Program Associate, Midwest (EF)


Energy Foundation’s mission is to serve the public interest by building a strong clean energy economy. Energy Foundation supports education and analysis to promote non-partisan policy solutions that advance renewable energy and energy efficiency while opening doors to greater innovation and productivity—growing the economy with dramatically less pollution. We are a complex, multi-site, multicultural nonprofit organization with big plans for the future. Now into the tenure of a new CEO, Energy Foundation has embarked on a major strategy refresh, a prioritized commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and rapid geographic expansion.

For more than 25 years, Energy Foundation has supported grantees to help educate policymakers and the general public about the health and economic benefits of a clean energy economy. Our grantees include business, health, environmental, labor, equity, faith, and consumer groups, as well as policy experts, think tanks, universities, and more.

Our comprehensive approach advances energy efficiency and renewable energy in the power, transportation, and buildings sectors. Working together, our Policy and Public Engagement programs focus on developing innovative policies and campaigns to help propel clean energy development in these sectors, while our Strategic Communications Program develops powerful narrative and communications strategies designed to build support for our work regionally and nationwide. Our States and Regions Team is a cross-disciplinary team of policy, communications, and campaign experts dedicated to advancing strong state and regional climate and clean energy policies.

Energy Foundation’s founding office is in San Francisco, CA, with regional offices in Raleigh, NC; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; and Las Vegas, NV.


Energy Foundation is looking for a dynamic self-starter to join our Midwest Regional Team as a Program Associate (PA). The PA will support our Midwest regional team to plan and manage projects and budgets, make and administer grants, and work with advocates and other partners to execute strategies and projects. Much of the PA’s time is focused on the administration of grants and contracts. Other key duties include managing projects within and outside the team, developing and implementing systems and processes to facilitate internal and external collaboration, providing administrative support to the team (scheduling, drafting communications, etc.), and planning and supporting meetings, conferences, and other events.

The PA will work with:

  • The Program Director (PD) for Midwest Campaigns, the PD for Midwest Policy, the Regional Communications Director, the Midwest Program Coordinator, and the Senior Regional Director, Midwest.
  • Cross-programmatic Energy Foundation teams, including those based at the foundation’s national office, and other Energy Foundation regional teams.
  • Grantees, funders, and other partners outside Energy Foundation.

Energy Foundation actively seeks to expand Diversity, Equity, Inclusion within our organization and through our work. We encourage people of color and candidates with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to apply.


Reports to the Senior Regional Director, Midwest, and is a member of the U.S. Programs team.



  • Track and execute all steps in the grantmaking process, including:
  • serving as the primary contact for grantees and consultants,
  • gathering feedback and working with all parties to craft and finalize proposals and scopes of work,
  • reviewing financials and conducting initial due diligence, and
  • keeping the regional team informed of progress and flagging questions that arise in a timely fashion.
  • Prepare agendas and schedule meetings, and conduct relevant research to ensure effective conversations.
  • Prepare regional team and grantees/consultants in advance of meetings to help deliver effective conversations, including circulating materials, flagging relevant questions, coordinating on meeting agendas, and setting clear expectations for meeting outcomes.
  • Assist PDs in conducting research and due diligence on proposals or prospective grantees. Directly engage with grantees and consultants to seek additional information as needed.
  • Write proposal summaries and assessments and process grants/contracts through Energy Foundation’s internal systems in a timely and responsive manner.
  • Work collaboratively with other PAs and PDs to create and manage program budgets and reconcile budget to actuals for cross-programmatic grants.

Internal Support and Coordination

  • Serve as a liaison to other Energy Foundation programmatic teams to ensure that the Midwest regional team is fully integrated with national programs.
  • Foster effective coordination and integration within the Midwest regional office, including implementing tools and systems to support collaboration and information-sharing (e.g., Asana, Slack), supporting regular team check-ins, etc.
  • Schedule calls and meetings as needed and handle meeting logistics (arrange locations, prep the technology interface, ensure that agendas are circulated in advance, support meeting follow-up, etc.).
  • Prepare initial drafts of documents and presentations for internal and external audiences, such as board dockets, funder reports, proposals, and presentations.

External Coordination

  • Facilitate networking and information sharing between a culturally diverse set of grantees/consultants across the region, and build connections with national groups/experts, as appropriate.
  • Organize and/or support regional/state-wide meetings and convenings, including developing presentations and agendas.
  • Represent Energy Foundation and the Midwest team at meetings, conferences, and other events as agreed upon with the Senior Regional Director, Midwest.

Build the Team

  • Generate and implement ideas for systems, program, and operational improvement.
  • Embody Energy Foundation’s values of collaboration, service, learning, and responsibility.
  • Recognize that we are stronger when we are diverse and inclusive.
  • Maintain collaborative relationships with peers and colleagues. Contribute to a positive working environment.
  • With assistance from supervisor and others, formulate own learning and development plan. Identify and seek out professional development opportunities, including networking, informational interviews, training, projects, etc.

Program Associate Progression to Senior Program Associate 

Through time, increased efficiency, proficiency, and autonomy in the role, there is a possible promotion to Senior Program Associate, typically around the two-year mark.


  • Two years’ experience in a relevant role.
  • Excellent communications skills: written, verbal, and digital
  • Multitasking: experience supporting multiple priorities and juggling a variety of tasks for one or more individuals in a team environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in customer service, thriving in a fast-paced work environment, and prioritizing competing obligations.
  • Interest in one or more of the following areas: The philanthropic sector, the non-profit sector, issue campaigns, public policy, or strategic communications. A preexisting knowledge or interest in clean energy or climate is not required.
  • Understanding of and appreciation for the opportunities and challenges in the Midwestern U.S.
  • Pluses include:
    • Experience working on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    • Program management experience
    • Internet savvy, including digital and social media, online survey tools, etc.
  • Technical skills: intermediate or advanced skills using Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook, preferably in a Mac environment; familiarity with Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets, and the Box platform. Experience using cloud-based relational database systems, such as Salesforce, is a plus.

Other Requirements

Ability to travel 4-6 times a year for 2-3 business days at a time.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to spend extended hours at the computer.

This position requires low to moderate levels of domestic travel.

Work Environment

The Energy Foundation’s Midwest regional office is located on the historic “Magnificent Mile” of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, IL. The office environment is in a shared work space with an open office, with moderate noise levels, a small conference room, shared kitchen facilities, and a collegial atmosphere. On occasion, there are activities or events after work hours.

Energy Foundation staff work in service of a clean energy future for all. We are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.