Senior Researcher @ Pacific Institute

Senior Researcher


Job Type: Full-time exempt, 1-year term limited with the possibility of extension, based on available funding

Hours: 100% FTE; 35 hours per week

Location: Remote within the United States (California base preferred)

Travel: Some business travel may be required, including overnight stays

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Start Date: Available immediately

About Us

The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach and engagement to influence local, national, and international efforts in water sustainability and resilience. Our vision is to create a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. Since 1987, we have worked with diverse groups ranging from major corporations to frontline communities with a mission of creating and advancing solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Our work is routinely featured in national and global top-tier media, and we engage more than 270 partners, including NGOs, utilities, policymakers, businesses, and others.

About the Position

This position will play a pivotal role in supporting the Pacific Institute’s programs, particularly the suite of activities being undertaken in California to advance corporate water stewardship. The primary responsibility of this position is to be the lead project manager for the California Water Resilience Initiative – a private sector initiative to accelerate coordinated, collective action to achieve a water-resilient future for California in alignment with public sector goals. This position will also represent the Pacific Institute in the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) – a network of over 25 companies and nonprofit organizations learning together, collectively developing projects, and advancing innovative solutions to improve water security and resilience across California. Finally, this position will be a member of the CEO Water Mandate team; The CEO Water Mandate is the world’s largest corporate water stewardship coalition co-managed by the Pacific Institute and the United Nations Global Compact.


Project Manager, California Water Resilience Initiative (~80%)

As the project manager for this initiative, the person in this position will:

Coordinate with sustainability leaders from Fortune 500 corporations to develop and implement a roadmap to achieve shared corporate water stewardship impact goals
Lead efforts to develop and deploy an impact measurement system to track progress against shared goals
Schedule and lead regular meetings with internal and external stakeholders to provide updates, answer questions, and seek their input
Involve stakeholders from corporations, consultants, and NGOs in decision- making processes related to the initiative’s design, implementation, and evaluation
Forge strategic partnerships with stakeholders that can contribute resources, expertise, or support to the project
Coordinate with Communications & Outreach staff to shared success stories and raise the profile of this initiative both locally and globally
Pacific Institute representative, California Water Action Collaborative (~10%)

As the Pacific Institute representative for CWAC, the person in this position will:

Attend monthly virtual meetings
Attend annual in-person meetings
Act as liaison between the California Water Resilience Initiative and CWAC
Support any active Pacific Institute-led CWAC projects
Team member, CEO Water Mandate (~10%)

As part of the CEO Water Mandate team, the person in this position will:

Attend bi-weekly CEO Water Mandate team meetings
Provide regular updates to the CEO Water Mandate team on the California corporate water stewardship work
Coordinate with global CEO Water Mandate engagement team on corporate engagement for California work
Coordinate with global CEO Water Mandate communications and events team on California-related presentations and events
Required Skills/Abilities

Advanced degree in water resources, natural resource management, corporate sustainability, environmental science, engineering, or relevant field
Strong grasp and experience in corporate water stewardship concepts, methodologies, and implementation practices
Deep knowledge and expertise in California water policy and management, both historical and current practices
Minimum of 7 years of work experience in relevant field(s)
Ability to work independently and efficiently, use good judgment and decision- making, and deliver results in a fast-paced and evolving environment
Detail-oriented with a focus on quality and accuracy
Comfortable collaborating with a diverse group of individuals to meet project objectives within established timelines; can effectively move from strategy to details in a seamless way
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Strong interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with others and build relationships
Proficient in MS Office
Compensation and Benefits

This position is eligible for paid vacation and benefits. The Pacific Institute offers an excellent compensation package, including a generous health, dental, and Institute-matched retirement plan and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and reflects the field. Hiring Range: $75,000 – $90,000 (if selected for an interview, a salary range within our hiring range will be shared that is specific to the candidates’ geographic location).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Pacific Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We commit to improving DEI in our internal operations and culture for two reasons:

To stay true to our values and principles: We recognize that historical and current injustices have left out certain voices and perspectives from decision-making about accessing and managing water resources. We acknowledge that the representation of these groups in water-related decision-making and careers is an important step towards addressing past and current injustices. Because Pacific Institute participates in water-related decision making, we acknowledge that hiring and retaining a diverse staff can contribute to a broader need to address systemic injustices.

To better achieve Pacific Institute’s mission and vision: We know that having diverse perspectives makes for better research, creative solutions, and can help us achieve our mission. We recognize that a diverse team with varied perspectives, skills, and experiences is essential for generating and scaling innovative ideas that solve increasingly complex challenges. We make an active effort to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected, heard, validated, empowered, and celebrated across different identities and cultures. We aim to constantly evolve our approach to DEI to reflect best practices in this work, just as we do with our water and climate research.

As part of our commitment, we request that all applicants include a brief statement in your cover letter to address why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is important to you and how you have demonstrated these values in your work.

How to Apply

To Apply CLICK HERE At the Pacific Institute, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role, but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may just be the right candidate for this or other roles. Please include:

  • A cover letter of no more than two pages, including:
    • Your interest in the position
    • Your DEI statement
    • Any other information you think we should know
  • Your Resume/CV
  • A writing sample of no more than four (4) pages.






2023-10-26 00:00