Program Manager, Office of Chief Scientist

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 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.  

The Office of Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that the scientific backbone for all EDF policy positions is based on the best available information. To be effective in this role, OCS works with staff from across EDF and provides programmatic support for all EDF scientists as well as fosters relationships with scientists in academia, government and industry.

 

OCS experts work with EDF’s Global Clean Air project to advance innovative ways to collect, assess, and disseminate air quality information using new and, often, still developing technologies and methods. Together with Health scientists and policy experts, OCS is exploring the best way to use these new methods to measure and track how policies at the intersection of air quality and climate impact air pollution disparities, with a focus on environmental justice and minimization of existing disparities.

 

Overall Function

 

The Program Manager will oversee development and implementation of key aspects of OCS projects and foster collaboration internally across EDF as well as externally with scientific researchers, NGO’s, agencies, and corporate partners. The Program Manager will implement project management best practices for complex science-based projects, manage relationships with varied stakeholders, and ensure deliverables and objectives are met. An initial focus will be the Global Clean Air initiative. For this initiative, the Program Manager will coordinate cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams to collect, analyze, interpret, and ultimately disseminate scientifically robust air quality information with implications for health, climate and environmental justice. Under the guidance of the Associate Vice President in the Office of Chief Scientist, this position uses experience and knowledge to independently guide and manage research and policy projects in a variety of locations around the world and effectively identify and build relationships with key stakeholders.

 

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage complex science-based projects that touch multiple EDF programs, create project workplans and ensure that varied teams stay on track to meet deliverables and objectives; develop and apply appropriate means for measuring project success; work with program financial analysts to track project budget.
  • Manage relationships and write and negotiate agreements and scopes of work with technical vendors, academic partners, and corporate partners.
  • Support hiring new team members including working with HR as well as supporting hiring managers with the recruitment process and onboarding.
  • Independently troubleshoot problems where precedents are not always available using an original arrangement or interpretation of complex information or activities to arrive at logical conclusions
  • Identify and develop relationships with key stakeholders in regulatory, academic, environmental justice and non-profit sectors with the goal of fostering relationships, gathering information, developing project ideas, recruiting partners, and advancing the overall strategic vision of the project through partnerships and collaboration.
  • Coordinate interdisciplinary teams comprised of staff from various internal programs and external organizations, with members across multiple time zones, including internationally. Set up and lead group meetings.
  • Serve as EDF representative in external settings such as conferences, workshops, and partnerships.
  • Communicate project goals and results to EDF leadership and staff, donors, companies, policymakers, environmental groups, the media and the public through reports and other methods.
  • Translate program and project needs into actionable items to advance program decision-making and liaise with programs to facilitate information sharing, identify synergies, and improve collaboration.
  • Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values. This includes fostering equitable systems and empowering diverse constituencies both internally and externally.
  • Be an integral team player in the development of a vibrant and entrepreneurial program by supporting fundraising efforts, evaluating and recommending new project ideas, and other relevant activities.
  • As part of OCS’s growing project management and operations team, proactively contribute to ideas around efficiencies and improvements.
  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned. 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least six (6) years program or related experience, or advanced degree with at least four (4) years of direct experience required.  Experience or education related to atmospheric science, environmental health, or climate or air quality policy a plus
  • Experience in project management and exceptional personal organization and attention to detail required
  • Independent judgment required to plan, prioritize, and organize a diverse workload
  • Experience balancing the needs of multiple diverse stakeholders including regulators and community organizations
  • Strong ability to work on multiple projects concurrently, both independently and as a member of multi-disciplinary teams in a dynamic, fast-paced and creative environment
  • Strong analytical skills and experience performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work
  • Ability to communicate complex and technical subject matter both in writing and orally
  • Strong oral presentation skills for both small and large audiences
  • A high level of strategic thinking is required to synthesize complex information to identify and deploy action plans
  • Possess a high degree of diplomacy to influence and manage key stakeholders and teams
  • Demonstrated ability to independently recommend and determine approaches to completing projects and managing processes where precedents are not always available
  • Ability to effectively communicate scientific information in an advocacy setting both to internal and external audiences
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with and lead colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Willingness to travel

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.

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