Sustainable Fisheries & Livelihoods Lokey Fellow

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 that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, 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 the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

The Lokey Fellowship program started in 1992 as an internship opportunity. Since then, the Lokey endowment has added over 22 interns and 18 fellows to Environmental Defense Fund. Their accomplishments have been far-reaching and some of the fellows continue their work on our staff - for example, Lisa Moore started as a Lokey Fellow and now works as a Senior Scientist in the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Program Overview

EDF's Oceans Program works to make sustainable fishing the norm through its programs in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific. In our lifetimes, we seek to create thriving, resilient oceans that provide more fish in the water, more food on the plate and more prosperous fishing communities, even with climate change.

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) play a critical role as a source of food, nutrition and livelihood for millions of people around the world. SSF communities are often vulnerable and marginalized, with limited governance capacities and a lack of local agency to ensure positive outcomes for local people and ecosystems. Exacerbating this challenge is the fact that most SSF communities will be disproportionately affected by climate change, further threatening their well-being. Warming ocean temperatures will cause fish populations to move poleward and away from the developing tropics where SSF are predominant, putting the livelihoods and food security of these communities at risk. Changing access to resources - and in many tropical places, a net loss of productivity from wild fisheries - has the potential to create instability and exacerbate inequity. EDF Oceans aims to advance solutions that help communities adapt to the effects of climate change to ensure sustainable, resilient fisheries even as waters warm. By building systems that address issues of equity in fisheries and integrate complementary ocean-dependent livelihood options with SSF, we can help create the social, economic and ecological conditions to create thriving, resilient fisheries and communities.

Overall Function

The Fellow will help EDF understand the ways in which decision-making processes, policies, and governance structures can more effectively foster equity and sustainability in SSF communities in the face of climate change. The Fellow will help craft recommendations for how to put these approaches into action, including how SSF communities can best come together to take joint action in pursuit of equitable and sustainable fisheries. In addition, the Fellow will help EDF develop other innovative solutions and policies to help promote equitable outcomes in affected areas, including consideration of other ocean-dependent livelihoods (e.g., aquaculture, blue carbon). The Fellow will contribute to the development of materials (e.g., tools, training materials, communications) to help support the implementation of these recommendations.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Research the link between equity,¬†decision-making processes, policies, governance structures, and conservation outcomes
  • Work with other EDF staff to craft recommendations on how to promote decision-making processes and structures that foster equity in fisheries in the face of climate change
  • Contribute to the development of materials (e.g., tools, training materials, communications) to help support the implementation of recommendations on promoting equity in fisheries
  • Work with EDF regional staff to design, test and implement climate change resiliency measures with a focus on equity in SSF in EDF's target geographies (e.g., Cuba, Belize, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, China, etc.) as appropriate ¬†
  • Research and analyze potential models for other ocean-dependent livelihoods (e.g., aquaculture, blue carbon) and develop reports or case studies outlining how these models could complement SSF to maintain thriving communities and stewardship of marine resources in the face of climate change
  • Assist with research and development of other innovative solutions and policies to help promote equitable conservation outcomes in SSF communities
  • Provide resources and education to the Oceans team through trainings, presentations, reports and other methods


  • Must be a graduating student or a recent graduate of Stanford University.
  • Interest in natural resource management and the connections between sustainable fisheries management and human well-being
  • Interest in and passion for international and community work; experience working in developing and emerging countries a plus
  • Coursework in international development, international policy, sociology, diversity, equity & inclusion, and other relevant fields
  • Excellent research and synthesis skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team setting
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem-solving skills
  • Familiarity with conservation, fisheries or aquaculture a plus, but not required
  • Language skills a plus (esp. Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Spanish)


San Francisco, CA


One-year term

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application.

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.