Senior Manager (Water Information Systems)

Sacramento or San Francisco, CA, US

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.

Ecosystems and Water Program

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 Western Water Program.

With cities, farmers, and wildlife vying for the same water, the ongoing drought in the West is having a major impact across the region. The drought is also creating sufficient pressure to motivate a real shift in water management, and EDF is working to develop scalable and replicable implementation models that improve water supply reliability, reduce economic risks, and free up water for environmental needs through sensible, economically resilient approaches including enhanced and expanded water trading.


The Senior Manager will lead EDF’s efforts to rapidly advance improved water management decision-making and how water information is used to support those decisions.  She/he will actively engage a broad range of stakeholders in deliberate, organized efforts to accelerate progress on some of the most important water information needs. The Senior Manager will help to shape, and lead EDF’s participation in these efforts, alongside a network of agricultural interests, agency interests, science and technology researchers, leading technology practitioners, and NGO partners. In the near term, EDF expects to organize a coordinated effort to advance tools to measure agricultural consumptive use, which is a critical piece of information to facilitate healthy water trading. Reporting to the Associate Vice President, Ecosystems –Water, and working closely with other members of the Water and broader Ecosystems team, along with an exceptional team of advisors and consultants, she/he will shape and advance the Ecosystems Program’s priorities for lasting environmental change.


  • Organize, manage and direct collaborative water data and information system efforts, including multi-stakeholder project teams that include EDF staff and high-level experts and managers outside EDF.
  • Ensure effective communication, coordination, and efficiency, and leverage the strengths and experience of staff and consultants across the West to advance program objectives.
  • Develop and oversee plans and budgets for projects under the candidate’s purview, review and update budget and strategic planning documents and work plans
  • Leverage existing relationships, create new relationships, and forge alliances among disparate interest groups in the western U.S. to develop support for improvements in water data and information systems and encourage collaboration toward bringing such advancements to fruition.
  • Shape, in cooperation with EDF marketing and communications staff and other advisors, communications and information programs to advance project objectives and communicate project results to a target audiences.
  • Coordinate work of teams under the Senior Manager’s purview with internal and external colleagues and engage academic scientists, policy experts, and others to solve complex water management problems.
  • Represent EDF’s Ecosystem Program at regional and national meetings as needed. Work with Program leadership and development officers to identify potential funding sources to secure the long-term success of the program.
  • Engage directly with foundation officers and individual donors supporting the team’s work, and coordinate with development staff to report to them as required.
  • Function as a member of the Water Program’s leadership team with the goal of improving the effectiveness of the overall Program and aligning and integrating projects under the candidate’s purview with broader objectives of the Ecosystems Program.
  • Serve as a mentor for junior staff and identify opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • Participate as a team member on other projects and programs, contributing expertise, project management support, and/or outreach support, commensurate with the successful candidate’s specific capacities.
  • Represent EDF at various conferences and other public speaking engagements, and provide expert level information to EDF and the broader water community


  • At least 8 years of experience in water science and engineering that includes working with multiple stakeholders to address water management issues in the western U.S. with 10 or more years of experience preferred. Experience in California is highly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. A degree related to hydrology, water resources, or agriculture is highly preferred. Master’s degree in science or engineering related to hydrology, water resources, or agriculture is preferred,
  • Demonstrated record of bringing data analysis and complex information presentation to bear on management and decision-making in water resources.
  • High level of comfort with physical, legal, institutional, and political aspects of western water management, including familiarity with current standards of practice in irrigated agriculture.
  • Experience in natural resource policy generally and water policy in particular is highly preferred.
  • Experience working with water and natural resource agency senior management and staff, particularly agricultural water interests.
  • Demonstrated record of working effectively in multi-stakeholder collaborations.
  • Familiarity with remote-sensing based methods of data collection and analysis highly preferred. Experience with methods of estimation of consumptive water use is an added plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage complex programs and staff, including managing the work of others without having direct administrative authority over them. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills for communicating with varied audiences.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and lead a team in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment.
  • Experience managing a diverse workload.
  • Exceptional personal organization and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency in the use of standard business software, including Microsoft Word, 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