Director, Executive Climate Office

King County   Pioneer Square, WA   Full-time     Administration / Clerical
Posted on March 8, 2023
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$159,120.00 - $201,697.60 Annually

Seattle, WA

Job Type

EXEC - Executive's Office

Job Number



Executive Constantine proposed, and council adopted, the creation of a new Executive Climate Office to elevate the County's commitment, coordination, and ability to deliver on climate action internally and in partnership with cities and regional partners.

The Climate Office's first Director will be responsible for planning and directing the activities of the Executive Climate Office. In addition to leading the office, the Director will serve on the Executive's Cabinet - a forum of department leaders and decision makers - to ensure that ambitious climate strategies are effectively integrated across County government. The Director will provide leadership to a team of program and project professionals responsible for executing on Executive Dow Constantine's priority to aggressively confront climate change.

The Director will provide strategic leadership and direction for the Office's work and engagement to achieve measurable results, build momentum, and unite partners to solve the climate crisis. They will be a key face and voice of the Executive Office on climate action. They will be a regional/national thought-leader on connecting science, community priorities, and decision making, in general, and for building urgency for climate action.

The county has worked collectively to express our intention around partnering with and supporting communities historically excluded from the environmental and climate change conversations. The Executive Climate Office commits to prioritizing inclusion and justice for all people in our work on climate, with the aim of decreasing disparities in our organization and our communities.

We are seeking a creative leader who can lead the operationalizing, implementation and realization of the Executive's vision for solving climate change, internally and with our communities as well as with decision makers, resource managers, and other partners.

The Director will directly supervise three Executive Climate Office positions and also help support, coordinate, and lead a broader interdepartmental team of staff implementing County climate work.


As the only county in the United States named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant community with residents who represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the artistic and social traditions of many cultures. King County is changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence.

The County continues to build on an enduring legacy of shared values of equity and social justice, employee engagement, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda aimed at advancing regional change and is developing the systems and standards necessary to achieve better outcomes for all of our residents, regardless of their race or income. All of these qualities make King County one of the nation's best places to live, work, and play.

King County provides a generous employee benefits package, including comprehensive health benefits, paid parental leave, and time to volunteer. For details, see:

Job Duties

Strategic Leadership:

· Establish the vision and build support inside and outside King County to connect science with climate action through partnership and collaboration.

· Broaden & deepen diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice-focused conversations to expand impact.

· Oversee and support all aspects of climate action within the County and identify, propose, and lead new strategies/initiatives with wide reach and impact.

· Ensure effective alignment, and mutual benefit, between the Executive Climate Office, county agencies, cities, unincorporated communities, other government agencies, the state of Washington, and community partners and organizations.

· Work in coalition with other organizations to build capacity for climate action and vulnerability remediation regionally and nationally.

External Partnerships:

· Develop and maintain an engagement plan that supports relationships with key public, private, non-profit and/or tribal partners.

· Build greater visibility for the Executive Climate Office's and department led County work and reputation through participation in relevant regional, national and/or international networks and events.

· Directly engage frontline communities and partners to hear their stories of climate impacts and to support and partner on climate solutions. Be a strong advocate for climate equity in all County climate work.

· Lead local elected official engagement on climate action through the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) and serve as the Executive's liaison and lead for engagement with the King County Council on climate issues.

· Lead state, federal, regional climate policy issues and engagement for the County, for example as serving on the board of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and help bring state and federal and philanthropic funding to support County climate action.

· Oversee and coordinate climate communications on behalf of the County, with support from Executive and Department climate staff and communications and public affairs professionals.

Internal Management:

· Help prioritize County climate work across many functions and issues and remove barriers and maximize impact.

· Seek alignment and coordination between climate action and related priorities such as equity and social justice; best run government; environmental initiatives; department; and additional Executive and Council priorities.

· Hire, supervise, evaluate, develop, and mentor staff of the Executive Climate Office including the County's Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Section Lead; the Climate and Energy Program Manager; and the Electric Vehicle Planner.

· Support, coordinate, advocate for, and help lead additional County staff working on climate action including SCAP Section Leads for Climate Preparedness and Sustainable & Resilient Frontline Communities and climate staff leading County department climate work (Metro Transit; Department of Natural Resources and Park; Public Health; Department of Executive Services; Department of Local Services).

· Lead the Executive's Climate Cabinet, a forum of County government leaders identifying and taking action to remove barriers to success and advance opportunities, actions, investments, and policies to achieve County climate goals.

· Provide mentorship and facilitate professional development for Executive Climate staff throughout the organization, including those on cross-departmental Climate Action team.

· Ensure financial and operational health and the strategic use of core resources to deliver on County climate actions and commitments. Help secure external funding for climate work. Serve as lead decision maker for use of the County's climate cost share budget which supports the Executive Climate Office and key interdepartmental climate activities.

· Guide all colleagues, partners, and customers to conduct efficient, equitable, transparent, inclusive, and strategic operations.

· Lead with empathy prioritizing DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice), supporting teamwork, enhancing trust, building collaboration with a committed and motivated workforce.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

· Masters. or terminal professional degree or foreign equivalent in a climate-relevant discipline*

· 9 years' experience leading a complex organization towards enhanced engagement, policy, services, and programs relevant to climate action work*

· Experience advancing justice, inclusion, and equity at an individual and organizational level.

· Demonstrated record of accomplishment and results.

*Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


· Recognized as an expert in collaborative interdisciplinary climate engagement connecting science and decision making in support of societal responses to climate change.

· Ability to manage a demanding workflow with competing deadlines, solve problems, resolve stress and conflict, initiate timely responses to changes in the political and institutional environment, and exercise sound judgment and decision-making authority using tact and diplomacy.

· Evidence of advanced oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills in engaging with diverse audiences, collaborators, and staff.

· Demonstrated effectiveness as a collaborator, mentor, team builder, supervisor, and program leader and manager.

· Proven track record of securing grant and non-grant funding.

· Commitment and experience centering community and advocating for equity.

· Demonstrated success building partnerships and working collaboratively with a wide range of internal and external constituencies (e.g., communities, industry, academia, tribes, NGOs, and all levels of governmental agencies and institutions).


· Extensive knowledge of Washington state and the greater Northwest's climate-related resources, issues, and stakeholders.

· General knowledge of Northwest treaty tribes, tribal issues (particularly as relates to climate impacts and adaptation) and practices for effective partnership with tribal nations.

· Working knowledge of county, state, and federal legislative processes.

We encourage applications from people who do not have a traditional academic background, including experience in NGOs, consulting, and government.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our " True North ", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

This appointed opportunity is open to all qualified applicants.

The work associated with this position will be performed in a hybrid fashion of on-site and telework. Employees will also have access to shared workspaces at King Street Chinook Building at 401 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle. There will be situations where the employee may be required to report to a County worksite. Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.

Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team.

This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime eligible. The typical workweek is 40 hours per week, Monday - Friday. This position is not represented by a labor organization.

Please submit a complete online application, resume and cover letter describing how your education and/or experience relate to the qualifications for this position.

Your options are to:

Copy and paste one or more documents into the Text Resume section of the application, or
  • Attach multiple documents/files in the Resume Attachment section.
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the online application and include the information only on the cover letter and resume.

Applications responses stating "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

CONTACT: If you have any questions about the application requirements, please contact HR Manager Seth Watson ( or HR Associate Dan Grant (

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being. Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 12paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page .

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails. Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.

NOTE: Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position.Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.

For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.