The Breakthrough Institute is an environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our research focuses on identifying and promoting technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges in three areas: energy, conservation, and food and farming.

We are currently hiring a Food and Agriculture Analyst. This role is full time, based in our office in downtown Oakland.

Job Responsibilities

The Food and Agriculture Analyst will perform quantitative and qualitative research on ways in which technology and innovation can improve the sustainability of food and agricultural systems. Tasks will include literature reviews, internal memo writing, data analysis, and contributing to papers, reports, and popular articles.

The ideal candidate will have experience in agro-environmental research and technology, literature reviews, memo writing, data analysis, and written and oral communication. Ability to take direction and work in a group is essential.

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. 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.

Essential Functions/Major Responsibilities

  • Review and analyze agricultural practices and technologies from a sustainability perspective

  • Conduct literature reviews, data analysis, and expert interviews

  • Write internal memos, reports, and popular pieces for the website or external publications

  • Make professional presentations of results to staff and outside experts

  • Build professional relationships with scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists through social media, attending events, and one-on-one outreach


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree a plus

  • Experience critically reviewing academic literature and identifying authoritative sources of information

  • Demonstrated ability to analyse problems quantitatively, such as through spreadsheet modeling or statistical analysis

  • Strong presentation skills, both written and oral, for internal and external communication

  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to challenge conventional thinking around agriculture and sustainability


  • Perseverance and follow through; takes initiative and tends to be self-motivated

  • Data analysis and organizational skills

  • Works well on group projects and has good inter-team communication

  • Highly motivated to learn new skills and improve research methods

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

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and two 2-5 page writing samples (one academic, one non-academic) to jobs [at] thebreakthrough [dot] org. 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.