Global Climate and Energy Lead Scientist - 17050


WWF’s half-century of conservation success is rooted firmly in science; it informs and underpins everything we do. The scientific rigor we bring to our work is unmatched in the nonprofit conservation sector. Building on this legacy, WWF is recruiting eight Global Science Leaders to advance the organization’s mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.


We are hiring six individuals to shape an interdisciplinary research agenda for each of WWF’s global goals—Climate & Energy, Sustainable Food, Forests, Freshwater, Oceans and Wildlife Conservation. We are also hiring two individuals to build teams in Sustainability Science and Data Analytics & Technology. We seek candidates to advance a coordinated WWF effort that will deliver science for tangible biodiversity conservation results at a speed and scale commensurate with the trends of the world today. The Leaders will report directly to the WWF Chief Scientist and are key members of WWF’s Network Science Team.


The Global Climate & Energy Lead Scientist (Lead Scientist) will provide the scientific leadership for WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Practice. The Lead Scientist will be a key partner to the Chief Scientist and the Climate and Energy Practice Lead, providing thought leadership, science direction for goal setting, scientific analysis in support of strategy development and the management of internal and external science talent to support the Global Climate & Energy team in advancing their ambitious agenda. The Lead Scientist will serve as a member of the WWF Global Science Leadership Team to provide expertise and support for interdisciplinary analyses to advance cross-functional strategies. This is an unparalleled opportunity for a dynamic, strategic thinker who is passionate about WWF's mission and has had demonstrated success in leading rigorous scientific research to support issues related to the mitigation, adaptation and risks associated with climate change.


Position Context


Never before has the planet faced environmental threats of the scale and urgency we see today. But we also find ourselves in a unique time of extraordinary opportunity for change. Following the establishment of the new Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agreement reached in Paris, humanity has committed to accelerate a transition toward a more sustainable, ecologically sound and habitable future. The pace and scale of this transition will dictate success or failure. As the largest conservation organization in the world, World Wildlife Fund is determined to capitalize on this momentum. So we are re-inventing our practice of conservation, pursuing measurable results and thought partnerships that help shift humanity to a more sustainable footing.


Success will require a team that energetically embraces the opportunity and risks to produce solutions to the world’s largest environmental problems at the intersection of science and practice.


Position responsibilities include


  • Works with leadership and colleagues to ensure that goals, strategies, and estimation of impact are grounded in, and informed by, the best available science, providing scientific and policy-relevant science expertise and promoting innovative research and synthesis of research
  • Conducts and supports colleagues in conducting research in a conservation-relevant science discipline and publishes in high-profile journals for impact and stays abreast of the scientific literature and shares important findings with team staff
  • Disseminates latest scientific knowledge across the WWF network and externally, and in coordination with knowledge management leads
  • Builds and maintains an extensive network of science professionals and partnerships – with key conservation NGOs, government agencies, academics, and other groups – for the purposes of science collaboration, research and to advance WWF’s priorities
  • Represents WWF and promotes our conservation goals, activities and scientific thought leadership in conservation
  • Leads and supports science and fundraising efforts, in collaboration with science and practice staff, to support the network’s Climate Practice
  • Develops, analyzes and manages operating plans and grant budgets
  • Travels internationally on a frequent basis to represent WWF at meetings, workshops, conferences, and for the purposes of site visits and/or field-based research


Qualified candidates will possess critical competencies that include


  • Graduate degree with commensurate experience required; doctorate strongly preferred
  • Broad knowledge and expertise in ecological and/or socioeconomic aspects of climate change – climate modeling, biogeochemistry, risk analysis, economics, ecology, sociology, ecological/environmental economics, and/or behavioral psychology
  • Sophisticated understanding of large-scale trends in climate mitigation and resilience, and of the major opportunities and threats that must be addressed
  • At least 8-12 years’ experience leading collaborative conservation research projects and integrating science into large-scale strategies and outcomes
  • Demonstrated experience leading and fundraising for major initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to convene and direct high-level scientific capacity to inform climate change issues
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals across cultures and time zones
  • Extraordinary communication skills—written, oral, strategic; experience leveraging the full range of modern media to realize programmatic goals
  • Vision—the ability to think and act on a global scale
  • Proven ability in the development and management of strategic partnerships and alliances



To Apply:

 As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and veteran or disability status.

See Inside the Office of World Wildlife Fund

Formed in 1961 by a group of concerned biologists, WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, supporting projects focused on saving wildlife species and their habitats. Now over 50 years old, WWF works in over 100 countries and is supported by more than 6 million members around the world—uniquely combining global reach, scientific innovation, and local action to meet the needs of people and nature.

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