Policy Analyst/Advocate – Tropical Forest Climate Initiative

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. What began as collaboration between students and faculty members at MIT in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 300,000 citizens and scientists that includes people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students.

UCS strives for a future that is free from the threats of global warming and nuclear war and a planet that supports a rich diversity of life. Our specific focus areas include global warming, renewable energy, advanced vehicle technology, nuclear power safety, nuclear weapons and related security issues, preserving the integrity of science, and sustainable agriculture.

The Position:
Develops and implements analytic and advocacy activities to advance strong policies and measures to reduce tropical deforestation through REDD+, as well as related forest and international climate policy questions. This position will be responsible for technical analyses, particularly in relation to science, economics and policy, necessary to further forest and climate policy objectives. Coordinates/leads in the hiring and supervision of research consultants.

Maintains current and thorough knowledge of relevant climate policy initiatives and processes and key scientific and technical issues relevant to the design of sound, environmentally and socially sustainable forest policies and measures to mitigate climate change. It is expected that this will include 10% of his/her time keeping current with the relevant scientific knowledge and literature.

Identifies and develops priority activities to advance UCS objectives in bringing about strong policies and measures to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. These will include a combination of timely analysis and effective advocacy to build strategic support among key international and US policymakers and other influential stakeholders.

Represents and advocates for UCS positions and objectives in meetings with US policymakers and, as appropriate, with other influential stakeholders. Establishes and maintains strong strategic relationships with relevant officials, technical experts and influential stakeholders, as needed to advance policy objectives.

In coordination with the C&E Washington Representatives and the rest of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative team, conducts Hill activities to advance forest and climate policy objectives in the US. Ensures that such activities are also designed to build strategic awareness of the actions developing countries are taking to address climate change and the need for deep reductions in US emissions and capacity building support for developing countries.

Maintains contact with technical and policy staff in collaborating organizations to exchange information, share resources and engage in any joint activities needed to further policy or organizational goals.

Contributes to UCS activities aimed at analyzing and developing policies concerning the development of bioenergy and its relation to tropical forests.

Participates in activist and scientist engagement activities, drafts alerts and presents talks and Webinars.

As appropriate, contributes to UCS activities aimed at strengthening the role of domestic forest and land-use in US climate policies.

Basic Knowledge and Skills:
The ideal candidate will have a high level of technical competency in relevant scientific areas and experience in science-based advocacy.   The position requires extensive knowledge of climate and energy policy, including their relevance to deforestation and forest restoration, Exceptional oral/written communication skills, including the ability to translate scientific information into language understandable by policymakers and other non-scientists, are required. A track record of working with stakeholders in government, NGOs, and/or industry is highly desirable. Experience in tropical countries, particularly in sectors relating to agriculture, forestry and land use, is highly desirable. Fluency in Spanish, Portuguese or French is desirable.

Experience:
A minimum of a master’s degree in a relevant area of science, public policy, economics, or a related discipline, or equivalent experience, is required.   Work requires two to four years of related experience. Up to one year of on-the-job training may be necessary to become familiar with UCS organization, philosophy, programs, and constituencies.

To apply:  
Before October 29th, please submit a cover letter with salary requirements and how you learned of the position and resume via email to jobs@ucsusa.org and include “Policy Analyst/Advocate” in the subject line. Email materials in Word documents only. No phone calls.

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