Health and Clean Air 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

EDF's Health Team works to advance science that can secure policies that reduce air pollution and protect human health. The extensive body of literature on air pollution harms continues to grow and can be used to educate the public and policymakers on the health impacts of air pollution, to defend existing clean air policies in the US, and to inform development of more protective and equitable public policies to reduce air pollution. The Trump Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to undermine scientific integrity, roll back clean air standards, and alter long-standing regulatory processes. EPA is expected to finalize numerous regulatory rollbacks in 2020 and is undertaking reviews of numerous air quality standards, including for lethal particulate matter and ozone, which have significant long term consequences for public health. EDF is working to defend scientific integrity in EPA decision making and oppose rollbacks of clean air standards. The Health team is seeking a Ph.D. student or recent graduate in a scientific discipline to develop policy-relevant science in order to strengthen our advocacy in regulatory, legal, and other forums on US clean air standards. 

Overall Function

The Lokey Fellow will be a core member of an interdisciplinary, and cross-programmatic team of scientists, attorneys, policy analysts, and advocates working to advance and defend clean air policy at the federal level.

Key Responsibilities

  • Review and synthesize the best available policy relevant science on air pollution and/or health, including a special focus on the disproportionate impacts to low-income communities, people of color, children, the elderly, individuals with asthma or other pre-existing conditions, and others
  • Coordinate research and science-based advocacy projects with other public health and nonprofit organizations in collaboration with EDF
  • Synthesize scientific results and insights from recent literature and communicate that information to a multi-disciplinary team, including EDF scientists, policy experts, and corporate and community partnership specialists, as well as external partners
  • Assist with research and publish papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and write reports/fact sheets/blog posts for general audiences on the topic of focus
  • Represent EDF externally, including meetings with community groups and advocacy organizations, policy makers, and scientific conferences and workshops
  • Provide expert scientific guidance to EDF's US Clean Air Team on air quality and/or health including through regulatory and legal filings


  • Must be a graduating student or a recent graduate of Stanford University.
  • A PhD, MPH, or M.S. in environmental or health science, physical sciences (e.g., toxicology, epidemiology chemistry, atmospheric science) or related field
  • A passion for public health, clean air, and equity, a commitment to rigorous analysis, creativity (and a dose of pragmatism) in the real-world application of scientific theory to practice, and knowledge of relevant environmental policy issues
  • Demonstrated scientific expertise
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience doing literature reviews, meta-analyses a plus
  • Ability to convey scientific concepts to non-scientists
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with diverse colleagues in a fast-paced environment
  • Intellectual agility and comfort with working across disciplines and learning new skills (on-the-job training will be provided to familiarize the successful candidate with media and policy skills and issues)
  • Proven ability to manage a diverse workload.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic, and entrepreneurial environment.
  • Interest in relating scientific research to real-world policy and in bridging the worlds of advocacy and academia
  • Interest in working with diverse partners in academia, public sector or business with desire to transition to policy-relevant research and science-based advocacy.
  • Interest in expanding expertise and exploring and developing in new areas.


Washington, DC


1-year term


Full-time (35 hours/week) 

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, written sample, and references.

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.