Program Manager, Utility and Regulatory Innovation
WFH Flexible Minneapolis, MN

Program/Role: Energy Systems Program Manager/Senior Program Manager

Location: WFH Flexible. GPI’s headquarters are based at 2801 21st Avenue South, Suite 220 in Minneapolis, MN. Occasional travel may be required.

Reports to: Vice President, Energy Systems 

Type of Position: Full time position

Ideal start date: August 1, 2023

Compensation: Salary range: Program Manager $80K-$93K, Senior Program Manager $90K-$104K, commensurate with experience. Benefits include a health plan, 401(k) retirement plan, LTD, STD, life, vision, dental, FSA/HSA, paid time off, professional development allowance, and a communication stipend.


A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) is accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon emissions for the benefit of people, the economy, and the environment. Increased demand for GPI’s unique blend of energy expertise and consensus-derived solutions has driven organizational and programmatic growth. With headquarters in Minnesota, GPI’s operations are national in scope while retaining a core competency in the Midcontinent region. GPI is powered by more than 50 professionals and is supported by some of the nation’s most respected philanthropies. 

The following values inform the way we work both inside and outside of GPI. It is important to us to be trusted, inclusive, equitable, pragmatic, and transformative:

Trusted. We base our approach and actions on trust, mutual respect, and accountability. 

Inclusive. We achieve impact through inclusive and deliberate collaboration with a diversity of interests.

Equitable. We strive for equity in our approach and outcomes.

Pragmatic. We take a clear-eyed view of the world as it is, even as we seek to improve it.

Transformative. We are a bold and passionate catalyst for change.


The Energy Systems program area is focused on decarbonizing the economy by enabling collaboration and problem solving among electric and natural gas utilities and market operators, regulators, environmental advocates, consumer advocates, state and local governments, businesses, and other key stakeholders.

We work with groups of state governor’s offices and environmental and energy regulators to develop and implement decarbonization plans; within the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator stakeholder process on market rules and the transmission build-out; with states, utilities, and other interests to align utility business models with an affordable, reliable, and net-zero greenhouse gas energy system; with states, local governments, and other key actors to bring down the implementation costs of net-zero greenhouse gas technologies and increase consumer demand for net-zero greenhouse gas resources.


We foster collaboration and problem solving through complex stakeholder engagement processes. These often involve groups of 20-100 stakeholders that meet regularly over several months to develop a shared understanding of energy and climate policy and technology issues, discuss varying perspectives on those issues, and collaborate to identify actions to address those issues.

Our team has a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture in which people enjoy both great freedom and great responsibility. People who thrive in this culture take personal responsibility for seeing what needs doing and getting it done. They are self-starters, problem-solvers, and quick to help others. They work hard because they believe in the mission and get to spend most of their time at the intersection of what they love to do and are good at. It’s a working environment in which performance is judged more on results than on time spent in a chair. We are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We aspire to make this the best job anyone has ever had.


This position will play a lead role in the Energy Systems program’s work on utility and regulatory innovation for both electric and gas utilities. The goal of this work is to advance regulatory frameworks, utility business models, and utility initiatives that can support reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also addressing reliability, affordability, equity, safety, and a just transition.

In this work, GPI serves as a consultant to both utilities and utility regulators with stakeholder engagement, meeting facilitation, summarizing party comments, and general advising for complex regulatory proceedings or utility filings. In addition, GPI independently convenes groups of stakeholders to collaboratively develop solutions that can advance innovation among and decarbonization of electric and gas utility systems.

Importantly, GPI does this work as a neutral convener, facilitator, and advisor. Candidates for this position must have the ability to work with a variety of individuals and organizations that may have different perspectives from the candidate.

The ideal candidate will have experience as a meeting facilitator, knowledge of energy regulatory issues, and familiarity with organizations in this space. The ideal candidate will also have excellent interpersonal relationship skills that will support working with a variety of people on challenging issues. Applicants should have experience facilitating meetings of multiple sizes, experience managing projects and people, and strong written and oral communication skills. 

