WWF’s half-century of conservation success is rooted firmly in science; it informs and underpins everything we do. The scientific rigor we bring to our work is unmatched in the nonprofit conservation sector. Building on this legacy, WWF is recruiting a team of Global Science Leaders to advance the organization’s mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
We are hiring scientists to shape an interdisciplinary research agenda and apply it to accelerate WWF’s goals in Climate & Energy, Food, Forests, Freshwater, Oceans and Wildlife. We seek an interdisciplinary team of science leaders to advance a coordinated effort that will deliver science for tangible conservation results at a speed and scale commensurate with the trends that undermine them. The Leaders will report directly to the WWF Chief Scientist and are key members of WWF’s Network Science Team.
The Food Scientist (Lead Scientist) will provide scientific leadership for WWF’s Global Food Practice. The Lead Scientist will be a key partner to the Chief Scientist and the Food Practice Leader, providing thought leadership, science direction for goal setting, scientific analysis in support of strategy development and the management of internal and external science talent to support the Global Food team in advancing an ambitious agenda. The Lead Scientist will serve as a member of the WWF Global Science Leadership Team to provide expertise and support for interdisciplinary analyses to advance cross-functional strategies. This is an unparalleled opportunity for a dynamic, strategic thinker who is passionate about WWF's mission and has demonstrated success in leading rigorous scientific research to support issues related to the impacts of production, distribution and consumption of food.
Never has the planet faced environmental threats of the scale and urgency we see today. But we also find ourselves in a unique time of extraordinary opportunity for change. Following the establishment of the new Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agreement reached in Paris, humanity has committed to accelerate a transition toward a more sustainable, ecologically sound and habitable future. The pace and scale of this transition will dictate success or failure. As the world’s largest conservation organization, WWF is determined to capitalize on this momentum. We are re-inventing our practice of conservation, pursuing measurable results and thought partnerships that help shift humanity to a more sustainable footing.
The global food systems are essential to sustain the human population but they have a big and varied impacts on the natural environment: 40% of the land and 70% of freshwater consumed for agriculture, the leading cause of deforestation and habitat conversion, the cause of 70% of human-linked biodiversity loss, the source of 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of fisheries collapse, the destruction of seascapes due to unsustainable fishing practices, and the creation of freshwater and ocean dead-zones through overuse of fertilizers and chemicals.
With the population set to rise from a current 7.5 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, it is estimated that with business as usual, food production will need to double to cater to the rise in population as well as incomes that in turn change consumer preferences and diets.
In this context, WWF is prioritizing the work with the food sector and developing strategies that focus on more sustainable production, landscape protection, reduction of food loss and waste, and more sustainable consumer choices for healthy diets. We are also considering developing a One Planet Food framework that encompasses these impacts based on the concept of Planetary Boundaries.
Success will require a team that energetically embraces the opportunity and risks to produce solutions to the world’s largest environmental problems at the intersection of science and practice. The Food Scientist will play an important role in helping shape and inform the Food Practice strategy and help define and measure impacts.
Position responsibilities include
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.