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Senior Climate Scientist

Environmental Defense Fund
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Jul 12, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
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Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth - for everyone.

We're Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people's ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide and even in space.

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful workplace. Every job here makes a difference. Won't you join us?


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, Climate Technology 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 performed either 100% remotely or on a hybrid arrangement out of any US-based EDF office. 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.

EEO Information

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.
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