Program Director, Pilots

  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
  • Remote (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • Jul 05, 2020
Full Time

Job Description

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a private nonprofit organization, is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation (through working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies), transforming markets (through partnerships in transportation, energy and sustainable cities) and enhancing communities (through workforce development, pilots and other programs). Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of the Los Angeles and is Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past seven years, LACI has helped 108 startups raise $221M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,750 jobs, and deliver more than $393M in long term economic value. Learn more at

Position Summary:

The Pilots Director at LACI runs various types of pilots, demonstrations and proof of concept deployments in Southern California to help scale clean technology. The Director will engage startups, policy makers, corporate partners, government partners, community based organizations and grant makers to design and execute various types of pilots with various stakeholders in mind across clean transportation, clean energy and sustainable cities/circular economy.  This position requires deep project management expertise, policy and business model know how, exceptional budgeting skills, grant development and reporting, people management, and an exceptional understanding of how pilots can create impacts long after LACI’s funding is spent. 

What You’ll Do:

  • Lead the process of prioritizing which pilots LACI should undertake and why: including linkages to internal existing programs and external priorities such as the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), startup incubation programs, addressing social equity and connection to disadvantaged communities, etc. by balancing multi-stakeholder input, risk, funding sources and potential  impact
  • Lead the pilots budgeting process: as well as supporting grant writing. Manage common reporting frameworks across all pilots 
  • Execute a pilot program for LACI’s Incubation cohort: Work with startups to run pilots that help them reach funding or customer milestones  including
    • Deliver pilot curriculum to Incubation startups 
    • Run an RFP process with Incubation cohort to help startups develop impact-focused pilot proposals with tangible outcomes
    • Solicit community and corporate partner engagement on Incubation pilots
    • Finalize pilot plans, agree disbursement schedule against milestones, monitor and disburse payments for milestone achievement, and lead impact reporting of pilot results
  • Execute LACI’s Community Benefit Pilots:  Focus on bringing cleantech solutions to disadvantaged communities and meeting community needs. 
    • Run RFPs to select the right disadvantaged communities to match with the right technologies
    • Project manage the deployment on time and on budget, across a variety of vendors
    • Lead impact reporting of pilot results
  • Execute larger scale pilots and deployments: Design and execute high-impact projects that demonstrate and/or advance a potential business model that meets an overarching goal (e.g., voluntary zero emissions delivery zone) and advances public policy priorities (e.g., reducing air pollution, GHGs, congestion, etc.). Duties include tech sourcing, site location, hands on project management, and impact reporting. Assess what to outsource vs what to lead in-house as well as the role of Market Access startups.

Why You’re Right for the Job:

  • You have exceptional project management and leadership expertise: You’ve mastered project management frameworks & methodologies, with the ability to help others on your team understand the best way to track and share project deliverables, including processes, norms and tools
  • You deliver projects, including construction projects, on or ahead of schedule and at or below budget:  Ideally, you have construction experience in the transportation and energy-transportation nexus in Southern California, with a deep understanding of permitting, interconnection, and building codes
  • You are adaptable, strategic and agile: You understand when a “change order” approach is applicable versus when a deployment or design sprint approach is more suitable. You naturally anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan, and when things (inevitably) don't go according to plan -- you know how to roll with the punches
  • You have a highly collaborative and inclusive approach: You naturally understand how to build relationships across startups, policy makers, corporate partners, government partners, community based organizations and grant makers. You have a deep understanding of how policy can impact new technologies and business models, and how pilot results can help inform policy changes
  • Communication is key: You know how to synthesize and translate complex information for a broad spectrum of audiences, from technologists and engineers, to investors, to cross collaborative team members
  • You’re PRO-LACI: You’re a proactive, pro-environment, pro-solutions professional that is dedicated to making the world a cleaner, safer, better place to live in through clean technologies. In addition, you have a commitment to inclusion, or the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity

Requirements: Basically, we want to know you can get the job done. This means you have:

  • Proven experience in pilots and/or project management,  including project delivery and/or construction management of clean energy, zero emissions transportation, green buildings, and/lor related projects.
  • Experience with community engagement, public policy, and/or business model development
  • Bachelors in Engineering or related field preferred 
  • Proven experience in managing project budgets both large and small 
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain relationships
  • Outstanding organization and leadership abilities

Position Details

This is a full-time, permanent position, starting immediately. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus, located in the bustling Downtown LA Arts District. Since we are rapidly growing, you will be getting in on the ground floor at LACI, with the opportunity to evolve with us and shape your future here.

In addition to working on a campus with other innovators, we offer industry competitive benefits including: paid holidays, vacation/sick time, 401(k) plan, and paid parking. We also support alternative transportation with a Metro pass for every employee. Although we trust that you can do amazing work remotely or from your home office, this is an in-house only position.

LACI is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and committed to building a more inclusive ecosystem that integrates women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups into the cleantech sector and the overall tech industry.  We strongly encourage applications from qualified applicants and members of underrepresented groups. The information collected from the application helps us ensure that we are meeting our goal of an equitable and diverse campus and community.

Organization Type


Organization Size



Energy, Buildings & Cities, Transportation, Pollution & Waste Reduction, Funding