Skip to content

Senior Director, Climate and Agriculture Policy and Strategy

Position Announcement, January 2024

Meridian Institute  has an immediate opening for a Senior Director, Climate and Agriculture Policy and Strategy. This role is based in our Washington, DC office and works in a hybrid manner with flexibility to work remotely.

Meridian is a nonprofit consultancy that engages in dynamic problem solving with global leaders in business, government, civil society, philanthropy, and beyond. We bring people together, helping them navigate the dynamic variables that shape any collaborative search for solutions—from individual relationships to geopolitical considerations. Our work spans industries and sectors and includes projects focused on agriculture and food systems, climate change, forests, oceans and coasts, resilience, and science and technology, among others. Across these areas, we build and support partnerships that address our world’s complex challenges.

Within our broad range of services, the Director position occupies a key role in facilitating decision-making processes with an eye for context, nuance, and common ground. Though we welcome applicants who have direct experience in conflict resolution and mediation, we are open to candidates with experience in fields that require similar skills in collaborative problem solving with diverse stakeholders; examples of this could include work in think tanks, on Capitol Hill, or in corporate sustainability groups.

As a member of our client-facing Practice Team, the Senior Director, Climate & Agriculture Policy and Strategy works with a dynamic mix of project-based teams across a range of subjects. This role supports these teams in building understanding, guiding collaboration and decision making, and driving action within each project’s context.

All full-time employees are eligible to participate in Meridian’s sponsored medical and dental insurance plans and are provided life insurance, vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, and enrollment in our 401(k) retirement plan.

The starting salary for this position is $157,560 – $212,706, based on level of education and relevant experience. In following our commitment to principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, maintaining pay equity when hiring is extremely important to us. For this reason, salary offers with Meridian are non-negotiable.

Meridian is dedicated to advancing our employees’ professional growth, supporting their wellbeing, and helping employees meet their healthcare and retirement needs. Meridian provides a competitive benefits package, including:

  • A dynamic and inclusive work environment with flexible work schedules and locations for proven high performers
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Comprehensive medical and dental insurance
  • A variety of voluntary insurances for employees, their families, and their pets
  • Generous vacation and sick time, plus 12 paid holidays
  • A robust Employee Assistance Program
  • DC Office Employees may expense Metro commutes for work
  • Remote employees receive a home office internet allowance
  • Meridian partner benefits such as discounts and wellbeing opportunities

About the Position

The Senior Director, Climate and Agriculture Policy and Strategy is a widely recognized leader in the dynamic intersection of climate and agriculture and the top level of mastery in Meridian’s practice areas, including facilitation, strategy, and project management. This position will spearhead strategic initiatives, drive collaborative processes to address complex and controversial issues, and provide invaluable leadership within the Practice group. This position uses their extensive networks and relationships to drive project development and program design at Meridian.

The Director will play a pivotal role in shaping the direction of Meridian’s impactful projects and contribute to the organization’s commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles. This position serves as Project Director and is responsible for the direction and management of project teams and providing professional growth opportunities for practice staff.

The successful candidate will have extensive experience working effectively with the U.S. Congress and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Specific experience working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is desirable.  A track record of establishing and maintaining trusted relationships with diverse stakeholders working on federal level food and agriculture policy issues is essential.

All Meridian positions require individuals to be self-starters with exceptionally strong written and verbal communication skills, a high level of organization, and attention to detail. Working at Meridian requires the ability to excel in a team environment and juggle multiple deadlines and project teams.

The full job description can be found here.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Recognized leader with 15+ years of experience in conflict resolution, collaborative processes, strategy, or significant experience as a leader in another field.
  • Advanced degree or equivalent professional experience in agricultural sciences, environmental sciences, climate science, politics, or sustainable development.
  • Substantial experience working effectively with government stakeholders, including the U.S. Congress, USDA, and/or NRCS.
  • Proven track record in managing large, complex programs involving diverse partners; significant expertise in food and agriculture, with a focus on sustainability and/or regenerative agriculture.
  • Political savvy with significant experience navigating political dimensions, identifying opportunities and risks, and managing relationships and coalitions.
  • Well-developed network of clients, partners, and relationships beneficial to the project portfolio.
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI) principles and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds with humility, ease, and enthusiasm.
  • Strong analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving abilities in high-pressure environments.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, with proficiency in Microsoft 365 tools including but not limited to: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, OneNote, and SharePoint.
  • Fluency in English; professional proficiency in a foreign language is highly valued.

How to Apply

Please submit the following application materials using our online submission form:

  1. Cover Letter – 1 page
    Drawing from your personal and professional experiences, please explain how you hope to contribute to Meridian in this role.
  2. Resume – 1-2 pages
    Detail relevant education, training, experiences, and accomplishments.
  3. Three Professional References

The deadline to submit applications is Monday, January 29, 2024.

Please note: All applications will be reviewed by our team, which we expect to complete by mid February. We thank all applicants for their interest and will be in contact only with those chosen for the interview. Due to capacity constraints on our hiring team, we are unable to provide specific status updates beyond these parameters.

About Meridian Institute

Meridian Institute is a mission-driven, nonprofit consultancy that has helped clients and partners develop and implement solutions to complicated, often controversial problems—big and small, global and local—for over two decades.

Our work spans industries and sectors and includes projects focused on agriculture and food systems, climate change, forests, oceans and coasts, resilience, and science and technology, among others. Across these areas, we build and support partnerships that address our world’s complex challenges.

Effective collaborative decision-making involves bringing together participants with diverse backgrounds and differing viewpoints. As an organization, we seek staff that reflects and values that same diversity; successful Meridian team members are experienced working in multicultural settings and welcome new opportunities to widen their own perspectives.  We bring integrity, inclusiveness, and respect for differences to every project we undertake. We are working to ensure that Meridian possesses the expertise needed to partner with—and build trust among—marginalized and disenfranchised communities, while advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within our organization and our work.


Meridian Institute complies fully with the relevant Disability Acts and Laws in local countries. If you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Meridian Institute, please contact us at

COVID-19 Consideration

At this time, Meridian Institute requires that all employees be fully vaccinated, including booster shots. In circumstances where an applicant communicates that he or she is not able to be vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance or because of a disability, then Meridian, in accordance with applicable law, will engage in the interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation is feasible that will not pose an undue hardship or create a direct threat to safety.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Meridian recognizes that our work is made stronger and more impactful by the contributions of diverse groups from around the world. At Meridian, we welcome people from all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin, creed, class, ancestry, or other grounds.

Meridian Institute is a participating employer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, E-Verify.