Global Climate Aviation Lokey Fellow

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 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 the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

The Lokey Fellowship program started in 1992 as an internship opportunity. Since then, the Lokey endowment has added over 22 interns and 18 fellows to Environmental Defense Fund. Their accomplishments have been far-reaching and some of the fellows continue their work on our staff - for example, Lisa Moore started as a Lokey Fellow and now works as a Senior Scientist in the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Program Overview

The need for decisive action to stop and reverse the rise of climate pollution has never been more urgent.  In 2016, all the world's airlines and most of the world's governments agreed to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international flights starting in 2021, through the compliance of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), whose design EDF has been deeply involved in. More than 80 countries have already signed up to participate, covering at least three-quarters of the forecast increase in international aviation emissions. Airlines flying between participating countries will need to meet these obligations by lowering their direct emissions, switching to alternative fuels, or buying emission-reduction credits.

As EDF's President Fred Krupp et al noted in a Foreign Affairs article Less Than Zero: Can Carbon Removal Technologies Curb Climate Change? estimated demand for alternative fuels and carbon credits will reach between 2.5 billion and 3.0 billion tons of reductions over the first 15 years of CORSIA —roughly equal to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. power and manufacturing sectors. Though technologies for reducing airline emissions at scale are still a long way off, airlines are increasingly focused on sustainable alternative aviation fuels to meet their CORSIA compliance. The ICAO's CORSIA framework, if done right, could catalyze a global carbon market that drives investment in low-carbon fuels and technologies and helps put the world on a path to a more stable climate. 

Overall Function

EDF has been deeply engaged in the development of international rules for quantifying and certifying the benefits of alternative fuels. As the global carbon market begins to move, EDF seeks a Lokey Fellow to help provide technical analyses of the potential for and impacts of sustainable alternative aviation fuels that may be considered for use by airlines when they implement CORSIA and for related voluntary commitments to reduce aviation emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goal.

Key Responsibilities

  • Applying the newly agreed ICAO guidance for quantification and sustainability of alternative fuels for aviation, analyze the quantitative potential supply of various sustainable alternative aviation fuels from various geographies around the world.
  • Represent EDF in meetings of alternative fuels forums, such as the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, and ICAO bodies, including the General Assembly, the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), and the CAEP bodies, as needed.
  • Undertake research and prepare documentations and presentations for submission to these alternative fuels bodies and other bodies, and for publication.
  • Undertake outreach to and meetings with policymakers, opinion-leaders, and non-governmental experts on issues related to alternative fuels and CORSIA; prepare and circulate within EDF written summaries of these meetings, including analysis of key issues and positions.
  • Provide strategic guidance to EDF with a view to ensuring the maximum environmental integrity for the use of alternative fuels in CORSIA. 
  • On request, investigate funding opportunities and assist in drafting grant proposals and reports for work on sustainable alternative aviation fuels.


  • Must be a graduating student or a recent graduate of Stanford University.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field (e.g., biological/chemical sciences, environmental economics, and environmental management). 
  • Familiarity with international and/or domestic climate policy, as well as the overall field of sustainable alternative fuels and/or the aviation sector.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; Spanish language abilities, a plus.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, tasks, priorities, and competing deadlines concurrently, and respond quickly to changing opportunities.
  • An ability to work independently and as a member of small teams in a dynamic and creative environment, collaborating with diverse scientists, economists, NGOs and industry representatives.
  • Highly proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other software applications.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Demonstrate initiative and problem solving skills.


Washington, D.C. or San Francisco, CA


One-year term 

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, together with three references, a transcript and two writing samples (one short and one long).

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.