Senior Scientist, Climate Technology

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 science that is the backbone for all EDF policy positions is based on the best available information. To be most effective in this role, OCS provides programmatic support for all scientists at EDF and fosters relationships with scientists outside the organization.


To stabilize the global climate, the world will need safe, large-scale technological innovation that delivers effective carbon mitigation on an accelerated timeline. Countless concepts and technologies are now in the nascent stages of scientific research. The more quickly we can identify obstacles to developing solutions that deliver benefits to people and the environment, as well as the means to safely address these obstacles, the more effective the investment community and governments can be in mobilizing effective technologies from demonstration to deployment and large-scale commercialization.


Overall Function


EDF seeks a Senior Scientist with proven inter-disciplinary, collaborative research experience to provide the intellectual leadership for a new initiative that bring together experts from multiple disciplines in a series of workshops to assess potential climate implications, the physical constraints, and the economic and sociopolitical factors at play in bringing specific early-stage climate mitigation technologies to scale. The result will be a comprehensive assessment of opportunities and constraints for at least ten climate innovations and the most critical investments required for scaling. The selected candidate will lead the process of selecting the specific technologies to be evaluated, identify the leading experts on each technology and facilitate structured dialogues in a workshop format, and develop public-facing written outputs. The Senior Scientist will work within EDF’s Office of Chief Scientist, in close collaboration with the Energy Transitions, Climate, and Innovations workstreams. The Senior Scientist will report to the Associate Chief Scientist.




This position can be based in any EDF office, or remotely. While many staff in the Office of Chief Scientist work remotely, a number of OCS staff are clustered in the Austin and Boulder offices.


Key Responsibilities

  • Provide intellectual leadership for a new initiative to assess ten or more climate mitigation technologies over three-years, through a series of expert workshops. Summarize insights for policy makers, investors, and the research community to accelerate progress in needed areas.
  • Remain current with the cutting-edge of climate technology and relevant scientific literature.
  • Ensure scientific integrity of EDF-generated materials related to climate innovation.
  • Lead in the preparation of scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Attend and represent EDF at external meetings and interact with the scientific community at large.
  • 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
  • Independently support other “rapid response” and/or project development efforts on an as-needed basis.
  • Collaborate with expert colleagues across several relevant EDF workstreams to coordinate and integrate workshops with EDF’s broader climate innovation work.
  • With Development, create donor-facing materials and if needed, meet with key donors to give progress reports.
  • Supervise a Research Analyst to help research, plan and coordinate the workshops.



  • PhD in environmental science, atmospheric science, physical science, engineering (e.g., environmental engineering) or related field.
  • At least 3-5 years of relevant experience not including a post-doctoral fellowship
  • Experience working in the intersection of energy systems, climate, technology and public policy and ability to collaborate effectively with experts across these areas
  • Demonstrated scientific expertise in cross-disciplinary research, including but not limited to a record of scholarly publications and/or involvement in scientific panels.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to synthesize, interpret, and communicate scientific information in an advocacy setting and for non-scientific audiences.
  • Initiates and maintains extensive contacts within the scientific community; familiarity with the work of leading experts in the climate technology field.
  • Exceptional personal organization and attention to detail; experience in project management is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel internationally.
  • Experience in performing rigorous analysis with short deadlines in support of highly visible work.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Working proficiency in a language in addition to English is a plus.

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.