Executive Director (India)

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Delhi, , IN

Since 2009, EDF staff have worked closely with Indian partners, including government officials, businesses, academia, development and environmental NGOs, and others in civil society, to demonstrate how low-carbon economic development can deliver tangible near-term benefits, such as cleaner air and stronger rural economies. We are now poised to ramp up our efforts significantly by establishing a new organization in India that embodies EDF’s hallmarks of strong science and economics; uncommon partnerships; and a pragmatic focus on policy solutions that harness the power of markets and economic incentives.

EDF, on behalf of this new Indian organization, seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and visionary leader to establish and grow the new EDF India organization – one that is focused on India’s unique priorities and opportunities while also drawing strength from EDF’s overarching vision, experience, and global reach. The Executive Director will have the opportunity to help drive transformational change in India that will improve air quality and rural economies for hundreds of millions of people and alter the trajectory of future carbon emissions on a global scale.

NOTE: EDF plans to assist in establishing a new nonprofit entity in India and until such time as that occurs, this role will be considered as a full-time Consultant to EDF, Inc. after which it will convert to on-staff head of the to be formed Indian entity. The role of the head of the Indian organization will remain the same in terms of lead role and responsibilities to be undertaken.

Overall Function

The Executive Director will establish and grow a new, independent, innovative, and highly effective environmental organization in India that embodies EDF’s unique strengths, approach, and organizational culture. S/he will be the face of EDF India, responsible for identifying and establishing a network of Indian partners, advisors and ambassadors, and inspiring philanthropic support from high-net worth individuals and foundations both in India and globally. The Director will establish EDF India as a leading and highly respected voice on air quality and climate change in India, representing the organization in meetings with policy makers and business leaders, and forging partnerships with leading Indian academic and research institutions, NGOs, and companies. S/he will also oversee EDF India’s program work, in collaboration with India program staff and the leadership of EDF’s Climate program. While the organization’s initial focus will be on climate change and air quality, the Executive Director may have opportunities in the future to lead the development of new areas of work in other program areas, including oceans, ecosystems, and health.

The Executive Director will be based in Delhi, with frequent travel in India and occasional international travel, including to the United States.


  • Oversee the establishment of EDF India as a new nonprofit organization incorporated underSection 8 of the Indian Companies Act;
  • Inspire philanthropic support from private individuals and foundations, both within India and globally, in order to raise the resources necessary to meet EDF India’s objectives and establish it as an effective and widely respected organization;
  • Recruit and steward an independent advisory board, and cultivate a broader network of influential leaders from business, academia, and civil society in India and globally who can act as partners, advisers, and ambassadors for the new organization;
  • Work directly with the EDF India statutory board, leading regular board meetings and ensuring frequent and open communication and engagement;
  • In collaboration with senior EDF staff in India and globally, oversee the development and implementation of the new organization’s goals, vision and strategy to contribute to cleaner air, inclusive rural development, low-carbon prosperity, and a better quality of life throughout India, in line with EDF’s global strategies;
  • Grow and manage a high-performing team to execute the new organization’s strategy;
  • Develop and sustain partnerships with key Indian institutions including universities, think tanks, and other NGOs;
  • Raise the new organization’s profile within India including through public communication and thought leadership (e.g., media appearances; expert panels and other speaking engagements; blogs, op-eds and other articles; etc.);
  • Represent the new organization in meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, NGO leaders, and other key stakeholders both in India and on the global stage.


We seek a dynamic and entrepreneurial leader who is confident and comfortable as a global citizen; strategic and results-oriented; and able to inspire confidence and support among high level policy makers, leaders in business, academia, and civil society, and philanthropists.

Key qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated success in building high-powered and effective partnerships, with the charisma and networks needed to be a successful fundraiser in India, including from large foundations, private individuals, and family foundations in India and abroad;
  • Experience scaling up a for-profit or non-profit enterprise in India, including recruiting and working with a high-powered board, building and managing a high-performance team, and successfully leading the development and execution of programs or projects with significant scale and impact;
  • Confidence and presence as a public speaker, and successful experience engaging with policy makers, regulators, elected officials and other key stakeholders;
  • Ability to act autonomously and establish EDF India as an independent and genuinely Indian organization, while also remaining aligned with the strategic priorities of EDF as a global organization;
  • Ability to work productively and collaboratively with partners and colleagues located in multiple offices and time zones;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Graduate degree or higher in a relevant field with at least 12-15 years of experience;
  • Familiarity with the areas of climate change, energy, air pollution, and/or rural development, and a passion for addressing them will be a strong plus;
  • Fluency in English and Hindi; fluency in at least one other language in widespread use in India a plus.




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