New Position: Area Director, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

New Position: Area Director,  Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University is hiring for an Area Director focusing on global energy access. Please see the official job posting at and below.


Position Summary: 

This position will lead a university-wide program on increasing access for energy in rural populations across the globe, design program research and policy initiatives, and serve on the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions senior leadership team. The area director will strategically plan and implement sustainable outreach programs and initiatives to engage relevant decision makers of the private and public energy sectors, provide information and research affecting the energy access challenge to inform decisions, will deploy a recent gift to seed the program over a four-year period and design a fundraising plan to create a long-term sustainable funding stream for the project after the fourth year. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership skills, the ability to collaborate with the faculty director of the university-wide project to design research programs intended to inform program outreach and to develop educational offerings to broaden undergraduate and graduate students’ knowledge of the energy access challenge. The area director will also work with a diverse array of stakeholders, partners and other academic researchers, and decision makers to find solutions that help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges facing international energy (


Work Performed:

Manage the general operations of the project on energy poverty and access

  • Recruit, manage, and directly supervise research and support staff, including management of various personnel functions including, but not limited to, hiring, performance appraisals, promotions, transfers and vacation schedules
  • Conduct research and disseminate results through appropriate channels, including peer-reviewed academic journals
  • Communicate scientific understanding and policy approaches to various audiences
  • Coordinate engagement with university faculty, external stakeholders, and policymakers
  • Serve as a point of contact for foundation program officers and, as applicable, other external stakeholders, such as representatives from non-profits, corporations and corporate philanthropies
  • Work with faculty, staff and stakeholders to plan and conduct meetings, workshops, conferences, and events
  • Develop, secure, and manage research funding for assigned area programs
  • Determine fiscal requirements for assigned area program and prepare budgetary recommendations
  • Manage grant funds and projects, including spending, reporting to Duke units charged with sponsored project monitoring, and reporting to funders on project performance, completion, and impacts
  • Work collaboratively with other institute programs on strategic program initiatives, in particular finding ways to integrate work across the program areas
  • Identify opportunities for publicizing the Nicholas Institute’s work, including informing external stakeholders about research projects and output
  • Respond to requests for information from government officials and key decision makers in the private sector
  • Supervise and manage student research assistants, internships, and externships related to the project
  • Identify new opportunities to involve Duke students and faculty in the project. Represent the Institute through travel to meetings, conferences, and donor solicitations
  • Attend Institute staff and director’s meetings, and serve as a liaison for research staff in the project to the Institute Director, other program directors, and key stakeholders.


Minimum Requirements:


Master’s degree or equivalent in science, engineering, law or policy, or a field directly related to energy, environment and development.  PhD or JD preferred.



With master’s degree, 7 years of progressive experience in policy and analysis on energy access issues at the international level.  Ideal experience would be at a global policy-making institution, a development agency, bank, or private entity working on energy investment in developing countries. A degree higher than a master’s degree may substitute for two years of experience.




  • Extensive knowledge of international energy access issues
  • Ability to address complex problems
  • Management, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel


To Apply: 

Apply directly through Duke Human Resources.


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