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RAY Conservation/Program Assistant, Global Project Finance for Permanence Initiative (Enduring Earth)

Job Location

Washington, D.C.


Type of Job




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Published Date

Feb 9, 2022

About the job

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Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, D.C., our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.

We know that in America and around the globe, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, women, people of faith, and others have been discriminated against and disadvantaged. The multitude of perspectives offered by our staff and our partners has always been integral to our work, but today we must be more intentional in our efforts to focus on inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE) as core elements of our operations and culture. At Pew, our journey involves direct and candid conversations across the organization about how we can do better. And we’ve coupled those conversations with concrete action plans to make progress. We know we have more work ahead and remain committed to listening, learning, documenting disparities, and advancing together.


For more than 25 years, Pew has been a major force in engaging the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences, and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our environment work spans all seven continents with more than 250 professionals working at the local, national, and international levels to reduce the scope and severity of global environmental problems, such as the erosion of large natural ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and the destruction of the marine environment.

Pew has worked in the United States and Canada since 1990 to protect vast stretches of wilderness and more recently expanded our land conservation efforts to Australia’s Outback and Chilean Patagonia. Safeguarding these places offers an opportunity to conserve wildlife habitat, shorelines and landscapes for current and future generations. Our work relies on the sciences of conservation, biology, and economics to advocate for practical and durable solutions to the loss of biodiversity.

In the sea, reforms to how our oceans are managed are essential to address overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Pew began its oceans program in the United States, focusing on ending overfishing and protecting fragile marine habitat. Starting in 2005, Pew’s ocean conservation program expanded around the world and played a significant role in reforming marine fisheries management in the European Union and on the high seas and creating marine reserves around the world. Our work is grounded in the best available science and pursues domestic and international conservation measures that are long-term and provide permanent, durable protections for marine ecosystems.


The need for durable, landscape level safeguards to help stem recent decades’ dramatic decline of global biodiversity and to build resilience to climate change has fostered the development of new mechanisms to identify, conserve, finance, and manage critical ecosystems. One of the most promising has been the Project Finance for Permanence, or PFP. The PFP model protects ecosystems at a large scale and avoid the challenges of “paper parks” by ensuring that conservation management is properly resourced and durable. Because the PFP model requires comprehensive planning and design that involves a wide range of stakeholders, PFPs also address the frequent piecemeal approach to conservation whereby areas of land receive varying levels of protection without consideration for ecological connectivity, wildlife corridors, or community development needs.

An emerging collaboration among Pew and partners aims at helping to meet these ambitious and important goals. It is built around the innovative PFP conservation finance mechanism. PFPs have the potential to catalyze and spur tremendous investments from private, government, and multilateral funds to permanently conserve some of the world’s most spectacular and ecologically important marine and terrestrial natural ecosystems. In addition to safeguarding nature across a range of geographies, a tenet of this initiative would be to ensure that expanded protection and improved management of parks and reserves provide economic benefits to local communities through tourism and other enterprises based on sustainable uses.


This position will be an integral part of a team at Pew that is focusing on one of the most effective conservation financing strategies, project finance for permanence, that delivers durable conservation and equitable social outcomes. Enduring Earth is a partnership between Pew, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Zomalab. This position is ideal for fellows interested in growing their expertise in sustainable financing of large-scale conservation projects.


The Fellow will work with the Enduring Earth team on strategies and activities that focus on supporting the feasibility assessment and development of Pew lead PFP deals. Specific work includes:

  • Conduct research and analysis to support the feasibility assessment of potential PFPs in different countries where Pew or Enduring Earth partners are active.
  • Gather information, analyze, and draft sections of a comprehensive conservation and financial plan for the selected PFPs.
  • Draft, fact-check and review briefs and other technical materials, as needed by the project.
  • Monitor, analyze and share new scientific papers, press coverage, and government policies related to sustainable financing of conservation systems, PFPs and similar approaches.
  • Attend conferences and meetings (virtually, or in person as COVID-19 safety protocols permit) to keep abreast of the latest research; communicating highlights to the Pew team.
  • Assist project management by organizing meetings, capturing meeting highlights and developing summaries for the broader team to support collective learning and following up on the action points.
  • Connect with other Pew teams within the environment portfolio to communicate updates and encourage intersections in conservation and policy efforts.


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in August 2022.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in September 2023.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment in environmental policy/science, environmental economics, natural resource management, business or related field.
  • An interest in the field of conservation with a preference for large-scale conservation design and sustainable financing mechanisms.
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • Works well as part of a team and independently.
  • Familiarity with financial modeling, scenario planning, and intermediate excel skills would be a bonus, but not required.


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2022.


Salary: $45,000

The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. Benefits include: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance such as flexibility to telework up to 60% for most staff.


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website:
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a resume or curriculum vitae, one essay response, one visioning response, one short answer response, and a letter of support.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 27, 2022. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. If you have questions please see our FAQ page, attend an informational webinar or watch a recording, and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Coordinator, Maria Johnson, via email at

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, race, color, sex (including pregnancy), nation of origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military/veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law.


Pew places a priority on providing a safe and supportive environment for all staff. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pew has taken steps to ensure that safety by requiring full vaccination against the virus, temporarily closing offices, and making certain that staff are well supported in a work-from-home environment.

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