The ideal candidate should also have the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities, use effective methods for time management and prioritization of tasks, maintain organization and attention to detail, and possess the ability to identify and address urgent and important needs in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. 

Hours may be flexible and are typically Monday through Friday during the business day; evenings and weekends may occasionally be required.


Programmatic leadership: 

  1. Serve as a programmatic lead for work on a variety of utility and regulatory issues, which may include resource planning, distribution planning, innovation frameworks, performance-based regulation, interconnection of distributed energy resources, rate design, and transportation electrification, among other issues.
  2. Assist utilities with designing and implementing stakeholder engagement processes to inform complex filings that will be submitted to their regulator and made open for comment from stakeholders. These engagement processes may include series of meetings with interested parties, followed by developing process summaries that will be attached to the utility’s final filing.
  3. Assist utility regulatory commissions with designing and implementing stakeholder engagement proceedings to solicit input on complex regulatory issues. These proceedings may include meetings, public comment periods, surveys, and other channels for soliciting input.
  4. Work with partners to independently develop and convene stakeholder engagement processes that are seeking to address utility regulatory issues towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector.
  5. Recruit and manage subcontractors that will complete technical analyses needed to inform stakeholder discussions, such as long-term decarbonization scenario planning.
  6. Maintain knowledge about a variety of issues in the utility regulatory space, and throughout the states that GPI is working in.
  7. Maintain existing and develop new partnerships with organizations working in the utility regulatory space to enable GPI to partner with others where such a partnership would be of benefit.

Project development, fundraising, budget management: 

  1. Develop proposals to philanthropic funders to support the program’s utility and regulatory innovation work.
  2. Develop responses to requests-for-proposals from regulatory commissions seeking assistance with implementing regulatory proceedings or soliciting input from parties.
  3. Develop proposals to assist utilities with designing and implementing stakeholder engagement processes to inform the development of major regulatory filings that will impact the utility’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Collaborate with other program team members, other teams across GPI, and external partners on developing new work that aligns to GPI’s mission and strategic priorities.
  5. Manage budgets for multiple projects related to the program’s utility and regulatory innovation work, including both grants and contracts.
  6. Assist with developing the energy systems program’s annual budget.

Meeting facilitation and execution:

  1. Serve as the lead facilitator or co-facilitator for meetings of many different sizes and formats, from small team planning meetings, to medium-sized workgroup meetings, to large public meetings or forums.
  2. Ensure high-quality meeting production by developing, or working collaboratively with team members to develop, meeting agendas, pre-read documents, slide decks, meeting summaries, and comprehensive process summaries.
  3. Identify and recruit subject matter experts to present information in meetings to build the collective understanding of all participants and support robust, informed discussions.

Supervising and supporting:

  1. Supervise staff members working on projects that fall under the focus of this position and support those staff members to success in their work and advance in their career.
  2. Support all team members with advancing the Energy System’s programmatic work and ensuring the success of the program and of GPI as a whole.


  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s Degree in a relevant field of study.
  • Prior experience (5+ years) working on electric or gas utility initiatives and regulation.
  • Experience facilitating meetings of many different sizes and formats
  • Experience designing stakeholder engagement processes to achieve a set of stated goals or outcomes,
  • Experience working with people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of political perspectives
  • Experience developing and maintaining relationships
  • Experience supervising staff members and supporting them to succeed.
  • Experience working with different communication styles
  • Experience working on a diverse team
  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent time, deadline, and project management skills with ability to multi-task
  • Problem solving skills: ability to identify solutions to challenges that arise 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint)
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the Great Plains Institute
  • Willingness to travel

The Great Plains Institute is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply.


This position involves use of a desktop computer and/or laptop, copier, fax machine, calculator, printer, and telephone.


This position requires working at a desk (either sitting or standing) for extended periods and extensive use of devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse), as well as usage of telephone/headset. 


Required application materials include a resume and one-page cover letter. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

The Great Plains Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a wide diversity of applicants.