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Director of UW Sustainability

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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

UW Sustainability has an outstanding opportunity for a Director of UW Sustainability.

UW Sustainability advances the university’s commitment to sustainability. Acknowledging UW’s legacy for the future, UW Sustainability leads the development and execution of innovative solutions which enable positive environmental impacts and are socially responsible and economically viable. Equity, inclusion and diversity are guiding principles to sustainability at the University. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, while striving to create welcoming and respectful learning environments and promote access and opportunity for all. The Director will provide leadership and vision to center sustainability, environmental/climate justice and social equity across UW Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Fund programmatic strategies. The position manages a team of 4-5 professional staff and oversees an office that engages dozens of students through various programs.

Position Purpose:

The UW Sustainability Director will report directly to the Associate Vice President of Facilities for Asset Management with special program reporting to the Vice President of Facilities for the university-wide Sustainability Action Plan. The UW Sustainability Director will serve as the lead spokesperson with local and state governmental agencies and media. The Director will serve in public speaking engagements for regional and national conferences. The Director will provide oversight of the Sustainability Action Plan, institutional sustainability reporting and metrics, engagement programs and carbon reduction projects.

Position Complexities:

The position serves as a department leader within the UW Facilities Asset Management division. Working collaboratively with Facilities directors and senior leadership team, the director guides and champions sustainability efforts across projects and initiatives that support the Sustainability Action Plan. They will expand relationships with academic units to advance the UW campus as a living laboratory, which is stated as a goal of the Sustainability Action Plan to integrate academic and research areas of interest with operational targets. The Director works closely with the Facilities Vice President and faculty co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Committee to plan and coordinate the tri-campus sustainability committees. The Director will oversee and guide communications on all UW sustainability initiatives and coordinate associated planning with members of Finance, Treasury and auxiliary units such as Housing & Food Services, Athletics and medical centers as needed.


Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Create and promote an inspiring vision for the future of sustainability at the UW by coordinating and implementing a University-wide perspective centered on sustainability, environmental/climate justice and social equity in support of the University’s Race and Equity Initiative.
  • Lead University stakeholder and subject matter experts, students and faculty researchers to implement the University’s Sustainability Action Plan goals. This is a, five-year strategy to advance sustainability goals in professional air travel reduction, purchasing, energy use reduction, decarbonization, academics & research, waste reduction and food sourcing.
  • Manage effectively across race, ethnicity, culture, age, ability, academic discipline amongst students, faculty and staff. Create an office culture that prioritizes open and honest communication, health, wellness, resilience, inclusion, empowerment, place, and purpose.
  • Lead and guide staff and student staff department activities to further accessibility initiatives for all campus community members.
  • Support programs that reach across academic departments and students, such as the Campus Sustainability Fund.
  • Coordinate, implement and track sustainability performance standards and practices for new construction, facilities operations and business management units.
  • Work closely with UW Facilities units to align sustainability goals with the Facilities Design Guide, and project delivery, and maintenance and operations practices and processes.
  • Lead program visibility for UW including submissions for national and international awards and case studies.
  • Serve as spokesperson for media inquiries working closely with the UW News & Information office.
  • Organize, facilitate, and set strategic direction for the Environmental Stewardship Committee and Executive Steering Committee.
  • Lead a participatory budget process for annual office budget requests.
  • In collaboration with others, raise awareness of environmental justice and climate change impacts on groups historically marginalized and underrepresented.
  • Foster collaborations with internal and external organizations that align with the office’s mission and values.
  • Serve as a senior leader member of the UW Facilities Equity & Inclusion Group and participate in Workforce Equity Group meetings.
  • Present annually to the University Board of Regents and committees.
  • Coordinate with UW State and Federal Relations regarding legislation that may affect sustainability related areas at UW.
  • Oversee UW’s institutional memberships with national sustainability associations.

Core Competencies :

  • Collaboration skills to build partnerships with UW staff, faculty and students and representatives and teams from other agencies on issues regarding environmental sustainability, equity and inclusion and environmental and social justice.
  • Strong people skills: tactful, courteous, respectful, inclusive, and inspirational when engaging with peers, senior leaders, direct reports and all UW staff and other stakeholders, regardless of title or position.
  • Demonstrate personal integrity and trustworthiness; be responsible, accountable.
  • Creative, visionary and imaginative thinking on solutions to environmental/social challenges.
  • Actively work to identify and combat implicit or explicit bias personally and in the workplace.
  • Continuing a supportive office culture that respects individual well-being, belonging, and unique talents/abilities.
  • Ready and willing to engage in and initiate difficult conversations when warranted within leadership and managerial spaces.
  • Ability to catalyze and sustain organizational change.
  • Skills for facilitating gatherings and building consensus.
  • Adeptness to latest professional technology tools and willingness to learn.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of six years of supervisory experience working at an organizational scale on programs that engage internal and external stakeholders, track progress and lead key initiatives.


  • Experience with programs that include diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • An understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and broad impacts towards organizational goals and practices, including an understanding of environmental justice issues facing our society.
  • An understanding of the environmental/climate justice movements, as well as its limitations and shortcomings currently and throughout history.
  • Mentorship of students/staff toward professional/personal goals

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Experience with a University program that includes and interacts with all university administrative and academic units.
  • A deep understanding of higher education or similarly complex organizational culture.
  • Education in a related field beyond the undergraduate level.

Application Process:

Additional Recruitment Information:

Thank you for your interest in our open, UW Sustainability Director position within UW Facilities. To learn more about the UW Sustainability office, please visit UW Sustainability and find out more about our team, and potential opportunities for an upcoming question and answer session with our staff.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a cover letter. In that letter, we encourage you to reflect on the definition of sustainability as described here. Finally, while this position will be open until filled, preference will be given to applications received by November, 19th, 2021.

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