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Head of Science, IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit - REMOTE

This is a Remote position
Closing date
Jan 7, 2024

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Natural Hazards, Social Sciences
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
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Industry/Private Sector


Head of Science, IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Posting: 10/23/2023 -12/20/2023

Target Start Date: January 2024

Application Information

This is a term position through 30 April 2026, with the possibility of extension. Employment is through ICF, a global advisory and technology services provider. This is an international search process, with the possibility of a remote or hybrid working arrangement, provided ICF has an existing presence in the country of origin. If comparable qualifications, preference will be given to candidates within the Eastern Time Zone and/or Washington DC metropolitan area.

Cover letter: Please include a summary of meeting/exceeding the minimum qualifications of the role and professional skills experience. This role will collaborate with a diverse global team, and we highly encourage applicants to emphasize information about global/international assessment leadership experience.


Jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares comprehensive and up-to-date assessments of policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socio-economic information needed to further understand the scientific basis of climate change, potential impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation. Working Group III (WGIII) assesses climate mitigation options. For the IPCC Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) cycle, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is funding a Technical Support Unit (TSU) to provide technical and administrative services in direct support of the elected IPCC WGIII co-chairs. To enhance efficiency, the TSU is distributed – with nodes at the USGCRP office in Washington DC; at partner entities in Asheville, NC, and elsewhere in the United States; and around the globe, e.g., co-located with the developing country co-chair in Malaysia. USGCRP coordinates and integrates global change research and supporting activities conducted by 14 Federal agencies and departments, with the day-to-day operations facilitated by a National Coordination Office administered by ICF. The IPCC Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) cycle is a program priority.


The Head of Science provides senior-level scientific leadership for WGIII assessment programs; works with, and under the guidance of, the WGIII Co-Chairs to structure, summarize, and disseminate key findings generated by and during the assessment process; and provides scientific direction to TSU staff in support of IPCC-wide commitments. The Head of Science also works closely with the TSU Head to ensure that scientific and logistical coordination effectively supports WGIII priorities. Major efforts involve scoping, preparation, and review of the WGIII contribution to the AR7 and any Special Reports under its purview, and the organization and documentation of expert meetings and workshops that support the process. The Head of Science interacts directly with the WGIII Co-Chairs and manages assigned projects and workflow for the science staff both in Washington DC and abroad.


Makes independent and complex decisions on commitments emanating from the IPCC Bureau. Fosters relationships and works closely with stakeholders and IPCC authors to achieve the diverse goals of the Working Group III scientific assessment process. Makes substantial contributions in defining scientific goals and approach of assessment programs. Takes initiative and leads efforts to identify and solve problems to achieve assessment program goals and objectives. Makes independent, highly complex, and innovative decisions based on full working knowledge of scientific topics and integrated understanding of project operations.


1)    Scientific Leadership: Advises the WGIII co-chairs and WGIII Bureau on broad goals of assessment programs and on scientific needs and directions that affect the work plan. Provides strategic scientific leadership to define the emphasis and content of WGIII deliverables – including the WGIII contribution to the AR7 and/or Special Reports or Technical Papers requested/agreed by the Panel, and IPCC workshops and expert meetings. Helps ensure the scientific integrity of assigned projects from inception to completion. Manages development of summary documentation on behalf of the co-chairs, including the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) and Technical Summary (TS) of WGIII-led reports. Leads WGIII efforts to coordinate scientific issues with sister working groups and with other scientific programs on cross-disciplinary issues. Serves as core member of the Synthesis Report writing team, identifying key findings and themes that emerge and integrating into a cohesive product. Actively participates in other IPCC-wide coordination activities such as a scenarios task force.

2)    Scientific Management: Directs the TSU staff in all scientific aspects of WGIII commitments. Provides general and guided supervision to staff regarding scientific goals and objectives defined in the work plan. Develops individual performance objectives and career development goals and provides performance evaluations for junior science staff.

3)   Scientific Oversight: Leads efforts to ensure that content of WGIII-generated products is accurate, balanced, and comprehensive; that the assessments reflect the current state-of-the-science and maintain the highest scientific standards; and that development adheres to IPCC rules and procedures. Troubleshoots issues arising during Expert Reviews and Government Reviews of draft assessments, negotiating solutions between the source and relevant lead authors – requiring an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and refined interpersonal skills.

4)    Scientific Outreach: Represents IPCC Working Group III in communicating program goals, objectives, activities, and findings to an array of audiences, including scientific organizations, governments, environment and industry groups, and other interested stakeholders. Informs diverse audiences in both lay and technical settings and both nationally and internationally of the work plan and findings of WGIII assessment efforts.


  • Ph.D. in social or natural science discipline relevant to climate science

  • 10+ years of conducting research on climate mitigation

  • 5+ years of direct experience in international assessment activities (working with the IPCC process and/or scientific management of large multidisciplinary groups preferred)

  • Must be able to travel internationally 4-6 trips per year


  • Expert knowledge of the theory and practice of environmental assessment as applied to climate mitigation science and scenarios.

  • Expert understanding of scientific/technical concepts in support of multidisciplinary research activities.

  • Expert knowledge of environmental, social, and economic vulnerabilities to climate change.

  • Advanced skill in acquiring and interpreting information from a wide range of sources to promote program objectives.

  • Advanced skill in establishing and maintaining good communications and working relationships with an extensive network of leading scientists.

  • Substantial negotiation and interpersonal communications skills to work with diverse, highly opinionated individuals and groups in a charged political environment.

  • Advanced ability to be an effective advocate of the program to the scientific community (international and domestic).

  • Advanced project management, organizational, and interpersonal skills.

  • Advanced writing skills, for both technical and non-technical audiences.

  • Strong public speaking skills to engage both technical and non-technical audiences.

  • Ability to handle confidential/sensitive information in a manner consistent with ICF policy, and an ability to act in a professional manner consistent with the “USGCRP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility” statement.

  • Willingness to travel (including international destinations).

  • Proficient in Google Suite, Microsoft Office (especially Excel), and communications tools such as Slack and an array of videoconferencing platforms.

Working at ICF

ICF is a global advisory and technology services provider, but we’re not your typical consultants. We combine unmatched expertise with cutting-edge technology to help clients solve their most complex challenges, navigate change, and shape the future.

We can only solve the world's toughest challenges by building an inclusive workplace that allows everyone to thrive. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to hiring regardless of any protected characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability status, or military/veteran status. Together, our employees are empowered to share their expertise and collaborate with others to achieve personal and professional goals. For more information, please read our EEO & AA policy.

Reasonable Accommodations are available, including, but not limited to, for disabled veterans, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with sincerely held religious beliefs, in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an accommodation please email and we will be happy to assist. All information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used only to the extent required to provide needed reasonable accommodations. Read more about non-discrimination:  Know Your Rights and  Pay Transparency Statement.

Pay Range - There are multiple factors that are considered in determining final pay for a position, including, but not limited to, relevant work experience, skills, certifications and competencies that align to the specified role, geographic location, education and certifications as well as contract provisions regarding labor categories that are specific to the position. The pay range for this position is:

$121,041.00 - $205,770.00

Nationwide Remote Office (US99)


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