Program Assistant (Ecosystems Water)

Sacramento, CA, US

About the Organization

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

The Ecosystems Program & Water Initiative

Ecosystems is one of four major programs within EDF. The program has bold goals to reach by 2020 that are centered around ending fertilizer pollution, reversing habitat loss on working lands, restoring and protecting coastal communities, and revitalizing working rivers and their ability to provide a resilient water supply. This last goal is the focus of EDF’s Water initiative.


With cities, farmers, and wildlife vying for the same water, the ongoing drought in the West is having a major impact across the region but particularly on California’s ecosystems and its world-leading agricultural economy. The drought is also creating sufficient pressure to motivate a real shift in water management, and EDF is working to develop a scalable and replicable implementation model that improves water supply reliability, reduces economic risk, and frees up water for in-stream flows through enhanced and expanded water markets. At the same time, EDF is working to identify institutional and regulatory barriers to more operational water markets.

Environmental Defense Fund is hiring a Program Assistant to provide support to the ecosystems water team. The Program Assistant has primary administrative responsibility across a wide range of tasks and functions associated with the team. This position is a part of the overall Ecosystems operations team, and ensures the smooth and effective function of administrative functions. The Program Assistant helps coordinate and facilitate meetings and internal communications and assists the team with execution of the ongoing business of the program, including coordinating schedules, contracting, invoicing, expense reporting, and other general administrative duties. The Program Assistant may also engage in program and policy work as needed, including but not limited to research, writing and editing, and review of materials.

The Program Assistant reports to the Associate Vice President, Ecosystems – Water.


  • Maintain calendars, schedule travel arrangements, submit expense reports, and coordinate logistics for Associate Vice President and other senior members of the team
  • Assist with administering contracts for consultants, including assistance in writing and executing contracts, working with the Accounting Department to ensure payments of contracts and with consultants to ensure the obligations of contracts are fulfilled.
  • Organize and maintain electronic and paper files including key program-related documents
  • Track grant reporting requirements and work with team to organize and schedule reporting efforts and complete needed reports.
  • Work with program management, program staff, and program operations team on administrative projects.
  • Help plan and facilitate internal and external meetings, document and track action items and next steps, and evaluate and follow up on resource or research needs.
  • Coordinate information requests from external sources and other programs and/or departments to ensure requests are met according to deadlines.
  • Assist in programmatic activities as needed, including: conducting background research, preparing materials, proofreading documents, reviewing and summarizing reports, and attending hearings and other events
  • Proactively identify and implement mechanisms to enhance operational effectiveness of the ecosystems water team.


  • Bachelor’s degree, course work in environmental policy preferred
  • Some professional administrative experience preferred
  • Ability to effectively juggle and execute multiple, time-sensitive tasks simultaneously
  • Highly personable demeanor and ability to communicate clearly and effectively with others
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Eagerness to work both independently and as part of a small and nimble team
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word and Outlook, strong skills with Excel and PowerPoint

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer