Vice President, Research, Markets Institute

World Wildlife Fund

Company Type


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks a Vice President, Research for the Markets Institute at our Washington, DC, office. The Vice President, Research leads research efforts at the Markets Institute and is responsible, along with the Executive Director, for setting short- and long-term research strategy and goals, communicating the research findings, and developing research partnerships with both individuals and institutions. S/he is also accountable for research outcomes. The VP will be an integral part of an innovative, visionary team that is launching a new thought-leadership platform to address global issues and trends that affect business and sustainability within the food sector: the Markets Institute at WWF. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate progress towards a more sustainable food system globally by leveraging the power of the private sector to influence where and how food is produced through their supply chains. Our goal is to achieve sustainability results faster and more cost effectively and accelerate change at scale in the global food system. We will raise awareness, build consensus around how to think strategically about evolving issues and trends, shape strategies that are needed to address them, and identify the results (both financial and environmental) that indicate success and that motivate change.

The research will consist of deep dives into new or promising areas, overarching research to identify new issues and trends, or quick surveys of the literature and networks of individuals and institutions to identify who is working on specific issues of interest and/or what is currently known about them. Research partners will support the research agenda of the Institute in different ways, helping identify key research topics and strategies, undertaking pieces of the research, or collaborating with a larger group of research partners

The VP works with the Senior Vice President/Executive Director to manage engagement with research partners and ensure the right resources are generated (individually and collectively) and brought to bear on key and evolving issues. S/he develops both overarching and specific research strategies and brings them through a vetting process with the Executive Director and other senior WWF staff in the goal and influence teams as appropriate.


Strategic Direction: Sets direction for overall research agenda and strategy, recruits strategic partnerships with individuals and institutions that will allow the Institute to achieve its overall goals and desired results. Constantly evaluates the changing landscape, trends, and developments to keep the Institute on track and pointed in the direction of identifying and better understanding key issues and trends that affect WWF’s ability to achieve its mission of biodiversity conservation.


Thought Leadership: Provides expertise on how to identify and shape research strategies that address the key biodiversity threats from the production of food and soft commodities that allow the Institute to achieve its mission of identifying global trends and opportunities more quickly and insuring that they are taken up and incubated by others so that change can be accelerated at scales that are meaningful. Ensures that the Institute has the best possible partners to help us identify and understand the constantly shifting global issues and trends as well as strategies and tools to address them. Demonstrates and shares expertise within the organization.  Works effectively as part of a team to advance the Institute’s mission.


Outreach to Research Partners: Engages the broadest community of individual and institutional partners to drive the Institute’s research agenda as well as its impact by helping create awareness and build consensus about new issues and trends; oversees partnership cultivation and the development of key research strategies with others; represents the Institute on key platforms and at key events. Shares feedback from those interactions with the WWF Network in order to improve the organization’s ability to work with a wide range of partners. Builds a formal community of global experts on food research.


Influencing Key Partners: Works with the Executive Director and key Influence and Goal teams as appropriate to influence the agendas of research partners as well as the behaviors and policies of key public and private sector partners as appropriate. Helps to build and maintains strategic partnerships. Works closely with SVP/Executive Director to fundraise for research in the Institute and serves as champion for its efforts.


Innovator and Change Leader: Serves as an innovator and change leader in the Institute, within WWF more generally and with key WWF partners and appropriate external audiences. Steers the Institute’s efforts to help identify and recruit partners that will help WWF make the biggest impact; shares lessons learned; and contributes to the development of new, big ideas and strategies through basic research.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience with a specialization in food and the environment;
  • 15 years of experience including 10 years developing and undertaking globally significant research related to food production, supply chains and the overall impact of food systems on the environment;
  • Proven ability to develop and manage multi-institution research partnerships that focus on cutting-edge global issues and trends;
  • Proven ability to mobilize resources for research;
  • Prior management experience preferred;
  • Strong communication (writing, public speaking, and one-on-one communications) and interpersonal skills; strong management skills;
  • Able to shape the way research partners and others think about global trends and issues as well as the importance of identifying, undertaking and communicating research results about opportunities and how to address them;
  • Create awareness and build consensus about evolving issues, trends and strategies to address them;
  • Demonstrate the value of partners working together through pre-competitive research initiatives and platforms;
  • Drive results by influencing and leveraging key partners globally; and
  • Some travel required, 10-20% and as necessary.

To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #17087 
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone

As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and veteran or disability status.

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Confirmed an hour ago. Posted 30+ days ago.

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