Chief Economist

Chief Economist

Washington, D.C./ Remote

The Lead Economist is responsible for ensuring technical excellence and conservation impact from CSF’s global body of work. S/he does this through technical and practical understanding of the interface between conservation and development, ability to drive policy change, and by inspiring and supporting CSF’s analytical staff.

S/he provides guidance and leadership in conservation economics for the organization, ensures alignment of CSF’s mission and our economics agenda and programmatic work across our country offices, and has a leading role in representing CSF to donors and new audiences, developing new collaborations, and bringing in new opportunities. 

A significant percentage of time is dedicated to preparing technical proposals and finding new opportunities, leading economic analyses, mentoring and supporting our technical staff to ensure that their work is rigorous, compelling, and contributes to achieving CSF’s goals.

This position requires a detail-oriented and organized thinker with exceptionally good written and verbal communication skills, who can juggle multiple, competing priorities. The ideal candidate will have broad experience with applied economic analysis targeted to address environmental challenges related to deforestation, financial sustainability of protected areas, overfishing, and climate change. The position provides an opportunity for a flexible work environment and an active voice in the vision of a focused, dedicated, and fun organization.   


  • Vision: Orient the institution towards the best opportunities to use economics and policy analysis to deliver conservation and sustainable development, including through design of analyses to deliver policy-relevant information, fundraising, and forward-looking institutional strategy.
  • Communication: Ensure rigorous and compelling written presentation of research carried out across the institution, including in peer-reviewed journals and CSF white papers. Represent the organization and present results in a variety of meetings and events, including to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Personnel management: Provide guidance and management to CSF’s economists as direct-reports, as well as managerial support and mentorship to candidates of our fellows program. 
  • Project management: Set project strategies and manage major research projects.
  • Scale our reach: Plan and execute the expansion and delivery of common types of analysis by standardizing tools and processes to the extent possible without sacrificing quality.
  • Leadership: Work directly with the Executive Director, Latin America Technical Director, Training Director, and CFO as a member CSF’s leadership team.
  • Fundraising and external relationships: Represent CSF at external meetings, serve as lead point of contact for relevant partners and funders, provide technical input to proposals, and work closely with the Executive Director on business development, including presentations to potential funders and clients.
  • Track impact: Monitor and help evaluate performance of CSF’s analyses and derive lessons for ongoing improvement in institutional approach.
  • Teaching: Participate as a dynamic and engaging instructor in our training programs.

Position Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in natural resource economics or related. Demonstrated passion and experience in the field of natural resources, environment or sustainable development
  • 10+ years of experience applying economics to environment and development issues, including working directly with policy makers, the private sector, academia, NGOs, and other stakeholders 
  • Passion and commitment to nature conservation and sustainable development
  • Broad international and intercultural work experience
  • Technical proficiency in two or more of the following analytical areas: cost benefit analysis, valuation of ecosystem services, design of payment for ecosystem services, experimental economics, spatial modeling, fisheries modeling
  • Successful track record of writing technical proposals
  • Engaging and effective public speaker to academic and non-academic audiences
  • Enthusiasm for learning and taking on new analytical problems
  • Skills and experience navigating process with partners and clients to define and target research to drive policy and behavior change
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, competing priorities
  • Ability to travel internationally, up to 30% of the time
  • Ability to fluently speak and write in English. Strong preference for proficiency in spoken and written Spanish. Portuguese and/ or Indonesian proficiency also a plus. 
  • Preferred location: Washington, DC

To Apply

Please send CV, cover letter with salary expectations, and link to Linkedin profile to [email protected] by August 15th. Those who are accepted to the next round will be notified.