The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our mission is to identify and promote technological solutions to global environmental problems. At Breakthrough, we believe in a future that is good for both people and nature, and we set out to achieve this vision through our three focus areas: energy, food, and conservation. 

Why join the Breakthrough team?

  1. Learn from the best in the business. We convene a powerful network of social scientists, journalists, scholars, academics, innovators, and entrepreneurs. As a part of the team you will get to learn from the thought leaders and influencers in energy and the environment.
  2. Work with brilliant coworkers who love what they do. We are in this for the same reason – to make a positive impact on the world around us – so we build each other up, support each other, and put our mission above our egos. We’re a friendly and collaborative group. That means you will be able to learn and work with a wide variety of people. 

Breakthrough is currently hiring for two positions:


Editorial Associate

Job Description

At Breakthrough we want to create impact in the world, and we’re looking for someone to help manage, measure, and magnify that impact.

Breakthrough is looking to hire a full-time editorial associate to curate, edit, and produce high-quality content for our website and social media pages, expand our network and reach, and improve Breakthrough’s engagement with our growing audience. This is a great entry-level position for a smart, capable person interested in a career in editing, environmental policy, and nonprofit communications.

The Editorial Associate will gain an inside view into how a small think tank can have an outsize impact on national and international debates. He or she will also have the opportunity to expand that impact, as a member of Breakthrough’s communications team and a contributor to a number of different areas related to the operation of the organization. Ideally, the candidate would be available to start as soon as possible.

This position reports to the Communications Director on daily tasks and long-term projects.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Provide regular maintenance and updates to Breakthrough’s website
  • Manage Breakthrough’s social media platforms
  • Coordinate content strategy with the communications team
  • Manage and build social media lists and email subscriptions
  • Compile and send out Breakthrough newsletters and email dispatches
  • Track and analyze web traffic, social media activity, media mentions, and academic citations
  • Copy edit and fact check Breakthrough blogs, web articles, reports, and other publications
  • Support other communications goals related to content production, events, and development
  • Follow environmental news trends and help shape Breakthrough’s voice


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Essential: An interest in Breakthrough’s core mission. Highly desirable: Demonstrated familiarity with one or more of Breakthrough’s issue areas
  • Essential: Prior copy editing, fact checking, and/or other editorial experience. Highly desirable: Previous experience writing/editing for digital publications and experience writing cogently and effectively for organizational social media channels
  • Experience with online content management systems and constituent relationship management software desired
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics desired
  • Excellent verbal and communication skills
  • Keen attention to detail and high level of organization

Salary commensurate with experience.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to jobs [at] thebreakthrough [dot] org. We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a rolling basis. 


Energy Analyst

Essential Functions/Major Responsibilities

  • Undertake quantitative and qualitative research for internal and external use, including memos, reports, working papers, and peer-reviewed publications
  • Write articles for the Breakthrough website
  • Contribute to research proposals when needed
  • Engage with key audiences on social media such as Twitter
  • Follow discourse on energy issues and propose new areas of research
  • Continuously develop quantitative and qualitative research methods and skills
  • Scope out projects for our Breakthrough Generation Fellowship program and potentially supervise Generation fellows


  • Master’s degree in relevant field preferred
  • Strong research skills, quantitative as well as qualitative
  • Strong presentation skills, both written and oral, for internal and external communication
  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to challenge conventional thinking around energy


  • Perseverance and follow through; takes initiative and tends to be self-motivated
  • Sophisticated data analysis and organizational skills
  • Strong quantitative capabilities
  • Works well on group projects and has good inter-team communication
  • Highly motivated to learn new skills and improve qualitative research methods
  • High degree of organization

Job Conditions

Normal. Additional hours may be required to meet deadlines. Some travel and evening time may be required depending on events, invitations, presentations, meetings, and other job-related work outside of the office.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to jobs [at] thebreakthrough [dot] org. We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a rolling basis.