Associate Vice President, Climate Smart Agriculture

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 1,000 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.


Our culturevalues and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

We kindly request that individuals interested in this role include a cover letter, as well as any supplementary writing/work samples (optional), with their application submissions.




This position can be performed on either a hybrid arrangement out of any EDF office or 100% remotely from home within the United States. 


Program Overview


EDF’s Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) initiative aims to put farmers at the center of climate adaptation and mitigation by focusing on policy, finance and technical solutions that work for farmers, while protecting the planet, food systems and people.


Climate-Smart Agriculture is an initiative of EDF’s People & Nature work, the fundamental purpose of which is centered on the EDF vision that people and nature can thrive together in a climate impacted world and that working lands and natural ecosystems can be an important part of the climate solution. Healthy land, freshwater and ocean ecosystems are more resilient to climate change, are part of the climate solution, and provide healthy abundant food, improved livelihoods and cultural well-being for all communities. Further, we must work to ensure all people benefit more equitably as we implement climate solutions. 


Overall Function

The Associate Vice President (AVP), Climate Smart Agriculture in partnership with the Vice President, Climate Smart Agriculture, leads and guides the rapidly growing Climate-Smart Agriculture team in four target geographies: China, India, EU and U.S.  The AVP will co-develop and lead on delivering the overall CSA vision and strategy; to advocate for a transition to climate-smart agricultural production that can help feed the world on existing agricultural land footprint while reducing agricultural emissions (i.e., methane, nitrous oxide, emissions from land conversion).


The AVP will engage collaboratively with EDF staff in a highly-matrixed structure to:

  • Establish EDF and partners as thought leaders and trusted partners to lead a global Climate-Smart Agricultural Revolution.

  • Make the case for systems change towards pro-active and adaptive ag management to protect food supplies and farmer livelihoods in light of climate impacts on agricultural lands.

  • Reduce agricultural methane emissions by 30% by 2030, and reduce the overall climate impacts from agriculture from a variety of other sources, primarily land conversion and fertilizer use, by developing and implementing innovative solutions.


The AVP will advance and implement strategy, engage in fundraising to support these efforts, and lead, manage, and mentor a global team toward achieving goals.  In addition, the AVP will build and leverage networks and alliances in service of this mission and vision and represent EDF with external stakeholders, from policymakers to community groups. The AVP reports to the Vice President, Climate Smart Agriculture.


Key Responsibilities


Strategic Vision and Innovation

  • Work with the VP on high-level CSA vision and strategy, including to help sharpen CSA’s value proposition regarding equity issues within the CSA strategy.

  • Proactively engage in institutional planning and strategy processes working collaboratively and effectively in a matrix structure.

  • Enhance EDF’s role as a thought leader in the development of innovative approaches, collaborations, and alternative mechanisms to achieve desired climate-smart agriculture innovation and policy by regularly engaging in global fora.

  • Periodically author op-eds or other thought pieces to enhance EDF’s positioning as leaders in the Climate-Smart Agricultural Revolution.



  • Drive internal coordination with other EDF programs and play a leadership role in internal dialogs with leaders from other programs, ensuring consistency, alignment and synergy with the efforts of those programs.

  • Ensure efficient execution of program objectives, goals and deliverables.

  • Develop and motivate a high-performing, results-oriented and mission-driven team that reflects EDF’s vision, values and culture, creating a positive work environment.

  • Build a cohesive global climate-smart agriculture team – creating strong collaboration, strategic alignment and institutional culture across our four target geographies of China, India, EU and U.S.

  • Oversee CSA’s U.S. workstream in close coordination with U.S. Region’s policy leadership.

  • Monitor and adaptively manage budgets, in collaboration with finance staff.

  • Proactively identify and manage risks, escalating as necessary to executive leadership.

  • Participate in advancing EDF Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.

  • Ensure compliance with EDF’s policies, procedures and project management processes, and actively contribute to the strengthening of these.


Business Development/Fundraising

  • In partnership with senior leadership and development, lead and/or serve as key contributor to the design, writing and budgeting of fundraising proposals.

  • Cultivate and engage new funding prospects.



  • Advanced degree in natural resources management, business, public policy or related field.

  • 10-15+ years of leadership experience managing complex teams across global geographies,

  • Experience establishing and maintaining results-based partnerships with industry,  NGOs, government agencies, and other key stakeholders, and fostering transparency, trust, and accountability.

  • Experience managing a team of staff to deliver results within a thriving team environment with a commitment to team health, mentorship, staff development, and work-life balance.

  • Evidence of a collaborative mindset, demonstrated through prior experiences and results.

  • Excellent communication skills, written, oral, and presentation.

  • Demonstrates initiative, embodied by the ability to deliver results in complex, unstructured environments with limited direction/supervision.

  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

  • Flexibility: demonstrates ability and/or experiences delivering results and working effectively in a fast-paced, start-up environment.

  • Demonstrated results developing fundraising proposals and cultivating donors is required, and evidenced by a portfolio of successful grants at the seven-figure level.

  • Willingness and ability to support an average travel expectation of 10-20% per year, both domestically and internationally.

  • Alignment and commitment to EDF’s mission and core values.

Hiring Range

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 182,000 - 197,000 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.