Union of Concerned Scientists is Looking for an Agroecologist

Organization Description

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. What began as a collaboration between

students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 400,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists

and physicists, teachers and students. UCS members understand that scientific analysis—not political calculations or corporate hype—should guide our efforts to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices,

and consumer choices. UCS experts work on some of the most complex and daunting problems in our history: stemming

the tide of global warming, finding sustainable ways to feed, power and transport ourselves, and reducing the threat of catastrophic war.  UCS’s achievements over the decades show that thoughtful action based on the best available science can help safeguard our future and the future of our planet.

Position Description

Within UCS’s Food and Environment Program, the Scientist-Agroecologist will work under the supervision of the Program Director and as a member of an interdisciplinary team to advance policy advocacy efforts leading to a healthy, sustainable food and farming system. The role of the Scientist is also designed to: 1) produce publicly-resonant scientific analyses; 2) craft written communications for a variety of audiences; 3) develop comprehensive scientific and policy expertise; 4) cultivate relationships with experts and allies; 5) represent UCS to policy makers, the media, and other stakeholders; and 6) help develop program direction and plans.


Additional information can be found on the Union of Concerned Scientists website: www.ucsusa.org



Ideal candidates will have a Ph.D. in agroecology or related agricultural or biological science; comprehensive knowledge of the scientific, economic, and public policy issues associated with sustainable agriculture/food systems; excellent writing and public speaking skills; strong analytic and project management skills; understanding of the role of science and advocacy in shaping public opinion and policy debates; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as a member of a team.  The position requires at least three to five years of relevant experience in scientific and/or public policy work in sustainable agriculture/food systems or environmental issues; familiarity with public policy process regarding agriculture, food systems, or environmental issues; demonstrated ability to produce analyses on science policy issues and write about complex policy and scientific matters for a lay audience; evidence of strong analytical skills. NGO experience is preferred but not essential.  At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.


This is a full-time position based in UCS’s Washington, DC office. For candidates who meet all position requirements, the salary is $80,000. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment, and is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff and to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.


Please submit your résumé, cover letter and salary requirements.  Also include how you learned about the position and send via email to jandc@johnstonco.org  with “Scientist-Agroecologist” in the subject line. Email materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please. Deadline: April, 20th or until filled.