Website Duke University

Location: Durham, NC


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute is searching for a recognized leader in Energy and Climate Policy. The program’s work is global in scope, but the ideal candidate’s own area of expertise will be in domestic U.S. federal and state energy and climate policy to complement the expertise in the rest of the institute and university. The director will lead the Energy & Climate Policy program and strategically implement research that engages relevant decision makers and partners in the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations. The work will produce research, analysis, and expert convenings on energy policy and environmental/climate policy affecting the energy sector, with particular emphasis on policy related to energy and decarbonization transitions. The director will also play a leadership role across campus, collaborating closely with Duke faculty, staff, and students in the area of climate change and energy decarbonization.

* Duke University has recently merged the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative into one university-wide institute focused on discovery and solutions to climate change and other critical energy and environmental challenges. A new name and website are under development, but for now please see and for more information on the legacy organizations.


  • Provide programmatic leadership in energy and climate policy, which sits within broader energy and climate efforts at the Institute.
  • Actively participate with other Institute leaders in the development and execution of Institute strategy.
  • Advance current Institute and University priorities in climate change and energy transformation policy, as well as seek opportunities to engage with and respond to related emerging policy issues.
  • Lead interdisciplinary applied research efforts in climate & energy policy, especially at the interface of science, economics, law and policy.
  • Leverage, where possible, collaborations with faculty at Duke to expand the impact of ongoing research efforts, bringing greater attention to the policy implications of ongoing Duke research in energy and climate.
  • Organize and lead dialogue with experts across sectors and disciplines to find solutions to critical energy and climate problems.
  • Develop project ideas, work with development team to secure funding for them, effectively manage funder relations, personnel and budget to produce rigorous results with strong positive impact.
  • Teach one class per year at the graduate or undergraduate level on a topic related to energy and climate policy, and advise a limited number of student research projects on related topics.


  • Nationally recognized leader in energy and climate policy.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in science, engineering, law or policy, or a field directly related to the position. PhD or JD preferred.
  • With master’s degree, 7 years of progressive experience in policy and analysis at the international, federal, regional, and/or state level. A degree higher than a master’s degree may substitute for two years of experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in energy and climate policy, including familiarity with policymakers and organizations in the field.
  • Ability to interact effectively with elected officials, government agencies, business leaders, academics, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders’ groups.
  • Ability to collaborate and engage with Duke University faculty, students, and other relevant experts across campus.
  • Strong leadership and management skills.
  • Excellent communications skills and a record of publications in a range of venues.


The position is based at the Institute headquarters on the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina. Frequent travel to Washington, D.C., and other locations in the United States and internationally is expected. The individual chosen should be able to collaborate with and manage staff at multiple remote locations.

This position is part of a cluster hire in climate policy spanning different disciplines, schools, and institutes at Duke. For this position, a secondary appointment as a non-tenure track faculty member in one of Duke’s schools is not required, but will be considered subject to the review and approval procedures applicable to the particular school’s secondary appointment process.

To apply for this job please visit