Senior Researcher via Idealist

Pacific Institute

Oakland, CA, United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ


About the Pacific Institute

Founded in 1987, The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that provides science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. Our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.

The Institute is guided by the following strategic approach:

●      We define new ways of thinking about core challenges to the planet.

●      We analyze and promote concrete innovative strategies and policies to address these challenges.

●      We develop and apply analytical tools that improve understanding and management of natural resources.

●      We communicate with the public, media, and leading decision makers about sustainable solutions.

From working with Fortune 500 companies to disenfranchised communities, we lead local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies and delivering meaningful results.

Position Description

The Pacific Institute is seeking a full-time Senior Researcher to join the Institute. This role supports the development and advancement of sustainable water use and management practices for various focus areas. This position includes major responsibility for research, project management, and fundraising and direct junior and mid-level research staff on specific projects. The Senior Researcher will collaborate with all research staff at the Institute and partnering organizations as warranted by specific projects. This is a full-time position based in Oakland, California. However, the location is somewhat flexible.

Anticipated Programmatic Work in 2018-2020

●      Analyze and assess existing corporate water and public sector water assessment frameworks and disclosure guidelines measuring the impacts of watershed interventions;

●      Facilitate the development and implementation of corporate water assessment frameworks among companies and other relevant organizations; 

●      Lead multi-stakeholder advisory groups to find common definitions for various established frameworks; and

●      Publish a report on the road to developing a technical guidance for the water protocol.

Core Responsibilities

●      Conduct primary and secondary research and analysis on water-related topics;

●      Independently and creatively design and manage projects; Β·        

●      Prepare final reports and written products in both technical and non-technical areas; 

●      Manage relationships and contributions of project team members and co-authors, as well as from a wide range of collaborating organizations; 

●      Develop concept notes, timelines, implementation strategies, and budgets for proposed projects;

●      Independently identify funding opportunities, write grant proposals, and secure funding for specific projects; and

●      Widely present findings, recommendations, and best practices at conferences, webinars, and other events.

Required Qualifications

●      Advanced degree in business, sustainability, water resources, natural resource management, engineering, or relevant field; 

●      Four to seven years work experience in relevant field, with knowledge of and experience in water and business topics;

●      Strong quantitative and analytical skills and attention to detail;

●      Understanding of metrics and indicators for measuring impact at project- and watershed- levels;

●      Background and understanding of integrated water resources management;

●      Excellent written communication skills with a proven record of publishing technical analyses, peer-reviewed reports, and general interest articles; 

●      Excellent oral communication skills with extensive public speaking experience; 

●      Demonstrated ability to raise funds; and

●      Strong interpersonal skills and the demonstrated ability to work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

●      Experience with Adobe Illustrator or other means of creating diagrams and infographics that communicate key corporate water stewardship concepts; and

●      Experience with ESRI GIS software.


Domestic and international overnight travel may be required.

Equal Opportunities

Pacific Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Level of Language Proficiency

Proficient in English – written and verbal.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master’s degree

How To Apply

[email protected]

Application Procedure

Please send a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and contact information for three references to: Terry Asbury at the Pacific Institute, 654 13th Street, Oakland, California 94612. Submissions by email ([email protected]) are also acceptable and preferred. No phone calls, please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.