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Climate Lead

Associate Director, Partnerships

About Climate Lead

Climate Lead empowers philanthropic leaders everywhere to take immediate and far-reaching climate action with a curated portfolio of fully vetted and packaged solutions designed for tangible, scalable impact.

About the Role

This role will support the organization’s engagement with critical stakeholders and help Climate Lead achieve its goal of cultivating trust and transparency with its ecosystem of partners, including its global network of advisors, peer funders, and NGOs. This is an essential position for a strong collaborator and network builder who will enable the Climate Lead team to take the next step in deepening its relationship with the ecosystem. 

This role does not have any managerial responsibilities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Implement and continually refine the approach to NGO and network engagement. 

  • Work collaboratively across Climate Lead to embed their NGO engagement principles in their daily work; 
  • Engage with groups of NGOs and partners in a collaborative environment to develop internal and external shared resources, like philanthropic landscapes or frameworks in specific high-impact climate areas;
  • Provide support to workstreams with large NGO engagement efforts to ensure Climate Lead’s principles and practices are meeting expectations;
  • Develop proactive internal and external communications to share information on what has been learned from Climate Lead’s network and key opportunities coming in the future;
  • Support the GCS (Global Climate Strategy) team in actively sourcing and vetting potential new high-impact non-profit climate partners.

Support building trust and transparency in Climate Lead’s ecosystem of partners.

  • Provide a forward-looking vision for how to continually evolve and improve Climate Lead’s partnerships with those implementing critical climate solutions, especially organizations based in the global south;
  • Support the development and implementation of a series of internal skills-building exercises on cultivating strong grantee partnerships;
  • Support the development and implementation of external webinars and other information-sharing opportunities to ensure Climate Lead’s role in the ecosystem and function is clear;
  • Manage “after action” reviews and surveys after deep work with partners;
  • Communicate effectively to leadership about progress.

Identify, source, and vet effective climate solutions through proactive engagement with NGOs (in partnership with the GCS team)

  • Partner with the GCS team to conduct due diligence on promising solutions in high-priority sectors and geographies;
  • Proactively engage critical ecosystem partners and participate in global forums to surface organizations new to Climate Lead;
  • Keep a pulse on the rapidly evolving climate ecosystem of partners and lift solutions that could be a good fit for new donors.

Assist in managing and tracking a discrete number of critical partnerships with NGOs

  • Design an inclusive and rigorous contact management system in Salesforce to track and consistently engage with Climate Lead’s NGO partners;
  • Ensure consistency in Climate Lead’s communications across a subset of NGOs that typically have multiple touch points on different teams based on their agreed NGO engagement principles and protocols;
  • Where necessary, directly manage communication and engagement with several NGOs, especially collaboratives;
  • Review unsolicited inquiries from NGOs and determine the appropriate action.

Success Criteria

  • Collaborative partnership: Listen deeply and engage with a range of partners in a sophisticated way that meets the needs of the partnership rather than individuals; 
  • High emotional intelligence: Lead partnerships with maturity and humility;
  • Situational adaptability: Pick up on situational cues and adjust in the moment. Readily adapt personal, interpersonal, and leadership behaviors depending on the circumstances;
  • Balances input: Understand internal and external partner requirements, expectations, and needs. Balance the interests of multiple partners, considering cultural and ethnic factors in the decision-making process. Act fairly despite conflicting demands. 


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Network builder: Effectively build relationship networks inside and outside of organizations. Draw upon multiple relationships to exchange ideas and resources for mutual benefit;
  • Collaboration: Collaborate efficiently both internally and externally in a variety of roles (e.g. leadership and support roles);
  • Strategic problem solver and doer: Tackle multi-dimensional problems effectively;
  • Effective communication: Excellent communication skills in a multicultural global environment;
  • Familiarity with philanthropic approaches to grant-making: Understand the relationship between philanthropy and NGOs when it comes to grant-making; 
  • Organizational skills: Assemble a strategic work plan and deliver on milestones. Lead complex projects and bring ideas to fruitful execution and implementation in collaboration with others;
  • Transparency: Operate  with integrity and transparency;
  • Growth mentality: Adapt in a multifaceted and feedback-rich environment.

Education and Experience


  • At least eight years of experience working directly with civil society organizations or partnership networks across different contexts;
  • At least three years of experience working in a philanthropic environment, either directly for a philanthropic organization or for an organization that received philanthropic funding;
  • Experience working in a collaborative, multi-organization partnership in support of shared goals in a cross-cultural environment;
  • Experience working in the climate change field;
  • Experience in developing and managing strong partnerships and relationships inside and outside an organization, managing conflicts, and building consensus;


  • Familiarity with education or training approaches, including the development of surveys to track outcomes;
  • Experience living or working in an under-resourced setting, especially in the global south;
  • Knowledge of software like Salesforce and Asana.

Climate Lead values diversity and treats all employees and job applicants based on merit, qualifications, competence, and talent. Climate Lead does not discriminate based on traits historically associated with race, color, religion, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.