Program Director for Land, Water and Nature Program

Washington, DC, US

RFF is seeking a Program Director for it’s Land, Water, and Nature Program. Along with the Vice President of Land, Water, and Nature, the Program Director initiates and supervises RFF’s Land, Water, and Nature Program (the Program), including strategy development, program and budget management, fundraising, internal and external communications, and partnership management.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Program and Budget Management (25%)

  • Serve as primary Program liaison to Communications, Development and Research staff on project management for Program initiatives and selected projects, including grant reporting, budget allocations, and project communications.
  • Maintain working knowledge of current Program research through regular contact with Program researchers.
  • Work closely with Research Support team to track budgets, expenses and deadlines; solicit external consultants as applicable.
  • Lead on orientation for new Program researchers.
  • Work with Research Support team to consider and track requests for Program-related cost share.
  • Plan, schedule and lead bi-monthly Research lunches (in conjunction with Vice President and staff from Energy and Climate program).
  • Manages and evaluates Research Staff Assistant (25%) in carrying out Program-related activities (Program activity tracking, hosting Program lunches, prospect management, writing activities).

Communications and Events (20%)

  • Work closely with Vice President, Communications department, and RFF executive management to develop, implement and monitor overall communications strategies for the Program and its primary research initiatives.
  • Help develop and execute strategy for Program web presence.
  • Work closely with Vice President and initiative/project leads in conceptualizing and overseeing execution of Program events, including development of agendas, invite lists, and invitations.
  • Lead Program webinars on a variety of research topics.
  • As applicable, represent Program at public fora.

Fundraising (20%)

  • Support Vice President, Development and initiative leaders in developing major proposals and accompanying budgets.
  • Represent the Program in select fundraising visits.
  • Lead in developing general Program fundraising materials and grant reports.
  • Work with Research Administration to further develop and implement proposal and reporting guidelines for researchers, related to government funding.
  • Act as main Program point of contact for government proposal submission procedures.
  • Contribute to Program fundraising strategy discussions.

Program Strategy (15%)

  • Work closely with Vice President, Development, and RFF executive management to develop overall strategy for Program research, development and communication activities.
  • Work with Vice President to develop, refine and execute Program hiring strategy.
  • Lead on developing annual Program budget, in conjunction with Vice President and Finance & Administration team.
  • Lead on developing annual Program evaluation.

Research (15%)

  • Contribute to Program research through co- or lead authorship of selected research products—particularly executive summaries and other high level communications pieces designed for policymakers and the public.
  • Assume responsibility for discrete aspects of research projects, as agreed with Vice President or initiative leaders. Tasks may include information gathering (either via informational events or online research), data analysis, literature review, policy review and analysis, chart development, etc.
  • Maintain topical expertise related to one or more Program initiatives.

Partnership Management (5%)

  • Manage or support the management of existing Program partnerships in conjunction with researchers (e.g., VALUABLES Consortium with NASA, etc.).
  • Work with Vice President to develop long-term educational partnership strategy on land, water, and nature issues.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience with strong background in economics, environmental or natural sciences, policy analysis or management.


  • Must have demonstrated ability to independently initiate and manage tasks, with a high degree of detail and process orientation.
  • Must have professional experience related to Program focus issues
  • Must have demonstrated ability to set priorities in a heavy workload setting
  • Must have demonstrated ability to supervise others who are in administrative support roles
  • Must have proven ability to conceive and write grant proposals and funder reports


  • Must have outstanding writing, proofreading, editing skills, and an interest in complex energy and environmental policy problems amenable to interdisciplinary analysis
  • Must have excellent verbal communication skills and capacity to prepare and give presentations with a high level of professionalism


  • Must be familiar with Microsoft Office, Outlook and the family of database software. Helpful to be familiar with Raiser’s Edge and HTML coding.

Work Conditions: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet. The work environment is indoors.

Important Notices: This job description is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of all job functions that a team member in this position may be asked to perform. Duties and responsibilities can be changed, expanded, reduced or delegated by management to meet the business needs of the property.


  • Submit your application through our Career Page and upload PDF to include cover letter, resume and salary requirements.
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries by phone.

Salary is competitive. RFF Benefits include a collegial environment, 20 days annual leave, 13 days sick leave, 3 days family medical leave, 10 holidays, medical insurance, educational assistance, and commuter benefits.

RFF is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and veterans are encouraged to apply.