Water Program Senior Research Associate

Pacific Institute

Berkeley, CA, United States 🇺🇸

October 3, 2016: The Pacific Institute is seeking a Senior Research Associate to support work in the organization’s Water and Sustainability Program. Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that provides science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. Our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.

Position Description

The Pacific Institute is seeking a Senior Research Associate to join its top-notch Water and Sustainability Program. This role supports the development and advancement of sustainable water use and management practices. The position includes major responsibility for project management and fundraising. The Senior Research Associate will conduct research and analysis and direct junior and mid-level research staff on specific projects. The Senior Research Associate will collaborate with all research staff at the Institute and partnering organizations as warranted by specific projects, and is expected to work with minimal supervision. This is a full-time position based in Oakland, California.

The following are the core functions of this position:

  • Independently and creatively design and manage research and policy projects related to sustainable water use and management;
  • Develop and implement project work plans and manage project timelines and budgets;
  • Prepare final reports and written products in both technical and non-technical areas;
  • Manage relationships with and contributions of project team members and co-authors, as well as those from a wide range of collaborating organizations;
  • Independently identify funding opportunities, write grant proposals, and secure funding for specific projects; and
  • Widely present findings, recommendations, and best practices to the media and at conferences, webinars, and other events.

Anticipated 2016/2017 programmatic work:

  • Develop technical guidance for integrating efficiency into water demand forecasts;
  • Evaluate water implications of alternative land-use planning scenarios; and
  • Evaluate opportunities and challenges for implementing demand management and alternative water supplies, including water conservation and efficiency, stormwater capture, and water reuse.

Required Qualifications:


  • Advanced degree in water resources, natural resource management, engineering, or relevant field;
  • Four to seven years work experience in relevant field;
  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent written communication skills with a proven record of publishing technical analyses, peer-reviewed reports, and general interest articles;
  • Excellent oral communication skills with extensive public speaking experience;
  • A demonstrated ability to raise funds; and
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience working in climate change resilience;
  • Operational experience with ESRI GIS software; and
  • Operational experience with data visualization tools.

Compensation and Benefits:

Compensation includes a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package that includes health, dental coverage, and retirement.
Travel: The position holder may be required to undertake business travel including overnight stays.

Equal Opportunities: Pacific Institute is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Start Date: Available immediately

Application Procedure

Please send a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and contact information for three references to: Terry Asbury at the Pacific Institute, 654 13th Street, Oakland, California 94612. Submissions by email ([email protected]) are also acceptable; please write “Senior Research Associate, Water Program” in the e-mail subject line. No phone calls. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. We regret that we will only be able to contact short-listed candidates.