Director, Government Partnerships

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of over 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

Overall Function

The Director Government Partnerships will be an integral part of an organization-wide team focused on the strategic engagement of governments to create the institutional and financial conditions that can sustain and scale solutions that work. This will include the working closely with high-level government officials and policymakers.  This person will partner with senior staff across the organization to successfully identify and engage a large and growing portfolio of government partners that increasingly provides significant support for EDF to carry out its mission. They will set strategy for specific geographies or thematic programs as part of an overall Government Partnership Strategy.

Department, Location and Reporting

This position is part of the growing Government Partnership Team within EDF’s Development Department. This position is located in one of EDF’s global offices or agreed location in Europe, will work closely with EDF Europe staff and report to the Vice President, Government Partnerships.


Key Responsibilities 

  • Provide expertise in the field of government engagement with particular emphasis on Europe.
  • Support the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan to build out EDF’s government partnership strategy.
  • Develop and implement strategy to deliver long-term intuitional and financial support for EDF’s priorities.
  • Work with Program staff to identify specific priorities and major engagement opportunities.
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to develop the team and capacity within the programs.
  • Represent EDF with government officials; raise the profile of EDF, its senior staff and its expertise. 
  • Prepare key EDF senior staff to be strong representatives with government partners.
  • Write and direct the production of relevant materials - proposals, briefings, reports and other communications.
  • Monitor and report on progress internally as part of overall EDF organizational planning.
  • Other organization-wide duties as required (e.g. service on committees, task forces, working groups).
  • Develop and maintain strong knowledge of EDF’s program work to independently and effectively represent, through both written and oral communications, a wide array of regional, national, and global environmental programs.
  • Maintain extensive internal communication with the Development Department, EDF Europe, program, finance, and administration staff, and at times the Government Partnerships Cabinet and Leadership team.
  • Actively contribute to and improve best practices and procedures and develop new engagement strategies and tools.
  • As appropriate, delegate to and oversee work of other staff.



  • Educated to degree level, or equivalent professional experience.
  • Extensive experience and proven track record in demonstrated success and increasing responsibility in government relations, environmental policy and development assistance.
  • Deep knowledge of priorities, trends, and requirements in development assistance as well as strategic partners and the policy goals of governments and multi-laterals.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues strongly preferred; ability to quickly grasp and translate complicated subject matter required.
  • Strong strategic thinking and program management skills.
  • Ability to manage in a matrixed organization without formal authority, across programs, departments and regions. Ability to manage, delegate and execute against a plan, engaging and motivating staff without direct reporting lines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, strong interpersonal skills.  Discretion is a must.
  • Ability to persuade and motivate others, command the respect and attention of the leadership and influential volunteers.
  • Commitment to and passion for EDF’s mission.
  • Ability to work well under pressure, adapt easily to changing situations/priorities, and maintain grace, humor and compassion.
  • Excellent planning and project management skills. Experience working in a non-profit institution of comparable complexity and scale, including the ability to work effectively with geographically dispersed colleagues, is preferred.
  • Fluent English essential, other EU languages highly desirable.
  • An understanding of, and commitment to, Environmental Defense Fund’s mission.
  • Ability to travel as needed.

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.