Project Manager (Sustainable Sourcing Initiative)

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. We help companies, governments and communities find the ways that work to heal the environment and empower people to live better lives.  You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes the perspectives, talents and approaches of a diverse group of employees, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

Sustainable Agriculture Program

With a projected 9 billion mouths to feed by mid-century, meeting human needs for food and water in ways that benefit natural systems requires that we intensify agriculture – grow more on the same (or less) land with techniques that cut pollution and increase biodiversity.

EDF’s Sustainable Agriculture program, one of four main initiatives within the Ecosystems program, is designed to harness the increasing concern of agriculture and food production as a major driver of environmental degradation. We work with major retailers, like Walmart, to increase the sustainability of their supply chains that depend on agriculture.  Ensuring reliable, accurate, and transparent collection, communication and interpretation of information to agricultural supply chain actors to achieve sustainability outcomes and participate in carbon markets is crucial to our success.


EDF seeks a talented and self-motivated Project Manager for its sustainable sourcing initiative, to be focused on the Chesapeake Bay Region. The Project Manager will play a lead role in further developing and executing EDF’s strategy to create a more sustainable and resilient food and agricultural system, with the specific goal of eliminating nutrient pollution from fertilizer and manure in the Chesapeake Bay regionOur strategy focuses on generating demand for sustainably-grown grain via the marketplace and policy, accelerating adoption of sustainable practices by farmers through the help of agricultural retailers and farmers’ trusted advisors, and locking in success through communications, science and data.

The Project Manager will engage key stakeholders at all levels of the agricultural supply chain and foster improved and stronger collaboration with food companies, grain aggregators, fertilizer retailers, service providers, grower groups, and others. The Project Manager will work closely with the Senior Director of Agricultural Sustainability, Senior Manager of Supply Chain, and the sustainable sourcing initiative team to develop and implement strategic collaborations with key actors in the agriculture sector, contribute to sustainable sourcing initiative strategy development, and manage the generation of new knowledge to support and strengthen the sustainable sourcing initiative.

This work is in close collaboration with the Keith Campbell Foundation.


Specifically, the Project Manager will:

  • With guidance from and in collaboration with experts in EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative, in particular staff from EDF’s Corporate Partnership Program, pursue and develop collaborative relationships with major corporations in the domestic grain supply chain, with a focus on major animal protein companies in the Chesapeake Bay region.
  • Develop and implement ambitious sustainable sourcing projects in collaboration with those corporations.
  • Manage the implementation of sustainable sourcing projects, foster connections between projects and other major players in the agriculture supply chain, and continually drive collaborating companies towards ambitious environmental goals.
  • Collaborate with other environmental and agricultural organizations to work towards joint goals.
  • Coordinate with academic partners, crop advisors, and other key stakeholders to identify, evaluate, and promote farmer adoption of data-driven tools, technologies, practices, and processes that support farm nutrient optimization and soil health measures.
  • Develop work plans, negotiate project agreements and scopes of work, identify and procure necessary resources, and manage project work and deliverables.
  • Build relationships internal and external to EDF that establish the incumbent as an expert and leader on the sustainable sourcing initiative, with the purpose of multiplying the impact of our outreach and establishing EDF as the go-to organization for sustainable sourcing solutions for grain agriculture.
  • Maintain expert knowledge of the scope and breadth of the program’s activities to participate effectively in science team, policy team, and communications team discussions.
  • In addition to these responsibilities, the incumbent will play an integral role in other activities including fundraising, evaluating and recommending new project ideas; disseminating and communicating project results; and being a team player in the development of a vibrant and entrepreneurial program.


We are seeking an individual with direct experience in successful project management and working with companies with a relevant graduate-level education and/or experience.  Understanding of agricultural and environmental sectors will be critical. In addition, the general qualifications for this position are:

  • Master’s degree or higher in environmental management, business, agronomy, or equivalent work experience;
  • 2-5 years of experience in project management, exceptional personal organization and attention to detail;
  • Experience working on agricultural conservation issues, in particular experience working with farmers and members of the agricultural community and an understanding of the US commodity agricultural supply chain, including key actors and incentives;
  • A working knowledge of the current theory and practice of corporate sustainability, and the role business can play in solving environmental problems;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work with colleagues and partners of varied backgrounds and experience;
  • Strong analytical skills and experience in performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work;
  • Sense of humor and strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new situations and changing demands;
  • An ability to work both independently and as a member of small teams in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment.
  • Experience in or knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay region and animal agriculture preferred.

Note: Regular travel between project locations required.
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