Chief Sustainability Officer

Posted Feb 12, 2024 Oak Park, Illinois

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Expires Mar 13, 2024


The Village of Oak Park, Illinois (Pop. 54,583) is seeking an innovative and collabora- tive leader for the position of Chief Sustainability Officer. The incumbent will lead on issues related to environmental sustainability and resilience and cross-departmental policy and planning as the Village implements Climate Ready Oak Park, a comprehen- sive and long-range plan developed in response to the global climate crisis. The Chief Sustainability Officer operates in a leadership capacity out of the Village Manager’s Of- fice, serving on the Village’s executive team and is expected to be a regional leader in the climate, sustainability, and environmental justice movement. The successful can- didate will exemplify the Village Organization’s core values of community, connection, service and respect.

The Chief Sustainability Officer reports directly to and provides complex administrative support to the Village Manager who re- ports to the Village Board in a Council-Manager form of mu- nicipal government. The posi- tion plans, directs, manages and oversees all activities and oper- ations of the Office of Sustain-

ability including sustainability staff and/or contractors and will work closely with a variety of in- ternal and external stakeholders advancing Climate Ready Oak Park and other related goals through policy, programming, consulting, education, outreach and engagement. Significant productive collaboration with key operating departments will be critical to the success of the role and all sustainability initia- tives. The Chief Sustainability Officer will serve as the staff li- aison to the Environment and Energy Commission and may provide subject matter exper- tise to other inter-governmen- tal partners and community groups both in Oak Park and throughout the region.

The Chief Sustainability Officer oversees 1.5 FTEs and manag- es the Village’s Sustainability Budget which includes $1.2M in budgeted expenditures in FY24. The incumbent will have the opportunity to make addi- tional hires upon appointment.

In addition to delivering upon Climate Ready Oak Park’s com- mitments, identified priorities and programming for the Office of Sustainability and Resilience will include:

• One-Stop Shop Initiatives: Establish and maintain a com- prehensive online and phys- ical resource hub providing residents and businesses with easy access to information, tools, and resources for sus- tainable living and practices.

• Green Certification Programs: Implement certification pro- grams for businesses and res- idences, recognizing and pro- moting sustainable practices.

Community Education and Outreach Programs: Con- duct regular workshops and seminars on sustainable living, waste reduction, energy con- servation, and other relevant topics to educate and engage the community.

• Community Events: Organize and participate in communi- ty events promoting sustain- ability, including fairs, clean- up drives, and environmental awareness campaigns.

• Technical Assistance to Res- idents and Business Com- munity on Energy Audits: Offer technical assistance by supporting energy audits for residents and businesses, providing recommendations for energy efficiency improve- ments.

• Waste Management Guid- ance: Provide guidance and technical support to residents and businesses for effective waste management practic- es, recycling initiatives, and reduction of environmental impact.

• Collaborations with Govern- mental Partners on Policy Advocacy: Collaborate with local, regional, and national government entities to advo- cate for sustainable policies and initiatives, ensuring align- ment with broader sustainabil- ity goals.

• Interagency Partnerships: Establish partnerships with various government agencies to streamline efforts, share resources, and collectively ad- dress sustainability challenges.

• Partnerships with External Organizations (e.g., Work close- ly with C-4, Plan It Green, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation on joint initiatives, research projects, and com- munity-driven climate resil- ience programs.

Minimum Qualifications

Five years of progressively re- sponsible experience in the sus- tainability or environmental field, including at least one year in a supervisory role AND posses- sion of a master’s degree from an accredited college or univer- sity with major coursework in

sustainability, urban planning, public policy, public administra- tion, environmental science or a related discipline. Other combi- nations of experience and/or ed- ucation that meet the minimum requirements may be substitut- ed for education requirements including community-based work.

Preferred Qualifications

Possession of one or more of the following: American Insti- tute of Certified Planners cre- dential (AICP), Professional En- gineer (PE) License, Registered Landscape Architect (RLA), ISSP Sustainability Professional, Cer- tified Climate Change Profes- sional (CC-P), Leadership in En- ergy or Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED- AP) credential or similar nation- ally recognized Green Building organization, Certified Energy Manager (CEM).

Compensation & Benefits

The Village of Oak Park offers a highly competitive benefits package that includes Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

participation, health and life in- surance, vacation, sick leave and other benefits including flexible working arrangements. The an- nual salary range for the Chief Sustainability Officer is $110,000 +/- depending on qualifications.

Residency within Oak Park is strongly desired. The Village will provide assistance to candidates who relocate to Oak Park within 9 months of selection.

The ideal candidate will:

• Possess solid environmental knowledge including an un- derstanding of environmental issues, conservation principles, and sustainability practices.

• Be an active strategic planner with an innate ability to devel- op and implement a compre- hensive sustainability strategy aligned with the village’s goals and objectives.

• Be an expert at policy devel- opment with an experience in creating and implementing sustainability policies and pro- cedures.

• Thrive on stakeholder engage- ment with strong skills in en- gaging with and building part- nerships among various stakeholders, including lo- cal government, community members, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

• Present strong communica- tion skills to articulate sus- tainability goals, initiatives, and achievements to both in- ternal and external audiences.

• Demonstrate project manage- ment acumen with the ability to manage and oversee sus- tainability projects from incep-

tion to completion, ensuring deadlines and budgets are met.

• Be up to date on issues of reg- ulatory compliance including knowledge of local, state, and federal environmental regula- tions and the ability to ensure compliance with relevant laws.

• Serve as a locus of innovation and problem solving with the capacity to identify innovative solutions to sustainability chal- lenges and address problems effectively.

• Be a leader in collaborative ef- forts, possessing the ability to collaborate with and influence other departments within the village government to inte- grate sustainability consider- ations into various functions.

• Remain focused on education and training, demonstrating the capability to develop and deliver educational programs

and training sessions on sus- tainability for both internal staff and the community.

• Have financial acumen, under- standing the financial aspects related to sustainability initia- tives, including budgeting and cost-benefit analysis.

• Demonstrate strong networking skills, establishing and maintain- ing a network of sustainability professionals, experts, and or- ganizations for knowledge shar- ing and collaboration.

• Remain adaptable, understand- ing the need to remain flexible to adapt to evolving sustain- ability trends, technologies, and best practices.

These competencies would em- power a Chief Sustainability Of- ficer to lead the Village of Oak Park towards a more sustain- able and environmentally just future.

How to Apply

To apply, candidates must submit a comprehensive re- sume, cover letter and contact information for five pro- fessional references to Assistant Village Manager/HR Director Kira Tchang at First review of applicants will occur on February 16, 2024.

Candidates may contact Ms. Tchang with any questions

The Village of Oak park commits itself to diversity, equity and inclusion by recognizing that creating mutually re- spectful, multicultural and equitable environment does not happen on its own; it must be intentional. This includes providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, military or veteran status or any other protected characteristics.


Village of Oak Park


Kira Tchang | Email