Director: U.S. Climate Policy & Analysis

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Climate Program Overview

EDF has long been a champion of market-based solutions to environmental issues, including programs to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. We helped design the sulfur dioxide cap-and-trade program; were instrumental in passing and implementing California’s emission trading system under its AB32 law; and played a lead role in the effort to pass comprehensive climate legislation in the U.S. Congress in 2009-2010. EDF’s U.S. Climate team continues to be at the center of this policy analysis and development, incorporating economic, scientific, and legal expertise to secure policy change at the state, federal, and regional levels to curb climate pollution. Working in concert with our climate team, EDF’s U.S. Clean Energy program is focused on transforming our current energy system in order to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy that provides clean energy access for all. Together, EDF’s Climate and Energy programs are working to leverage breakthrough technologies and innovative “Fourth Wave” tools that provide new ways to solve environmental problems in order to supercharge our efforts to mitigate dangerous climate change. 

Overall Function

The Director will play a lead role on a growing team, helping to shape EDF’s vision for U.S. climate policy to advocate and build support for in the lead-up to a new Administration and Congress in 2021. This includes overseeing and conducting research and analysis critical to informing and advancing our climate policy positioning as well as driving the development of an emerging initiative for EDF focused on clean energy innovation. The Director will be based in Washington, D.C. and report to the Senior Director of U.S. Climate Policy & Analysis, while working in close collaboration with a range of EDF’s climate, economic, and political experts.

Key Responsibilities

  • Play a lead role in formulating EDF’s U.S. federal climate policy objectives and advocacy positions on major policy design elements
  • Oversee and conduct rigorous economic and technical analysis related to a range of U.S. federal climate and energy policy proposals - including (but not limited to) carbon pricing policy, regulatory policy, and clean energy innovation programs
  • Develop timely, comprehensible, politically salient materials for policy makers, media outlets, and other stakeholders (including analyses, fact sheets, answers to specific queries, and other information as needed), in close coordination with relevant EDF staff
  • Develop and deploy analytical tools designed to educate external stakeholders (e.g., Congressional staff) and inform internal thinking on policy design
  • Identify research and analytical needs to be met through external consultants and partners, and oversee those contract
  • Organize and coordinate EDF’s efforts on innovation policy, leveraging expertise across the organization in support of advancing a concerted effort focused on federal clean energy innovation
  • Develop recommendations to help advance innovation policy and critical emerging low and zero-carbon technologies
  • Contribute to EDF advocacy on other U.S. climate policy efforts as appropriate, including emission trading programs and other market-based policies at the state level
  • Present analysis and findings through clear and compelling oral presentations to both internal and external audiences
  • Write and prepare white papers, technical reports, policy briefs, and communications materials aimed at external audiences
  • Draft internal decision memos, policy documents, testimony, talking points, etc.
  • Represent EDF in external settings (e.g., meetings with policy makers, Congressional staff, other environmental organizations, research institutions, or corporations) and build partnerships with key organizations focused on climate and clean energy innovation policy
  • Contribute to fundraising strategies, proposals, and reports


We are seeking candidates who have a demonstrated ability to oversee and conduct rigorous research and technical economic analysis in the area of climate and/or energy policy. Candidates must have exceptional problem solving skills and a demonstrated ability to ensure consistency and quality of research products. You should also have:

  • Graduate degree in economics or public policy with more than 10 years’ experience working on climate and/or energy policy issues, including relevant research or analytical work
  • A deep understanding of energy systems and clean energy technologies as well as broad knowledge of market-based climate policy and relevant fundamentals of economic theory and practice
  • Demonstrated success in managing and conducting rigorous energy and economic analysis
  • Experience working with the Department of Energy and/or the National Labs preferred and knowledge of the federal budget and appropriations process a plus
  • Strong ability to effectively synthesize and communicate technical and policy findings in a clear and concise manner to colleagues internally and to external non-technical audiences through both written and oral communication
  • Strong ability to prioritize and execute in a fast-paced environment with changing needs and critical deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to lead small teams and complex projects and to work collaboratively across programs in a complex multidisciplinary organization