Climate Change Policy Advisor, Chicago

Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Dec 19

Position description

The British Government is seeking a Climate Change Policy Advisor to work in our Houston office to support the delivery of 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in November 2020, and the UK’s presidency the subsequent year. COP26 is described as the most important climate event since Paris in 2015, and engagement across the full US system is vital in achieving the UK’s high ambition for the event. 


The job holder will be a member of the Energy & Climate Policy Team, located primarily at the Embassy in DC but also with colleagues in San Francisco and Chicago. The role will primarily be responsible for leading the subnational climate engagement across the gulf and south eastern states, engaging on a broad spectrum of sectors across a wide range of stakeholders. 


S/he will provide advice to UK Government departments on local developments in energy and climate policy and how to best deliver our COP26 priorities in the region. The role will also be the first point of contact on climate issues and how to deliver on COP26 for other offices in the patch. The Policy Advisor will represent the UK Government in meetings and outward-facing events. The role will also be responsible for managing visits from UK stakeholders to the region.


The successful candidate will need to be a strategic thinker and utilise and build on their understanding of US energy and climate policy, both at the federal and subnational levels. S/he will be a credible interlocutor with contacts in the US, specifically state and local governments, business and investors, and non-governmental organizations. S/he will be a self-starter, proactively developing ideas and strategies to deliver the UK Government’s COP26 priorities in the region. S/he will also have a proven track-record in working collaboratively in a team-setting.


The job holder will report to the Senior Policy Advisor, Energy & Environment, and be part of a seven-member team. S/he will also work closely with a range of Embassy teams, including within the Houston consulate, and with other offices in the US Network, as well as other departments including the Department for International Trade Energy and Infrastructure team. The job holder will need to travel a number of times a year across the region and to DC, and may potentially visit the UK approximately once per year.


Our Chicago Consulate platform hosts teams from a range of UK government departments working on varied work strands to a range of different London stakeholders across a diverse geographic patch. Chicago is the superintending post for the Government offices in Denver and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, additionally Honorary Consuls actively support our work in the states of Ohio, Missouri and Michigan. The 14 states covered by the Chicago Consulate total an area bigger than Western Europe, a population of almost 80 million and an economy bigger than Japan’s.



Roles and responsibilities:

  • To coordinate implementation of the UK’s COP26 strategy in the Gulf Coast and Southeast region, working closely with economic, political and communications colleagues. This will include ensuring that delivery of COP26 objectives supports long-term climate mitigation and adaptation objectives, including clean growth (energy transition, transport and industrial decarbonisation), enhancing climate resilience, supporting nature-based solutions and greening financial flows. 
  • To coordinate with London-based colleagues on engagement with US stakeholders, advising on local sensitivities and priorities, including briefing for ministers and senior officials.
  • Use local knowledge to identify climate engagement priorities which most effectively meet the UK’s international climate objectives.
  • Develop and maintain effective and strategic relationships within state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental stakeholders to support COP26 objectives. 
  • Monitor and analyse US domestic energy, climate change, and low-carbon policies and initiatives, with a particular focus on subnational actors in the Gulf Coast and Southeast US and the Federal Government
  • Act as the Team Lead on 1-2 priority energy sectors/themes.
  • Provide regular high-quality reporting (written and oral) on US developments to inform UK policy and contribute proactively to policy discussions.
  • Design and deliver projects and events to support closer UK-US collaboration on energy and low-carbon developments, particularly in relation to COP26.
  • Advocate British interests with a range of key US interlocutors to promote UK priorities and policy interests.
  • Take responsibility for structuring and delivering visits to the US by UK ministers and senior officials.
  • Work closely with colleagues throughout the US network of Consulates and UK Government Offices in the region to provide clear direction that enables others to monitor energy and climate issues, as well as deliver relevant projects



Essential qualifications, skills and experience   

  • Minimum of 4 years relevant experience.
  • Ability to work remotely as part of a team spread across 4 posts.
  • A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required; advanced degree desirable, with economic, policy, or environmental focus preferred.
  • Must be able to represent the UK at external meetings, and win the confidence of senior stakeholders, including US and UK officials. 
  • Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to explain complex issues to diverse audiences.
  • Must be a proven self-starter with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively, possess excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, and adapt to fast-paced and shifting demands.
  • Knowledge of US energy and environmental stakeholders including knowledge for the Gulf/Southeast state and municipal government policy landscape.
  • Ability and willingness to travel occasionally.


Desirable qualifications, skills and experience  

  • A background in energy and/or environmental policy and demonstrated knowledge of climate science
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and delivery 
  • Interest in or knowledge of UK policy strengths and priorities
  • Events management experience


The FCO uses a competency framework that sets out how we want people in our organisation to work. It puts the values of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity at the heart of everything we do, in a huge range of jobs overseas.




Competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that lead to successful performance. Our framework outlines ten competencies and two international competencies, which are grouped into four clusters: Setting Direction, Engaging People, Delivering Results and International competencies.



More information on how to draft responses to UK civil service competency questions and on competency-based interviews can be found online


Essential qualifications, skills and experience  

Essential on arrival: You will be required to use your knowledge of the US system of government (at the federal and subnational levels) to think strategically and creatively about how to advance the UK’s climate and energy priorities. Effective communication including an ability to build a strong network of contacts is essential to the role. Flexibility and an ability to quickly action requests and respond to developments is also a must in this role.


Desirable qualifications, skills and experience  

Desirable: An understanding of UK energy and environment policies and priorities. Experience managing projects. An understanding of how to work effectively with remote staff members. 


Required competencies  

Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace

Application instructions

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