Full time October 7, 2022

Director – Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists 

Organization: Union of Concerned Scientists

Organization Overview

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit that uses science to protect our health, safety, and environment. We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists and everyday people who develop and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

UCS is hiring for leadership roles throughout the organization. This is an exciting time to join the team, with many opportunities to help shape its work and how it is carried out.

Information about the organization is available at http://www.ucsusa.org

Position Overview

The worsening effects of climate change and persistent systemic racism make it clear: we need intersectional climate action now. The Climate & Energy (C&E) program, which is the largest department at UCS, is seeking a Director to lead a busy and supportive team fighting to protect the planet and people:

  • Through a swift and just transition to a clean-energy economy;
  • By holding fossil fuel companies and others accountable for the damages their products have caused, and their decades-long disinformation campaigns;
  • And through sensible, science-based policies that will help those most affected by climate change.

UCS Program Directors take the lead on overall vision, strategy, campaigns and advocacy, research, analysis, personnel decisions, and budgets for their programs. In this role, you will drive strategy and oversight for the work and well-being of the Climate & Energy Program, you’ll also demonstrate leadership to deepen the team’s efforts to be an anti-racist program. You’ll contribute to a collaborative work environment within UCS among its other programs, and externally, with its partner organizations, especially those working in environmental and climate justice spaces. You’ll also be expected to help raise the visibility of the organization on climate and energy issues across multiple high-profile audiences, including the media, scientific organizations, foundations, and policymakers.


  • Lead a high-performing, committed, and diverse team of over fifty professionals working to meet the UCS mission; coaching and mentoring the team, supervising senior- level staff, and supporting their professional development.
  • Maintain and promote a culture of transparency and openness that encourages staff of all backgrounds and levels of seniority to feel confident, understood, and valued in communicating their ideas and/or concerns.
  • Ensure projects meet organizational values concerning justice and equity, and that campaigns and analyses are relevant for communities and people’s lives.
  • Provide overall management and oversight of all program activities, including daily operations, budget, annual planning, personnel decisions, and project implementation.
  • Ensure that C&E consistently and effectively meets and deepens its anti-racism commitments, approaches, and practices as part of a science-based advocacy organization, infusing an anti-racism lens into science, environmental policy, and social impact.
  • Foster a culture that centers and values the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and where all staff can thrive and grow.
  • Strengthen UCS scientific and technical credibility and reputation for innovation by engaging with emerging issues, and maintaining scientific excellence in the department’s output.
  • Represent and raise the visibility of UCS on climate and energy issues among key public, non-governmental, governmental, policy, and media audiences.
  • Guide and establish effective and strategic partnerships with external organizations and constituencies, and interdepartmental UCS collaborations.
  • Ensure the program has a cohesive process for measuring progress, accountability, learning, and revising work plans as necessary.
  • Effectively assign responsibility and delegate tasks and decision-making authority to C&E managers and staff and C&E’s internal leadership council, Policy Committee and other existing or emerging structures in the program, to ensure our program structure is effective, collaborative, and nimble.
  • Represent the Climate & Energy Program with the UCS board and executive team, along with UCS donors, and participate in proposal development and presentation for foundations.


  • This position requires at least ten years relevant experience, including four to five years of senior management experience, and some experience with the application of science to public policy. A master’s degree or a PhD in a relevant field would be a plus but is not required. Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.
  • The position also requires strategic acumen and the ability to provide vision, set direction, and lead a talented team of scientists and analysts, along with campaign, advocacy, fundraising, and communications staff. Expertise in climate and energy, a strong current knowledge of climate and energy policy issues, energy and climate justice, climate science, just climate resilience, and experience designing and leading effective advocacy campaigns for social change are essential.
  • A general familiarity with energy technologies, corporate campaigning, and climate litigation is desirable. A proven ability to lead and inspire high-performing matrixed teams, include and engage people, effectively delegate, and foster trust at all levels of staff are essential.
  • The Program Director should also bring experience working on anti-racism, a demonstrated ability to thoughtfully navigate, implement, and lead on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a deep commitment to advancing these values and cultivating and maintaining collaborations with environmental justice organizations.
  • Skills in fundraising, budgeting and budget management are required, and experience in organizing, government affairs, and project management are desirable. The Program Director must have excellent written and spoken communications skills and be comfortable speaking in public—and/or willing to learn how to improve that skill. Fluency in English is required, and Spanish language skills are highly desirable.


This is a full-time remote/hybrid position based in either our Cambridge MA; Washington DC; Bay Area, CA; or Chicago, IL or in close proximity to one of these offices. Regular office hours may include some nights and weekends.

Regular travel to UCS offices as well as to meetings, functions and events to represent C&E and UCS. Occasional international travel may be required.

Compensation and Benefits

For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $170,611-$191,940. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

More Information
Position Posting

$170611 - $191940


California, Hybrid, Illinois, Massachusettes, Washington, D.C.

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