Nebraska Solar for All Director - Lyons, Nebraska, or flexible location in Eastern Nebraska

Do you have the appetite for an exciting project that is on the cutting edge of the new energy economy in Nebraska? Do you have a strategic mindset rooted in design thinking? Are you interested in bringing innovative ideas to life? Read on. We might be looking for you!

The Center for Rural Affairs is seeking a Nebraska Solar for All Director. The position will be based in Lyons, Nebraska, or another location in Eastern Nebraska. This position is a newly created position to lead the Center’s new Nebraska Solar for All program. This position will provide key support for developing and launching this new program, especially in the areas of providing technical and financial assistance to support community, rooftop, and multifamily affordable housing solar projects in low-income and historically excluded populations statewide (both urban and rural) in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Solar for All Director will be critical for building the program from the ground up, cultivating a network of solar developers, housing developers, utility providers, nonprofit partners, and lending partners.

This dynamic role requires industry knowledge and analytical skills to research and develop new technical and financial assistance products that advance both greenhouse gas emission reduction and enable low-income and historically excluded populations to participate in the benefits of solar energy. Additionally, the Nebraska Solar for All Director will establish policies and procedures that comply with state and federal regulations. As the new program develops, this role will also select, onboard, and guide a team of staff and contractors to assist in program implementation.

Who we are

The Center for Rural Affairs is a dynamic, energetic non-profit organization working to build a better rural future for all. We’ve done this work for 50 years and we do it from rural places with a flexible work environment. Our work creates opportunities for beginning farmers, new business owners, and first-time advocates. The Center’s work is rooted in principles of diversity and inclusion. We believe that a diversity of people and ideas strengthens our work, our workplace, and our communities. We celebrate this diversity and we are committed to advancing practices that create an equitable and inclusive workplace. We take equal opportunity seriously and we welcome applicants from historically underserved audiences. Additional information can be found at Check to see if our Mission and Values match yours, and read about our work demonstrating how awesome the Center is!

What you’ll do

The Nebraska Solar for All Director reports to the Executive Director and will work closely with the rest of the Center leadership team to meet the responsibilities of the role. This role is responsible for the following:

  • You will cultivate a network of solar developers, housing developers, utility providers, nonprofit partners, and lending partners.
  • You will partner with utilities, housing developers, and low-income housing financing partners to deploy solar for income-qualified multifamily housing units.
  • You will convene with other states and participate in working groups to tackle shared challenges and opportunities, create program efficiencies, and share best practices.
  • You will research and analyze different cross-sector solar models, and develop new financial assistance products that advance both greenhouse gas emission reduction and low-income and historically excluded populations. 
  • You will engage with a leadership team to develop and implement organizational strategy, as well as cross-program collaboration working with the Lending Services Director, Farm & Community Program Director, Policy Program Director, Development Director, and Chief Financial Officer to coordinate, leverage, and align Center resources around new program goals. 
  • You will collaborate with the CFO in budget management and financial reporting, the Communications Manager in developing marketing strategies, and the Grants Manager in reporting on program grants within their funding cycles.
  • You will report on program activities, performance, and trends to leadership, board members, and funders. You will design and implement systems for measuring the impact of Nebraska Solar for All activities.
  • As the new program develops, you will select, onboard, and guide a team of staff and contractors to assist in program implementation. You will provide direction, feedback, and recognition to team members.
  • You will be a leader in incorporating the Center's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion principles effectively into internal processes, external programming and communications, and work relationships, as well as identify opportunities for staff to build their own capacity in centering equity into their work.

Who you are & keys to success (the must-haves)

To be successful in this job, you will excel in five areas:

  • Relationship-building: You know how to talk with people to learn what needs they have through conversation and inquiry. People trust you because you’re efficient with their time and have their best interests in mind. You’re able to build sales networks, as well as alliances, and find points of collaboration even when there are competing interests on your time. You develop and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders and can bring in allies and partners from marginalized communities, such as people of color, people with disabilities, low-income families, and immigrants.
  • Drive to achieve results: You know how to work to your strengths to achieve your own ambitious goals, and you anticipate hurdles as merely a momentary inconvenience. You possess a competitive drive and are creative when prospecting clients. You set a high bar and meet it because you think three (or 30) steps ahead to come up with pragmatic, yet innovative, solutions. You have financial acumen and an affinity for the details.
  • Inclusive leadership and management: You approach leadership in your work with a mindset of “power with” rather than “power over” and regularly include others with lived experience in decision-making. You use resources wisely and can provide clear direction to clients, partners, and contractors to leverage time and resources for impact. You have experience managing multiple projects and keeping tasks from slipping through the cracks.
  • Setting and managing priorities: You have experience managing multiple projects and keeping tasks from slipping through the cracks. You use resources wisely and can provide clear direction to staff, partners, consultants, and volunteers to leverage time and talent for impact.
  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice: You recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in addressing barriers to capital access. You recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about difference to overcome barriers. You recognize that entrepreneurship is a pathway to better financial outcomes.

If you were here right now, you would be: 

  • Designing a new program to increase the amount of deployed solar energy in the state by more than 60% over five years. 
  • Building a Nebraska-based network among community leaders, developers, and utility providers.
  • Creating a collaborative network among other Solar For All grantees in other states to share best practices, ideas, and strategies to assist in program implementation.
  • Gathering input among community-based organizations, internal staff, and external partners to build a program that ensures low-income and historically disadvantaged residents can be full participants in the new energy economy.

You have experience with the following:

  • You have five or more years of experience in a management role in solar energy, low-income program development, community development lending, or comparable experience.
  • You are self-confident in prospecting, networking, presentation, and negotiation skills.
  • You are passionate about building formal and informal networks inside and outside the organization, drawing upon multiple relationships to exchange ideas and resources, and reaching sales and new client outreach goals.
  • You are a planner and can align and prioritize work to meet commitments and organizational goals.
  • You can read and interpret financial information found in solar development proposals, or loan proposals, as well as recognize strengths and weaknesses.
  • You can work effectively with diverse groups of individuals and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances.
  • You are an effective communicator, and have the ability to convey an image that is consistent with effective leadership and the organization’s values.
  • You are willing and able to travel to various sites across Nebraska as needed.

What else you should know

This is a full-time exempt position based either in Lyons, Nebraska, or another location in Eastern Nebraska. The Nebraska Solar for All Director is a member of the Leadership Team. This position has a salary range of $72,000-$100,000. Depending on qualifications, consideration could be given to a more senior role. Center for Rural Affairs benefits have a cash value of $10,000 to $29,500 depending on family status and tenure with the Center. Benefits include items such as 97% employer-paid family health insurance that includes a contribution to a Health Savings Account, 6% employer contribution to a retirement plan, a fantastic Employee Assistance Program, 12 paid holidays plus paid time off between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, Friday Summer Hours, and generous vacation and sick pay.

The Center for Rural Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participates in E-Verify, is committed to the full inclusion of all individuals, and takes steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.

How to apply

If you would like to work for an organization that has a national reputation as one of the top organizations in the country working to make rural communities more vibrant, apply by sending your resume, cover letter, and three professional references by clicking here. In the cover letter, please include how your personal and/or professional experiences have positioned you for success in this role and any diversity, equity, and inclusion, racial equity-related work, expertise, or lived experience you want us to know about. Please describe how your past leadership roles make you the right candidate for this role. Let us know how you heard about this position and why you want to work for the Center.