Principal Environmental Specialist

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Amman, Jordan 🇯🇴

Cairo, Egypt 🇪🇬

Belgrade, Serbia 🇷🇸


IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit

The Gender and Sustainability Solutions Department (CEG) includes approximately 300 staff and consultants.  CEG supports IFC’s investment, advisory and upstream departments to manage ESG risks associated with their activities and find solutions to client issues on the basis of our Environmental and Social (E&S) Performance Standards ( and the Corporate Governance Methodology ( CEG further leverages this expertise and operational experience in emerging markets to encourage the effective adoption of these standards by companies and investors across emerging markets. More details can be found at

IFC currently has a varied portfolio of approximately 370 infrastructure investments and undertakes due diligence on approximately 50 prospective new investments in these sectors annually.  Business activities supported include municipal and environmental infrastructure (waste management, waste to energy, water and sanitation), telecom, media and technology, transport (shipping and ports, airlines and airports, roads, urban transport, logistics, and railways).  Clients vary from municipal and other forms of local governments to multinational corporations to small local businesses.  The portfolio is globally diversified, though IFC actively seeks more business in less developed and fragile and post-conflict countries.

CEG’s E&S operations support provides guidance to clients, investment and advisory teams on E&S risk management vis-Ă -vis IFC Performance Standards and Sustainability Policy with the aim of promoting compliance with IFC’s performance standards and enhanced impact and additionality of IFC-supported investments and advisory mandates. CEG frequently leads the ESDD function when IFC participates in lenders’ consortia. Duties and Accountabilities: 
The Sector Lead: Infrastructure will be the most prominent CEG staff working day-to-day on IFC’s investment and advisory transactions in infrastructure, and the primary point of contact for CEG with investment professionals working in this sector.  The position will report to CEG’s Chief Environmental Specialist who manages CEG’s global E&S transaction support.  Key accountabilities include:
Transaction Processing Support
• Quality assurance reviews and clearance of E&S specialists’ ESDD and other written appraisal products, seeking to ensure that the ESDD is correctly scoped, adequately detailed, comprehensive and well documented, that issues arising are treated consistently for all clients and that IFC’s client requirements arising from ESDD are well-calibrated to appraisal findings and risk, and are consistent with Performance Standards requirements and IFC precedent.• Responsible for the delivery of ESDD and, as needed, Supervision of selected projects and clients, particularly for elevated risk transactions.• Supporting specialists throughout the appraisal cycle, including with appraisal preparation, sectoral E&S issues, negotiations with clients and investment departments and board presentations.• As required, developing, and delivering training to IFC clients, investment staff and CEG specialists on E&S issues relevant to the infrastructure sector. 
Upstream and Advisory Services
• As needed, support to E&S specialists’ review of Upstream Projects and High-Risk Advisory projects.• Help identify systemic bottlenecks existing in the market that prevent adequate E&S risk management in the infrastructure sector. Contribute substantively to upstream activities by using technical experience and expertise.• In close coordination with regional upstream officers, act as a sounding board for Global Upstream managers and CEG Business Partners on potential E&S risk in early upstream engagements.• As needed, support the screening of E&S specialists’ proposals to provide E&S Advice to clients, to ensure proposals are appropriate, meet clients’ priority challenges and are consistent with departmental objectives.
Sector Co-ordination, Global Consistency, Knowledge Management & Leadership
• Sectoral E&S oversight and contribution to sectoral knowledge base, including preparation of sectoral portfolio reviews and recognizing emerging E&S issues in the sectors, and associated risk mitigates.• Closely coordinate with the Sector Lead: Energy and Mining for consistency of approach with the internal and external clients of the Infrastructure Department, and with other SLs on cross-cutting issues for the respective sectors.• Strategic liaison with other DFIs on emerging issues and consistency of approach across the infrastructure sectors.• Representing CEG and IFC in external forums or conferences to showcase IFC experience, approach and value proposition, which includes serving as a panelist or moderator for internal and external events related to thematic area.• As needed, coordinate with IFC’s legal department to determine adequacy of E&S provisions, lead discussions on necessary updates in legal templates.• To recruit and manage a roster of consultants to provide specialist subject-matter and capacity support.• Contribution to annual performance appraisals of E&S specialists.

Selection Criteria• Graduate/advanced degree in relevant discipline(s)• Minimum of twelve years of relevant professional experience, including private sector experience in sustainability and proven relevant E&S risk management experience in a range of infrastructure sub-sectors• International experience in emerging markets required. Willingness and ability to travel frequently to countries where IFC operates• Strong analytical skills, ability to think strategically, analyze and synthesize diverse information sources, and draw conclusions from sometimes limited data• Ability to communicate effectively and concisely in spoken and written English is essential.  Additional language skills are advantageous• Excellent interpersonal, listening and communication skills including the ability to relate well with a wide range of internal and external parties and develop solutions in potentially tense or conflicting situations• Exemplary project management skills and ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously under tight deadlines• Demonstrated ability to adapt to changing circumstances, organize and prioritize deliverables, and maintain attention to detail• Pragmatic, solution-oriented, problem solver with a high degree of responsiveness and proactivity, coupled with the ability to recognize when a solution is not available• Ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural team, influence and negotiate point of view within teams, superior mentoring skills• High personal integrity and emotional intelligence, with demonstrated ability to handle sensitive matters in a discreet and respectful manner. Diplomatic approach and calm under pressure• Knowledge of IFC’s Sustainability Framework and Performance Standards.

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. 





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development