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 Program’s, Policy, and Advocacy Department

The Director of Policy & Advocacy will provide strategic coordination of policy and advocacy across UCS programs and high-level support for the Vice President of Programs, Policy, and Advocacy office. The individual will curate and convene cross-program functional units (Policy, Govt Affairs and Campaign Directors) for coordination and collaboration within the groups and across with VP-PAA and Sr Managers for Science Network and Programs & Organizing, stay informed on high-level program priorities, policy, and advocacy strategies to proactively identify opportunities for collaboration and for prioritizing impactful policy and advocacy outcomes, and design processes for cross-pollination, planning, decision making, evaluation and learning for cross-program themes of highest organizational priority.

The Position

Essential duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

The essential job duties/responsibilities of the position are:


Serve as a collaborative and proactive leader in the Office of Program, Policy & Advocacy.

  • Provide high-level support to VP-PPA to stay abreast of and advance key cross-program priorities.
  • Facilitate information and coordinated communication across programs for the VP- PPA and Executive team.
  • Lead work planning, budgeting, calendar management, and evaluation for PAA office in coordination with VP of PPA and Science Network and Programs & Organizing Sr. Managers.
  • In consultation with VP-PPA and with support from the Exec Assistant, manage the pace, workflow, and document management for the PPA office.
  • Supervise two Senior Managers in the PPA office.

Advance high-impact, high-priority cross-program issues.

  • Work with the UCS programs to identify and elevate areas of cross-program themes and regional strategy of importance for program leadership and VPs and help shift staff capacity to priority programming, as appropriate.
  • Lead design and execution of cross-program policy discussions, action items planning and assessment, with support from Sr. Mgr.- Progs & Organizing and Exec Assistant

Create inclusive avenues to spur ongoing cross-program coordination and collaboration.

  • Keep informed on high level program strategy by attending program meetings and retreats and reviewing plans and internal communications as needed.
  • Work with SDSI and JEDI office to support evaluation and learning on program outcomes.

Convene and Coordinate Cross-program Policy & Advocacy staff.

  • With guidance from Chief of Staff, and in consultation with Sr. Mgr.- Progs & Organizing, convene and coordinate cross-program functional teams e.g., policy, government affairs, campaign directors, and managers.
  • Coach and support staff on cross-program campaign planning, execution and assessment through annual orientation and ongoing training.
  • Support planning and follow up on action items from cross-program government affairs, policy, and campaign meetings.
  • With support from the Exec Assistant, manage and enforce the coordination of UCS’s coalition staffing and sign-on letters, etc.
  • Liaise with SDSI team on legislative database needs and integration with other tracking systems.
  • Support Executive team on information needed for federal-level stakeholder meetings.
  • Support onboarding of new policy, government affairs and campaign staff.

Other Duties as Assigned

Up to 20% of any individual job may contain work that is not specifically listed in this document.

People Management Authority

  • Supervise and coach two Senior Managers
  • Matrix-manage one Exec Assistant
  • Convene and coordinate staff from across UCS programs.
  • Hire and onboard staff in the PPA office and in functional teams, as needed.
  • Hire, onboard and mentor fellows for the PPA office, as needed.
  • Hire and supervise consultants, as needed.


Qualifications and Experience

  • Position requires 10+ years management experience in program, policy and advocacy strategy and planning in a fast-paced non-profit, NGO or government agency.
  • A successful candidate will have strong leadership, collaborative design, and consultative decision-making experience.
  • Organizational, time- and project-management skills.
  • Ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks and duties, pay attention to detail, motivate cross-team members to participate and deliver on tasks.
  • Ability to work under pressure and juggle priorities to meet deadlines.
  • Interpersonal and collaborative approach.
  • Experience in planning and leading strategic initiatives.
  • Effective and inclusive meeting design, facilitation and follow up.
  • A deep commitment to and demonstratable experience in advancing racial equity.
  • Models and inspires high levels of integrity, emotional and cultural intelligence, and trust.
  • Exercises authority with great diplomacy and discretion.
  • Knowledge of policymaking as well as experience implementing effective issue campaigns.
  • Strong written, verbal, and clear communication.

Bachelor’s degree: At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

UCS is committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. All staff participate in this commitment whether internally, in building a welcoming workplace culture and /or externally, in ensuring inclusive engagement with supporters, media, vendors, allies and others.


Little or no exertion; may require extended periods at a computer. Possibly may need to spend extended periods of time outside of the office.


Travel required as necessary.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, 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. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $129,001 to $145,130. 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: We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of 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.

Deadline: Until filled.