Modeler, Food & Agriculture

Data Analysis & Technical Research Washington, District of Columbia

Program Overview

The GlobAgri-WRR model was developed for the World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future to explore scenarios of food production and consumption—and to model changes in land use and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land use change. The model will be used to analyze future global, regional, and national strategies for mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding deforestation while meeting rising global food needs. A basic description of the model can be found in this paper (Box 3).

This research supports WRI’s Food Program, which identifies and develops solutions to the world’s food production and consumption problems, with a view to sustainably feeding nearly 10 billion people by 2050. We identify ways to reduce food loss and wasteenable consumers to make more sustainable food choices, and advance strategies to sustainably increase food production, such as restoring degraded lands back into productivity, increasing pastureland yields, and improving land and water management.

Job Summary

In this role, you will be responsible for improving and running the GlobAgri-WRR model, with a view to supporting global, regional, and national analyses of food production and consumption scenarios and their effects on resource demands and the environment. You will report to the Technical Director of the World Resources Report and will also collaborate closely with modelers at the French agricultural research agency CIRAD and colleagues across WRI’s Food Program. There will be multiple opportunities to publish model results in WRI reports and peer-reviewed journals. The position is an opportunity for an excellent computer programmer with modeling skills to become involved in important global environmental work related to climate change.

Job Responsibilities

You will work with WRI Food Program and CIRAD colleagues on the following responsibilities:

  • Improving the GlobAgri-WRR model. This will include learning to use the model, and helping to reprogram parts of it to make the model more user-friendly and to incorporate some external modules directly into the model (30%)
  • Updating the model and adding additional components and features, including incorporation of national sub-models (40%)
  • Running the model to conduct additional analyses, including incorporation of national sub-models (30%)

Job Qualifications

  • Three+ years of relevant work experience
  • Master's degree in computer science or related field, or a bachelor's degree with two+ additional years of work experience
  • Excellent computer programming skills and experience with a variety of programming languages, including Python and preferably Scilab
  • Experience with developing modeling systems
  • Experience with agricultural systems and their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is desirable, although not mandatory as priority will be placed on excellent programming skills
  • Ability to spend several weeks traveling to work in France with CIRAD colleagues
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to adapt to rapidly changing priorities and to think both creatively and innovatively
  • Ability to work with external partners in a professional and collaborative manner

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 800+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in AfricaBrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.  

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.