Director for the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives
Williams College invites applications for the position of Director for the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. Reporting to the Provost, the Director serves as a visionary leader and communicator of the College’s sustainability efforts. The Director helps Williams set ambitious sustainability goals and partners with other College leaders to pursue the most effective strategies for monitoring and meeting them.
This is an exciting moment for sustainability at Williams. The College is in the midst of its first strategic planning exercise, which has elevated sustainability as one of three major initiatives threaded throughout the entire process. The planning process is creating a roadmap for meeting ambitious new goals in emissions and energy; landscaping and building; education and research; food, water, and waste; health, community, and justice; and accountability and transparency. The Director will play a critical role in shaping, implementing, and communicating these strategies in partnership with College leadership and other area directors, including those in Dining, Facilities, and Planning, Design, and Construction. The Director will inform and advise senior staff, the president, and the board of trustees about opportunities, progress, and challenges in both setting and meeting ambitious sustainability goals.
The Director will be responsible for raising campus engagement, serving as a knowledgeable resource for College operations, tracking and communicating the institution’s environmental performance, and identifying and planning opportunities to improve sustainability. The Director will also build effective partnerships and relationships with members of the wider community who are engaged in sustainability efforts, including building on the strong existing network Williams already has with the sustainability offices of other colleges and universities. As a recent example of the importance of such networks, the College entered into a partnership with Amherst, Bowdoin, Hampshire, and Smith to construct a utility-scale solar power facility in Farmington, which will meet most of the renewable electricity needs of the College.
The Zilkha Center partners with students, faculty, staff, and community members from a wide range of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interests. In addition, the Center also works closely with students and others on issues of environmental justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Applicants should highlight relevant experience with building, working with, and supporting a broadly diverse community.
The successful candidate will:
- Lead the College’s sustainability efforts through setting an ambitious sustainability agenda and by identifying investments, operational changes, and programs that advance the College’s sustainability efforts. These efforts should lead to measurable and cost-effective changes in the core areas of the College’s strategic plan for sustainability.
- Oversee the collection, analysis and communication of campus sustainability measurements in collaboration with other key offices at Williams. Monitor Williams’ sustainability performance in water management, transportation, green building, grounds management, energy, and waste among other sustainability issues.
- Collaborate with building committees, Facilities, and Planning, Design, and Construction to promote and implement sustainable practices for new construction and renovation on campus. Help set appropriate sustainability standards for projects, including external certification and appropriate energy-use targets. Partner with Facilities to identify sustainability investments in our campus buildings and off-campus properties, such as faculty and staff housing.
- Engage campus stakeholders about the environmental impacts of the college’s operations, steps taken to increase sustainability, best practices, reports, lessons learned, and future plans. Report performance on greenhouse gas emissions and other established targets. Ensure that information about our progress, or lack of progress, toward goals is visible and easily available to the public.
- Develop strategies to promote sustainability efforts across the college and create a culture of sustainable practice among students, faculty, and staff. Work with administrative and faculty departments and College committees to develop sustainability strategies that support the College’s broader goals. Key areas of focus include reduced energy use, the Green Office program, travel decisions, and responsible handling of waste and recycling.
- Oversee campus programming that engages students in sustainability projects and opportunities on campus. Collaborate with and provide guidance and support to individual students and student groups on co-curricular sustainability initiatives. Ensure that the College’s sustainability efforts reflect and support the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Manage the budget and operations of the Zilkha Center. Supervise the Zilkha Center staff, comprising the Assistant Director and the Sustainability Coordinator. Manage summer research assistant and student employee budget.
Candidates will have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a related field with eight or more years of relevant experience as a sustainability professional, or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Successful candidates will have strong analytical skills, experience in developing and implementing sustainability strategies, and excellent leadership skills. Experience in higher education or other institutional environments is preferred, with at least 5 years of progressive leadership experience.
This is a full-time year-round position. Regular evening, holiday, or weekend work required to support facilities, projects, college events, and programs. For optimal consideration, please submit resume materials by February 28, 2020. Job group 2-A.
Conditions of Employment
Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification of background information submitted by the applicant, including the completion of a criminal record check, and education when applicable.