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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities - Michael Hancox EPISODE 47
Encore Careers in Sustainability and Energy—Transferring Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom
00:00:00 00:24:24

Encore Careers in Sustainability and Energy—Transferring Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom


Retirees Improving Communities for an Optimistic Future


[02:09] Paul Johnson is introduced.

[02:46] Paul tells about his journey and how he personally became involved in the CivicSpark Encore program.

[04:47] Paul gives details about the Encore program.

[06:52] Paul shares how an Encore fellow is funded and who supports the program.

[07:40] Paul describes what makes a good candidate for the program.

[08:44] Paul answers the question of what a nonprofit needs so that it would make sense to get an Encore fellow.

[18:58] Paul tells where nonprofits or late-career professionals can go to learn more about the Encore program.

[11:31] Paul explains how the Encore program overlaps with the CivicSpark program.

[12:47] Paul talks about the work that he’s done as a fellow working with agencies or organizations.

[15:16] Paul comments on the chance to interact with and mentor CivicSpark fellows.

[16:54] Paul conveys the lessons he’s learned while doing this work.

[17:57] Does Paul see himself continuing this work?

[18:46] Paul provides one change that would lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.

[19:34] Paul states the action listeners can take to help build a more equitable and sustainable future.

[21:21] Paul discusses what the Encore program looks like 15 or 20 years from now.


Paul Johnson is the President of Paul Everett Johnson and Associates (PEJ), a small business that provides consulting services to develop successful self-sustaining clean energy programs. Paul has over 40 years experience developing and managing clean energy programs and policies in the public, private, and nonprofit sector. During this period, he had 30 years of increased management experience at the US Department of Energy, capped by two years as the Acting Deputy Director of the Seattle Regional Office of DOE. Since 2005, he has served as President of PEJ and conducted a wide variety of consulting projects around the country. From 2007 until 2011, Paul served as the Executive Director of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, a non-profit organization focused on increasing the level of clean energy activity in the eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley. For the past few years Paul has worked to develop an Encore Climate Fellows program within the Encore program in several locations in the West to help communities be more resilient to deal with climate change.


Encore Fellowships are designed to deliver a new source of talent to organizations solving critical social problems. These paid, time-limited fellowships match skilled, experienced professionals with social-purpose organizations in high-impact assignments. During the fellowship period (typically six to 12 months, half- to full-time), Fellows take on roles that bring significant, sustained impact to their host organizations. While they are working, Fellows earn a stipend, learn about social-purpose work and develop a new network of contacts and resources for the future.


“The Encore program is dedicated to leveraging human capital of very seasoned, adult experience to adult professionals to improve communities in this country and around the world…A program like this—strengthening nonprofits right on the front lines of dealing with environmental and climate challenges—it just seemed like a great opportunity, and I jumped into the program and have been working in the program in a number of capacities for about four and a half years.”

“The key component of the program that I work on is the Encore Fellowship Network, which refer to themselves as the proof point for the Encore concept. And the Encore Fellowship Network has been around since 2009, and they currently work with partner organizations in 13 different locations around the U.S. and Canada and match seasoned business leaders into fellowships with nonprofits.”

“The Encore program is partnered with the CivicSpark program. CivicSpark has a team approach that works primarily with AmeriCorps folks that delivers a broad array of efficiency, clean-energy services, climate services to jurisdiction partners in California. Encore provides senior-level, seasoned expertise of people who have had full careers to provide mentoring and support services, leadership, to these AmeriCorps interns. So it provides a complementary piece to CivicSpark, and it provides a really neat example of a multi-generational approach where you have people at the beginning of a clean-energy career, working with people at or near the end of their career to tackle climate and environmental needs of communities.”


Learn More about Encore Climate Fellows

Encore Fellowships

Encore Fellowship Network

501 Commons


Local Government Commission (LGC)


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