Senior Associate (Environmental Justice)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Job Summary
In this role, you will provide leadership to WRI-United States’ work around equity, environmental justice, and just transition in the context of climate change. As the United States continues its transition away from polluting vehicles and emissions-intensive energy resources to address the challenges of climate change, the importance of achieving a just and equitable transition in the face of this transformational change is growing. The need to build a more resilient and inclusive 21st century clean economy is already a pressing concern facing policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders, and will continue to grow as the disruptive impacts of climate change and the scope and scale of the needed transformation become clearer.

You will advance and expand WRI’s work in this space. The equity and just transition portfolio could include: systematic analysis of the health impacts from the cumulative burden of pollution at the community level and how this varies as a function of location, race, and other demographic factors, systematic analysis of various components of an equitable, inclusive, and just low-carbon transition, with a focus on school and transit buses; systematic analysis of case studies of historical transitions to inform best practices; work to identify and promote policies to support the delivery of well-paying, family-sustaining jobs in a fully decarbonized U.S. economy; work to foster a community of scholars and stakeholders engaging in this space; and advising policymakers and relevant stakeholders on the delivery of an equitable, inclusive, and just low-carbon transition.

Working closely with senior management on strategy and project development, you will be in a position to evolve this portfolio of work over time as new opportunities arise. You will also leverage partnerships and expertise across WRI’s programs, centers, and international offices, while cultivating partnerships with community organizations, external experts, and government officials. Candidates should be innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers with an ability to identify and pursue new opportunities. You should also be able to effectively communicate insights from technical research to non-technical audiences both verbally and in writing.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at WRI’s office in Washington, DC once restrictions have lifted, or permanently remote work from San Francisco, CA.

Job Responsibilities
Research and Analysis

  • Demonstrate thought leadership in the areas of environmental and climate justice, equity, and just transition by planning, designing, conducting, and overseeing policy-relevant research, analysis, and writing. This will include a combination of high-quality, high-impact reports, issue briefs, case studies, and blogs
  • Help incorporate insights around equity and environmental justice into WRI’s broader portfolio by participating in internal and external peer review processes for publications and papers. Outreach, engagement, and strategy development
  • Represent WRI in major stakeholder dialogues around equity and environmental justice, and convene WRI dialogues where appropriate
  • Leverage insights from ongoing engagement to build and execute a high-impact strategy for WRI-US. This should include identifying opportunities for collaboration with environmental justice and equity groups on school bus electrification and other topics where WRI’s technical resources can be used to support our shared goals
  • Engage government officials on environmental justice and equity issues
  • Speak at public events and with the media.

Program Management

  • Engage WRI research staff to ensure that shared insights are incorporated into ongoing workstreams to maximize alignment
  • With the support of the Director of WRI-US, successfully raise funds to support that strategy
  • Supervise the work of junior researchers and interns
  • Coordinate across WRI program and issue areas to leverage institutional expertise and build internal support for the team’s work

Job Qualifications

  • Eight+ years of relevant professional work experience
  • Master’s or PhD in a relevant field
  • Record of research and analysis in the areas of environmental and climate justice, equity and social movements, and just transition
  • Candidate must be self-motivated and entrepreneurial thinker with an ability to identify new opportunities while juggling multiple priorities and work under tight deadlines
  • A commitment to and passion for environmental justice and racial equity at a time of growing climate emergency and social inequalities
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation for diverse viewpoints and perspectives, and colleagues from diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Strong research, writing and oral presentation skills are essential
  • Experience engaging with community-based organizations is preferred
  • Project management experience is preferred
  • Position will require some domestic travel (post-pandemic)
  • US work authorization is required.

Potential Salary: $96,000 – $130,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Program Overview
WRI-U.S. works to advance practical solutions to reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions, deploy clean energy solutions, improve resilience to climate impacts, and achieve an inclusive, equitable, clean economy that benefits all Americans. We do so through rigorous peer-reviewed expert analysis, consultation, convening, coalition building, and clear communications. We work at all levels of government and with leading businesses across the United States. Our experience, reputation and connections in the policy arena, the private sector and beyond place us in a unique position to help shape federal and state climate policy and generate new ideas and practices for low-carbon development over the coming years.

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, watersustainable cities, and the ocean. 

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect. 

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.  

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.