Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.
We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.
The Office of Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that the organization’s goals, strategies, and advocacy are grounded in rigorous, high-quality science. We also seek to identify and operationalize new insights that accelerate progress toward EDF’s goals. To be most effective in these roles, OCS provides programmatic support for all scientists at EDF and fosters relationships with scientists outside the organization. OCS is currently home to over 70 scientists and other professionals, with further growth and international expansion planned in the next 18-24 months.
EDF’s Office of Chief Scientist seeks a scientist with a strong reputation for leading high-quality policy-relevant, and innovative research and experience managing multi-disciplinary scientific programs to be an Associate Chief Scientist, a vice-president-level position in the organization. The Associate Chief Scientist in partnership with the Chief Scientist and the OCS leadership team guides the organization’s overall scientific priorities and direction. The Associate Chief Scientist will also be responsible for their own portfolio of work, identifying new areas of focus, and representing OCS internally and EDF externally.
Flexible across the United States including Austin, Boulder, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C. Also open to Remote Europe in Belgium, Nethelands and Germany.
- With OCS leadership, plan and oversee scientific activities necessary to support priorities across EDF and develop new opportunities to meet EDF’s larger goals, while ensuring its work is solidly based on the best available science.
- Supervise several of EDF’s core science teams (25-35 people); help conceive, plan, organize, and direct major scientific research projects and campaigns.
- Continue fostering exemplary scientific thought leadership by authoring scientific articles and participating in high visibility panels and boards.
- Contribute to smooth operation of OCS and support implementation of the strategic plan for EDF’s science efforts, including mentorship of junior scientists and early career staff, and consideration of equity and justice in our scientific work.
- Coordinate with a diversity of EDF programs and departments to develop and implement large, multi-stakeholder projects.
- Work effectively within interdisciplinary teams including non-scientists with backgrounds in policy, law, business, economics, and community engagement.
- Connect concepts across environmental fields and think strategically about how new scientific insights and the potential for new areas of work can increase EDF’s impact.
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with leading scientists in diverse fields, and with scientists in other environmental NGOs.
- Actively participate in fundraising for EDF’s work including developing proposals, meeting with donors and institutional funders.
- Advance EDF Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.
- Manage team members and technical experts within multiple areas of expertise; serve as a mentor and advisor to EDF’s scientists and collaborating scientists.
- Serve as a proxy for the Chief Scientist when requested.
- Communicate with press and the public through presentations, op-ed pieces, and blogs.
- Develop metrics and systems for measuring and communicating program results.
- Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters innovation, collaboration, open communication, teamwork, and trust.
- PhD in a physical, social, biological, or environmental science discipline with 15 or more years of experience on issues relevant to EDF’s mission. A background in climate science/carbon cycle or social science is strongly preferred to help define the theories of change and strategies required to drive the transformational change needed to avert the climate crisis and manage the work required to implement the resulting activities.
- Recognized expert in a scientific community, with an exemplary record of scientific accomplishments through publication, presentations and involvement in panels and boards.
- Proven experience conducting policy-relevant science; experience leading international projects and/or working with community organizations in translating research into action is a plus.
- Experience managing and raising funds for major multi-disciplinary scientific initiatives or programs.
- Record of intellectual leadership and independent thought.
- Record of systems level analysis.
- Ability to collaborate effectively with non-academics and non-scientists.
- Record of strong public speaking and presentation skills with diverse audiences, including effective written and oral science communication to a variety of non-technical, policy, and lay audiences.
- Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to manage and work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- Proven experience managing teams and delegating responsibilities.
- Strong affinity for a fast-paced work environment.
- Willingness to travel, including internationally.
- In addition to the completed online application please submit a CV along with a Cover Letter of no more than 1,000 words that describes your motivation for seeking this position and how you meet the qualifications.
We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.
The pay range for this role is 205,000 - 220,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.
Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.Apply