Global Food Lead Scientist – 20018
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks a Global Food Lead Scientist, location flexible.
Never has the planet faced environmental threats of the scale and urgency that we see today. But we also find ourselves in a unique time of extraordinary opportunity for change. Following the establishment of the 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. In that context, we are reinventing 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 big and varied impacts on the natural environment: 40% of land and 70% of freshwater is 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, and 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 sustainable consumer choices for healthy diets.
As the Global Food Lead Scientist (Lead Scientist), you'll use your expertise and professional network to provide thought leadership through forward-looking research, 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 Practice team in advancing an ambitious agenda. As part of the Global Science Team, you will bridge the technical and conservation practice worlds as you synthesize information from a wide range of food, agriculture, nutrition, and environment disciplines for their creative application to the global nature agenda. You will lead matrix teams of internal and external partners to break down complex problems into manageable steps to drive conservation outcomes. 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.
- Working with colleagues to ensure that Food Practice goals, strategies, and estimation of impact are grounded in the best available science
- Conducting innovative research, analysis, and synthesis in agriculture, land use, or food studies, publishing in high-profile journals and staying abreast of the scientific literature to deliver strategy- and policy- relevant science to WWF staff and partners
- Providing scientific advice and comments on proposals, positions, and papers developed by the Food Practice • Leading the development of measurement of the impacts on nature of different food systems, and the development of standards across local, landscape, and global scales
- Developing and implementing performance metrics for the Food Practice, including the WWF global dashboard
- Leading future scenarios for agriculture and aquaculture development and their impacts
- Helping food staff understand food issues and trends and the practices, tools, and solutions to address them
- Helping evaluate and inform sustainable consumer choices and business-led sustainability standards and protocols
- Building and maintaining 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
- Supporting fundraising efforts, in collaboration with science staff and the food leadership team, to support the network’s Food Practice
- Traveling 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 of 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; familiarity with principles of modeling of causes and dynamics of land use and land cover change associated with agricultural production; understanding of different food-related standards and interventions and their impacts on soil, water, marine systems, natural habitats, and climate; experience working at producer and landscape levels; 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 scientific capacity to inform sustainable food issues
- Ability to work effectively with individuals across cultures and time zones
- Extraordinary communication skills—written, oral, and strategic; experience leveraging the full range of modern media to realize programmatic goals
- Proven ability in the development and management of strategic partnerships and alliances
- Vision—the ability to think and act on a global scale
- Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page, Requisition #20018
- Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone
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.