Senior Director (GENDR)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2015, the WBG committed $60 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $19 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.

To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization in 2013. This strategy leverages, for the first time, the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.

The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is an operating model introduced in July 2014 based on fourteen Global Practices (GPs) five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs).  Since July 1, 2015 these 14 GPs are organized under 3 Practice Group Vice Presidencies:  Sustainable Development; Economics, Finance and Institutions; and Human Development.

The Sustainable Development Vice Presidency is responsible for Agriculture, Energy and Extractives, Environment and Natural Resources, Transport and ICT, Urban, Rural and Social Development and Water Global Practices as well as the CCSAs for Climate Change and Public Private Partnerships.  

The Global Practices and the Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


The unsustainable use and degradation of the environment and natural resource base that has accompanied growth in many parts of the world — manifesting itself through land degradation,deforestation, depletion of fish stocks,  erosion of ecosystem services, pollution of soil, water and air, and climate change — affect poor people disproportionately. Many of the environmental challenges are associated with local, regional, or global
externalities and common properties that need strong policy and regulatory frameworks, and coordination across sectors.

The World Bank Group’s unique role is its ability to prioritize landscape approaches that cut across sectors and leverage financing and partnerships through investments (loans, grants, guarantees and budget support), financial services and knowledge services. The WBG’s leadership in sectoral, cross-sectoral, and economy-wide knowledge and expertise, complemented by its financing role, places it in a strong position to respond to challenges that increasingly demand inter-sectoral approaches, such as coordinating emerging multi-stakeholder visions for green growth and natural capital accounting, or that demand regional and global responses

The WBG assists governments to generate returns on their investments in natural capital.
Activities focus on growing a country’s natural capital and introducing governance regimes that maximize the sustainable use of those assets for green and inclusive growth. New conceptual approaches are required that bring in longer-term perspectives, both for terrestrial as well as coastal and marine landscapes. Pollution management is also critical, as investing in activities that will allow countries to accelerate their growth without increasing air, water or land pollution is essential to sustainable development.
To this end, a key responsibility of the Practice is to provide professional expertise and operational support to other Practices to implement the WBG social and environmental policies, which includes playing a key role in the implementation of the new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) once approved by the Board.   

The Global Practice Senior Director will collaborate across technical, geographic and institutional boundaries to help design and deliver development solutions to a diverse range of clients.  The Senior Director will be supported by a management team comprising a Director and 9 Practice Managers overseeing approximately 280 globally placed staff. The ENV portfolio at the end of FY16 was $7.2bn across 140 projects. The Global Practice Senior Director will report to the Vice President for Sustainable Development.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in race, gender, nationality, culture, and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 4 year term appointment.


The Global Practice Senior Director is accountable for performing his/her responsibilities,modeling WBG leadership values and managerial behaviors, and maintaining high technical competencies. Accountability means being answerable for making strategic choices, managing quality, risks, results, institutional initiatives and compliance with WBG policies and procedures.

The Global Practice Senior Director is responsible for the following areas:

Solutions and Results to Clients:

In collaboration with the heads of other Global Practices and Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, and Vice Presidents:
•    Leads his/her Global Practice management team to set the Practice’s key strategic priorities to guide institution-wide work and, in collaboration with Country Directors, establishes global and country goals to ensure alignment with the WBG Strategy and Country Partnership Framework
•    Draws on thought leadership and implementation know-how to ensure high impact multi-sectoral solutions
•    Builds and maintains a balanced portfolio of innovative, cost-effective and demand-driven products and services
•    Works in partnership with other Practices, as well as public and private stakeholders, in order to find tailored and holistic solutions to complex development challenges
•    Accountable for delivering high-quality and timely results

People/Talent Management:

•    Models exemplary WBG leadership values and managerial behaviors and reinforces these qualities in own management team and staff
•    Drives and inspires technical excellence within the Practice by creating an environment of learning and innovation that attracts and develops the best talent reflective of the diversity of our clients
•    Leads and supports Global Practice management in developing and implementing appropriate strategies for global staffing, deployment, talent and performance management

