Overview of the Organization and Programs
The northeast governors created NESCAUM in 1967 to help their states more effectively address air pollution issues through coordinated management of air as a shared resource, which was a breakthrough concept in environmental policy at that time. In the decades that followed, the northeast states—working together through NESCAUM and with the federal government—made dramatic progress in reducing levels of airborne lead, carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter and a host of air toxics. These air quality improvements occurred while the region’s economic output, electric power needs, household energy consumption and vehicle miles traveled grew, demonstrating that environmental and public health protection can occur in lockstep with economic development.
NESCAUM creates an important block of states that has helped make its region a national and international leader in air quality and climate change protection despite the relatively small size of most of its individual states. Coordinated regional actions also help the states adopt and implement emission control strategies and enable its member agencies to be more efficient through complementary actions that alleviate the need for each state to undertake them in isolation. With its member states now dealing with daunting issues such as climate change, NESCAUM remains intently focused on the great challenges that lie ahead. To this end, regional coordination is even more crucial due to the interconnected nature of the Northeast’s energy and transportation systems and common airshed.
NESCAUM is uniquely entrepreneurial and leverages the dues provided by its member agencies to raise considerable resources to support state air quality and climate work. NESCAUM has successfully brought in funding from a wide range of public and private sources. NESCAUM also competes for state grants related to air quality, climate, and energy and has contracted with all of the member states at various times to conduct analysis and research in support of their programs. Over the last three years, NESCAUM’s annual operating budget is approximately $3 million. NESCAUM employs 15 staff members, several of whom work remotely from the Boston headquarters.
The organization is approaching its first leadership transition in 14 years. The next executive director will have the opportunity to lead this ground-breaking, forward-looking nonprofit dedicated to addressing air quality and climate issues while influencing the nation’s agenda through the collective efforts of NESCAUM’s staff and member states. High priorities for the next executive director include:
- Managing effectively and efficiently the daily operations of a mission-driven, $3 million nonprofit, directing and empowering a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals committed to air quality, climate and energy issues.
- Navigating NESCAUM’s first major leadership transition since 2004, ensuring that existing external relationships are transitioned to the new executive director, so the leader is well-positioned to interact with and influence a broad range of constituencies.
- Working collaboratively with the board of directors and staff to develop and articulate a refreshed vision for NESCAUM, one which capitalizes on NESCAUM’s reputation and credibility; considers new ideas and approaches; and sustains NESCAUM’s reputation as a forward-thinking convener and facilitator.
- Creating a resource development strategy to sustain NESCAUM’s work on air quality and climate issues, one which recognizes the work and involvement of other nonprofits and funding uncertainties at the federal and state levels.
- Developing and implementing a robust human resource strategy with a formal onboarding process and mentoring program for new employees and approaches for sustaining a cohesive and supportive work culture at an organization with several remote employees.
- Supporting the board of directors to create clarity about its role and responsibilities, particularly regarding resource development, and sustaining strong connections between the board and staff.
Desired Credentials/Profile of the Ideal Candidate
- Interest in and knowledge of air, climate, energy and/or environmental policy required
- A minimum of five years of senior leadership, or equivalent experience
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
Skills and Experience:
- Experienced Administrator
- Consummate Relationship Builder and Collaborator
- Visionary and Entrepreneurial Leader
- Air Quality and Climate Champion and Advocate
- Empowering Team Builder and Manager
- Effective Fundraiser