Aug 8, 2022

Senior Policy Researcher

Research Position Now Open

Senior Policy Researcher

The Carbon Leadership Forum, a research organization based out of the University of Washington’s College of Built Environment, is seeking a collaborative Senior Policy Researcher to help execute our mission to accelerate the decarbonization of the building sector through eliminating the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action. The Senior Policy Researcher will be responsible for leading research and engaging diverse stakeholders to support the development and implementation of cross-sectoral climate policies targeting embodied carbon reductions. This position will report to the CLF’s managing director and will play a key role in growing the Carbon Leadership Forum’s capacity to inform embodied carbon policy.

This position requires experience applying policy analysis and knowledge of climate change drivers directly towards building and industrial sector decarbonization policies. Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the building and construction sector, embodied carbon assessments and life cycle assessment (LCA).

The Carbon Leadership Forum, a research organization based out of the University of Washington’s College of Built Environment, is seeking a collaborative Senior Policy Researcher to help execute our mission to accelerate the decarbonization of the building sector through eliminating the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action.

Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of construction materials used in buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. We need to reduce embodied carbon 40-65% by 2030 to meet the reduction scenarios set by the IPCC to avoid catastrophic climate change, and yet current green building and climate policy efforts fail to adequately address embodied carbon. Policies to reduce emissions from building materials and infrastructure require action across a number of sectors: to truly eliminate embodied carbon requires transformation of the industrial, building, transport, and forestry/agricultural sectors. The Policy Researcher will therefore have the chance to explore a diverse set of climate policy solutions, with a focus on building and industrial sector policy.

The Senior Policy Researcher will be responsible for leading research and engaging diverse stakeholders to support the development and implementation of cross-sectoral climate policies targeting embodied carbon reductions. This position will report to the CLF’s managing director and will play a key role in growing the Carbon Leadership Forum’s capacity to inform embodied carbon policy.

This position requires experience applying policy analysis and knowledge of climate change drivers directly towards building and industrial sector decarbonization policies. Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the building and construction sector, embodied carbon assessments and life cycle assessment (LCA).

Responsibilities

  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research to evaluate effectiveness of various embodied carbon policies and inform effective policy development.
  • Manage multiple projects including their planning, scheduling, and execution. Depending on the project scale this will require sole ownership of the project execution or the responsibility to manage and monitor the work of others to ensure the project meets project objectives. Projects may be research collaborations and pilot projects with city, state, and federal government agencies, advocacy organizations, and academic partners, or internally driven research projects to develop research and resources for wide communities of policymakers.
  • Develop and execute research and consulting projects that advance the state of policies that leverage life cycle assessment and/or target reductions in embodied carbon. Topics may include:
    • Quantitative analysis of relative impact of policy models targeting reductions in embodied carbon
    • Development of model policy language that addresses emerging materials and technologies
    • Gap analysis of LCA data ecosystem to advance embodied carbon policies
    • Advancing best practices for consumption-based inventories and scope 3 carbon accounting
    • Developing case studies for early adopters of various public policy programs

Technical Guidance and Education

  • Serve on government and/or NGO-led policy development and harmonization committees and relevant technical committees such as product category rule (PCR) committees, etc.
  • Facilitation and engagement of diverse groups of stakeholders to ensure that policymakers can implement science-based, measurable reductions of embodied carbon.
  • Obtain invitations and present (virtually and in-person) at U.S. and international venues including professional and academic webinars and conferences. Results should be visible/impactful for policymakers and building industry professionals.
  • Serve as an on-call resource for advocacy organizations, legislators and other policy stakeholders to help inform the development of just and effective embodied carbon reduction policies.
  • Determine what resources are required (e.g. toolkits, roadmaps, etc.) to scale the technical capacity of policymakers to drive embodied carbon reductions. 10% Organizational Strategy
  • Support the development of grant funding proposals and other fundraising activities, including organizations relationships with funders and strategic partners

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.

Qualifications

  • PHD in Policy, environmental studies, or related field AMD two to three years of experience
  • Experience leading in a policy technical advisory role in government advisory committees, with public policymakers or similar
  • Understanding of the building/construction industry and experience collaborating with diverse industry stakeholders.
  • National reputation as demonstrated by invited or peer review presentations at national conferences and/or publications.
  • Experience leading complex projects and diverse teams with demonstrated examples of successful completion
  • Project leadership-experience mentoring and managing technical staff
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)

Desired Qualifications

  • Established technical understanding of LCA standards and embodied carbon to serve as a technical resource to the Carbon Leadership Forum and its partners.
  • Familiarity with the use of Life Cycle Assessment software (Gabi or SimaPro) to conduct life cycle assessments of building materials and products ? Graphic representation skills
  • Non-profit and/or academic experience
  • Experience with grant writing and development of relationships with funding organizations

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

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