Senior Researcher (Public Policy & Practice Uptake)

Pacific Institute

USA 🇺🇸


Position Title: Senior Researcher – Public Policy & Practice Uptake

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Hours: Full Time (35 hours per week)

Location: This position is eligible for remote work within the United States

Salary: $72,000 to $86,000, commensurate with qualifications, includes a competitive benefits package, and subject to location-based adjustment

Travel: Some business travel may be required, including overnight stays

Start Date: Available immediately


Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water research and policy non-profit organization based in Oakland, California. Our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. We combine science-based thought leadership with active outreach to advance water sustainability and resilience in communities around the world. Our science-based approach draws from many disciplines and benefits from collaboration with diverse stakeholders, from local governments and UN agencies to businesses and grassroots organizations.


We are seeking a collaborative, impact-focused self-starter with a passion for and experience in increasing the adoption of water policies and practices within the public sector by overcoming identified barriers and building networks to socialize best practices. The ideal candidate will have a technical background in and passion for water sustainability and resilience; experience working at the research and policy nexus; experience successfully increasing adoption of water-related policies and practices; strong communication skills; experience engaging with diverse stakeholders; and an ability to work independently and in teams.

Core Responsibilities

The Senior Researcher is expected to fulfill the following core functions:

  • Develop and implement, in collaboration with other Research team members and the Communications & Outreach team, a strategy for advancing policies and practices for Pacific Institute priority topics. In the near term, this will focus on integrating multi-benefit approaches into public water policy and planning and over time could include other topics, e.g., water efficiency and reuse, nature-based solutions, and water-climate-social equity.
  • Conduct primary and secondary research and analysis, including through collaboration with other researchers and partner organizations, to fill key knowledge gaps that support scaling policies and practices.
  • Support the Communications & Outreach team in the development and implementation of a communications strategy that supports policy and practice adoption.
  • Build strong relationships and networks with key stakeholders, such as from government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
  • Fundraise for projects and initiatives, including identifying funding opportunities and writing concept notes and grant proposals.
  • Deliver engaging and authoritative presentations to advance strategic goals at conferences, webinars, and other events.

Desired Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in relevant field, such as environmental sciences, public health, or public policy, or work experience in lieu of a degree.
  • At least 7 years of relevant work experience.
  • Experience with innovative co-financing mechanisms involving water and non-water sectors, such as the energy, transportation, and/or health sectors.
  • Familiarity with public administration, budgeting, and accounting.
  • Experience conducting data-driven policy analysis and engagement.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate and conduct research on interdisciplinary topics.
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders in the United States and/or internationally.
  • Demonstrated ability to write successful fundraising proposals.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate with a variety of people and groups from diverse backgrounds.

The Pacific Institute is an equal-opportunity employer committed to a diverse workforce. We encourage candidates from a wide range of backgrounds to apply and individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Recognizing the inherent inequities that exist in our society, our sector, and our work, the Pacific Institute is dedicated to improving our internal policies, procedures, and programmatic priorities to ensure a diverse workforce and culture of inclusion. We have accelerated our efforts and refreshed our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As part of this commitment, we request that candidates include a short statement in their cover letters to address how they approach a commitment to DEI in their own work and would contribute this approach to the Pacific Institute’s future work.

If you think you have a matching skill set for this role, please apply with your resume, writing sample, and cover letter including your DEI statement– we look forward to hearing from you!





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development