: Manager, Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds
US-Remote (Mississippi River Basin)
The vision of the EDF’s People and Nature 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 this 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.
The Mississippi River drains 40% of the continental US, provides water to 50 cities and more than 15 million people, and accounts for 78% of the world’s exports of grains and soybeans, much of those exports shipped on the river through New Orleans. Yet, the alterations in the river and across its watersheds have had unintended consequences for water quality, wildlife habitat, and flow regimens. Now, the increasing impacts of climate change are threatening the river’s communities, agricultural systems, and ecological functions. EDF has worked for decades in both the upper basin and the lower Mississippi River delta. With deepening climate risks, EDF, with other national and local groups, seeks to connect resilience efforts across the upper and lower basin, build local capacity for new solutions, and safeguard the river, its ecology, economy, and communities.
EDF’s Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds workstream within the People and Nature team works in a bold and collaborative manner to ensure that the resilient ecosystems and communities along coasts and rivers can thrive with water and are safe, equitable, and prosperous places to live, work, and play.
As member of EDF’s Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds workstream within the People and Nature team, the
Manager, Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds
will coordinate and implement strategic priorities to align science, policy, funding, and capacity to build landscape and community resilience across the Mississippi River Basin. Additionally, this position will cultivate relationships across the Mississippi River Basin with key stakeholders in government, corporate, academic, non-profit, and community sectors to build diverse coalitions and advocate for practical and technically sound solutions to advance the overall strategy.
The Manager will report to the Senior Director, Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds, will work within a matrixed team, and will be expected to coordinate staff and consultants from multiple EDF teams including Climate Smart Agriculture, Coasts and Watersheds, Political Affairs, EDF+Business, and U.S. Region.
- Lead an internal project team to advance internal strategies and positively reinforce outcomes, including science, finance, policy, and DEIJ/partnership activities to support implementation of natural infrastructure at scale in the Mississippi River Basin.
- Execute and adaptively refine multi-year strategic plan , establish budgets, and negotiate project agreements and scopes of work.
- Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.
- Cultivate and manage relationships with key national, regional, and state-level agricultural, environmental, and other relevant entities and community groups (e.g., USDA, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, Iowa Finance Authority, etc.) to advance natural infrastructure and watershed approach strategies and the overall strategic vision of the project through partnerships and collaboration.
- Independently conduct research, analysis, and evaluation of existing and proposed resilience programs and policies to identify and prioritize strategies, goals, and tactics.
- Communicate project and initiative results in writing and through public presentations to diverse audiences and, in collaboration with the EDF Communications team, media outlets.
- Represent EDF at external meetings and conferences and provide expert level information.
- Serve as trusted source of information on landscape and community resilience to internal and external stakeholders.
- Engage in fundraising support activities and collaborate on proposals and reports required by grantors or other requesting parties.
- Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned.
- 6+ years of relevant experience with a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field required. A Master’s degree or equivalent may substitute for up to 2 years of experience, and a Ph.D. or equivalent may substitute for up to 4 years of experience. The degree requirement may be waived altogether for a candidate who can successfully demonstrate commensurate professional experience along with excellence in their past roles.
- A broad understanding of environmental and social issues required.
- Experience working in rural or agricultural communities, on environmental justice, on community resilience, or with nature-based solutions preferred.
- Demonstrated project and people management skills, including the ability to lead project teams and work with colleagues and partners to manage complex projects.
- Exceptional personal organization and attention to detail.
- Proactive and an innovative thinker willing to challenge the status quo and propose new ideas and opportunities.
- An ability to lead on multiple projects concurrently, both independently and collaboratively as a member of small teams in a dynamic and creative environment across multiple time zones.
- Strong analytical skills and experience performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- Willing and able to travel up to 25% of the time.
This position will be based remotely in the Upper Mississippi River Basin or New Orleans. This position will be expected to be available for regular travel throughout the Basin to attend in-person meetings and events.