Careers at IDEA


Are You Ready For Your Next Challenge?

  • Are you an early-stage professional interested in a career in the clean energy industry?
  • Are you mid-career and seeking a more fulfilling and mission-driven role in energy and environmental issues impacting climate change?
  • Do you have experience in utilities or engineering with an interest in energy policy and regulations?
  • If so, then you may be a great fit to join the team at the International District Energy Association! Check our open listings below. 

The Organization

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit industry association, formed in 1909, that serves as an information/education hub and advocacy resource for the district energy industry.  We organize high-quality conferences, trade shows, workshops and webinars to enable peer exchange and education, showcase best practices, and promote industry awareness.  Our member organizations own, operate and optimize district energy systems in cities, on campuses, in communities, and provide equipment, services and technologies to support efficient, resilient district heating, district cooling, combined heat & power and microgrid systems. 

IDEA interacts with and partners with other national, global and regional governments and non-government organizations, such as US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency, United Nations Environment and the International Energy Agency.   

IDEA President Rob Thornton was interviewed on a podcast by Energy Radio in August,2021 where he describes IDEA, how district energy works and the trends emerging for the district energy industry.  To subscribe and listen to the podcast , please click here.

Learn more about our history and mission.


To support industry growth, we are seeking multiple full-time associates to join our team at our office near Boston. As of August 2021, one position would be principally focused on curating and managing education programs, conferences and webinars. 

A second position would focus on policy, regulatory and energy industry issues including monitoring markets, legislative/policy matters and strategic partnerships.  

A third position would principally support technical, engineering and economic analyses, data-gathering, grant administration and industry-centered activities. 


IDEA functions as a small, tightknit team where people are expected to perform a range of functions including events, communications, membership and administrative functions that may overlap and involve collaboration.  

We offer a friendly and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and benefits, and rewarding, mission-driven work with opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

Please note: These are full-time employee (not independent contractor) positions.

Open Positions and How to Apply

IDEA's current open positions and job descriptions are shown below.

If interested in applying, please submit a cover letter, writing sample and resume to IDEA at  No phone calls please.  Cover letter should share relevant experience and why you should be considered for employment.

Submit Resume and Cover Letter

Program/Education Associate 

(Posting date August 3, 2021)

  • Curate, manage, promote and execute multiple (2 to 4) professional high-quality technical conferences each year, (600 – 1200+ attendees) including managing budget, promotion, outreach and execution of events.
  • Coordinate content for timely, relevant topics of interest to members and industry; potentially developing training or education program for electric and natural gas utilities.
  • Help develop program theme, identify key topics, recruit speakers through call-for-presentations and abstract management, evaluate and select conference program content, coordinate speaker and program schedule, manage speakers/presenters/panelists and awards programs...
Learn More About This Position

Policy/Research Associate

(Posting date August 3, 2021)

  • Depending on experience, this position will lead or support advocacy and education/outreach efforts with federal, state and local governments, agencies and NGO’s while implementing 1-2 grant projects.
  • Act as primary project manager organizing, coordinating industry data and analyses as required, including compiling status reports, white papers or briefing documents and infographics.
  • Monitor and maintain industry data base and related maps and information hubs.
  • Research energy data, facts, and project locations for communications projects and advocacy...
Learn More About This Position

Technical/Industry Associate or Analyst

(Posting date August 3, 2021)

  • Lead the investigation and reporting on member system efficiency and best practices including technical and economic evaluations.
  • As required, perform engineering or environmental performance analyses to support policy development and advocacy; inform regulatory agencies, etc
  • Leverage research activities to support advocacy for the district energy industry with global, federal, state and local governments and agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).
  • Serve as principal author of reports or white papers or educational materials
Learn More About This Position

Qualities and Capabilities of Ideal Candidates

  • Strong analytical skills, excellent writing and communication skills are essential, along with ability to manage multiple responsibilities on a timely basis.
  • Candidates should demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the overall success of the organization through a “can-do” attitude; able to work independently and as part of team; accomplish tasks with minimal supervision and see projects through to timely completion.
  • Experience with natural gas and electric utilities, campus facilities, consulting engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, and/or environmental policy/sustainability are a plus.
  • Familiarity with district energy, CHP, microgrids, distributed generation, renewables and utility regulations is helpful.
  • IDEA seeks candidates with interest and passion for energy, energy efficiency and environmental policy. We offer good potential for growth and visibility.
  • Position will be awarded initially on a 3-month contract and then considered for extension after this time based on performance review. Title may change based on level of prior experience.
  • Salary commensurate with experience. Generous fringe benefits include health and dental insurance; LT disability; term life insurance; eligible for 401K plus company match; paid vacation/ holidays.
  • Located in Class A office space in suburban office in Westborough, MA. Professional, business casual atmosphere.  Some remote work flexibility but duties require primary office presence. Flexible schedules and accommodating to periodic teleworking (when in-person work resumes)
  • A current valid driver’s license and passport required.Occasional overnight or international travel can be expected post-pandemic, including conference events, which are scheduled 18-24 months in advance.
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) required; Master’s degree or more a plus.
  • 5-10 years professional experience in energy, utilities, engineering, or consulting is a plus.
  • Candidates should be familiar and conversant on energy, utilities and environmental policy issues. Direct experience in district energy, CHP or microgrid sector is highly valued.
  • Excellent writing, organizational, research, communications and administrative skills. Proficiency in all Microsoft Office products is essential. 
  • Experience in meetings/event planning could be a plus.
  • HTML/web management proficiency is a bonus. Experience with standard website CMS interfaces; website development; HTML and related programming is helpful.
  • Experience with Constant Contact (email marketing) and other social media - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.


We hope to fill these positions in 3Q/4Q 2021. Please check this website for the current status of the position. We will notify ALL applicants when we have made a final decision.


Our office is located in Westborough, MA in a suburban office park with on-campus health club (free and included), free parking, cafeteria and recreation facilities.  Positions are to report to IDEA office M-F 9 am – 5 pm “in-office” with some flexibility to work from home arrangements.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEA embraces a diversity of thought, culture, and background across our staff and broader professional community. We are an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and the needs of our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, political ideology, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.