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World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world's leading conservation organizations, seeks a Director, Food Policy.
This position must be based in Washington, DC. The Freshwater and Food team at WWF-US works to address the two biggest threats to nature: agriculture and infrastructure. The Director, Food Policy serves as the policy lead for the WWF-US Food team and is responsible for developing short- and long-term policy goals through a consultative process, engaging strategic partnerships with individuals, institutions, coalitions, and platforms, and representing WWF's interests in external fora to drive achieving impacts aligned with WWF's priorities related to sustainable food systems. The primary objectives of the incumbent will be to develop and implement a policy agenda that: 1) supports a scaled shift to regenerative agricultural production systems in the US and abroad making a clear link between achieving shared outcomes for food systems, climate change, nature and people; 2) conserves and protects critical landscapes especially halting conversion of critical biomes from the expansion of agriculture, especially grasslands, forests, and wetlands in North America and around the world; 3) addresses sustainable diets and consumption with a focus on access, equity, and social justice, and 4) supports generally WWF-US's Food initiatives on sustainable aquaculture, livestock, feed, and food loss and waste.
The incumbent will proactively conduct policy research and analysis, develop thought leadership and policy positions related to food systems, and track and document relevant policy, legislative and resource mobilization opportunities and issues as they pertain to WWF's freshwater and food agenda. The incumbent will also engage with internal and external stakeholders to stay up to speed on the latest policy proposals, analysis, tools, and approaches to influence and affect change in policy dialogues related to regenerative agriculture and sustainability of food systems. The incumbent will work closely with Food goal initiative leads, policy leads in other goal teams, especially Freshwater, as well as relevant colleagues in Policy and Government Affairs and Private Sector Engagement teams to provide strategic leadership on federal, state, and local policies.
This role will cover the following priority areas for the Food team:
- Federal and state policies related to regenerative agricultural systems and shifting scaled agricultural production and consumption that sustains healthy people, communities, nature, and climate.
- Lead policy engagement strategy to halt deforestation and conversion, advance restoration and improve regenerative management of critical landscapes, especially temperate North American grasslands based on an understanding of economic drivers as well as needs of Native nations. This will include engaging with federal and state legislators and agencies that create and implement policies on topics such as crop insurance, funding and objectives of conservation programs, climate smart agriculture, carbon markets, biofuels, soil health, pollinators, etc.
- Work across Food team initiatives to advance other WWF food goal priorities including sustainable aquaculture, livestock, feed, and food loss and waste.
Specific duties include:
- Develop WWF-US's food-related policy priorities using a consultative approach and engaging especially Food initiative leads and policy leads in other goal teams
- Develop WWF's policy priorities to advance our regenerative agriculture and grasslands conservation agenda in the Northern Great Plains, and the broader Great Plains landscape
- Drive cross-functional consensus across WWF goal teams, including Freshwater, Forest, Climate, Wildlife and Oceans around WWF's food policy priorities, especially related to issues like deforestation/conversion, overfishing, corporate water stewardship, food loss and waste, etc.,
- Craft policy position documents, talking points, and other materials for internal and external communication
- Partner with industry leaders, trade associations, civil society organizations, think tanks, and other external constituents to align and build support for our policy positions
- Work closely, where appropriate with internal and external colleagues and experts in the US at the federal and state level to advance our policy positions in executive, regulatory, and legislative settings
- Work closely with our communications team to create and execute compelling communication strategies, events, and assets around our policy priorities
- Monitor and analyze policy issues and developments of importance to WWF and provide strategic advice to senior company executives on these matters
- Engage with WWF network to understand and counsel on policy implications and risks of strategic decisions made on food policy
- Oversees and facilitates the drafting of WWF-US policy positions related to food, where appropriate, as well as WWF-US's primary advocacy work
- Along with U.S. government affairs team, lead proposal development and outreach to support resource mobilization for work related to agricultural and food systems.
- Other duties as assigned by manager.
- Bachelor's Degree and master's degree in public policy, ecosystem assessment and/or agriculture/food/freshwater related discipline with 10 or more years of relevant experience with federal legislators, federal agencies and/or NGOs.
- Knowledge of current federal, state and international policies and initiatives relevant to the sustainable food, beverage, and textile sectors.
- Proven experience developing and implementing strategies to influence policy makers on specific policy outcomes.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills are required to translate science into policy recommendations, including effective public speaking and the ability to communicate complex issues both verbally and in written form.
- Ability to translate technical concepts and ideas into actionable recommendations, quantifiable targets, and milestones. Previous experience working with policy makers, government agencies, and/or corporate engagement are highly desirable.
- Excellent project management and organizational skills; knowledge, experience and certification using project management tools a plus.
- Ability to effectively prioritize and produce high-quality work under time constraints and excellent organizational and project leadership skills.
- Excellent professional judgement and personal work ethic, a self-reflective learner who is open to growth and continuous learning opportunities through constructive feedback, support, and mentorship.
- Ability to operate with independence and under pressure, to meet deadlines and commitments; a proactive self-starter who is self-reflective, a problem-solver, and not afraid of making mistakes or engaging team members for support.
- Proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a matrixed team environment.
- Fluency in English is required. Additional language skills are preferred.
- National and international travel required (up to 20%).
- Adherence to WWF organization values, policies, and environmental and social safeguards framework. Identifies and aligns with WWF's core values: Courage, Integrity, Respect, and Collaboration:
- Demonstrates courage by speaking up even when it is difficult, or unpopular.
- Builds trust with colleagues by acting with integrity, owning mistakes, and holding oneself accountable.
- Welcomes other points of view and ideas, recognizing and embracing different and contrary perspectives with kindness, curiosity, and encouragement.
- Makes conscious efforts to promote cooperative practices, behaviors, and ways of working across many groups and individuals.
- Commitment to the Freshwater & Food team's efforts around Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).
This position is limited-term and is funded through 02/01/2025.
- Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page, Requisition #22100
- 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, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply.