Manager (Coastal Projects and Programs, MRD)

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

New Orleans or Washington DC, , 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.

The vision of the EDF’s Ecosystems Program is that the world meets human needs for food, water, and coastal protection in ways that improve ecosystems, rather than harming them. When it comes to natural resources in this country, we have scarcity and inefficiency problems that will be exacerbated by climate change. EDF is uniquely equipped to help fix this problem by accelerating the development of systems that make conservation and efficient land and water management profitable. We believe that such will be critical to helping the nation meet one of its greatest challenges: how to support a growing population without continuing to overspend our precious natural capital.

Restore the Mississippi River Delta Campaign is a bold and collaborative effort of the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation with the vision “reconnect the Mississippi River to its delta to protect people, wildlife and jobs.” This multi-faceted program deals with many challenges associated with restoring coastal wetlands on a working coast and aims to restore natural system processes to create sustainable communities with improved infrastructure and robust economies.  A key part of the MRD work is advancing new thinking in the restoration and resilience of coastal Louisiana by finding answers to key science and engineering challenges.

Overall Function

The Manager, Coastal Projects and Programs, is a member of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta team, and plays a significant role in the development and execution of coalition efforts. The Manager, Coastal Projects and Programs, will serve as the Chair of the Projects & Programs Committee and a lead on the Sediment Diversion Task Force to guide the work of project staff from multiple organizations, as well as coordinate and work across multiple committees.  This position is responsible for leading research and analysis to prioritize projects, monitor progress of priority coastal restoration projects in Louisiana and build public support to meet expected milestones in project implementation. The Manager, Coastal Projects and Programs, will identify challenges and barriers in project implementation and develop strategies and solutions to overcome. This is an excellent opportunity to work with a transformational, multi-faceted advocacy campaign on a complex environmental issue, and to gain knowledge of current issues that are being face by coastal Louisiana and its people.

Key Responsibilities

  • Establish yourself as the primary source of project and program information associated with restoration and resilience goals for the Mississippi River Delta, as well as managing specific tasks and projects independently.
  • Lead deliverables and tasks of the Sediment Diversion Task Force and the Projects and Programs Committee, including work plan development, oversee project tracking and grant reporting.
  • Conduct project management activities to ensure MRD established project milestones are met or exceeded.
  • Identify obstacles and challenges to project implementation and develop outreach, communications, policy and/or science strategies to overcome barriers in coordination with other MRD committees
  • Lead research and analysis to identify, evaluate, and prioritize coastal restoration projects and programs, particularly those funded by oil spill-related monies (RESTORE Act; Deepwater Horizon settlement agreements; Natural Resource Damage Assessment).
  • Independently conduct research, analysis, and synthesis of information on topics related to coastal wetland restoration, to support existing efforts and evaluate new project ideas.
  • Manage specific project tasks such as outreach to project and program managers, developing work plans and timetables, and managing project work and deliverables.
  • Ensure timely relevant input of technical information to the Mississippi River Delta Restoration NGO-coalition to drive conception, design, evaluation, selection, and prioritization of restoration projects.
  • Continue monitoring and tracking implementation status of priority restoration projects by maintaining frequent contact with coalition and governmental restoration project managers.  Oversee the updating of the priority projects database by the Analyst, Coastal Programs and Projects.
  • Support the development and execution of initiatives to advocate for integrating sound science into planning, construction, and operation of restoration projects performed by federal, state, or local entities.
  • Manage an effective projects team, including Analyst, Coastal Programs and Projects.
  • Develop and/or conduct small group meetings and projects.
  • Lead and provide primary support for internal and external restoration science communications.
  • Lead content development and preparation of reports, communications materials, and position papers.
  • Communicate project results to EDF staff, partners, businesses, the media, and other stakeholders through reports, presentations, and other methods.
  • Provide other technical and program management support to Science Policy Director, Mississippi River Delta Program.



  • Requires a Master’s degree in wetland ecology, marine biology, oceanography, environmental studies, or other relevant environmental field of study, and at least 6 years of related experience.
  • Ph.D. or equivalent may substitute for up to four years of experience.
  • A detailed working knowledge of coastal and deltaic systems and a functional understanding of coastal Louisiana and Gulf-wide restoration efforts and projects.
  • Project management training, including expertise in project management software.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience in performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work.
  • Experience in project management or project implementation.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills sufficient to communicate complex subject matter effectively with both the scientific and lay audiences.
  • Effective management skills to manage a multi-organizational team, as well as direct reports.
  • Ability to think critically and make wise decisions to advance the coalition’s goals.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as a member of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment requiring ability to juggle tasks to meet deadlines with rapidly changing priorities.
  • Ability to work with colleagues and partners of varied backgrounds and experience.
  • Experience managing a diverse workload.
  • Skilled in use of standard business software such as MS Office Suite.
  • Ability and willingness to travel on occasion to the Louisiana and/or D.C. area, depending on job location.


This position will be located in the Washington, DC or the New Orleans, Louisiana office. 

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