Apply to be a Green Schools Fellow

Published on: 
29 Jun 2014

As a Fellow, you act as green champion within a school district for three years, implementing transformative practices and working hands-on with teachers, staff, and students to improve their daily environment.

Interested in making a huge and immediate difference in the lives of thousands of children and adults? The Center for Green Schools Fellowship program at USGBC gives you that opportunity. The position offers independence and extraordinary responsibility paired with a rigorous training program and the support of passionate colleagues.

With your help, districts can begin or accelerate various initiatives that they would not have been able to move forward otherwise: improving a recycling and composting program, monitoring energy usage and communicating usage to school staff, implementing environmental curriculum resources, growing indoor air quality commitments, revising maintenance or transportation contracts, and so on. At the Center for Green Schools, we will work with you to transform a school district by making sustainability your job and supporting your efforts with everything we’ve got!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

USGBC is looking for individuals who understand the patience and persistence that is required to be a change agent in a sometimes-difficult organization. The hiring process for these positions is highly competitive. Fellows should have a graduate degree in Organizational Sustainability, Environmental Science, the Building Sciences, Public Health or a related field; or equivalent, extensive, and relevant workplace experience. Applicants are not required to be LEED AP, although strong familiarity with LEED is preferred. Experience within a school district or similar organization is also preferred but is not required. Fellows must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and must be self-motivated and self-starting.

How do I apply, and what is the hiring process?

Initial calls for Fellow applicants are released on this web page and on, and they are also sent to graduate programs in environmental sustainability and corporate sustainability. Three finalists for each district are selected from the applicant pool and are brought to Washington, DC, to interview for the position with Center for Green Schools staff and a host organization representative. The final Center for Green Schools Fellows are announced publicly through press events, and they are expected to arrive in DC for training in either June or January, depending on the hiring cycle.

If I am selected as a Fellow, what do I get?

First and foremost, you become part of a powerfully effective network of individuals working on green schools around the country. You will receive advice and training from the individuals at the forefront of transforming educational facilities.

For three years, the Center for Green Schools will provide an extensive training program for Fellows, including:

  • Attendance at the annual School Sustainability Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
  • Targeted professional development training
  • Bi-weekly conference calls with Center for Green Schools staff and other Fellows
  • Individual check-in calls with Center for Green Schools staff
  • Attendance at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo
  • Attendance at local green building continuing education seminars and conferences
  • Annual visits from Center for Green Schools staff to school district offices

The Center for Green Schools will provide salary and full benefits for two years, as well as a mileage-based relocation stipend. In the third year, employment will transfer to the school district, and the Center for Green Schools will provide funds to cover half of the Fellow’s salary. The training and travel program will remain fully funded during the third year.

In addition to the Center for Green Schools commitment, the school districts selected to receive Fellows will be expected to provide office amenities such as a desk, phone, and supplies. They are required to provide the Fellow a reasonable activities budget of $5000 per year to implement programs and invite participation among faculty, staff and students.

What if I can’t make a three-year commitment?

Fellows are selected based on their qualifications as well as their ability to make a three-year commitment to the school district. They are offered a salary increase for each year they remain in place. There are provisions in place to rehire a Fellow in case of unforeseen circumstances, but we would prefer that the position be held by one individual for the duration.

Can I apply if I’m already a staff member of the school district?

Fellows are intended to provide additional support to districts. The funds allocated for the program are not meant to subsidize a position that may already exist in the school district. School districts that already have a Sustainability Officer are invited to apply to receive an additional sustainability leader to boost efforts already in place.