Knowledge Management:

•    Ensures that the Practice is at the forefront of the development debate and contributes to the global dialogue in the area of expertise of the Practice
•    Ensures timely flow and capture of knowledge and expertise so that clients receive the highest quality support and knowledge they need, when and where they need it
•    Promotes innovative and cross-cutting research, as well as the dissemination of technical and experiential knowledge and learning
•    Instills a culture of evidence-based, yet client tailored engagement for highest development Impact
•    Collaborates with other Global Practices to elaborate integrated, multi-sectoral approaches to the management of productive landscapes, both terrestrial and coastal/marine
•    Stays abreast of key trends and innovations in terms of new development approaches so as to ensure that the GP has strategies that are forward-looking and demonstrate thought leadership in these fields.
•    Together with other units in the Bank, ensure a smooth transition from the current Safeguards to the ESF, once approved by the Board.

Partnering with other Organizations:

•    Strengthens external partnerships through targeted, value-added propositions that play to the respective strengths of each institution
•    Carries out global advocacy, especially with respect to the linkages and convergence between new international frameworks such as the SDGs and NDCs, to incentivize innovation in the implementation of green and inclusive growth approaches, pollution management, natural capital accounting and environmental policies.
•    Positions the Bank and provides global thought at international events and high level partnerships (including those related to productive landscapes, forests and restoration, blue economy, natural capital, and pollution).

Resource Management:

•    In consultation with relevant stakeholders within the WBG, decides on the best use of internal and external resources for maximum client and developmental impact
•    Mobilizes internal and external funds, consistent with the corporate priorities towards WBG fundraising, to support the implementation of the Practice’s strategy and to deliver client impact on the ground
•    Holds Practice management team accountable for delivering the agreed upon work program through cost-effective use of resources (human and budget) within the agreed parameters and in compliance with internal controls and policies, and ensures timely delivery and overall quality of the Practice’s outputs

Selection Criteria:

•    Passion for the WBG mission
•    Demonstrated leadership values and exemplification of WBG managerial and core competencies, as referenced below
•    Recognized global expert within WBG or among one or more of the following: academics, partners, private sector actors, and policymakers, and with track record of applying practice know-how and effective policy dialogue to achieve development results
•    Demonstrated in-depth experience working across practice and disciplinary boundaries, and with multiple stakeholders – both public and private – in building collaborative alliances for results
•    Proven ability to effectively implement complex change management initiatives
•    Substantive experience working in developing countries
•    Strong written and oral communication skills with proven experience in dealing with the media, external constituencies and expert groups
•    Masters or PhD degree in relevant field, and typically the successful candidate will have 15-18 years of experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility  
•    Deep technical knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: environment and natural resource management policies, economics, familiarity with recent developments in integrating international environment policy in development, and developing and implementing environmental safeguard policies in operations
•    Extensive experience with both country level project and analytical work, as well as with the global public goods agenda relevant to environment and natural resource management, including the climate change agenda, with large-scale programs with internationally recognized success
•    Ability to influence international dialogue and policy on the environment and natural resources, and in related areas that are impacting the environment agenda (e.g. climate change, energy, trade, taxation, water)


•    Leadership of Self: Role model the change and values for WBG; Demonstrate courage of convictions, ownership and self-mastery within the organization in accordance to our values
•    People Leadership: Lead and inspire staff to perform and deliver for better results; Help others achieve their fullest potential through coaching and mentorship
•    Collaborative Leadership: Be mutually accountable for entire WBG’s corporate targets and success;

Work across WBG and with clients and partners to achieve better results
•    Client Solutions Leadership: Be the leading provider of development solutions for country clients; Provide leadership in both knowledge generation and knowledge sharing
•    Decisive Leadership: Take informed risks and make decisions in a transparent manner resulting in transformative impact for clients; Commit to decisions once they have been made

WBG 5 Managerial Competencies: Courage of your convictions; Leading Teams for impact; Influencing across boundaries; Fostering openness to new ideas; and Building talent for the future