Managing Director, Climate and Energy

Union of Concerned Scientists


Energy / Environment


Program Management, Policy / Advocacy / Legal


CA - Greater San Francisco Bay Area
DC - Washington metropolitan area
IL - Chicago metropolitan area
MA - Boston metropolitan area

About the Organization

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.

Information about the organization is available at

About the Position

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 program at UCS with a staff of approximately 60 and an annual budget of $10M, is seeking a Managing Director to lead a highly capable, passionate 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.

The Managing Director will lead the overall team management, staff wellbeing, strategic vision setting and budget oversight for the C&E program. A successful candidate will demonstrate experience on ways to deepen the team's efforts to be an anti-racist program and contribute to a collaborative work environment within the program and across the organization as well as with partner organizations, especially those working in environmental and climate justice spaces. The Managing Director will help raise the visibility and support for climate and energy issues with multiple high-profile audiences, including the media, scientific organizations, foundations, and policymakers.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead a high-performing, committed, and diverse team of roughly 60 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, openness and accountability 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 budget, work planning, and personnel decisions.

  • 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.

  • In collaboration with Development and Communications colleagues, develop proposals and presentations to raise the profile and funds for C& programs with UCS donors and foundations.

  • 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 via existing or emerging structures so program's functioning is effective, collaborative, and nimble.

  • Represent the Climate & Energy Program with the UCS board and executive team.

Candidate Requirements:

  • At least fifteen years of professional experience required, including significant leadership and management experience as well as an understanding of the appropriate use of scientific and technical information in public understanding and the public policy process.

  • 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 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.

  • Demonstrable experience working on anti-racism, an 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.

  • Experience in key aspects of fundraising, including concept development, pitching ideas and cultivation of foundation and major donors; and budget management are required.

  • Close familiarity with energy technologies, campaigning and litigation approaches, organizing, and government affairs is desirable.

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills are required, including: a demonstrated ability and willingness to communicate effectively and credibly with public audiences, policymakers, leading scientists, and other experts.

  • Fluency in English is required, and Spanish language skills are desirable.

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.


This is a full-time remote/hybrid position based in 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 $200,000 -$220,000. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. All staff participate in this commitment whether internally, in building a welcoming workplace culture and /or externally, in ensuring inclusive engagement with supporters, media, vendors, allies and others.

Like the Union of Concerned Scientists, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're partnering with the team at Union of Concerned Scientists to build a diverse team and we encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact