Clean Energy Expert


Job Title: Clean Energy Expert
Position reports to:  Tennessee Valley Authority program director
Position Location:   Memphis, TN


Friends of the Earth-U.S., founded by David Brower in 1969, is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest federation of grassroots environmental groups, with a presence in 75 countries. Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. We are a hard-hitting, progressive, environmental organization that pulls no punches and speaks sometimes uncomfortable truth to power. It’s an approach that has worked for more than 45 years, resulting in landmark environmental laws, precedent-setting legal victories and groundbreaking reforms of domestic and international regulatory, corporate and financial institution policies.

To accomplish our mission, Friends of the Earth is working at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world value people and the environment. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are sustainable and safe for our health and the environment, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

In order to address the risks posed by catastrophic climate change, the US, along with all other countries, must move decisively to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power with greenhouse gas free renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency technologies.  The promise of a 100% renewable energy future is not fantasy but a necessity.  Friends of the Earth is dedicated to assuring that the green energy transition can and will be made while assuring environmental and economic justice.

Friends of the Earth’s Tennessee Valley Authority Program is working to transform the TVA from a federal utility committed to generating electricity from climate and environment destroying coal, gas and nuclear power to one which leads the country in applying energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the quest to assure its customers with low cost, safe, clean energy for economic development across the region.   A particular focus of the program is to work with activists and community and business leaders in Memphis to develop ambitious efficiency and solar power programs to address poverty and the need for job creation in Memphis, Tennessee.

Friends of the Earth seeks a dynamic, experienced and motivated person who combines the skills of a clean energy expert and a skilled communicator to join our work on transforming the TVA and assuring that customers in Memphis and across the Tennessee Valley region have access to cutting-edge efficiency and renewable energy resources. The right candidate for this position combines solid experience with efficiency/weatherization and renewable energy programs with excellent public speaking and communication skills.

The Clean Energy Expert will help to identify opportunities for developing and implementing efficiency/weatherization and solar power program in Memphis and West Tennessee. S/he will work hand in hand with local activists and organizations, city officials, business and utility leaders in proposing and implementing ambitious efficiency/weatherization programs that can significantly cut the bills of low income customers in Memphis and in solar projects that could prove that solar power can and will provide low cost, clean and safe power in West Tennessee as an alternative to that provided by the TVA.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with consultants to develop an ambitious, cutting edge efficiency/weatherization program that would  lead to significant reductions in utility bills for  Memphis’ low-income community
  • Work with solar energy experts and business leaders to identify and realize a group of solar power pilot projects in Memphis and West Tennessee that will “prove”  that solar power is a lower cost, cleaner, safer alternative to the fossil/nuclear power driven electricity sold by the TVA
  • Work with activists and NGO leaders to produce public materials that will be used for an organizing/education push in Memphis in support of our ambitious efficiency and renewable energy agenda.
  • Oversee the drafting and production of informational materials on the efficacy of efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Provide testimony before city council and utilities on projects
  • Develop and execute strategic communications plans in collaboration with other members of the Friends of the Earth team.
  • Act as a public spokesperson and engage the public, experts and opinion leaders through outreach and public speaking.
  • Support generation of media stories, and compelling op-eds, editorials, press releases, regular blog posts, factsheets, social media and other creative media products about efficiency and solar power projects
  • Cultivate media relationships, pitch stories to reporters and editorial writers, and continually seek out new media opportunities.
  • Expand, refine and ensure accuracy of communications materials, including website content and print publications regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Develop expertise and engage partners in campaign and policy advocacy.
  • Work with the TVA Program Director on strategic direction
  • Support work of Memphis based organizers
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.


  • Three to five years of experience with efficiency and/or renewable energy required; practical professional experience is preferred but a combination of academic and practical experience will be considered
  • Completion of a degree in a relevant scientific or policy field, such as environmental policy/planning, engineering, etc., preferred
  • Technical literacy and familiarity with issues relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Excellent research, analytical and writing skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking skills.
  • Ability to research, synthesize and translate complex technical concepts for a lay audience.

Additional Skills and Knowledge 

  • A demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of environment and social justice issues.
  • Sophisticated oral and written communication skills and comfort with presenting material to a wide range of audiences, including the public, the press, businesses and government officials.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and tasks at once in a self-directed manner, ability to work collaboratively as part of a fast-moving and results-oriented team, ability to work in coordination with a diverse group of coalition partners, and ability to work effectively in a changing environment.
  • The ability to produce clear, concise, persuasive and powerful writing on tight deadlines.
  • A strong work ethic and good time-management skills.
  • The ability to communicate in different styles, depending on the forum, product and audience.
  • A strategic mindset that grasps opportunities in both short-term and long-term contexts and a desire to have a major impact on policy debates through hard-hitting advocacy.
  • Passion for explaining and empowering lay audiences about clean energy issues
  • Ability to balance and successfully complete a wide range of activities including advocacy, research, communications, public speaking, policy development, and project management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to inspire trust and respect among colleagues and external partners.
  • Excellent decision-making skills, time management, networking skills, demonstrated initiative, flexibility and creativity.
  • Must be based in or prepared to move to Memphis.

Friends of the Earth offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

To apply:

E-mail cover letter, resume, short writing sample and salary history to with the subject heading “Clean Energy Expert.” No mail applications or phone calls. Position will remain open until filled.

Friends of the Earth is an equal opportunity employer which encourages applications from women, people of color and other members of underrepresented groups who will contribute to the diversity of its staff.

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