Our organization

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent nonprofit that puts rigorous, independent science into action, developing solutions and advocating for a healthy, safe, and just future. We envision a peaceful, healthy, and just world where science serves people and the planet by guiding policy decisions, reducing risks, and improving lives.

For over five decades, we have been working as scientists, engineers, economists, advocates, and everyday people to create 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 disinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war. Values informing our work include:

  • Science in the service of people and the planet.
  • Justice and Equity for people of all races and incomes—now, and for future generations.
  • Courage to take principled, science-based stands in the public arena.
  • Integrity to always examine evidence critically, openly, and honestly.
  • Democracy to promote a voice for all in government decisions.
  • Action inspiring and mobilizing people to build a healthier, safer, and more just world.

UCS’s Development Department

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) has overall responsibility for the planning, implementation, and management of all development activities, including major gifts, foundation grants, annual appeals, online and special appeals, and direct mail. In addition, the Chief Development Officer, working in collaboration with the President, has responsibility for the effective operation of the National Advisory Board.

The CDO incorporates all fundraising, development communications, and grants efforts into a comprehensive advancement program. The CDO is a front-line fundraiser and has extensive personal contact with prospects, donors, the National Advisory Board as well as with the board of directors. The CDO also is an active participant on senior management teams charged with overseeing strategic planning and organization-wide operations.


  • Direct a fundraising program designed to achieve ambitious, but well-founded goals for annual operating revenue, planned giving, endowment, and capital campaigns.
  • Oversee administration of all fundraising efforts on an ongoing basis and ensure adherence to established plans, objectives, and priorities.
  • Design, implement, and supervise a plan of identification and cultivation of major gifts.
  • Work closely with the President and Board of Directors to expand the role of the National Advisory Board.
  • Coordinate with the President, Chairman of the Board, and other volunteers in the solicitation of major gifts.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of major gift prospects and represent the President with major funders as necessary.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of member services and special events for UCS donors and prospects; monitor UCS staff activities to coordinate special events with planned high-profile UCS programmatic activities.
  • Plan and oversee the Development Department’s annual budget; monitor and assess departmental expenditures and revenue on a regular basis; compile monthly status reports.
  • Provide timely reports on the status of development activities, report on progress toward meeting fundraising goals, and lead discussion of overall development strategy.
  • Recommend action to the senior financial team if the adopted development strategy and revenue budget are projected to depart significantly from agreed-upon goals.
  • Oversee prospect research, donor record keeping, gift reports, grants management, and other Development Department procedures.
  • Work to build an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive.
  • Collaborate with the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer on oversight and delivery of database systems, especially where development database functions intersect with organization-wide IT and financial functions.
  • Supervise the contracting of consultants for development of fundraising campaigns, audits of development operations, donor research, and other such tasks as may arise.
  • Provide analysis of external and internal trends affecting the feasibility of future development goals; identify and assess future capacity needs for the development department; and recommend strategic directions that will enhance UCS’s membership growth and financial resources.
  • Maintain familiarity with other UCS programs and coordinate the work of the Development Department with the work of other UCS departments.
  • Collaborate closely with the Director of Communications on organization-wide communications strategy.
  • Coordinate development of UCS Annual Report, web features, and other publications with other UCS departments and oversee their distribution to UCS donors.
  • Manage Development Department staff of 5 direct reports and an overall staff of approximately 30.
  • Implement management strategies for effectively developing program goals and holding staff accountable for those goals.
  • Select and train direct reports; provide them with guidance, support, and feedback; and conduct annual performance reviews consistent with UCS guidelines.
  • Approve all development department hiring decisions and recommend staff for salary increases, upgrades, and/or promotions.

The Chief Development Officer will need to maintain an awareness of the role as a representative of UCS; consider the impact of development activities on the organization’s reputation and credentials in the public and private sectors; direct energies whenever possible to promote UCS, advance the organization’s objectives, and enhance funding opportunities.


Qualifications and Experience

  • The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of all institutional advancement operations (major gift and capital campaign fundraising, unrestricted vs. restricted giving, direct response, foundation and corporate relations, and estate planning.
  • At least 10 years of comparable and relevant experience with a broad development experience, with substantial experience in major gift fundraising.
  • Experience managing a large team.
  • Experience working through a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion lens as it relates to fundraising and leadership/teambuilding.
  • Capacity and desire to manage a small, highly critical principal donor portfolio.
  • Ability to interact and communicate successfully with a wide variety of audiences. Skills and Accomplishments
  • A results-oriented change agent with a bias for action with exceptional organizational skills.
  • An exceptional track record of comprehensive, multi-dimensional fundraising for a nonprofit or NGO.
  • Ability to close, but also to understand the nuanced elements of raising money while demonstrating comfort around wealth.
  • A transformational leader who embodies a competitive spirit.
  • Record of partnering with senior leaders and board members to meet revenue targets and to deepen stakeholder engagement in an organization.
  • Ability to understand and effectively articulate basic elements of UCS’s core mission and programs.
  • Intellectually curious and detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently. Position Specifics
  • The successful candidate will need to be based out of one of the four primary work areas of the UCS.

May spend extended periods at computer. Business travel as needed.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. We’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities.



This is a full-time remote position that can be based out of Chicago IL, Cambridge MA, Oakland CA, or Washington DC. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $196,201 to $220,730. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. *CA Resident Only, we offer a 12% salary differential*

Information about the organization is available at http://www.ucsusa.org.

Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.

To Apply:

Please submit your application to https://waterstonehc.com/driwaterstonehc/position/union-concerned-scientists-cdo/

We know there are great candidates who won’t check all these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

This position is not in the bargaining unit.

Covid Mandate for New Hires:

For in office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely.