Environmental Justice Research Fellow and Policy Leader

Resources for the Future (RFF)

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Job Details

Job Location: RFF – WASHINGTON, DC

Position Type: Full Time

Education Level: PhD

Salary Range: $166,000.00 – $200,000.00 Salary/year

Travel Percentage: Negligible

Job Shift: Day

Job Category: Research


Organizational Profile

RFF’s mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF’s widely trusted research insights and policy solutions advance a healthy environment and thriving economy, equitably supporting people and communities, and helping solve the climate crisis.  

Our work centers on the design of smart strategies to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases and enhance resilience to climate change risks. We also emphasize issues related to equity, adaptation to structural transitions arising from decarbonization, and climate and policy impacts at the community level. Our experts bring the brightest thinking to bear on our future, while having shaped many of the world’s most successful environmental decisions and policies over the past 70 years.  

Working at RFF provides the opportunity to draw on one of the world’s largest collections of experts in environmental and natural resource economics as well as an extensive range of partnerships with NGO, government, academic, and private sector institutions.  Our people are the key to our success. We hope you will join us. 


Resources for the Future is seeking experienced researchers and policy specialists ready to lead team-based research, fundraising, and policy engagement activities on U.S. environmental justice issues, including analysis of the demographic and geographic distribution of climate change and climate policy impacts. Candidates should have a deep understanding of economic and other social outcomes affected by climate change, adaptation, and resilience policies; the design of policies that affect social outcomes and their distribution; have experience working in partnership with community-based organizations; and have an understanding of EJ’s history and current issues.  

The position is open to mid-career applicants with either a Doctoral degree and at least five years of professional experience beyond their doctorate or a Master’s degree and at least ten years of professional experience in environmental research and policy.  Appointments will be made at the Fellow, Senior Fellow, Initiative Director, and Program Director Level, depending on experience.

The ideal candidate will have the entrepreneurial drive to expand our portfolio of environmental justice work so that it has a lasting impact on environmental decisions and policy. We will consider individuals with proven track records of team-based research management and entrepreneurship, as well as experienced researchers with a strong motivation to develop the skills and experience needed to become such leaders.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A PhD in economics or closely related field, and more than 5 years of post-degree professional experience in climate policy research; OR, 
  • An alternative graduate degree (e.g., MA, JD, or PhDs less-closely related to economics) and at least 10 years of post-degree professional experience in climate policy research and engagement. 
  • Expertise related to the topics listed above, with a record of research publications and/or leading and managing teams producing research publications. 
  • Experience working within or closely with government agencies, and a network of governmental and non-governmental contacts related to environmental policy issues. 
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and lead new areas of research and policy engagement with lasting impact on environmental decisions and policy.   
  • Demonstrated research leadership skills, including project and program management ability. 
  • Management or supervisory experience leading, coaching, and mentoring staff, with increased responsibilities over time. 
  • Fundraising experience with government, foundations, corporations, multilateral organizations, and/or individuals. 
  • Experience with strategic communications, including outreach to media and target audiences in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors. 
  • Outstanding oral and written communications skills. 
  • Demonstrated interest in, and capability to work as part of a team to develop and execute strategy on an organizational level. 
  • Experience in building and maintaining partnerships with organizations, universities, and/or multilateral institutions. 

Application Procedures

  • All applicants should use RFF’s on-line application process at www.rff.org/careers. The required items are a letter of application describing interest in the position focusing on the relevant area(s) noted above and a resume/curriculum vitae.
  • Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. However, they should be received by November 26, 2023, in order to ensure full consideration. 
  • Should you experience any difficulty in applying online, or if you have other questions about the position, please email midcareerhiring@rff.org. 


  • Medical, Dental, Vision through Cigna
  • 35 hour work week
  • Flexible summer hours (4 day work week June-Sept)
  • Flexible work arrangement policy (hybrid work)
  • 11 paid holidays
  • 4 weeks PTO to start, increases to 5 weeks after 5 years, in addition to 13 paid sick days per year
  • Gym on site
  • Deli on site
  • Parking on site
  • RFF contributes up to 15% of your salary to a 403(b) retirement account, depending on employee age in addition to a 401(a)
  • Commuter benefit plans (pre-tax metro and parking

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, some standing, walking, sitting, bending, and carrying of light items such as books and papers is required.

Working Conditions

The work may involve everyday light risks and discomforts, which may require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices, meetings, and training rooms, etc. The work area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This position description may not describe all duties, responsibilities and skills associated with this position. It is intended to portray the major aspects of the job and is not meant to be all inclusive. Other duties or skills may be required.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

RFF (Resources for the Future) is committed to the letter and spirit of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in hiring and employment, nor in the administration or other programs. RFF’s Vision for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Future.

Visit our FAQ page to find out what it’s like to work at a world-class, policy-oriented research organization in the heart of Washington, DC.





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