Environmental Defense Fund: Subnational Climate Policy Fellow

Apply here. (Applications due Friday, January 31, 2020)

Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this position.

Website: www.edf.org

Location: Washington, DC or Boulder, CO

Fellowship Position

Position title: Subnational Climate Policy Fellow

Department: Climate

Reports to: Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy, Climate and Energy

Address of fellowship placement: 1875 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC, or 2060 Broadway St, Boulder, CO

Department Description

The Fellow will be part of the Climate team’s Subnational Climate Policy program, with staff spanning numerous states and disciplines, focused on establishing state policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a dozen states from coast-to-coast. The subnational team’s work is designed to do three core things. First, drive meaningful near-term reductions in US emissions despite federal inaction by deploying strategies designed to secure the most ambitious state-level policy mechanism available: a limit and a price on carbon. Second, through our advocacy and organizing create the legal, technical, and political foundation that will help support more ambitious action – on a faster timeline— when we go on offense again at the federal level. Third, demonstrate to our international allies that the US is not sitting on the sidelines – and in fact will be well-positioned to quickly pivot and achieve ambitious reductions when the administration changes.

Position Description: 

Under the direction of EDF’s Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy, the Fellow will develop and execute research and analysis to inform, support, and directly  participate in EDF’s advocacy on critically important aspects of climate policy design. The Fellow’s work will ensure policies are crafted in a way that works with existing energy markets, will contemplate how to accelerate emission reductions in various sectors, and will grapple with designing state policy strategies that mitigate greenhouse gases and conventional pollutants in disadvantaged communities as part of a holistic greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. The Fellow will be part of a dynamic team responsible for day-to-day advocacy and strategy directed towards securing smart, efficient, equitable, and ambitious state climate policies in states as diverse as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Colorado—where the fellow will have a front-row seat to the implementation of one of the most ambitious climate policies in the country.

Examples of specific responsibilities, projects, tasks, and/or duties of the Fellow include:

Tasks will include but may not be limited to:

  • Lead a project to develop state-specific analyses and public materials, developing first a template, and then systematically deploying research and analysis state-by-state to support state climate policy advocacy.
  • Develop timely in-house analyses for program staff as technical questions arise.
  • Spearhead development of white papers on core policy design and effects topics along with public communications including regulatory or legislative testimony, presentations, Op-Ed pieces, and blog posts.
  • Prepare analyses and explanatory materials to respond to questions from stakeholders engaged with the state-level policy efforts.
  • Present findings internally and externally, shaping internal EDF strategic thinking and external advocacy efforts.
  • Develop and/or deploy expertise in carbon pricing, emissions trading systems, energy markets, electricity grid dynamics, and climate mitigation opportunities across different economic sectors.
  • Engage directly with state officials and staff, electric power sector representatives, NGO partners, and other stakeholders. 


The successful applicant will have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Coursework and/or experience in science, engineering, public policy, economics, or law in areas related to energy and the environment.
  • Strong interest in climate change, market-based frameworks, state policy, and/or clean energy.
  • Familiarity with analytical tools that can be used in assessing emission reduction potential, pathways, and costs, and ability to critically evaluate the inputs and outputs of such analysis and to use results to inform advocacy efforts.
  • Strategic capacity and ability to work with a team to develop an optimized strategy given technical, policy, legal, and political considerations. Ability to continually revise a strategy as new developments arise.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on complex projects with numerous team members in a fast-paced working environment, and a high capacity for working  collaboratively across multiple teams.
  • Clear, concise and engaging verbal and written communicator.
  • Able to travel for up to 20% of the Fellow’s time.

Professional Development

The position offers numerous professional growth opportunities, varied by location. In the Washington, DC office, the Fellow will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for additional learning and professional growth ranging from attending public congressional briefings, expert seminars and workshops, conferences, and other trainings. In the Boulder office, the there will be professional growth opportunities to take advantage of EDF’s strong connectivity to the local conservation community and deep relationships with state legislative leaders and Administrative officials. The Fellow will be encouraged to join EDF staff attending legislative hearings, testifying on legislation, and attending regulatory forums—while getting a close-up view on how policy gets made at the state level. In addition, for any location professional development reimbursements, up to a certain amount, are eligible for courses or conferences that directly contribute to the work of the employee. EDF also hosts organization-wide trainings, brown bags, and other opportunities that the Fellow can participate in to explore various programs within EDF. The Fellow will be part of a diverse team with expertise in multiple disciplines, including policy, law, technical analysis, and government relations, and can explore mentorship opportunities with EDF staff within and outside the Climate program, if so inclined, and with the support and help of her/his supervisor.