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 a team of Global Science Leaders to advance the organization’s mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
We are hiring scientists to shape an interdisciplinary research agenda and apply it to accelerate WWF’s goals in Climate & Energy, Food, Forests, Freshwater, Oceans and Wildlife. We seek an interdisciplinary team of science leaders to advance a coordinated effort that will deliver science for tangible conservation results at a speed and scale commensurate with the trends that undermine them. The Leaders will report directly to the WWF Chief Scientist and are key members of WWF’s Network Science Team.
The Food Scientist (Lead Scientist) will provide scientific leadership for WWF’s Global Food Practice. The Lead Scientist will be a key partner to the Chief Scientist and the Food Practice Leader, 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 Food team in advancing an 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 demonstrated success in leading rigorous scientific research to support issues related to the impacts of production, distribution and consumption of food.
Never 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 world’s largest conservation organization, WWF is determined to capitalize on this momentum. We are re-inventing our practice of conservation, pursuing measurable results and thought partnerships that help shift humanity to a more sustainable footing.
The global food systems are essential to sustain the human population but they have a big and varied impacts on the natural environment: 40% of the land and 70% of freshwater consumed for agriculture, the leading cause of deforestation and habitat conversion, the cause of 70% of human-linked biodiversity loss, the source of 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of fisheries collapse, the destruction of seascapes due to unsustainable fishing practices, and the creation of freshwater and ocean dead-zones through overuse of fertilizers and chemicals.
With the population set to rise from a current 7.5 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, it is estimated that with business as usual, food production will need to double to cater to the rise in population as well as incomes that in turn change consumer preferences and diets.
In this context, WWF is prioritizing the work with the food sector and developing strategies that focus on more sustainable production, landscape protection, reduction of food loss and waste, and more sustainable consumer choices for healthy diets. We are also considering developing a One Planet Food framework that encompasses these impacts based on the concept of Planetary Boundaries.
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. The Food Scientist will play an important role in helping shape and inform the Food Practice strategy and help define and measure impacts.
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
- Supports and leads the development of measurement of impacts of different food systems, approaches, standards and schemes on the ground at farm, landscape and planetary level, including the development of One Planet Food
- Brings a deep understanding of agriculture and fisheries including different production systems, technologies and innovations
- Engages in internal and external discussions on possible scenarios for agriculture and aquaculture development and their impacts
- Helps food staff understand the impacts of key issues and trends as well as practices, tools and solutions to address them
- Helps evaluate and inform more sustainable consumer dietary choices
- 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 WWF staff and key partners
- 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 staff and the food leadership team, to support the network’s Food Practice
- Develops, analyzes and manages operating plans and grant budgets
- Travels internationally on a frequent basis to represent WWF at scientific meetings, workshops, conferences, and for the purposes of site visits and/or field-based research
- Graduate degree with commensurate experience required; doctorate and 10 years’ experience in leading collaborative conservation research projects and integrating science into large-scale strategies and outcomes strongly preferred
- Broad knowledge and expertise in environmental, social, economic and/or legal aspects of food (agriculture, livestock and fisheries) production, processing and distribution; modeling of causes and dynamics of land use and land cover change associated with agricultural production; understanding of different food related standards and certification systems and their impacts on soil, water, habitats and climate; experience working at producer and landscape level; knowledge of food technology and innovation; exposure to consumer influences and choices and behavioral psychology
- Sophisticated understanding of large-scale issues and trends that impact production, distribution and consumption of food and the major opportunities and threats that must be addressed
- Demonstrated experience leading, being part of and fundraising for major initiatives
- Demonstrated ability to convene and direct high-level scientific capacity to inform sustainable food 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
- This position is being recruited by LeaderFit; please do not apply to via WWF's careers page.
- To apply, please visit the following link: https://leaderfit.catsone.com/careers/index.php?m=portal&a=details&jobOrderID=9297358
As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status.