Economic Policy Intern

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 approximately 630 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.

Environmental Defense Fund’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) works to advance policies that make market forces work for - rather than against - the environment. Our work is guided by two closely linked missions: program support and thought leadership. We work closely with all of EDF’s programs to ensure our work is based on sound economics and policy design. Through research and analysis, we work to strengthen economics throughout EDF, publish in peer-reviewed journals, and interact with policymakers and other stakeholders to build support for economically sound environmental policies.


Overall Function

EDF’s Office of the Chief Economist is seeking a qualified and motivated student for its Spring 2019 Internship. The Economic Policy Intern will assist economists in EDF’s Office of the Chief Economist in developing and analyzing market-based solutions to a wide range of environmental problems (in this case, primarily ecosystem and water markets) through research, data analysis, and assistance with writing internal reports and public communications.


Key Responsibilities

  • Provide timely in-house economic analyses for EDF’s Ecosystems program
  • Synthesize and clean data on water rights, water trades, water use statistics, and water user characteristics
  • Preliminary data analysis, including the generation of summary statistics, plots, etc.
  • Brainstorm potential avenues for further research and discuss with supervisor
  • Clear, accurate, and concise reporting of data cleaning and analysis procedures
  • Assist in writing reports and press releases
  • Provide support for the above tasks through internet and library research



  • Must be a currently enrolled Graduate student (Economics, Data Science, Statistics or related discipline preferred)
  • Interest in public policy and advocacy, particularly water management, economics, and the use of market-based solutions to environmental problems—demonstrated by applicable coursework
  • Excellent data management and/or quantitative skills, including experience with Excel and ArcGIS
  • Programming experience (R/STATA/Python/JavaScript) preferred.
  • Willingness and initiative to learn additional data management skills as necessary
  • Exceptional organizational skills—must be detail-oriented and able to multi-task
  • Excellent research skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team setting as well as independently
  • Ability to prioritize and execute tasks in a fast-paced environment with changing needs and critical deadlines




San Francisco, CA.



8- to 12-week terms, to begin at the end of January 2019. 



Full-time 35 hours per week or part-time 15/20 hours per week



This internship would involve either compensation for hourly work paid at a rate competitive with leading non-profits or academic credit. Students are encouraged to seek academic credit through their college/university and EDF will ensure that any and all paperwork needed to secure academic credit is completed.




To be considered for the Economic Policy Internship with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Office of the Chief Economist, please apply by submitting your resume and cover letter. In your letter, please describe your interests in economics and environmental policy and note relevant completed course work. Please let us know whether or not you are able to work for class credit, and/or note any work-study or grant money you may be able to provide

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.