Jobs

The Breakthrough Institute is growing at a faster pace than we ever have in our 15-year history.

In the last two years, we have created two new programs, our Nuclear Innovation program and Energy and Development program, adding to our long-standing Energy & Climate and Food & Agriculture programs. We have initiated several major policy campaigns, including our efforts to double federal agricultural R&D and to get advanced nuclear reactors licensed in the United States.

We have also opened an office in Washington, DC, to put more ecomodernist ideas into action, building a DC policy and research agenda from the ground up.

The Breakthrough Institute envisions a future where all the world’s inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives on an ecologically vibrant planet. We strive to make our work audacious, pragmatic, and politically unclassifiable. If that sounds like the kind of place you want to work, now is your opportunity.

You can learn more about our vision here. Check out our open positions below. All salaries are highly competitive with industry-wide standards and are commensurate with experience.

The Breakthrough Institute is committed to seeking innovative solutions to environmental and human development challenges in pursuit of a secure, healthier, and more prosperous future. In doing so, we do not shy away from contentious domestic and international political issues or from advocating for equity, justice, democracy, and human rights. We welcome candidates who bring varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds and who are eager to learn about many ways of viewing the world. Our goal is to create a community that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity.

Nuclear Energy Innovation Analyst / Senior Nuclear Energy Innovation Analyst

Who We Are

The Breakthrough Institute (BTI) seeks innovative solutions to environmental and human development challenges in pursuit of a secure, healthier, and more prosperous future. BTI fosters a culture of aspirational, disruptive, and yet evidence-based thinking, and mission-driven, pragmatic problem-solving. Over the past few years, we’ve grown to a staff of 20+ talented individuals, shaping how policymakers, environmental groups, and other thought leaders view climate change, nuclear power, agricultural innovation, international energy development, and other key issues.

The Opportunity

We are currently hiring a Nuclear Energy Innovation Analyst or Senior Nuclear Energy Innovation Analyst to work with our growing advanced nuclear research and policy team and participate in the policy, public, and regulatory debate on advanced nuclear energy in the United States. The role will focus on participation in all relevant policy and regulatory proceedings, writing for external publications, public speaking, attending workshops, building partnerships with new organizations, and advising on any related work internally. The ability to think creatively and work in a group is essential. We are seeking applicants who have some background in nuclear energy technology, health physics, regulation, risk analysis, or policy. This role is full-time and based in Washington D.C.

Key Responsibilities

  • Execute Breakthrough's existing nuclear energy research program, which includes supporting the development and deployment of new nuclear technologies, maintaining the operation of existing nuclear energy facilities, and engaging in public and policy discussions around these issues

  • Participate in relevant NRC proceedings, provide formal review and comment upon all relevant rulings and rulemaking, and engage with relevant Congressional oversight committees and staff

  • Attend both internal and external meetings as Breakthrough’s expert, speak on panels, and give interviews on subject knowledge

  • Contribute to research and funding proposals and engage with funders as needed

  • Undertake qualitative and quantitative research for internal and external use, culminating in memos, reports, working papers, web articles, pieces for external publication, and peer-reviewed publications

  • Follow the discourse on energy issues and propose new areas of research

  • Continuously develop quantitative and qualitative research methods and skills

Required Qualifications

  • Experience or academic background in nuclear energy regulation, policy, or technology

  • Experience critically reviewing and synthesizing academic literature

  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and take ownership of projects, delivering high-quality work on time

  • Fluency in English

Preferred Qualifications

  • 3-5 years of experience or academic background in nuclear energy regulation, policy, or technology

  • Master’s or PhD degree in related field

  • Experience with Nuclear Regulatory Commission advanced reactor licensing

  • Experience with health physics

  • Experience with nuclear safety and risk analysis

  • Demonstrated experience writing for non-technical audiences

Job Conditions

  • This is a full-time, exempt position in Washington, D.C., with hybrid virtual and in-person work arrangements. A minimum of 3 days of in-office work is expected.

  • Some evening or weekend time may be required depending on events and other job-related work outside of the office.

Salary & Benefits

  • $70,000 - $112,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience.

  • Excellent health insurance, dental, vision, paid leave, retirement plan, life insurance, disability insurance, professional development support, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions

  • We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.

  • Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample ONLY to jobs[at]thebreakthrough.org. Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites.

  • Your email subject should say: <Your Name>: <Position Title>

  • Your email should state how you heard about this position

  • Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough’s work and how you could contribute

Clean Transportation Analyst

We are currently hiring a Clean Transportation Analyst who will assist the Breakthrough Institute’s Climate and Energy research program in completing original research and analysis on low-carbon transportation technologies, systems, and infrastructure. Analysts serve as a member of our core full-time research staff, writing reports and articles for external publication and for our website and building the team’s base of expertise and knowledge. The Clean Transportation Analyst will focus on research projects and policy analyses that aim to accelerate progress in low-emissions vehicles, supporting infrastructure, and related public policy. This role will also engage in public-facing activities such as speaking opportunities, media communications, workshops, social media management, and network-building with new organizations.

We are considering applicants from a wide array of backgrounds that may include transportation planning, consumer economics, battery research, engineering, automotive industry, or related fields. This role is full-time and can be flexibly based from either of Breakthrough’s offices in Washington, D.C. or Berkeley, California. This position will report directly to the Co-Directors of the Climate and Energy Program.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Execute Breakthrough's evolving clean transportation research agenda, which may include priorities such as: Supporting the development and deployment of low-emissions vehicles; Advocating for forward-thinking public policies to support innovative new clean transportation technologies, charging infrastructure deployment and grid upgrades, and upstream industries like manufacturing; Assessing the potential impact of regulations related to clean transportation policy issues in local, national, or international contexts.
  • Develop a prominent public thought leadership profile in one or several areas of expertise related to transport sector decarbonization, low-emissions vehicle technologies, battery technologies, electric vehicle grid integration, or similar.
  • Attend meetings as Breakthrough’s expert, speak on panels, and give interviews on subject knowledge.
  • Undertake qualitative and quantitative research including memos, reports, working papers, and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Write articles for the Breakthrough website and external publications.
  • Contribute to research and funding proposals as needed.
  • Follow and engage with the public discourse on climate and/or energy issues, including in the popular press and on social media.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of experience or academic background in a field related to clean transportation policy, low-emissions vehicles, power grid engineering, battery technology, automobile sectors, or similar.
  • Exceptional writing skills, able to produce both outstanding argumentative essays and clear, sharply-written research reports.
  • Eager to publicly advocate for Breakthrough’s ecomodernist approach to solving global environmental challenges, as outlined in the Ecomodernist Manifesto (https://thebreakthrough.org/ec...)
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced setting while balancing both urgent and long-term deliverables.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s or PhD degree
  • Significant experience in transportation/energy systems, policy, or technology, with strong potential to become a recognized expert in one’s specialty subject area(s).
  • Significant experience independently supervising research teams, mentoring junior colleagues, and executing major long-term research projects.
  • Experience with data analysis in Python, R, QGIS, or similar programs. Working experience with the Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model is also highly desirable.
  • Professional foreign language proficiency, particularly in an Asian language(s).

Job Conditions:

  • Employees are required to report to the office on certain days of the week and may choose to work from home on other designated days. 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.

Salary:

  • $70,000-$93,000
  • Excellent health insurance, dental, vision, paid leave, retirement plan, life insurance, disability insurance, professional development support, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions

  • We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.
  • Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample ONLY to jobs[at]thebreakthrough.org. Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites.
  • Your email subject should say: <Your Name>: <Position Title>
  • Your email should state how you heard about this position
  • Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough’s work and how you perceive this opportunity as part of your career arc
  • Your writing sample should be under 2500 words, should represent one of your proudest pieces of writing, and can be totally unrelated to clean energy or transportation.

Climate Impacts and Resiliency Researcher

We are looking to hire a Climate Impacts Researcher to perform statistical analysis on extreme weather events using tools and methodology developed by the Breakthrough Institute’s Climate and Energy research team.

We are seeking applicants with a strong data science background. This role can be structured on a full-time or part-time basis and can be flexibly based from either of Breakthrough’s offices in Washington, D.C. or Berkeley, California. This position will report directly to Dr. Patrick Brown, Co-Director of the Climate and Energy Program.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Execute a portion of Breakthrough's climate impacts and adaptation research agenda, which will initially focus on the quantification of climate change influences on extreme weather with an emphasis on the magnitude of those changes in the historical record.

  • Undertake qualitative and quantitative research, including memos, reports, working papers, and peer-reviewed publications.

  • Write articles for the Breakthrough website and external publications.

  • Contribute to research and funding proposals as needed.

  • Follow and engage with the public discourse on climate and/or energy issues, including in the popular press and on social media.

  • Over time, the position may expand to include other priorities like:
    • Quantification of least-cost strategies to increase resilience to climate and climate change

    • Quantification of the most effective adaptation strategies to various climate impacts

    • Quantifications of climate change impacts on society in the context of changes in economic standards of living and changes in technology

    • Quantifications of climate change impacts on society in the context of changes in spatial exposure to climate impacts and changes in vulnerability to those impacts

    • Articulating pragmatic, bipartisan policy recommendations to support practical on-the-ground solutions to climate impacts

    • Attend meetings as Breakthrough’s expert, speak on panels, and give interviews on subject knowledge.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in data science, statistics, meteorology, climate science, disaster science, or similar.

