Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director

Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director

Consumer Reports

Washington, DC preferred; Open to San Francisco, CA or Yonkers, NY   |   March 25, 2021

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports (“CR”) is an independent, nonprofit member organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fair and just marketplace for all. CR does this by empowering and informing consumers, incentivizing corporations to act responsibly, and helping policymakers prioritize the rights and interests of consumers in order to shape a truly consumer-driven marketplace.

Consumer Reports was founded in 1936 at a time when consumers had very few options to gauge the value, quality, or authenticity of goods and services. It was an era of unfettered advertising claims, rapid technological progress, and patchwork regulations—so CR was created to equip people with the credible, trustworthy information they needed to make informed choices. Over time, CR’s findings shaped purchasing decisions, and regulators and manufacturers began to heed our voice and the needs and interests of consumers.

Today, CR is an independent nonprofit with more than 6 million members and a trusted source of rigorous, independent testing and research. CR’s aim is to create a marketplace built on credible information, greater transparency, and fairness. The organization’s investigative journalism, advocacy, and digital testing empower consumers, informs people’s purchasing decisions, influences businesses to improve the products and services they deliver, and strengthens norms, laws, and regulations through science, evidence, and data.

To learn more about Consumer Reports, visit their website:

The Opportunity

CR is now bringing its full power to address climate change and environmental issues in the marketplace. The organization is looking for a creative and entrepreneurial leader to blaze the path forward as the first Climate, Energy, and Sustainability Director.

As part of CR’s Climate, Energy, and Sustainability Initiative, this leader will work collaboratively across the organization to help build a strategy to bend the curve of consumption toward a sustainable future. The Director will help create common cause with young people and communities of color who will be our partners in change. This leader will have the opportunity to tap into the diverse assets of a nonprofit social enterprise to take a unique, consumer-facing approach to shape the marketplace and reduce or eliminate harms and inequities associated with the products and services people buy and use every day.

The Director will:

  • Lead the development of CR’s organization-wide strategy to drive a marketplace that prioritizes sustainability.
  • Build strategic and operational plans to scope, define and advance CR’s Sustainability work, including securing strong standards to prevent and reduce environmental and consumer harms and empowering consumers to take action to reduce their footprint.
  • Partner across CR to advance work across multiple divisions and markets, building internal enthusiasm and buy-in for the initiative from staff and board.
  • Develop and communicate progress on goals, milestones, and success metrics for the organizational sustainability strategy for multiple audiences.
  • Engage with external stakeholders, including climate and sustainability experts, policymakers, NGOs, academia, and others to build partnerships to advance the work.
  • Partner with the Development team and senior CR leadership in the creation and execution of a strategy to build a substantial philanthropic investment in CR’s sustainability work.
  • Serve as a sustainability spokesperson and thought-leader for the organization, expanding CR’s influence and profile on the issue.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

Subject Matter Expertise

The Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director should:

  • Bring credible expertise in this sector, particularly as these issues pertain to consumer goods like homes and cars, and be a trusted voice on current trends and best practices.
  • Have experience with interdisciplinary approaches and working for change with policymakers and companies, and an appreciation for the role of data-driven efforts to influence supply, demand and policy.
  • Demonstrate a nonpartisan and inclusive approach to building and achieving the Climate, Energy and Sustainability program goals.
  • Understand how these subjects intersect with structural racism and environmental justice, bring a lens for diversity, equity and inclusion and root this work in CR’s mission of a fair and just marketplace for all. 

Coalition Builder and Collaborator

The Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director should:

  • Be visionary and diplomatic. As the first person in this role, the Director will be responsible for promoting the mission and objectives to external and internal stakeholders.
  • Possess a strong self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and keen listening skills and bring humility and curiosity to relationship-building.
  • Be a facilitator, connector and key point person both internally and externally, and bring relevant experience and skills.
  • Bring a collaborative style and have an eagerness to roll up one’s sleeves and work hands-on to grow impact.
  • Have a personal and professional commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the CR staff and externally with partners. This requires an empathetic, respectful and compassionate attitude towards a diverse range of identities and perspectives.

Entrepreneurial and Visionary Leadership

The Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director should:

  • Bring a unique combination of vision, creativity, and project management, and be able to seamlessly move from inspiration to decision-making to ensuring project delivery.
  • Be a strategic leader and big-picture thinker who is energized by creative collaboration and impact. They will guide and inspire CR to deepen its work as a catalyst and thought leader on climate, energy and sustainability, and as such, should be someone who can develop a long-term approach and also connect the dots to deliver concrete progress and change.
  • Possess the energy, passion and determination to guide this program into both familiar and unchartered territory through an effective use of CR’s many levers and brand.
  • Be a detail-oriented project manager. Because this leader will sit within a matrixed organization, they should be an independent project manager who can break big ideas into small, actionable strategies and tasks that drive efforts forward efficiently.

Excellent Written and Oral Communication Skills

The Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director should:

  • Be a charismatic leader who is a confident public speaker and can effectively convey this program’s mission and vision.
  • Bring credibility in representing CR in the national dialogue on solutions to climate change, poor air quality, and other related sustainability and consumer arenas.
  • Be a strong verbal and written communicator who can translate complicated issues and ideas, particularly in this subject area, across a diversity of audiences.
  • Have experience effectively communicating internally with their team through regular touchpoints, clear written communications, and a strong inclination towards listening before taking action, particularly in remote settings.

A Strong Fundraiser

The Climate, Energy and Sustainability Director should:

  • Be a lead spokesperson and partner in expanding external funding for the Climate, Energy and Sustainability program and as such, should bring experience in developing and maintaining relationships with funders and donors.
  • Be an inspiring leader who can build bridges with potential supporters in order to scale this program effectively. Because this role is brand new and requires creativity, the Director should be comfortable developing forward-thinking plans around funding and growth. While not a requirement, it is additive if the Director has experience making financial solicitations and cultivating long-term relationships.
  • Bring relationships within the climate, energy, and sustainability sectors and be confident in their ability to partner in CR’s efforts to contribute to building and managing pipelines of donors in partnership with CR’s Development team.

Kara Teising and Libby Cornelssen are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit this link. All nominations, inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

At CR, we believe our continued ability to understand and advance the interests of all American consumers is possible only if our staff fully reflects the full cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of those consumers.

Consumer Reports is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, national origin, gender, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or parental status, disability, veteran status, or other class protected by applicable law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of The Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients.

Our founding philosophy — The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World — guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit