The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our work is premised on the belief that humans can protect nature by using technology to limit the negative impacts on the environment. Basically, we envision a world that is good for both people and nature. We achieve this goal through our three focus areas: energy, conservation, and food and farming. We’re a great team to join. Here’s why.

1. Do a lot. You will get the chance to play an integral role in fundraising and event planning. You will gain first-hand experience working on everything from logistics to content creation to event production on a mix of events with diverse topics. Plus, you’ll get to support the development efforts that make them possible.

2. Learn from the best in the business. You may not have heard of us, but we guarantee you have heard of the ideas that have originated from our research. 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.

3. 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 and skills.

Energy Analysts

We are currently hiring an Energy Analyst who will assist the Director of Energy in completing original research and analysis, writing for the website, and developing new projects. Ability to take direction and work in a group is essential. This role is full time, based in our office in downtown Oakland.

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.

Application Instructions

  • 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.

Food & Agriculture Analysts

Are you passionate about agricultural sustainability, climate change, or environmental policy? Join our growing Food and Agriculture program in beautiful downtown Oakland, California.

We are seeking ambitious and inquisitive Food & Agriculture Analysts. You will research trends in US and global agricultural sustainability, assess policy options to improve environmental outcomes, and contribute to public-facing articles and reports. The position is permanent, full-time, and based in our Oakland office.


  • Conduct literature reviews, data analysis, and expert interviews.
  • Contribute to and write internal memos, public reports, and web articles.
  • Build professional relationships with scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists through social media and one-on-one outreach.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience critically reviewing and synthesizing academic literature.
  • Spreadsheet management and analysis skills.
  • Excellent written communication skills, particularly for layperson audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 2+ years of analytical work experience or a Master’s degree.
  • Motivation to learn new skills, propose ideas, and take ownership on projects.
  • Experience conducting statistical analysis in Excel, R, GIS or similar programs.
  • Background in agricultural or environmental research, economics, or policy.


  • You will have opportunities to attend events; enroll in trainings; and engage with leading journalists, academics, and analysts.
  • You will conduct ground-breaking work on important questions.
  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions

  • To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and a 2-5 page writing sample that demonstrates your ability to synthesize many different sources of information to The cover letter should demonstrate an understanding of Breakthrough’s work on food and farming. We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a rolling basis.