Executive Director

Location Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date Posted March 15, 2022
Job ID 8331
Employment Type Retained
Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct a search for the new Executive Director (ED) of Green Building United (GBU). GBU’s mission is to foster transformative impact in their communities through green building education and advocacy. GBU promotes the development of buildings that are sustainable, healthy for inhabitants, resilient, and cost effective. Through education, advocacy, and strategic initiatives GBU informs and engages individuals and organizations to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated.

The executive director is a full-time position based out of GBU’s Center City Philadelphia office. Staff are currently dividing time between working remotely and in-person in the GBU office. GBU promotes a healthy work-life balance by maintaining flexible schedules for all staff. Ability to work outside of regular business hours for events, and for occasional day travel throughout the region, including the Lehigh Valley and State of Delaware, is required (personal car not required). Residency in the region, or ability to commute, is required.     
Green Building United (GBU) is a member-driven nonprofit organization serving the greater Philadelphia area, Lehigh Valley, and State of Delaware. Founded in 2001, GBU began as a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and has since evolved by bringing in local chapters of Living Future and Passive House as GBU Communities.

Over the past twenty years, GBU has partnered with communities, governments, and industry changemakers to educate, advocate, and implement solutions to improve the sustainability and resilience of the built environment. The organization educates and mobilizes its members to push the boundaries of what is possible as stewards of high-performance building practices. GBU also works to implement proven best practices through goal-oriented programs, using education and communications to share lessons learned, and cost and performance data to make practices mainstream. GBU works to formalize best practices through policy changes at the city and state levels with an emphasis on measuring impact and supporting implementation with technical assistance. You can learn more in GBU’s 2021 Impact Report.

GBU is committed to improving diversity and inclusion across the organization and strives to center equity and racial justice in its work. GBU can only realize its mission and goals effectively by achieving greater diversity - whether of race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability - among the stakeholders who inform and engage with our work. GBU crosses different professional disciplines, many of which are not diverse, but we are committed to being a resource within this community, continuing our anti-racism work. In 2020, GBU formalized a working group and set of commitments and priorities into the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. View GBU’s position on racial injustice here. To learn more about GBU and its impact, please check out the website.

Reporting to the Board of Directors (BoD), the Executive Director (ED) being sought is a visionary, highly motivated, and proactive leader who publicly represents the mission and goals of GBU and oversees the administration and operations of the organization. This leader is the face of the organization and will inspire connection, education, and information-sharing across members of GBU and the greater community. The ED is an active public speaker and engages various stakeholders and the media to promote the mission and communicate GBU’s work and vision. A strong relationship builder, this leader will actively engage and cultivate current partnerships and seek out new strategic partners to support GBU’s impact.

Leveraging GBU’s positioning in the region, this person will advocate for policies that contribute towards green building initiatives, climate justice, and community resilience. They will engage with potential city, state, and federal agencies and secure funding from a variety of funders by illustrating the impact of—and urgent need for—GBU’s work.

Managing a staff of seven and a budget of around $1M, the ED will partner closely with the BoD, staff and GBU members to define and establish GBU’s strategic plan and vision for the future, create a work plan and empower and guide staff to achieve it. Key to this role will be the ability to engage, listen to, empower, and mentor the organization’s very capable and diverse staff.

Organizational Leadership: The ED will be a champion for the organization’s mission and provide thoughtful and visionary leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and empowering in a manner that supports and guides GBU’s mission. Through design and execution of a strategic plan and vision for the organization, this leader will provide direction to staff around the work plan and empower staff to accomplish its goals. Additionally, this individual will lead the organization in creating and achieving diversity, equity, inclusion and justice goals tied to the organization’s work.
People/Talent Strategies: Overseeing human resources, the ED will respect, value, support, empower and guide GBU’s employees, foster a collaborative working environment (especially in light of remote work), provide mentorship, and encourage ongoing development. This leader will proactively and enthusiastically build relationships and trust both internally and throughout the community, empowering internal leadership and staff through providing clear vision, transparency, expectations, and accountability.

