The Breakthrough Institute is currently looking for talented individuals to join us in the following roles: 

- Food and Agriculture Analyst

- Events and Development Assistant

See the job descriptions below for more information.


Food and Agriculture Analyst

Job Description:

The Breakthrough Institute is a leading global research center that leverages high-quality scholarship to identify practical solutions to major environmental and human development challenges.

Breakthrough is widely recognized for its optimistic framework to protect ecosystems and species by prioritizing modernization, innovation, and human well-being. We are working to find pragmatic, scalable ways of meeting a growing population’s demand for food while reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture, and are seeking to hire a full-time analyst to build on and expand this work.

The Food and Agriculture Analyst will perform quantitative and qualitative research to further our understanding of food and agricultural systems. Tasks will include literature reviews, internal memo writing, data analysis, project scoping, and authoring papers, reports, and popular articles.

The ideal candidate will have experience in the area of food and agriculture as well as a broad range of analytical and research methods from critical reviews of academic studies, to memo writing, data analysis, and strong presentation skills. Ability to take direction and work in a group is essential.

This role is full time, based in our office in downtown Oakland.  



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

- Write internal memos, popular pieces for the website or external publications, and collaborate on peer-reviewed articles

- Make professional presentations of results to staff and outside experts

- Work with Breakthrough’s external network of scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists



- Master’s degree in relevant field required

- 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 agriculture and sustainability



Competitive salary commensurate with experience.


To apply: Please send a cover letter that explains your interest in food and agriculture and engages with Breakthrough's work; a resume/CV; and three references (name, affiliation, email, and phone number). Email applications to info [at] thebreakthrough [dot] org with the subject line "Food and Agriculture Position."


Events and Development Assistant

Job Description:

The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our work is based on ecomodernism, which means we believe 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 four focus areas: energy, conservation, food and farming, and energy access for all people. 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 event planning and fundraising. This doesn’t just mean data entry and licking envelopes. 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 I 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.

Right now, we’re looking for an Events and Development Assistant to join our team. She or he will be responsible for:

- Assisting the events director in planning, coordinating, and executing events including but not limited to: research, managing RSVPs, conducting outreach, database management, and on-site event management.

- Assisting in developing, compiling, and editing event materials, including but not limited to: invites, travel information, nametags, presentation materials, speaker bios, etc.

- Assisting with implementing development strategies by compiling donor briefings, preliminary research on prospective donors, sending acknowledgements, scheduling meetings, creating reports, and database management.

- Travelling locally and nationally for events as necessary.

- Perform other tasks as needed.


Qualities you should possess:

- Openness to implementing unconventional and innovative ideas.

- Be self-starting, resourceful, and organized.

- Have the ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.

- Be a proactive problem solver.

- Have strong attention to detail.

- Have excellent written and oral communication skills.

- A willingness to learn.


Preferred experience:

- Bachelor's degree with 1-2 years of related work experience in events and/or development.

- Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge or other CRMs.

- Comfortable with Google applications (Gmail, Google docs, calendar, etc).

- Comfortable with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

- Comfortable with Adobe Photoshop (desired, not required).

- Comfortable with outreach to vendors, donors, event guests, external stakeholders, etc.



Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent health insurance, paid leave, and commuter benefits. We are located in downtown Oakland, right above the 12th Street Oakland BART station.


Does this sound like you? If so, apply here:

Send a thoughtful letter of interest, resume, and three references (name, affiliation, email, and phone number) to Hafeezah Abdullah at hafeezah[at]thebreakthrough[dot]org. Use the subject line “Name - Events and Development Assistant.” No phone calls please.