven, and independent thinker coupled with a demonstrated high degree of initiative and a strong personal desire to effectively contribute to significant climate solutions at the local and provincial level.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Sophisticated knowledge and understanding of urban climate change challenges and low-carbon solutions (and their barriers) including policies, practices, procedures, technologies and investments.
  • Working knowledge of sustainable finance community, existing and developing sustainable finance (e.g. impact investing) and/or climate-focused funds, nationwide foundations and environmental philanthropic efforts.


Competitive salary and benefits based on experience supported by a performance bonus.

To apply:

Please submit your CV and cover letter using the online form found on the ED Recruitment webpage by Tuesday, June 22, 11:59pm (PDT). Your cover letter should describe to what extent you have the experience and qualifications required to assume the responsibilities of ED.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jun 8 2021    ID: 60041