Senior Analyst, Climate Resilient Water Systems

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.


We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.


Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Location—Sacramento, San Francisco, Central Valley



The Water team is dedicated to developing water policy and management solutions that balance water supply and demand and increase the resilience of water systems that support communities and ecosystems.  The team has established a reputation as a trusted and credible partner with diverse stakeholders, governments, and water agencies; expertise in groundwater challenges and solutions; and as an advocate for transformational change in water policy and practices that incorporate ecosystem and environmental justice goals. The work currently is focused within California, the Colorado River Basin and Texas, with active exploration of new work in other domestic U.S. and international locations. 



The Senior Analyst will provide research, data analysis, project tracking and coordination, and writing support to advance the Water team’s goals and objectives. The Senior Analyst may also support the collection and development of modelling or other water resource information sets to inform strategies and assist communications or outreach.  The role will assist communications including support of various grant writing and reporting activities. The Senior Analyst will actively and collaboratively engage with internal EDF partners and subject matter experts, and as directed with a broad range of external stakeholders, to support execution of program activities.  Both the mix of the type of work and its geographic focus will vary depending on the program’s evolving priorities, opportunities, and funding. 


The Senior Analyst will contribute to activities related to promoting agricultural and rural community resilience, including inclusive water decision making and governance, water conservation, water equity issues natural infrastructure, sustainable and equitable water management plans and programs, demand management, sustainable groundwater management, multi-benefit land use and potentially water policy reform strategies and advocacy. The Senior Analyst will also support the execution of program-wide initiatives such as OpenET as needed. The position will report to the Senior Director, Climate Resilient Water Systems. 


Key Responsibilities

Analytical and Data

  • Independently provide research and data analysis to support existing projects and evaluate new project ideas.
  • Support the development of methods and formats for communicating water resource data (quantitative and qualitative) and information to influence the creation and implementation of sustainable water policies and management plans.
  • Support the development of an open source water data accounting and trading platform, in coordination with the CA Water Data Consortium, relevant state agencies and various stakeholders.
  • Review and track the latest literature and state-of-the-art practices relevant to freshwater-focused civil society and find ways to help the team incorporate best practices.


Writing and Communication

  • Provide high quality written and verbal summary-level analyses of a wide range of freshwater-related challenges, drawing from multiple inputs from internal and external sources, often based on incomplete information.
  • Function as an integral part of teams working to influence water management and/or policy outcomes in different geographies, helping the team to collect and synthesize and utilize information and stories for advocacy needs and opportunities.
  • As directed, assist team members with internal and external communications, and grant proposals and reports to funding partners.
  • Monitor the latest developments on relevant water policy, legislation and resource management topics and issues and incorporate them in project plans and activities.


Project Management

  • Manage specific project tasks such as outreach to existing and potential partners, developing work plans and timetables, and tracking and coordinating project work and deliverables. This will likely include:
  • Participate in various team meetings and work with program leadership to ensure that internal and external team members are on track towards key goals and deliverables;
  • Work with other team members to track and record progress towards project milestones and provide input on plan adjustments when needed; and
  • Help to ensure timely program reports to EDF leadership and funder partners.
  • On occasion, attend meetings, conferences and events, primarily in the western U.S., and represent EDF and the Western Water Team with professionalism and integrity.
  • Actively develop technical and professional documentation including reports, memorandums, fact sheets, blog posts and brochures for general and specific audiences.
  • Participates 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.
  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned.



  • BA or BS in either the social or natural sciences, with a focus on environmental issues preferably drawing on multi or interdisciplinary approaches. MA or MS in an applied and related field and with experience using an array of technical quantitative and qualitative methods is preferred.
  • 4 years of relevant experience (MA/MS can substitute for up to 2 years), ideally with some focus or proven proficiency in one or more of the following areas:
    • Water or natural resources management
    • Structural water use reductions consistent with resilient agricultural and rural communities
    • Water issues impacting Native American and/or disadvantaged communities.
    • State or federal policy development and advocacy
    • Community-based approaches to addressing sustainability issues
  • A minimum of 2 years of research and/or project coordination experience.
  • Proficiency in web-based computer applications and standard desktop-based software, including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
  • Ability to work independently and support a multi-disciplinary team, using independent judgment to plan, prioritize and organize a diverse workload in a fast-paced environment; project management experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to grasp and engage with a wide diversity of approaches to understanding and engaging with water problems and solutions.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Demonstrated basic knowledge of the history and legacies of water management in the Western U.S. and beyond and ability or potential to think through current water problems drawing on that contextual understanding.
  • A basic understanding of environmental ethics and the inherent justice and equity dimensions of sustainability problems and freshwater challenges in particular.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interface well with people from various backgrounds and to represent the team in a highly professional manner.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to effectively communicate technical information in an advocacy setting.
  • Strong quantitative skills and experience in performing rigorous analyses
  • Demonstrated research skills and ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and interpret scientific data and other information.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel occasionally, primarily to other western U.S. states.


Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 68,000 - 75,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

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.