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Chief Strategy Officer

Organization Name

Hybrid Remote

Chief Strategy Officer (remote)

With nearly 1,100 members, including 650+ utilities representing approximately 70% of US electric consumers (and growing), the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a 501(c)(3) organization, helps utilities, technology companies, state and federal energy regulators, and other stakeholders progress actionable solutions to a carbon-free energy system while ensuring equitable access for all. As Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), you will report to the President & CEO and supervise between 3 and 7 direct reports with a total team of approximately 30 individuals. You will guide the strategic and operational direction of our research and industry strategy, development, and membership functions. With the CEO and the Executive Team, you will work on executing the organization’s overall strategic plan, looking out to 2030 and beyond.

As a key executive team member, you will develop and implement cross-functional strategies, spanning from content development and delivery to policy and advocacy support, to strengthen SEPA’s capability to drive impact. For example, you will work on supportive strategies to drive progress on our 5×25 initiative to align utilities, industry, regulators, legislators, customers, and other energy stakeholders around five major issue areas: resilience, transportation, emerging technologies, policy, and energy storage. Your position will involve evaluating the electric power and clean energy landscapes, identifying emerging trends and potential disruptors, anticipating what members will need five years ahead, and turning those insights into programs, products, and services aligned with our mission to accelerate the electric power industry’s transformation to a modern energy future through education, research, standards, and collaboration.

This role is highly visible in both the electric power and clean energy industries and requires a combination of technical knowledge and marketing and business development skills. Your ability to create and articulate the strategic vision, target key audiences (utilities, industry, regulators, legislators, policymakers, advocates, customers, and other energy stakeholders), and ensure that internal teams are aligned and moving in the same direction will be pivotal to your success.

How You’ll Make an Impact: Key Focus Areas

  • Strategic Vision and Planning. Collaborate closely with the CEO and Board to re-envision our strategic plan and ensure our investment portfolio aligns with future growth opportunities, maximizing returns.
  • Strategic Execution and Innovation. Lead all key strategic initiatives, prioritizing high-impact projects that align closely with stakeholder needs and our mission. Develop strategies to enhance collaboration and information-sharing (market intelligence, subject matter knowledge, etc.) across functions to strengthen content development and delivery. Evaluate and refine current KPIs while creating new metrics to effectively monitor progress.
  • Thought Leadership and Content Strategy. Lead the charge in identifying and cultivating thought leadership content that addresses the current and future needs of members and the broader energy sector. Develop opportunities to collaborate with members in a way that enhances industry leadership and visibility.
  • Growth and Business Development. Oversee SEPA’s business development efforts, including identifying new funding strategies and new sources for initiatives, projects, and deliverables.
  • Strategic Partnership and External Affairs. Identify and build strategic partnerships that accelerate SEPA’s ability to accomplish strategic objectives, collaborating alongside the executive team to nurture these relationships. Represent SEPA at executive-level industry forums and provide insights, analysis, and technical understanding to members and stakeholders.
  • Team Leadership and Development. Empower and develop staff through mentoring, coaching, and targeted professional growth opportunities. Leverage their diverse skills and insights in strategic decision-making and execution while fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

Responsibilities

Organizational Strategy and Leadership

  • Collaborate with the executive team to develop and refine SEPA’s strategic goals and objectives, including vision and mission. Drive the development and updates to SEPA’s 3–5-year strategic plan, ensuring alignment with overarching objectives. Define annual organizational performance metrics. Provide strategic counsel to the President and CEO on governance matters to ensure optimal decision-making.
  • Translate board and executive strategies into actionable plans.
  • Maximize service delivery and resource allocation for efficiency, securing additional resources when necessary. Enhance process efficiency while maximizing benefits.
  • Lead and develop staff, providing coaching and professional development opportunities and ensuring a positive and collaborative work environment. Define and champion organizational values to shape our desired culture.
  • Oversee special projects aligned with SEPA’s mission.
  • Oversee budget and significant portions of annual revenue, ensuring a return on investment (ROI) from staff time and expenses.
  • Represent SEPA’s Executive Leadership at industry events.

Department Strategy, Leadership, & Development

  • Lead the activities of the research and industry strategy, development, and membership teams.
  • Promote a culture of accountability, ownership, high performance, development goals, and continuous improvement, emphasizing learning, quality commitment, and continuous feedback.
  • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach.

External Affairs and Business Development

  • Identify and build strategic partnerships and initiatives that will expedite the organization’s ability to accomplish its strategic objectives and work with the executive team to nurture those relationships.
  • Champion SEPA by representing the organization at executive-level industry forums and bringing insights, analysis, and technical understanding to members and stakeholders.
  • Oversee the organization’s business development efforts, including identifying new funding strategies and sources for initiatives, projects, and deliverables.
  • Acts as a ‘Face of SEPA’ to external executives to continue to support SEPA’s status as a ‘trusted advisor.’

Content Creation

  • Lead the organization’s efforts to identify and cultivate fresh, relevant, and timely content that meets the current and anticipated needs of members and the industry at large.
  • Guide the organization’s efforts to grow as a thought leader on priority content areas.
  • Identify strategies to transfer market intelligence and subject matter knowledge between functional areas within the organization to the benefit of multiple programs, products, and services.
  • Identifies gaps in talent and solutions to execute our strategy.

Work Environment, Salary, and Benefits

  • This position offers a remote work environment with the option of a Washington, DC co-working space. Travel up to 30-40% is required for SEPA events/meetings and engagements with external stakeholders.
  • This position offers a competitive salary range of $275K – $300K, along with an outstanding benefits package. This package includes fully paid health, dental, vision, and HRA; Flexible Spending Account; fully paid short & long-term disability; life insurance; 24 days of PTO; travel assistance; 401(k) with 4% employer match; ability to contribute to a 457(b); telecommuting reimbursement; professional development reimbursement; employee assistance program; health and wellness reimbursement; and pet insurance discounts.
  • You will enjoy working in a collaborative and highly supportive work environment with a great team of trustworthy and approachable colleagues. You will experience a culture driven by adaptability, innovation, camaraderie, humility, ownership, and transparency.
  • SEPA prioritizes diversity within its workforce and across the energy industry. We set ambitious recruitment targets for our Board of Directors, aiming for gender parity and 40% representation from underrepresented communities, such as people of color, low-income individuals, native populations, LGBTQ individuals, and more. Similarly, we strive for our employee demographics to mirror the ethnic composition of the US workforce. Our overarching goal is to cultivate a workforce that mirrors the organizations we serve, fostering engagement and inclusivity among our staff.

Qualifications

  • 20 or more years of progressive leadership experience in strategic planning, business development, or a related function, including a minimum of 5 years in the power sector, working on clean energy and grid modernization initiatives.
  • A deep understanding of the utility and clean energy industries, with particular emphasis on the nexus between the two.

About Us

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) helps all electric power stakeholders accelerate the transformation to a carbon-free electricity system. SEPA concentrates our focus on the following areas to maximize impact: transportation, storage, resilience, emerging technology, and policy.

SEPA delivers value to our members through research, education, events, working groups, peer engagements, and member projects. We facilitate collaboration, develop innovative strategies and guidance for regulatory and business innovation, and provide actionable solutions for our members and partner organizations.

Job responsibilities are similar to the following positions: Deputy Director, Principal Strategy Officer, Vice President, Senior Vice President, Executive Director.

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Chief Strategy Officer