Aug 08, 2022

VP, Science and Innovation

  • On-Ramps
  • CA - Greater San Francisco Bay Area; DC - Washington metropolitan area; IL - Chicago metropolitan area; MA - Boston metropolitan area; MA - Other
Full-Time Advocacy/Lobbying Policy Strategic Planning

Job Description


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit that uses science to protect our health, safety, and environment. We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists and everyday people who develop 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 misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

UCS is hiring for leadership roles throughout the organization. This is an exciting time to join the team, with many opportunities to help shape its work and how it is carried out.

Information about the organization is available at


The VP of Science & Innovation works closely with UCS's scientists and analysts, program directors, Executive Team members, and particularly the VP of Advocacy & Programs and other colleagues to ensure UCS positions and solutions are informed by robust, independent, and equity-informed scientific analysis. They ensure that UCS's analytic capabilities are better connected across the organization, informed by and connected to leading work outside the organization, deeply connected to community and human needs, and grounded in equity. The VP of S&I exhibits an instinct for "seeing around the corner" in order to anticipate and address issues before and as they emerge, working with technical colleagues inside and outside UCS to identify compelling areas of inquiry at the intersection of science and policy in UCS issue areas, and manages the UCS Science Fellow Program; and facilitates UCS's community of Scientists and Analysts.

In addition, the Vice President of Science & Innovation serves as a compelling voice to represent UCS science, with the scientific community, policy makers, funders, the Board, our supporters, and other audiences, representing the breadth of UCS science in a wide range of settings in coordination with our deep scientific and policy experts. The VP of Science & Innovation brings experience in one or more of our core issue areas, and combines deep US experience with a global perspective and networks. Additionally, the VP of S&I will be charged with working across staff, advisors, board members and supporters to incentivize and implement mechanisms and pilots that expand UCS's innovation and experimentation instincts and actions .

As a member of UCS's executive leadership team, the VP of Science & Innovation is an ‘institutional citizen' who contributes to setting and shaping organization-wide policies and practices. In this role, the VP will share and source good practice with and from other UCS programs and departments, and proactively seek opportunities to scale and deepen impact through efforts that join forces with other UCS programs, departments, and external partners.

Hiring Organization

Union of Concerned Scientists



Position requires 15+ years management experience in a science-oriented leadership role in a non-profit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) or government agency.

Position requires excellent leadership skills, project management experience, and outstanding written and verbal communication ability:

  • Deep experience as a well-respected scientist, with an appreciation of the importance of all aspects of advocacy and campaigning as a means of making change, and a thorough understanding of how science can influence public policy
  • Strong facilitation and synthesizer who works inclusively with fellow scientists and colleagues; strong orientation towards empowering and supporting colleagues Demonstrated ability to successfully establish and/or oversee organizational processes, systems, and cultural norms, particularly those that foster scientific excellence and equity in science
  • A compelling communicator of nuanced technical and policy issues, who brings an appreciation for the role that framing and messaging play in communicating about science.
  • Ability to supervise and manage a cross-functional team A deep commitment to racial equity that is incorporated into how you work individually and with others

Additionally, the ideal candidate will also bring:

  • Understanding of advocacy work: an understanding of – and ideally experience in building and supporting – advocacy campaigns, combining technical analysis, policy advocacy, communications and outreach to generate public support and pressure for action.
  • Education: A PhD degree in a physical or social science discipline, or equivalent experience as a practicing scientist At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Environment, Public Policy




Compensation and Benefits: For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $196,201-$220,730. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

Application Instructions

Qualified Individuals, please apply:

Diversity Statement:

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.


Like UCS, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with common purpose.

Accommodation Statement:

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact

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