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Managing Director - Analysis and Data Science

Job Location

United States


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 13, 2021

About the job

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.


Position Summary:


NRDC is seeking a Managing Director of the Data Science and Analysis Division of the Science Office. The Director will be expected to provide strategic leadership within and on behalf of the Science Office on topics related to data science, data democratization, policy analysis, and long-term strategy analysis. Reporting to the Chief Science Officer, the Managing Director will play a cross-institutional leadership role to help align the work of the Science Office with institutional strategy. The Managing Director will be an important member of the Science Office leadership team and will work in close collaboration with members of the Science Office and broader NRDC community to develop analytic strategies to inform and assess institutional goals and direction. The Managing Director will also help build a collaborative environment for analytical and technical staff and will work with internal and external partners to develop models, data sets, methodologies, and infrastructure to support our data and policy work.


This position requires a flexible, strategic thinker, who thrives in collaborative environments. The Managing Director is excited to solve complex and nuanced problems, is a skilled communicator, and has extensive experience working in analytical/technical areas to support and develop environmental policies. The position will be located in any U.S.-based NRDC office.



  • Leads the development of the functional and operational strategy of the Data Science and Analysis Division of the Science Office.
  • Works as a member of the Science Office leadership team and helps to build a collaborative and integrated science community within NRDC.
  • Directly manages and oversees multiple people and projects/initiatives of the Science Office, ensuring that staff are supported and coached to increasing levels of performance and that projects are aligned with organizational mission and goals.
  • Provides strategic direction and leadership within and on behalf of the Science Office on the development of data science, data democratization, policy analysis, and long-term strategy analysis.
  • Works in close collaboration with staff in the NRDC Environment, Equity, and Justice Center to create and leverage internal scientific capacity, resources, and skills to achieve the goals and objectives of equity and/or Environmental Justice partners.
  • Cultivates strong cross-institutional relationships to help identify synergies and opportunities for science and analysis to inform and shape NRDC’s work.
  • Collaborates with staff in IT, Communications, and other capacities to develop infrastructure to support technical/analytical work at NRDC.
  • Serves as an active member of the Science Office and broader science community at NRDC to provide expertise, leadership, and guidance on how to elevate, utilize, and integrate science into our advocacy.
  • Serves as a mentor and role model within the organization, providing as needed expert level guidance on projects and initiatives across the institution and individual program-level projects.
  • Maintains an active research profile and engages in externally facing credentialing activities (e.g., report publications, peer-reviewed articles, blog posts, meeting attendance)
  • Performs other tasks as needed, as requested by the Chief Science Officer.


Ideal candidates for the Managing Director of the Data Science and Analysis Division of the Science Office will bring the following professional experience and personal characteristics:

  • Deep commitment to incorporating and growing the use of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in NRDC’s work.
  • At least 10 years of experience in mission driven policy, with a minimum of 5 years of experience with the use of data science and analytical tools to advance policy goals and objectives.
  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree with advanced degrees (e.g., PhD, JD, MBA, MPA, MPH, MD, etc.) preferred.
  • Solutions oriented with the ability to skillfully balance competing interests.
  • Strong interpersonal and active listening skills with a collaborative working style.
  • Well-developed organizational skills and proven ability to manage people, projects, and relationships in a complex/matrixed organizational structure.
  • Experience with public speaking, on technical and non-technical topics, with an ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences.
  • Familiarity with academic settings, including mechanisms for partnership building with academic professionals.
  • Experience with fundraising – including foundation grants and major donor engagement.
  • Track record of scientific reports, comments, white papers, and/or peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Personal passion for working at the interface of science and policy, with a strong commitment to using scientific and analytic principles to enhance protections for communities and nature.
  • Interest and knowledge of emerging issues in environmental science and policy.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Job grade for this role is Guides 5 with a salary ranging from $176,500 to $200,000.  Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of resumes, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.


For further information about NRDC, please visit

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