The City of San José is working towards a “Climate Smart San José” with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 in order to help mitigate the effects of climate change that are affecting the ecosystems, health, livelihoods, and security of its residents. Supporting the increased uptake of electric vehicles, across the city’s fleet as well as for individual owners, is a significant pillar of that goal. The FUSE Executive Fellow will help establish a strategic plan to equitably implement a plan to increase the viability of electric vehicles for all potential owners, thereby drastically reducing carbon emissions and improving environmental justice for historically underinvested communities.
Fellowship Dates: October 24, 2022 – October 23, 2023
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
As cities shift to support electric transportation infrastructure, they are also working to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support residents that choose to drive electric vehicles (EVs), address environmental injustices historically imposed on low-income communities of color, and promote economic development. The City of San José is leading the way towards a “Climate Smart San José” with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 in order to help mitigate the effects of climate change (e.g., extreme heat, weather, drought, sea level rise etc.) that are affecting the ecosystems, health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, security, and economic growth of its residents.
Under this plan, the city is working to transition 60% of all vehicles, both public and private, to EVs by 2030. This will require installing electric charging infrastructure to support EVs across the city and transitioning their own fleet to EVs as well as incentivizing and supporting the shift to EVs for individual residents. This work will also prioritize engaging and facilitating electric vehicle use in historically underinvest communities, such as East San José, that feel the disproportionate impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from non-renewable energy sources, climate change, and unsafe infrastructure.
San José will partner with FUSE Corps to help establish a strategic plan to equitably electrify both the city’s fleet and residents’ personal vehicles. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: research successful program models; conduct a market and landscape analysis of current infrastructure and EV use; act as a liaison between the city, community stakeholders, and private partners; and create strategic recommendations for program implementation. Ultimately, this work will help San José reach carbon neutrality so that its residents enjoy cleaner air, healthy homes, and safe and easy to use transportation options.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in October 2022, the FUSE Executive Fellow will work with the Transportation Department, Clean Energy Department, and Department of Planning as well as community and private stakeholders to research, plan, and recommend a strategy to reach San José’s electric vehicle goals by 2030.
The Executive Fellow will begin by researching similar, successful programs from across the nation to determine best practices for EV transition, with an emphasis on successful strategies used within California. The Executive Fellow will gain a detailed understanding of the size, scope, and current system of vehicle management in San José, including both public use and fleet vehicles as well as related infrastructure. The Executive Fellow will conduct a landscape and market analysis on current city-owned and privately owned EV infrastructure, pricing structures, current and projected demand/supply options for electric transportation, public-private partnerships, community needs and perceptions, and regional plans or policies that may influence decisions and direction. Importantly, the Executive Fellow will assess the need for charging station placement in terms of geography, capacity, infrastructure, and accessibility needs for both public and private use with an emphasis on equitable planning in low-middle income communities and communities of color – with particular focus on East San José.
The Executive Fellow will use the collected information to design an effective strategic plan for reaching electric vehicle goals. This will include strategies for installing necessary charging infrastructure for equitable use, incentive and innovation strategies to support residents purchasing affordable and accessible EV models, marketing and outreach strategies to educate consumers on the need and benefits of switching to EVs, methods to evaluate grid resiliency for optimal performance, strategies to maintain interdepartmental collaboration during implementation, and prioritization strategies to begin transitioning the city’s fleet to 100% electric. The Executive Fellow will also identify robust funding and pricing strategies to support eventual program implementation.
By October 2023, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- Conduct a thorough market research and landscape analysis- Research current EV use and infrastructure for both public and private parties; research EV pricing structure and market supply/demand in the area; assess current city-owned and private charging infrastructure to determine where the grid can support influx of EV and where additional infrastructure will be required; review national and local models for EV transition to identify successful strategies; engage with all relevant stakeholders, including other departments, staff members, private business, and community members to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to electric vehicle viability
- Form a comprehensive strategic plan and implementation framework – Build strategic recommendations for public and private electric vehicle viability, ensuring community needs, perspectives, and equity for are centered in all strategies; determine overall objectives and methodology for goal setting, evaluating, reporting, and initiating EV transition; establish a timeline for implementation aligned with the city’s carbon neutralization goals; identify incentives and innovations to help facilitate residents’ purchasing affordable, quality EV models and potentially tiered charging rates; identify infrastructure placement strategies to ensure equitable and optimal power use; identify funding opportunities for program implementation; support
- Executive Sponsor – Lori Mitchell, Director, Clean Energy Department, City of San José, CA
- Project Supervisor – Zachary Struyk, Assistant Director, Clean Energy Department, City of San José, CA
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in market research, change management, and green energy infrastructure is strongly preferred for this project.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
- Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing and excels in both active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
- Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.