Associate Center Director - PPIC Water Policy Center

Location: San Francisco
Job #: 202114
# of openings: 1


The Public Policy Institute of California helps state leaders and other decision makers better understand policy issues—and make informed choices—by providing them with objective, high-quality, nonpartisan policy research. PPIC is seeking an experienced research professional to help lead its Water Policy Center, which spurs innovative water management solutions that support a healthy economy, environment, and society in a changing climate. The associate center director plays an essential role by contributing to the center’s research and engagement strategy, leading cutting-edge research on California water issues, and managing internal and external relationships. PPIC is currently working virtually. When PPIC’s offices reopen, this position will be based in PPIC’s San Francisco office. The position reports to the director of the PPIC Water Policy Center.


  • Work with the center director to guide the center’s policy-oriented research and engagement strategy, including identifying emerging needs and opportunities
  • Contribute to high-impact reports, fact sheets, and blog posts on California water and climate issues as both a researcher and reviewer
  • Collaborate on disseminating innovative products and producing engaging events for diverse audiences, building the center’s reputation and influence over time
  • Communicate effectively about the center’s work and impact with external partners and audiences, including the center’s advisory council and research network, policymakers and other stakeholders, funders, and the media
  • In partnership with PPIC development staff, build support for the center’s work through funder identification, cultivation, and stewardship
  • Oversee the center’s project management and administrative processes to ensure the team is working together effectively and efficiently
  • Develop annual budgets and provide financial oversight for externally funded projects
  • Communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with key staff in other PPIC departments


  • Advanced degree in a field related to California water policy (e.g., agro-ecology, economics, engineering, hydrology, law, natural sciences, public policy) and a minimum of five years of professional experience in California water policy-related research. We welcome applicants at various stages in their careers, from early- to mid-career and senior-level researchers.
  • Interest and expertise in water policy and management approaches for one or more of the following sectors: agriculture, cities, rural communities, and the environment
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to translate high-level, often technical water policy research in compelling ways for a variety of audiences
  • Proficiency in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and a demonstrated interest in connecting research to policy making.
  • Strong interpersonal, project management, and organizational skills, with the ability to work both independently and with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and lead teams, set objectives, and manage performance.

PPIC values the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences of our staff, and key elements in the consideration of qualified candidates include excellence; diversity of talents, backgrounds, and viewpoints; and a strong fit with the institute’s mission, values, and goals.

To Apply

Applications will be considered as they are received, and the position will remain posted until filled. Please tailor your cover letter to highlight how your credentials meet the qualifications listed above.

PPIC is committed to excellence through diversity. Our work is rooted in objective, data-driven policy analysis. We welcome and encourage applicants who reflect the full diversity of California. The expertise of our staff members is essential to the success of PPIC’s mission, and we assist career and personal growth through robust support of skill development at all levels of the organization. PPIC offers a collaborative, intellectually stimulating, impactful work environment with a competitive compensation and benefits package.

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabled employer.

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