Senior Director, Climate Resilient Food Systems

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.  


Any US offices, Europe or remote.


Overall Function

The climate resilient food systems team works to create broad adoption of climate resilient food systems policies and practices globally.  The Senior Director plays a keep role in developing the principles, tools and networks needed to accomplish these goals and also oversees direct application of these approaches in several key geographies. A significant component of this work involves influencing and leveraging bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations through the development of strong relationships, provision of technical expertise and participation in key conferences, events and other thought-leadership opportunities. The Senior Director, Climate Resilient Food Systems works closely with and reports to the Vice President, Climate Resilient Food Systems and works collaboratively across EDF to implement program strategies focused on resilient food systems.


Key Responsibilities

  • Direct the multi-lateral, global partner work of the Climate Resilient Food Systems program to advance the transition to climate-resilient food systems worldwide.  Help develop and execute against the strategic vision for the program, with particular focus on the climate resilient management cross-cutting approach in key regions. Develop tactical plans as new opportunities emerge.
  • Further the climate resilient food systems program’s projects to advance knowledge and change, proactively identifying opportunities and addressing challenges; establish measures of success and evaluate projects against those standards.
  • Identify and execute against opportunities for the program to demonstrate thought-leadership on climate resilient food system strategies.  Engage in and create high-level panels, conferences and conference side-events, and direct engagements with influential stakeholders including government decision-makers, scientists, industry, NGOs, and others.
  • 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
  • Oversee consultants and coordinate with staff and partners to ensure aligned execution of work to achieve results.
  • Play an important role in fundraising efforts, including drafting proposals, growing relationships with donors and foundation officers, tracking and reporting progress, and other functions. With the Vice President, work to cultivate new funders and individuals to contribute to the fundraising goals. Liaise with EDF Executive Team and Board of Trustees as needed.
  • Collaborate with other program leaders (e.g., Regional Directors, Science Team, Global Initiatives group, Communications Director, etc.) to ensure appropriate coordination on work.
  • Manage project budgets, including making strategic decisions about spending.
  • Help develop and recruit talent, including consultants and staff, to grow the cadre of experts on climate-resilient food systems.
  • Recommend new opportunities for EDF engagement.
  • Serve as a lead authority on issues of effective natural resources management design and implementation. Regularly communicate in various fora (internal, public, etc.) on key areas of expertise, representing EDF and the Climate Resilient Systems Food program.
  • Interface with EDF senior management, board, trustees and key funders as a program leader and content expert.



The successful candidate will have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in relevant field (international development, agricultural, food systems, fisheries management, science, economics, environmental policy, etc.), with at least 10 years of progressively senior experience.
  • Demonstrated thought-leadership in international development, food, fisheries and/or agricultural science and policy as evidenced by a strong record of publications and appointments, and visibility in media, at key international conferences, and other venues.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a multidisciplinary, dispersed team, and to coordinate successfully across teams and business units.
  • Established relationships with high-level collaborators who can advance EDF’s work, and ability to expand upon that network.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge collaborations and work in effective partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Ability to exercise the highest level of professional, scientific and technical judgment on a regular basis.
  • Significant fundraising experience both with grant proposal development and direct contact with funders.
  • Experience managing budgets and successfully pursuing and managing grants.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; excellent presentation skills to small and large groups and ability to effectively communicate with technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently, and as part of dynamic teams.
  • Willingness to travel within the U.S. and internationally as needed.
  • Commitment to and passion for EDF’s mission, vision and values.

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.