WANTED: Economist for environmental restoration and resilience (DC or NYC)

The Environmental Defense Fund seeks a Mississippi River Delta and Natural Infrastructure Economist (2-year Post-doctoral Position) for as position to be based in Washington, DC, New York City, or Boston.

The Economist we are seeking would examine existing infrastructure finance systems, and work to develop new concepts, ideas and approaches for financing of coastal adaptation and resilience needs. We anticipate a primary focus on financing of natural infrastructure (i.e., natural defenses and ecological engineering) that lessen the potential impacts of sea level rise and storm damage on coastal communities. The approaches would include, but would not be limited to public finance (taxes, fees, community bonds, etc.), private (market and philanthropic), and ecosystems services.

This analysis and these approaches are intended to help shape the organization’s policy positions and support its advocacy, and to help broaden the thinking and policy applications for financing these kinds of projects nationally. The Economist’s analysis will ideally include thought leading original publishable research with the potential to drive the development of this field, “in-house” analyses for use by other staff within the organization, as well as white papers aimed at policy makers, journalists, and the public at large.

The initial primary focus of the work within EDF will be on financing options around ongoing restoration and protection needs within the Mississippi River Delta (filling a significant gap in our work in the Delta) and then assessing ideas for broader applicability or utility to other coastal locations in the United States.

The Mississippi River Delta is the site of the largest adaptation effort underway in the country today. More broadly within EDF, we would expect this area of work to be applicable to other Ecosystems Program activities, and could potentially support an ongoing collaboration between the Oceans and Ecosystems programs and the Office of the Chief Economist on coastal resiliency in the Northeastern United States.
Responsibilities include:

  • Working with the Chief Economist, other Economic and Mississippi River Delta Restoration staff and collaborators to identify long-term research relevant to increasing financing options to inform and support the organization’s advocacy, and the national discussion;
  • Conducting original economic research to assess existing financing sources and systems, develop new ideas and evaluate these financing options, including their potential for improvement, revenue growth, and sustainability;
  • Research policy changes to implement new approach(es);
  • Working with staff on analyses of issues related to environmental policy;
  • Overseeing research projects conducted by other organizations for EDF (e.g., universities and outside contractors);
  • Summarizing research for a broad audience, as well as public communications including Congressional testimony, Op-Eds, articles, and blog posts;
  • Working with EDF’s development team, including communicating with donors and foundations and writing;
    Contributing to proposals for securing funding;
  • Participating in the development of public positions taken by EDF;
  • Representing EDF at public meetings including policy makers, academic conferences and workshops, gatherings of advocacy organizations, and the general public.
  • Developing one or more papers suitable for publishing in peer-reviewed journals that focus on existing and new options for sustainable financing of coastal adaptation and resilience.

See full position listing.

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