Fundraising and External Relations: The ED will be engaged in external relations including raising funds to support the organization. They will work closely with the Development Director to identify and seize on opportunities to market GBU’s work, mission, and impact to potential funders and partners. This leader will engage with government officials, industry leaders, and key nonprofit partners ranging from trade associations to neighborhood organizations. Responding to diverse community needs and reaching out to those historically underrepresented in the green building community will be key. Working as a connector and partner, they will liaise among current and potential members, partner organizations, funders, sponsors, and GBU staff.

Financial Stewardship and Organizational Health: This leader will propose to the BoD an annual budget along with an associated work plan, outlining the resources necessary to achieve success and annual measurable objectives. This role will read, analyze and interpret financial reports, legal documents, and other compliance pieces to understand organizational risks and implement any needed changes.

Internal Operations: The ED will build on and evolve existing organizational infrastructure and information technology to support and promote the organization’s strategic plan and goal achievement. The role will work to effectively anticipate operational changes, implement methods to retain institutional knowledge, and plan for continued growth. This leader will also ensure all aspects of operations align with the established organizational mission, values, and growth goals.

Board Relations and Development: The ED will establish and maintain effective working relationships with the BoD, serving as chief GBU liaison to the BoD. They will provide information to enable effective BoD governance and will help guide and support ongoing BoD development.

A strong candidate for this role possesses a deep passion for GBU’s mission and experience in green building and sustainability. Experience in adjacent fields such real estate, planning, climate resiliency, environmental justice and policy, neighborhood development, or a related field will also be considered. This individual brings experience in people leadership and will be able to design—in partnership with the BoD, staff and GBU membership—a strategic plan and vision for the future of GBU. This candidate is committed to climate and environmental justice, community resilience, diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

  • 3+ years’ experience in people leadership and management
  • Experience with or knowledge of green building standards such as LEED, SITES, WELL, Living Building Challenge, Net-Zero Energy, and Passive House
  • Coalition-building experience: a proven ability to bring diverse groups of people (e.g., architects, engineers, government officials, policymakers, other nonprofit and community leaders) together to build strong relationships and effect change
  • Strong public speaking skills combined with the ability to inspire and coalesce partners and the community around GBU’s vision
  • Excellent communication skills, including active listening skills; ability to inspire the trust and confidence of staff, membership, the public, and client communities.
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising and knowledge of various funding streams.
  • Demonstrated experience in budgeting, compliance, finance, and fiscal controls
  • Experience with advocacy, campaigning, or community organizing; understanding of the legislative process and policymaking
  • Combination of for-profit, nonprofit or government experience
  • Board development and engagement skills
This executive opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact on the green building landscape in the greater Philadelphia area, Lehigh Valley, and State of Delaware – and beyond.

This role offers a competitive salary of $115,000 annually, and a benefits package including health, dental, and vision, a 401k plan, commuter benefits, and access to a flexible spending account to pay for medical and dependent care expenses pre-tax. In addition, GBU offers paid time off and paid professional development opportunities.

This is an opportunity, position, and mission that will inspire you daily!

Green Building United (GBU) has retained the services of Scion Executive Search (SES), a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter in Microsoft Word format via:
Please address questions about this opportunity to:
Scion Executive Search
Attn: Rebecca Lerol
Executive Search Principal
(888) 487-8850

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

Scion Executive Search ( is a national award-winning executive search firm. Since 2006, we have had the pleasure of successfully placing hundreds of exceptional leaders to organizations with incredible missions and programs. Through our innovative team-building and recruitment solutions, we seamlessly bridge the gap in interim and executive searches. Our track record and recruitment process have made us one of the top recruitment firms in the nation.
We are proud to be part of the Forbes lists of the Best Executive Search Firms and the Best Recruitment Firms in America. Additionally, we have been recognized as a recruitment leader by ClearlyRated, as well as a top recruitment firm by The Business Times for over ten years running. More information about Scion Executive Search can be found at
Scion Executive Search, a division of Scion Staffing, Inc., is an equal opportunity employer and service provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, ability, political affiliation or belief, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value for ourselves, our client companies, and the candidates we represent. For opportunities located in a region that have enacted fair chance, arrest, or conviction-based employment ordinances, Scion Executive Search proactively follows the enacted guidance and considers for employment all qualified applications with arrest and conviction records. We believe in following best practices and consider all qualified applicants who apply with us.

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