Officer, Conservation Science (Terrestrial Ecosystems)

Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington D.C.
Oct 18, 2018
Dec 17, 2018
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.

We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the public interests.

With offices in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Brussels and London and staff in other regions of the United States as well as Australia, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.

The Research and Science Portfolio at The Pew Charitable Trusts
The research and science portfolio includes both programmatic, functional, and outreach elements. It spans all of Pew's programmatic work with a focus on advancing quality research and science and deploying research expertise to further the goals of ongoing projects. The portfolio reviews the design of new research projects across the institution to ensure they are high-quality, unbiased, and methodologically sound. The programmatic elements of the portfolio include specific projects related to biomedical science, environmental science, fiscal federalism, and Philadelphia public policy research. In addition, research and science has a role in communicating timely, accurate information on state issues to the general public as the Pew daily news publication, Stateline, is part of our organization. The portfolio also includes an operational aspect working to ensure effective management systems across the program department and coordinating with key partners across the institution.

Project overview
The conservation science (CS) program works to generate and synthesize scientific research that informs conservation policy and frames solutions to global environment challenges. The CS team enhances the scientific foundation of Pew's environmental work by providing centralized technical expertise, developing research projects, and identifying new scientific results relevant to Pew's existing and emerging conservation interests. Integrating the results of peer-reviewed research into public policy and campaign strategy development are significant components of the program's work.

Position overview
The officer serves as the principal liaison to staff working in Pew's two environment portfolios – Americas and international – and Pew's strategy team on issues relating to terrestrial ecosystems and is responsible for encouraging the development of scientific initiatives that inform new and existing project strategies. In addition to providing high-level scientific expertise across a wide range of topics to project and strategy teams, the officer leads CS's collaboration with Pew strategy and policy staff to develop, fund, and manage a broad array of scientific research projects. Tasks include contributing relevant information about Pew environment campaigns and strategies to CS staff; collaborating on research design with external contractors and grantees; and leading scientific research projects as appropriate. Other responsibilities include contributing to policy outreach efforts for research and managing aspects of the conservation science program as needed. This position, located in Pew's Washington, D.C. office, will report to the Project Director, Conservation Science Program.


  • Lead strategic thinking for Pew's environmental science efforts related to terrestrial ecosystems, and contribute to cross-cutting initiatives among environmental programs.
  • Maintain wide-ranging knowledge of pertinent research in environmental science (including remote sensing and molecular tools) and in-depth understanding of conservation policy to place research results in appropriate context.
  • Provide technical expertise to Pew's campaigns and strategy team, with a focus on identifying scientific research that informs policy goals and promotes scientific engagement.
  • Serve as a primary liaison between the scientific community and Pew, including by recruiting outside experts as necessary.
  • Coordinate the exchange of information between Pew projects, strategy staff, and conservation science staff. Maintain familiarity with campaign objectives and research relevant to campaign work.
  • Collaborate broadly with Pew's environmental projects and strategy staff to identify needs and priorities for scientific research within environmental initiatives.
  • Develop effective research proposals in coordination with Pew staff and external scientists that address relevant policy and/or strategy needs within suitable timeframes and budgets.
  • Develop research plans, grants, and contracts to ensure scientific proposals are accurately translated into project agreements
  • Manage a portfolio of research projects. Duties include: collaborating on research design, tracking project deliverables and deadlines, ensuring coordination of activities with Pew policy and CS staff, and identifying emerging communications opportunities as needed.
  • As necessary, serve as lead investigator for desk-based research projects, including reviews and meta-analyses; supervise the contributions of other Pew staff in these efforts.
  • Review and coordinate the communication of scientific analysis and conservation implications of CS-supported environmental research.
  • Participate in and contribute to CS meetings, workshops, and other events. Assist with other tasks as requested.


  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree in environmental sciences, conservation biology, or a related field strongly preferred. Deep knowledge of remote sensing and/or molecular tools a plus.
  • Minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience in environmental science and environmental policy issues is required. Specific knowledge of and experience with terrestrial resource management and/or conservation policy strongly preferred.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with Pew staff, consultants, partners, grantees, and others. Operates as both a team leader and player in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Experience working in a technical role within a research or policy institution is highly desirable, as is experience developing and managing a portfolio of environmental research projects.
  • Demonstrated strategic and analytical skills. Political awareness, with a non-partisan perspective and approach. Experience with state, national and/or intergovernmental institutions preferred.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills. Strong ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time, and remain attentive to detail.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization and attention to detail. Ability to make decisions and operate effectively in uncertain or changing situations.

Occasional domestic and international travel required for conferences and meetings.

Total Rewards
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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