Senior Health 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.  

Overall Function


The Senior Health Scientist supports EDF’s work to reduce disparities in health impacts from air pollution and other environmental pollutants. She/he will work with the EDF Health team to develop and conduct research projects that investigate the relationship between health impacts and criteria air and hazardous air toxics from multiple sources, including the power sector, transportation, and the oil and gas industry; to collaborate with community partners and local stakeholders to evaluate and assess equitable mitigation strategies; and to develop effective communications and advocacy initiatives to reduce emissions and exposures. The Senior Health Scientist reports to the Sr. Director, Health & Climate.


This position will be located in EDF’s San Francisco, Austin, Boston, New York City, Raleigh or Washington, DC office (with option for geographic flexibility for the right candidate).



This is a two year fixed term contract.


Key Responsibilities

  • Manage, advise, and participate in the development of environmental health research projects with academic collaborators, including design & conduct collaborative research with goal of submitting research for peer-review
  • Manage relationships with the public health community partners & local stakeholders
  • Effectively translate and distill complex scientific concepts into accessible language for EDF donors/members, policy makers and lay audience including presentations, blogs, proposals, and other internal documents
  • Advise on the development of programmatic and strategic directions for the Health program and organization
  • Mentor EDF scientists
  • Represent EDF in a variety of settings, including state and federal legislatures, state and federal agencies, meetings with corporate executives, and meetings with other NGOs.
  • Help keep EDF at the cutting edge of science in Environmental Health


  • PhD/DrPH in epidemiology and at least 6 years of experience; able to lead and mentor others
  • Strategic thinker who has demonstrated the ability to direct one’s own advocacy work and scientific research
  • Established publication record based on research in a relevant discipline
  • Initiates and maintains extensive contacts within a scientific community
  • Superior oral and written communication skills, including working with media
  • Desire and ability to excel at the interface of scholarship and advocacy
  • Proven ability to lead a comprehensive science-focused project
  • Ability to work with and communicate effectively with non-academics and non-scientists
  • 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.