Deputy Director (Climate Impacts Group)

University of Washington
Seattle, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world. 

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for five consecutive years.  

The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group within the College of the Environment has an outstanding opportunity for a full time Deputy Director/Research Scientist Senior. The Climate Impacts Group ( is an interdisciplinary center within the University of Washington’s College of the Environment (, and part of the UW’s innovative new environmental institute, EarthLab ( The Climate Impacts Group is dedicated to building the resilience of Northwest communities and ecosystems to the impacts of climate variability and climate change.  Since 1995, we have worked in close partnership with regional resource managers, planners, and policy makers to develop, deliver and support the use of decision-relevant scientific information. 

The College of the Environment promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage partners from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math (see 

The Deputy Director will play a leading role in and have oversight responsibilities for the Climate Impacts Group’s climate research and stakeholder engagement efforts, including internal operations (research coordination, fiscal planning and oversight, project management, employee supervision and strategic planning) and externally-facing activities (building and maintaining external relationships with diverse stakeholders and collaborators, grant-writing and public and private fund-raising, public speaking). The Deputy Director will lead and participate in applied interdisciplinary climate impacts and adaptation research. The Deputy Director will report to Dr. Amy Snover, Director. The Deputy Director will act on behalf of the Director in her absence, serving as her designee. 

The Climate Impacts Group is a fast-paced, dynamic, and deadline driven environment, which requires the Deputy Director to bring strong organizational, project and personnel management skills and problem-solving and priority-setting abilities. The Deputy Director will demonstrate initiative and demonstrate discretion and good judgment. 

Key areas of responsibility include: 

Organizational and Research Management 

  • Oversee internal operations. 
  • Oversee Climate Impacts Group budgets (in conjunction with administrative staff) to ensure proper, timely, and strategic expenditures. 
  • Play a lead role in Climate Impacts Group staffing processes and decisions (e.g., hiring, evaluation, clarifying evolving staff roles) and facilitate staff professional development. 
  • Liaise with EarthLab administration to ensure appropriate administrative support; collaborate in developing new administrative processes for budget and staff tracking and projections. 
  • Facilitate drafting and successful completion of project work plans and budgets. 
  • Coordinate and oversee staff, researchers, and collaborators; direct projects as the Director’s designee.  
  • Track budgets and level of effort across staff to ensure project success. 
  • Mentor staff in aspects of proposal writing, project design, budget preparation, establishing teams and partnerships, tracking project progress, interfacing with funders and identifying and resolving issues arising during project execution. 
  • Contribute to strategic planning (understand markets, state-of-the-art in both climate impacts science and application to decision making) that advances the Climate Impacts Group’s mission in alignment with the Group’s Theory of Change. 
  • Contribute to ongoing refinement of the Climate Impacts Group’s Theory of Change. 

External Relations & Fundraising 

  • Play a lead role in growing the funding base of the program, including identifying appropriate grant and contract opportunities, developing successful project proposals that include members of the Climate Impacts Group team, interdisciplinary affiliates at and beyond UW and external partners, and successfully steward funders, including donor individuals, corporations, and foundations, in partnership with College of the Environment Advancement team. 
  • Act as a part of the Climate Impacts Group’s external “face and voice” to develop and maintain the Group’s relationship with diverse stakeholders, including but not limited to: UW faculty, administration, staff, public and private external stakeholders.  
  • Support the Climate Impacts Group’s ongoing collaborations with other relevant regional and national climate research and outreach entities, including the US Department of Interior NW Climate Adaptation Science Center, the USDA Regional Climate Hubs, and the NOAA RISAs. 

Research & Synthesis 

  • Identify potentially fruitful and relevant projects that meet the emerging needs of stakeholders while leveraging the strengths of the Climate Impacts Group, EarthLab and UW. 
  • Facilitate the successful development and implementation of research collaborations among an interdisciplinary network of scholars and regional practitioners. 
  • Conduct interdisciplinary, applied research on matters of relevance to climate resilience and of interest to PNW stakeholders, publishing results in the peer-reviewed literature as well as disseminating through more direct channels. General areas of relevant research include climate impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies; synergies and interactions between climate adaptation and mitigation responses; evaluation of adaptive capacity and adaptation actions. 
  • Contribute to and lead the development of interdisciplinary, user-friendly syntheses of climate impacts science. 

Other duties as assigned. 

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here. 

Required Qualifications 

  • PhD in physical, natural, social or policy science related to the identification of climate risks and responses and at least three years of relevant experience. Applicants with a Master’s degree and exceptional qualifications (six or more years’ experience in a related position, with lead responsibilities) may be considered. 
  • Demonstrated success managing people and budgets. 
  • Experience with applied climate impacts and adaptation research. 
  • Political delicacy, awareness of and attention to multiple perspectives and motivations; substantive understanding of the political dimensions of climate change work. 
  • Experience in co-creation of knowledge, co-definition of research problems, successfully linking science and decision-making. Nuanced understanding of factors affecting climate risk and resilience and implications for the value and use of science in decision making. 
  • Demonstrated ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries in research and communication and to develop and sustain interdisciplinary collaborations. 
  • Superior writing and oral communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences (e.g., scientists, business people, policy makers, university students, mass media, etc.). 
  • Demonstrated success in fund-raising to support applied research or stakeholder engagement. 
  • Strategic and critical thinker; an energetic self-starter. 
  • Attention to detail and insistence on technical accuracy. 
  • Strong team member/team approach.  

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

Desired Qualifications 

  • Astute negotiator of the norms, objectives, and language of science and diverse stakeholders. 
  • Experience in diverse working environments and organizations, e.g., academia, government, non-governmental organizations, private sector. 
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced research environment in the public eye. 
  • Demonstrated successful staff mentoring and management of research grants and contracts. 
  • Expert in the communication of climate science, risks and responses. 
  • Broad knowledge of climate science, climate impacts science and issues and concerns relevant to climate resilience in the PNW. 
  • Strong network of scientists and stakeholders relevant to climate resilience in the PNW, US, and/or internationally. 
  • Demonstrated skills in undergraduate or graduate education. Although this position has no teaching responsibilities, interested candidates may be able to develop opportunities for teaching at UW. 

Culture of the Climate Impacts Group 

We are looking for an individual who will complement the strengths of our team and be able to build on our strong existing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. Qualities and attributes that are part of our culture and highly valued include: 

  • Taking leadership and initiative 
  • Being willing to pitch in as needed to ensure success of team 
  • Being timely and professional in all interactions 
  • Treating others with dignity and respect 
  • Holding sensitive information in confidence 
  • Seeking continuous improvement 

Conditions of Employment: 

The position requires overnight travel of several nights per month. 

Application Process: 

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed. 

In your cover letter please describe your expertise, experience and leadership relevant to the position.