Lead Environmental Economist

The World Bank

Hanoi, Vietnam 🇻🇳


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.


Located within the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group, the Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice (ENB) provides expertise, technical assistance, and financing to help low- and middle-income countries manage land, sea and freshwater natural resources in a sustainable way to help create jobs, improve livelihoods, enhance ecosystem services, decrease pollution and increase resilience to climate change. Over 360 ENB staff working across the globe help set developing countries on a clean, green growth trajectory for resilient economies and healthy communities.

ENB has five key business lines consisting of lending and non-lending services in (1) Forests, Landscapes and Biodiversity; (2) Blue Economy; (3) Pollution Management, Environmental Health and Circular Economy; (4) Environmental Economics, Policies and Institutions; and (5) Environmental Risk Management. 

ENB has three broad and distinct functions: 1. Provides clients with lending and non-lending services aimed to support the GP’s key business lines; 2. Supports effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies; 3. Works closely with other sectors to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.

The SEAE2 unit is one of two ENB units in the East Asia and Pacific Region (EAP) and comprises about 40 staff, of whom about 70 percent are based in Country Offices in Cambodia, South Korea, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The rest of the team is based in Washington DC. All staff in SEAE2 report to a Practice Manager based in Sydney, Australia. The unit works closely with the second ENB unit, SEAE1 (China, Indonesia and the Pacific Island Countries), and leads a full spectrum of environment, climate change, green growth, blue economy, pollution management and natural resource lending and non-lending tasks, as well as the environmental risk management ESF/safeguards function.

Vietnam Country Program Context

Vietnam’s portfolio consists of about  44 active operations and 25 advisory services and analytics activities in energy, transport, water, environment and climate change, urban, rural and social development, agriculture, health, and education sectors. Features of the portfolio include large infrastructure, such as hydropower, electricity transmission and distribution; transport, road and inland waterway infrastructure; urban development; port development and logistics; and water supply and sanitation. Vietnam’s infrastructure program also covers natural resources management and nature-based solutions, disaster mitigation, climate change, and integrated rural development.

The work program for the Environment Natural Resource and Blue Economy (ENB) team in Vietnam falls into the following areas: 

i. Providing technical inputs and advice to all sector projects and programs and ensuring compliance with the Bank’s environmental standards.
ii. Leading the Bank’s work on environmental management with a focus on: 

• Air quality management (industrial pollution and solid waste and marine plastics management); 
• Natural asset management (including mainstreaming the use of natural assets for growth); 
• Strengthening the blue economy (with a focus on integrated coastal development, spatial planning, fisheries, multisectoral and marine spatial planning), which includes institutional capacity strengthening, physical investments, policy formulation and development of regulatory instruments, planning, and innovative use of instruments and digital developments.
iii. Leading the Bank’s work on global environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity.     

Duties and Accountabilities 

SEAE2 is seeking to hire a Lead Environmental Economist with strong analytical skills and operational experience in the areas of environment and natural resources and climate change. The Lead Economist will be based in Hanoi, Vietnam and report to the SEAE2 Practice Manager. While s/he will be based in Vietnam, s/he will support operations and analytical and advisory services across countries covered by SEAE2 (Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand).  

Your key responsibilities will be to: 

•Co-lead strategic dialogue and business development in Vietnam together with the ENB Sector Coordinator, working across all ENB business lines. 

•Lead/contribute to flagship studies, reports and engagements, coordinating and collaborating with the Country Management Unit (CMU) Lead Economists and across the Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group. 

•Interact with the relevant research communities inside and outside of the World Bank and network with academics and practitioners as well as other thought-leaders in East Asia and the Pacific. 

•Lead/support the development of innovative engagements through Development Policy Operations (DPO), Program for Results (PforR), Investment Project Financing (IPFs), Reimbursable Advisory Services, and other instruments and ensuring strong integration of the ENB program with other Global Practices. 

•Lead ENB contributions to Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCD) and Country Partnership Framework (CPF) activities for all SEAE2 countries. Collaborate with other team members to ensure the development of country-specific and innovative work programs through new projects and analytical work; and lead the development of a strong analytical and Technical Assistance (TA) work program, reflecting regional and country-specific analytical demands and strategic opportunities for Bank engagement, including communicating with donors and raising Trust Funds. 

•Play a major role in strategic dialogue within EAP countries and across the business development areas identified above by providing intellectual leadership and undertaking cutting-edge research and building capacity of country institutions. 

•Provide technical guidance/advice to operational teams to improve the economic rationale and/or economic analyses of projects. 

•Support quality assurance of both lending and analytical work for SEAE2.

•Seek opportunities for and ensure collaboration with other GPs in the region including through joint studies and technical assistance activities.

•Liaise and coordinate closely with the EAP and SD Chief Economist offices. 

•Mentor and support the Environmental Economists in the SEAE2 unit.

Selection Criteria

In addition to meeting Bank-wide Grade GH level positions (see below), it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria.
The following are required: 
• Advanced degree (PhD or Master’s) in economics with application to above-mentioned areas, with at least 12 years of professional experience in the outlined areas.
• Track record of policy relevant analytical work demonstrated by, for example, publications in peer-reviewed journals that have been applied, directly or indirectly, to policymaking. 
• Acknowledged technical and thought leadership (inside and outside the Bank) in one or two areas relevant to ENB’s portfolio.
• Operational experience in at least two regions or a combination of regional and corporate assignments. 
• Field experience, relevant pre-bank field experience in an international development institution will be considered.
• Demonstrated network of research collaborations inside and outside the Bank.
• Strong client orientation, ability to work effectively and collaboratively with multiple disciplines and operational staff.
• Proven track record of on-time delivery of complex and high-profile tasks.
• Demonstrated skills in team leadership and teamwork, including coaching, mentoring and motivating staff; contributing to the work of others, putting the team first, and resolving conflicts.
• Demonstrated combination of analytical rigor and practical and solution-oriented approaches. 
• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, including a proven record of successfully delivering presentations and speeches at international fora.  
• Willingness to travel in East Asia is necessary, including in remote rural areas. 
The following would be an advantage but not required: 
• Experience working in East Asia and the Pacific, and Vietnam in particular, understanding of the institutional and political context, and exposure to the national environmental policy challenges.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.