Global Biodiversity Lead Scientist - 22131

WWF Washington, DC
Washington D.C.
May 25, 2022
Jun 29, 2022
Full Time


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world's leading conservation organizations, seeks a Global Biodiversity Lead Scientist.


Major Function

WWF's half-century of conservation success is rooted firmly in science; it informs and underpins everything we do. Science advances a coordinated WWF effort that delivers science for tangible conservation resulting in the speed and scale commensurate with the trends of the world today. Lead scientists report directly to the WWF Chief Scientist, are key members of WWF's Network Science Team and have a dotted line to one of WWF's thematic Practices.


The Global Biodiversity Lead Scientist (Lead Scientist) provides the scientific leadership on biodiversity for WWF's Practices. The Lead Scientist is an important partner to the Chief Scientist, the Global Conservation Director and the Practice Leaders, in particular the Wildlife Practice Leader, across our WWF Network. She/he will provide thought leadership, scientific analysis in support of goal and strategy development and implementation, and the management of internal and external science talent to support and advance WWF's ambitious agenda. The Lead Scientist will serve as a member of the WWF Global Science Leadership Team, providing expertise and support for interdisciplinary analyses to advance cross-functional strategies. This is an opportunity for a dynamic, strategic thinker who is passionate about conservation and has demonstrated success in leading rigorous scientific research with partners to support issues related to biodiversity conservation.



Never before has humankind faced threats to the environment of the scale and urgency we see today. As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we find ourselves in a time of extraordinary opportunity for change. With a growing recognition of the deep connections between climate stability, the health of natural systems, and human well-being, we find ourselves at an inflection point where governments, the private sector, and civil society are moving from commitments to mitigate climate change, restore nature, and secure human health to all-out execution to make it happen. As the largest conservation organization in the world, WWF is determined to capitalize on this moment. So, we are refocusing our practice of conservation to seize the opportunity, pursuing measurable results and thought partnerships that help shift humanity to a more sustainable footing. WWF is applying the best available natural and social science to strategies across sectors to ensure the information required to enable a just transition to a more resilient, equitable and sustainable planet can stick. The pace and scale of this transition will dictate success or failure for nature, climate change, and sustainable development. Success requires a team with intellectual depth that energetically embraces the opportunity and risks to innovate, attempt, and adapt sustainability solutions with efficiency at the intersection of science and practice.

Position responsibilities include

  • Works with leadership and colleagues to ensure that goals, strategies, and assessments of impact are grounded in, and informed by, the best available natural and social science, providing scientific and policy-relevant expertise and promoting innovative research and synthesis of research

  • Conducts research in a conservation-relevant science discipline, publishes in high-profile journals for impact, stays abreast of the scientific literature, and shares important findings with team staff

  • Reviews, synthesizes, and disseminates the most relevant scientific knowledge across the WWF network and externally, and in coordination with knowledge management leads

  • Works with the Director of Conservation Evidence to develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks for WWF's conservation strategies

  • Builds and maintains an extensive network of science professionals and partnerships – with key conservation NGOs, government agencies, academics, and other groups – for the purposes of research, science collaboration, and strategy development

  • Travels internationally on a frequent basis to represent WWF at critical high-level meetings, workshops, conferences, and for the purposes of site visits and/or field-based research

  • Represents WWF to promote conservation goals, activities, and thought leadership in conservation

  • Leads and supports science and fundraising efforts, in collaboration with science and practice staff, to support the Wildlife Practice and cross-Practice efforts.

  • Manages, coordinates, and supports science staff and external collaborators for implementation of priorities

  • Other duties as assigned


  • 12+ years of experience with an advanced degree in a natural or social science discipline in a conservation-relevant field with a strong emphasis on quantitative and qualitative analytical expertise in mapping, modeling and measuring biodiversity, ecosystem function - including connectivity- and ecosystems services at multiple temporal and spatial scales; incorporating local biodiversity values into global biodiversity goals; and developing and implementing methods incorporating different forms biodiversity and knowledge when creating conservation priorities

  • Ability to effectively prioritize and produce high-quality work under time constraints

  • Excellent organizational and project leadership skills

  • Proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a matrixed team environment

  • Ability to operate with independence, under pressure, and to meet deadlines and commitments

  • Excellent interpersonal skills requiring knowing when to use courtesy, tact and/or diplomacy to effectively communicate with all constituents

  • Ability to lead by persuasion, build consensus, and think creatively

  • Ability to demonstrate integrity in deliverables, behavior, and demeanor

  • Ability to show respect for the organization, the work, the team, and self

  • Committed to building and strengthening a culture of inclusion within and across teams

  • 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.

To Apply:

    Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page, Requisition #22131 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.

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