Director of Research, ClimateWorks Foundation

ClimateWorks Foundation

Director of Research

San Francisco, California

Full Time




About the Organization

ClimateWorks is a worldwide network of philanthropic and non-governmental organizations whose mission is to support public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and catalyze sustainable global prosperity.  Our goal is to inspire the adoption of policies that limit annual global greenhouse gas emissions to 44 billion metric tons by the year 2020 (25% below projections) and to 35 billion metric tons by the year 2030 (50% below projections) in order to ensure that global average temperatures do not increase by more than 2° centigrade—a threshold that most climate scientists describe as a dangerous tipping point. To achieve this objective, ClimateWorks promotes smart government policies that reduce reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources; rapidly deploy clean, efficient energy technologies and low-carbon infrastructure; and reduce the rate of deforestation in the world’s largest, most threatened tropical forests. We prioritize this work in the nations, regions, and economic sectors responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions, thus increasing our chances of success.


The ClimateWorks Network includes thirteen institutions:


  • The ClimateWorks Foundation manages the Network, conducts in-depth policy research and economic analyses, raises needed funds, and sets funding priorities based on the most urgent challenges and largest opportunities for reducing emissions.


  • 5 Regional Climate Foundations manage grant portfolios in priority regions, focusing on local and regional politics and campaign-style advocacy. They draw on deep, in-country political expertise and understanding of local conditions to lay the groundwork for policy victories.


  • 7 Best Practice Networks put world-class knowledge to work in the sectors responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions. The policy analysts, technology experts, and former regulators who staff Best Practice Networks are deeply embedded in the policymaking process and know how to work with decision makers to ensure policy efficacy.


This collection of organizations composes the ClimateWorks Network and works to pursue coordinated strategies and to share information and tools to increase effectiveness.


Director of Research

The ClimateWorks Foundation is seeking a Director of Research to lead its four-person research team. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Director of Research will design and manage complex research projects, providing leadership and coordination among ClimateWorks staff, Best Practice Networks and Regional Climate Foundations, and external decision-makers. The Director will work on both country-specific projects and those of international scope, and will excel at translating academic and quantitative analyses into business and policy solutions. The successful candidate will demonstrate exceptional communication skills, a natural ability for quantitative analysis, and a proven understanding of energy research and policy. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced professional who has a keen sense of how to focus and translate energy and climate research so that it will affect policy.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Research will perform the following and other duties as assigned:


  • Design and manage complex research projects, providing leadership and coordination among ClimateWorks staff, Best Practice Networks and Regional Climate Foundations, and external decision-makers.
  • Direct the Global Research team through all stages of the research process, including research scoping, methodology development, data analysis, and synthesis.
  • Oversee the development of quantitative and analytical reports and research products.
  • Assist the CEO in developing the research agenda and creating work plans for research projects.
  • Manage the research team and external consultants in preparing polished presentations of the research team’s findings.
  • Present the research in articles and talks in forums around the world.
  • As needed, provide research and analysis to inform the work of the Foundation’s development, communications, and strategic planning teams.



The successful applicant will have the following minimum qualifications:


  • 5+ years of experience in research and/or consulting and 3+ years as a research/consulting manager
  • Excellent research skills and the ability to balance rigorous quantitative research with practical application
  • Understanding of energy modeling; ability to detect patterns and interpret data in the context of large scale energy systems
  • Excellent management and interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional writing, editing and communications skills
  • Solid quantitative skills; experience guiding a team to conduct modeling and other analytical work
  • Experience working in service to a broad range of clients and/or stakeholders
  • Foreign language skills a plus
  • Advanced degree or equivalent (quantitative background preferred; economics, public policy coursework helpful)
  • Passion for environmental issues 
  • Willingness to  travel internationally


Compensation and Benefits

ClimateWorks Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position will be located in San Francisco, CA.


To Apply

To be considered for this position, interested candidates must click “Apply” above to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements. CEA Recruiting is assisting the ClimateWorks Foundation with its search for a Director of Research. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.


The ClimateWorks Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.


CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit