Program Associate

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.

Office of the Chief Scientist - San Francisco, CA

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that all EDF positions are based on the best available natural and social science. OCS leads EDF’s exploration of emerging issues, pioneers new projects, provides programmatic support for all scientists at EDF and fosters relationships with scientists outside the organization.

Overall Function

Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a Program Associate who will provide key programmatic and administrative support to OCS. The Program Associate will work on tasks related to project tracking, scheduling, invoicing/contracts, communications, and meeting/event planning.  This role is part of the larger operational team within OCS. The Program Associate reports technically to the Senior Operations Manager, but also works closely in a team environment receiving direction from Associate Vice President, OCS and the OCS team.

Close collaboration and independent judgment are required to help plan, prioritize, organize and execute the workload within this busy program. This is an excellent opportunity to develop core management, organizational and communications skills and provide vital operational support to advance environmental and public health goals.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage schedules, organize meetings, conference calls and video conferences for the senior leaders of the OCS team
  • Process expense reports and submit program-related invoices
  • Administer and help draft contracts for consultants or other vendor
  • Schedule and manage logistics for expert workshops, program retreats, project meetings, webinars, conference calls, and other events, including reserving meeting spaces, arranging catering, travel and hotel accommodations for meeting participants, and other tasks as needed
  • Work closely with HR to oversee the process for the annual Atkinson intern recruitment and selection.
  • Maintain well-organized and accessible files for the OCS team including create and manage OCS staff contacts in Salesforce
  • Apply excellent organizational, communication and planning skills in preparing written products, responding to information requests, and helping coordinate and track activities among staff members
  • Attend internal and external meetings and document and track key takeaways, next steps, and resource or research needs
  • Assist with research and analysis related to key program goals
  • Collaborate on preparation and distribution of reports and other written materials
  • Works with Supervisor on operational tasks for the OCS team.
  • Perform miscellaneous administrative duties as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • At least 1-2 years of relevant work experience in fast-paced, detail-oriented environment.
  • Excellent organizational abilities and meticulous attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and with diverse colleagues and partners, and to prioritize and handle diverse, simultaneous tasks under pressure.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Proficiency in the use of IBM PCs and Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.); experience with Salesforce a plus.
  • An understanding of and commitment to EDF’s mission to protect public health and the environment.
  • Interest in environmental advocacy is preferred.

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.