  • Master’s or PhD degree preferred but can be substituted with experience.

  • Strong quantitative computational research skills, with a good background in statistics.
    • The applicant must be able to download, analyze, and quickly produce visuals and insights from a variety of large datasets.

    • The applicant must be very comfortable using at least one programming language, preferably open-source software like Python, or R.

Job Conditions:

  • Non-remote employees are required to report to the office on certain days of the week and may choose to work from home on other designated days. 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.

Salary:

  • Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

  • Excellent health insurance, dental, vision, paid leave, retirement plan, life insurance, disability insurance, professional development support, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions

  • We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.

  • Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample ONLY to jobs[at]thebreakthrough.org. Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites.

  • Your email subject should say: <Your Name>: <Position Title>

  • Your email should state how you heard about this position

  • Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough’s work and how you perceive this opportunity as part of your career arc

  • Your writing sample should be under 2500 words and best reflect your style as a writer

Clean Energy Analyst

We are currently hiring a Clean Energy Analyst to advance the Breakthrough Institute’s research efforts on clean energy technologies and systems. The Clean Energy Analyst will work within the Climate and Energy research program to conduct original research and analysis, write articles for external publication and for our website, and build the team’s base of expertise and knowledge. They will also engage in public-facing activities such as speaking opportunities, media communications, workshops, social media management, and network-building with new organizations.

We are considering applicants with a wide array of backgrounds that may include energy systems, environmental policy, electrical engineering, power engineering, energy project development, clean technology manufacturing, public utility sector experience, or related fields. This role is full-time and can be flexibly based from either of Breakthrough’s offices in Washington, D.C. or Berkeley, California. This position will report directly to the Co-Directors of the Climate and Energy Program.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Execute Breakthrough's evolving clean energy research agenda, which may include priorities like:
  • Articulating pragmatic, bipartisan policy recommendations to support the development and deployment of clean energy technologies
  • Analyzing energy cost and technology cost drivers and trends.
  • Assessing the potential impact of regulations related to climate and energy issues in local, national, or international contexts.
  • Develop a prominent public thought leadership profile in one or several areas of expertise related to climate science and/or energy systems.
  • Attend meetings as Breakthrough’s expert, speak on panels, and give interviews on subject knowledge.
  • Undertake qualitative and quantitative research including memos, reports, working papers, and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Write articles for the Breakthrough website and external publications.
  • Contribute to research and funding proposals as needed.
  • Follow and engage with the public discourse on climate and/or energy issues, including in the popular press and on social media.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of experience or academic background in a field related to energy systems, energy-related engineering or technology, energy policy, energy industry, or similar.
  • Exceptional writing skills, able to produce both outstanding argumentative essays and clear, sharply-written research reports.
  • Eager to publicly advocate for Breakthrough’s ecomodernist approach to solving global environmental challenges, as outlined in the Ecomodernist Manifesto (https://thebreakthrough.org/ec...)
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced setting while balancing both urgent and long-term deliverables.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s or PhD degree
  • Significant experience in energy systems, policy, or technology, with strong potential to become a recognized expert in one’s specialty subject area(s). We are looking for candidates with extensive technical or engineering backgrounds in particular.
  • Experience with data analysis in Python, R, QGIS, or similar programs, preferably open-source software. Working experience with the Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model is also highly desirable.
  • Experience with high-resolution energy system modeling.
  • Significant experience independently supervising research teams, mentoring junior colleagues, and executing major long-term research projects.
  • Professional proficiency in a foreign language, especially an Asian language.

Job Conditions:

  • Employees are required to report to the office on certain days of the week and may choose to work from home on other designated days. 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.

Salary:

  • $70,000-$93,000
  • Excellent health insurance, dental, vision, paid leave, retirement plan, life insurance, disability insurance, professional development support, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits.

Application Instructions

  • We encourage you to submit materials as soon as possible, as we will interview and hire on a near-term rolling basis.
  • Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample ONLY to jobs[at]thebreakthrough.org. Please do not submit your application through alternate job sites.
  • Your email subject should say: <Your Name>: <Position Title>
  • Your email should state how you heard about this position
  • Your cover letter should reflect on Breakthrough’s work and how you perceive this opportunity as part of your career arc
  • Your writing sample should be under 2500 words, should represent one of your proudest pieces of writing, and can be totally unrelated to clean energy.