Assistant Director of Forest Carbon and Climate Change Program (FCCP), Michigan State University

Posted by: CAKE Team
Post Date: 6/03/2024
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: Michigan State University, Department of Forestry
Position/Title/Fund: Assistant Director of Forest Carbon and Climate Change Program (FCCP)
Type/Term: Full-time, Fixed-term
Location: East Lansing, Michigan (remote-friendly)
Deadline: Open until filled

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a full-time, 12-month Academic Specialist focused on forests, forest carbon and climate change to act as the Assistant Director of our Forest Carbon and Climate Change Program (FCCP).

The successful candidate will lead strategic efforts to enhance the FCCP's impact and presence in positioning forest contribution to climate solutions, with a special focus on activities and projects in the United States and Canada.  This position is crucial for elevating FCCP's thought leadership, increasing internal coordination, and driving new development to expand and scale our work in the climate change sector both domestically and abroad.  The Assistant Director position reports directly to the FCCP Director.

The mission of the FCCP is to meet the educational needs of professionals and the public on forest carbon and its relationship to mitigating climate change.  The position will consist of Teaching (5%), Curriculum Development (20%), Administration (25%), Research (20%) and Outreach/Public Service (30%).  This is a fixed-term position with annual renewals available depending on satisfactory performance and continued funding availability.  The position is supported by MSU and a coalition of external partners from industry, conservation and government.  Some international/domestic travel may be available. 

This role is a unique opportunity to shape an important and timely disciplinary intersection of forest management, conservation, forest products and global climate change.  


Outreach/Public Service:

  • Represent FCCP at key conferences and engage in international consortia related to nature climate solutions
  • Build relationships with partners with a view to enhance donor-base
  • Support policymakers and natural resource decisionmakers
  • Encourage cross-collaboration and communication across FCCP and MSU, promoting thought leadership and innovation
  • Convene key staff to implement FCCP’s core values
  • Publish blogs/articles and host webinars to highlight FCCP's thought leaders externally


  • Pursue funding for program operations
  • Support implementation of the FCCP 2030 strategic plan, including cohesive service offerings and objectives
  • Contribute to Project Management Office (PMO) design and implementation, including establishing PMO strategy, and defining reports, procedures, processes and tools
  • Monitor and report on sponsored activities
  • Increase project management internal capacity and provide direct project support through mentorship, workshops and QA/QC for projects
  • Lead opportunity qualification, capture and pursuit for selected opportunities including through venture and spin-off developments
  • Develop a portfolio of projects under existing flagship initiatives with a focus on catalyzing investments into high-integrity nature climate solutions
  • Support capture through engagement in technical design and solutions
  • Expand and scale FCCP’s carbon and sustainable finance capabilities in target sectors and locations
  • Contribute to the increase of non-grant-related revenue

Curriculum development:

  • Develop and implement training and educational material for professionals focused on identifying opportunities and barriers to investment in nature climate solutions from different perspectives ranging from investors, buyers, regulators and project developers
  • Knowledge sharing and technical capacity building to ensure nature climate solutions reach their full potential in abating climate change through sustainable finance and carbon and biodiversity markets


  • Track science and policy in forest carbon and climate topics
  • Contribute to a research agenda in subjects including carbon finance, sustainable development impact, social and environmental safeguards and bioeconomy
  • Lead proposal development for specific projects
  • Collect and analyze data


  • Teaching non-credit courses
  • Potential for teaching for-credit courses as assigned


  • Master’s degree or earned PhD in forestry, natural resource management, environmental economics, environmental policy, or a related field. 
  • Three to five years of demonstrated leadership in relevant research, private or public sector leadership, conservation, program or project management, or environmental education.
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills, with the ability to work collaboratively across diverse teams.
  • Strong organizational, strategic planning and performance measurement abilities including project management system design and implementation of progress tracking and reporting.
  • Knowledge of foundational environmental science methods and outputs and a passion to learn, including tracking new developments in this evolving field.
  • Eagerness to interpret and translate research findings for diverse audiences, visualize and analyze data, and utilize cutting-edge software to help further an effective and vibrant Forest Carbon and Climate Program at MSU.


  • Doctorate -Forestry, natural resource management
  • Experience in climate change management, with a strong preference for experience with USAID, USDA, US Department of State and other federal agencies.
  • Proven success in thought leadership, project management, and new business development in the climate change sector.  
  • Background in grant writing, publishing in academic journals and opinion pieces, community engagement, adult education, and/or teaching practitioners and professionals.
  • Knowledge of or experience in forest carbon project development, project financing, forest carbon baseline modeling, risk assessments, impact measurement and management, due diligence, and monitoring, reporting, and verification.
  • Proficient in using project management business intelligence software.
How to Apply:

For consideration, upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that includes qualifications for the position; b) current curriculum vitae; and c) contact information for three professional references.