| April 29, 2024

Chief of Staff, Climate, Economics & Finance Program

Guest Author


Website World Resources Institute

About the job

This is a hybrid position which requires 8 days/month in the office. You can be based in our office in Washington DC, London, The Hague, Bonn, Nairobi, or Mexico City. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission as WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position.

About the Program:

The world needs to cut its emissions in half by 2030, reach net-zero by mid-century and adapt to prevent the worst effects of climate change. This will require a transformation in the economic, financial and governance systems at global and country levels, to simultaneously achieve the world’s people, nature and climate goals. To address this important challenge, WRI’s Global Climate, Economics and Finance (CEF) Program undertakes research and analysis; develop tools and standards; communicate and engage; and build coalition and capacity to accelerate climate ambition, country transitions and the required shifts in economic and financial systems and incentives. We work with national governments, policymakers, businesses, civil society, local governments, and other non-state actors as they pursue their own emissions-reduction and adaptation goals. We work at the global level and in partnership with WRI’s twelve focus countries and regions and WRI’s ‘human system transition’ teams (focused on energy, cities and food/land/water) to deliver this transformation.

Job Highlight:

Reporting to the Global Climate Director, you will ensure CEF takes an exemplary approach to staff well-being, management, performance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, contributing to and implementing CEF’s approach to WRI’s culture, values, and staff morale. You will work with the CEF Global Director to set up CEF Program system and processes to guide the cross-global and country office development of CEF strategy, including strategies related to the three thematic pillars (Climate Action, Climate Ambition, Finance and Private-Sector), core support (Research and Data, Operations, Communications, Development, Project Management/PMEL), and CEF elements of country strategies. You will set up strategy processes which enables close upstream engagement between CEF Directors and global, country, and core support leads. You will support the Global Director in ensuring strategic coherence across CEF, monitoring progress toward strategy goals and objectives, and ensuring the strategy is maintained and aligned with WRI’s overall 5-year strategy.

You will manage collaboration within CEF, across other major WRI programs (‘human system transitions’), and WRI in-country teams. You will set up the governance, planning, and monitoring processes (including for programming, fundraising and resourcing, delivery, and PMEL plans). You will oversee implementation of these system and processes, supporting teams to follow the approach so that CEF is efficient, effective, collaborative, and professional. You will manage CEF internal governance, leading on the setting up, preparation and ensuring follow up on the Program Management Team (PMT) and other management and staff meetings, ensuring alignment within WRI’s overall governance. You will ensure high quality inputs and management information, enabling the Global Director and Program Management Team to make good decisions and monitor and achieve impact and organizational excellence. In your program management capacity, you will oversee CEF core support teams, comprising Research and Data, Operations, Communications, Development, Project Management/PMEL, and Director-support teams. You will ensure a strong team spirit and collaborative working across the core support teams, clear terms of reference, transparency of roles and decisions, and strong performance. You will provide additional oversight and support in the area of development and fundraising. You will also take on special assignments to support the Global Director and key needs of the program, especially when of a sensitive or highly-complex nature. WRI seeks an experienced leader and organizational manager to serve as the Chief of Staff for the Global Climate, Economics, and Finance (CEF) Program.

What will you do:

Strategy (20%):

  • Lead on program strategy development process — setting out clear processes for (1) Senior Directors to develop strategies, outcomes, theories of change, and delivery plans for their pillars (2) CEF’s ‘guardianship’ of WRI’s climate goal, and (3) identifying priority areas of cooperation with other programs and country teams
  • Design and facilitate processes to ensure upstream engagement on strategy and program development between global and in-country teams, program core functions, other WRI programs, and external partners
  • Ensure a high quality of CEF input into and engagement with institutional strategy, theory of change, and reporting systems

People Management (30%):

  • Lead on cross-cutting people issues in CEF
  • Create and promote a positive, inclusive team culture to increase staff well-being, drive performance, and ensure staff retention through celebrating successes and sharing learnings
  • Advise program leadership on issues related to HR, including staff equity, performance management, promotions, hiring plans, and internal processes
  • Ensure strong communications between the Global Director and CEF staff, providing insights to the Global Director and other members of the PMT on issues affecting staff well-being, morale, and performance, with proposed solutions
  • Coordinate CEF engagement in developing and implementing WRI approach to company culture, including identifying ways to enhance a collaborative culture within CEF and across related teams
  • Lead process for improving performance management culture in CEF
  • Lead medium-term planning on staff issues, matching staff capability to need, including succession planning, talent management and staff retention; attract talent, hiring and recruitment; and avoid capacity gaps and staffing cliffs
  • Manage a team of 5-7 ‘core functions’ team members, including leaders, mid-career, and more junior staff.

Overall CEF Program Management (30%):

  • Put in place and ensure implementation of CEF governance – with clear objectives for each level/type of meeting – in a way which fits well with WRI’s overall governance
  • Ensure the PMT can provide leadership on a clear vision and strategy; alignment, integration, focus and impact; funding; coordination across WRI; management of risks and results and ensuring CEF is a great place to work for all staff
  • Lead team preparing for and following up on CEF retreats and regular program meetings, to allow for effective decision making and communication
  • Ensure a strong process for gathering and presenting periodic management information to the Global Director and PMT, including on people, finance, delivery, and risks
  • Track Program risks and proactively address delivery issues, proposing mitigation strategies and driving decision-making processes on sensitive and highly-complex matters
  • Ensure clarity in roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities within CEF
  • Ensure system and processes which allow for strong coordination and collaboration between global and country teams, across CEF, and between CEF and the rest of WRI
  • Ensure CEF compliance with WRI system and processes

Development & Fundraising (20%):

  • Ensure a coherent fundraising strategy across CEF global and country offices
  • Support the Global Director in their work to fundraise.
  • Oversee the CEF Development team, ensuring that fundraising efforts are aligned, at scale with program need, and matched to established strategies and priorities
  • Provide high-level review and advice on major program proposals, including on log frames, level of ambition, and funder negotiations

What will you need:

  • Education: You have completed a master’s degree in a related field or equivalent additional experience required, preferably with international focus
  • Experience: You have a minimum of 12 years of relevant work experience with at least 3 years of people management
  • Adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and can work with pace, professionalism and resilience, managing multiple projects with varying deadlines
  • Experience in strategy development and in managing change
  • Experience in program management and setting up system and processes
  • Experience collaborating with and working across large, international organizations
  • Strong ability to build relationships, with strong emotional intelligence, with excellent communication skills, including the ability to work well in a team
  • Interest and experience in people issues, including how to build high-performing, motivated teams
  • Prefer to have experience with governance and management information
  • Experience fundraising, including knowledge of international donor landscape
  • Experience working on climate, economic or finance issues
  • Languages: Fluent in English, with additional languages a plus
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required where this position. WRI is unable to authorize visa work authorization

Potential Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply: Please submit a resume with a required cover letter by the date of 15 May 2024. We are unable to consider your application without a cover letter.

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

What we offer:

  • A competitive salary
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities.
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure

About Us:

Founded in 1982, 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 to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

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.

Our mission and values:

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence and Respect.

Our culture:

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. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment; we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

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