Director – Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Program 

CALSTART is in search of a talented Director to lead CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Program. Drive to Zero is a newly designed and funded initiative that will operate with a global mandate, where CALSTART will serve as the Executive Secretariat to coordinate key government, city, and industry signatories and partners. The Program aims to dramatically reduce emissions from trucks and buses in specific target markets around the world. Deep analysis, rigorous studies, and collaboration have achieved industry consensus that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are the key entry point to spur much needed technology and policy advancements in reducing transportation emissions.

Focused on eight international regions that have been identified as “beachhead” regions, or regions that serve as more viable and open environments to pursue, the Program seeks to achieve commercial success in these markets by 2025. Furthermore, by 2040, the Program is targeting zero emission technology dominating new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales in these regions.

The “beachhead” strategy is designed to be region and context-neutral, and will serve to establish successful case studies, which can then be replicated on a global scale. As commercial viability increases, CALSTART and its partners will work to reach economies of scale, bringing costs down and increasing adoption throughout the industry in an international context.

The Opportunity 

Reporting to the Executive Vice President, this newly created Director will build an international strategy to address one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, which directly touches on a myriad of global priorities surrounding climate change and public health. The Drive to Zero Program has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the movement to curb emissions and solve one of the world’s most critical and pressing challenges.

The Director will oversee the programmatic strategy, identifying barriers to entry, synthesizing learnings, and leading others towards tangible actions and outcomes. Within the first year, the Director will have ideally made material headway in each of the beachhead regions within China, India, Japan, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. This individual will also serve as the connective tissue between regions and industries, providing ongoing support and updates regarding manufacturing partnerships and geographic expansion.

As the lead for this groundbreaking initiative, the Director will be charged with identifying and securing key international partners in target regions and beyond as the Program grows. Building upon a strong foundation of current relationships, the Director will be able to leverage a robust existing network stemming from CALSTART’s nearly thirty years of operating in the sector. Establishing successful partnerships requires the Director to build a deep understanding of others’ visions and priorities, seeking areas of synergy and alignment to create win-win scenarios for progress and innovation. In doing so, the Director will influence others to act in ways that result in substantial commercial and policy support for advancements in fuels and technologies by 2025

The Ideal Candidate

CALSTART is seeking a Program Director who is deeply passionate about and energized by the mission to dramatically reduce emissions in the transportation sector, leveraging the transformative power of collaboration and market influence to create significant changes in the environment and global health. The ambitious and groundbreaking work being done by CALSTART and its partners requires a skilled and highly motivated individual who understands how to set strategy, build partnerships, and influence tangible change.

Candidates will ideally bring deep expertise in the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle industry, as well as knowledge of zero emissions technology. CALSTART welcomes candidates who bring experience from a variety of backgrounds, but a demonstrated track record of building diverse multi-industry, cross-sector partnerships is essential. Furthermore, candidates must be able to point to specific outcomes they helped achieve through those convening and collaboration efforts.

The successful candidate will possess an innate understanding of the nuanced approach to fostering sustained impact around an issue as large and complex as reducing transportation emissions. From advocacy and communications experience to having a sophisticated understanding of how to manage through influence, the ideal candidate will be well-versed in bringing varied and, at times, competing interests together across a fragmented industry. Given the global nature of this Program, candidates must also demonstrate a high degree of emotional intelligence and cultural humility, understanding how to tailor his or her approach to various regions and contexts.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a minimum of seven to ten years of experience in public policy, private industry, and/ or the nonprofit sector, with a strong preference for candidates with specific expertise in clean transportation. Experience running programmatic or advocacy campaigns is highly desirable. International experience is a plus.

This position will be based in the United States, but specific location is flexible across CALSTART’s various offices in California, Colorado, Michigan, and New York. The ability to travel domestically and internationally is required.

To Be Considered

CALSTART is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.
To be considered, please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest and fit for the role via Waldron’s Candidate Porthole.