With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.
EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.
The VP will maintain overall vision, strategy, and leadership of EDF’s work to advance natural climate solutions (NCS) in collaboration with EDF’s Office of Chief Scientist (OCS) and as a part of a broader climate strategy. The VP will help provide support and integration of several teams working to define, organize, and implement natural climate solutions across a range of forest, soils, and ocean-based systems. The VP will work closely with internal partners, including OCS and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), and a variety of external partners to advance science, policy and partner agreements needed to deliver on the following core objectives:
- Lead the development and implementation of an EDF NCS strategic plan in collaboration with OCS. Build on current work within specific biome types to advance an overall theory of victory that highlights and advances practices and pathways to move toward integrated implementation of high value carbon credits across a range of biome types. Build a wide range of supply and demand partners to maximize impact through those pathways.
- Work closely with OCS and economic, agricultural, oceans and other internal teams and external partners to build on work within each biome type to establish and advance a solid science-based understanding of the scale and context of when natural climate solutions across forests, soils, and ocean biomes all have the potential to provide climate benefits, either negative emissions or emissions reductions.
- Fully integrate results of the project into regional and global efforts to implement systemic, high value carbon credits in public and private markets to supply high integrity supplies of regional and global NCS carbon to satisfy current and future market demand. Place special emphasis on growing jurisdictional level tropical forest supply across target jurisdictions and globally.
- Work with EDF+Business team and other partners to build private and public sector demand and funding for natural carbon credits.
The VP will work collaboratively with peers across the organization and actively engage internal and external stakeholders. The VP will be an advocate and representative for the program’s work, promoting the importance of EDF solutions and tirelessly, diplomatically, and persuasively identify challenges the team has the unique capacity to tackle. The VP will serve as one of the key strategic leaders intertwining sound science, economics, policy, and strategic communications. The VP will identify opportunities, lead teams that develop and implement projects, and manage advocacy efforts relating to the program. The VP will support the leadership of the Senior Vice President, People and Nature and is a part of the People and Nature leadership team.
The VP, Natural Climate Solutions will perform the following and other relevant duties as assigned:
Leadership and Strategic Vision
- Create in collaboration with OCS a focused, collaborative, entrepreneurial and sustainable strategy across EDF to implement the organization’s Natural Climate Solutions goals and strategies.
- Demonstrate leadership in fostering, coaching and mentoring geographically dispersed teams.
- Create excitement and a shared sense of purpose and vision within team and across EDF.
- Collaborate with the People and Nature leadership team and participate in overall EDF strategy development.
- Demonstrate and use political skills and public policy knowledge to build non-partisan alliances to move goals and strategies forward.
- Work with those responsible for ensuring the scientific and economic foundations for the program’s strategy are robust and well supported.
- Capitalize on opportunities and manage risks.
- Collaborate with senior program staff to manage delivery of outcomes as defined by the program vision.
- Monitor and stay informed of like organizations’ work on emerging NCS issues.
- Effectively communicate program achievements, progress, challenges, and opportunities to stakeholders, board members, EDF senior leadership, and other internal and external audiences.
External Relations and Partnerships
- Collaborate with senior development staff and internal partners to develop and execute a diversified fundraising action plan to secure a robust pipeline of funders interested in NCS work and contribute to proposal development and reporting.
- Cultivate relationships with board members and external stakeholders to identify other areas of program growth, including programmatic work and/or new funders.
- Identify and implement partnerships with other members of the environmental community, influential academic institutions, and other stakeholders to achieve key programmatic goals.
- Work with the SVP, program staff, marketing and communications, and other expert leaders to create momentum within industry, governmental and advocacy circles for the cause of improving uptake and implementation of NCS to the degree appropriate.
- Represent the organization externally, making public presentations as required and engaging and building relationships with the media, elected officials, and government (agency) representatives to keep them apprised of progress and share EDF’s expertise on NCS.
- Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, teamwork and trust, and embraces diversity.
- Collaborate as an experienced enterprise leader and strategize outside of core function.
- Engage with peers to proactively create stronger collaboration between and across programs and identify cross-cutting funding opportunities.
- Hire, train, supervise, and mentor staff, providing them with professional development activities that upgrade skills, support learning, motivate performance and promote retention.
- Develop and manage program budgets with regards to program deliverables and outcomes.
- 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
- Experience leading and developing dynamic staff teams.
- Advanced degree in relevant field and 15+ years of substantive, relevant work experience, including experience in an NGO or government setting or a related focused enterprise.
- Thorough knowledge of current trends and technical excellence in the development and implementation of NCS related solutions in domestic, international, and global settings.
- Scientific literacy to apply NCS strategies across a variety of systems types at regional and global scales.
- Excellent team-building skills and a collaborative leadership style with the ability to empower and inspire staff.
- Ability to encourage staff development and collective buy-in and the capacity to enforce accountability and position individuals and teams for success.
- Demonstrated experience developing and implementing a strategic vision.
- A history of tangible fundraising success at high levels (7+figures) both in stewarding donors and helping to secure large gifts.
- Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills with proven ability to attract funders and partners by communicating a compelling and inspired sense of purpose.
- A strong understanding of public policy with a proven track record of building alliances and working with policymakers—experience achieving results in public policy through outreach and advocacy preferred.
- Strong reputation and network among conservation organizations and leaders in the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, and for-profit sectors highly desirable.
- Experience managing geographically dispersed staff.
- Strong entrepreneurial capabilities and ability to foster innovation.
- Excellent communication skills and experience with public speaking and working with the media.
- Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- Willingness and ability to engage in regular travel, up to 30%.
- Commitment to and passion for EDF’s mission, vision, and values.
Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.