Program Director

TERM: Full time

Program or Department: Food & Environment 

Union of Concerned Scientists 

Remote/Hybrid – located in close proximity to (enter office state location): Remote, DC preferred 

Bargaining Unit Position: No 


The Position 

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. 


The Food and Environment Program’s interdisciplinary team of scientists, analysts, advocates, outreach, and communications staff works to advance strong, science-based public policies that can lead to a healthy, just, equitable, and sustainable food and farming system. 


Skills and Topic Keywords:  food, agriculture, sustainability, climate, racial equity, agroecology, policy, advocacy, program leadership, strategic vision 




  • Provide leadership for the program to define and implement goals, strategies, and activities. 
  • Identify and develop opportunities to maximize the impact and success of the Food & Environment Program and its campaigns and initiatives. 
  • Collaborate with Development staff to identify and cultivate potential donors. 
  • Provide final sign off on all major analytical products and F&E policy positions. 
  • Maintain familiarity with other UCS programs and collaborate with Deputy Director to coordinate the work of the Food and Environment Program with the work of other departments and the UCS Executive Team. 
  • Actively participate in UCS’s efforts to become an anti-racist organization. 



Qualifications and Experience 

  • At least 15 years of comparable and relevant experience in scientific or public policy work related to agriculture, food, and environmental issues, including significant management experience. 
  • A comprehensive knowledge of a scientific field, normally acquired through a doctoral program, and a broad understanding of technical and policy issues at play in food and agricultural systems, agroecology, climate change, and sustainability. 
  • Demonstrated success managing individuals and teams and coaching for high performance. 
  • Deep understanding of the connections between the structure of agriculture and the food system with racial disparity and injustice.  
  • Excellent communication skills and experience communicating with scientists, regulators, decision-makers, and the general public.  
  • Strong collaboration and relationship-building skills, internally and with external stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds. 
  • Strong self-awareness, humility, and emotional intelligence. 
  • Comfort and credibility discussing identities such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, ability, and their present-day implications. 


May spend extended periods at computer.  Travel up to 20% for meetings, retreats and conference.  


UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities.  


This is a full-time remote position based in close proximity to UCS’s DC office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $170,611 – $191, 940. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.  


Information about the organization is available at  


Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate. 

 More about the team: 

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. 

 To Apply: We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.  


This position is not in the bargaining unit. 



Covid Mandate for New Hires: 

For in office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely. 


All new employees must comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements outlined in UCS policies as soon as practicable. Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment. 



Deadline: Until filled.