Senior Climate Change Specialist (Resilience)

The World Bank
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 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 World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macro, Trade and Investment; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and Digital Development; and Water. The 5 Global Themes are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Knowledge Management; and Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Global Themes, 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 achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country.


Water resources are under unprecedented and increasing pressures, driven by greater climate variability, population and economic growth, land use changes, and declining quantities and qualities of both ground and surface waters.  With cross cutting impacts on agriculture, education, energy, health, gender equity, and livelihood, water is an essential resource for all life on the planet and is at the center of economic and social development.  The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century - human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, energy security, and universal access to services – unless we ensure a water-secure world for all. To achieve this goal the Water Global Practice will need to work on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.  

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) a Practice Manager for Global Solutions; and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) Water Resources Management; (ii) Water Supply and Sanitation; (iii) Water in Agriculture; (iv) Water and the Economy; and (v) Water and Resilience.

Water and Resilience GSG

The Water and Resilience GSG is a recently formed GSG that helps the Water Practice apply state-of-art approaches to accelerating climate change adaptation and reducing risks related to water resources and water service delivery, as well as connecting the drops across broader agendas including resilient cities, sustainable landscapes, climate smart agriculture and disaster risk management. The GSG serves helps integrate climate resilience into the work programs of the other GSGs, coordinates with other Global Practices to promote water resilience, and is the Water Practice’s focal point for interactions with Bank’s cross-cutting Climate Change Group. The Resilience GSG is led by the Water Practices Global Lead for Water and Climate (hereafter referred to as the GL)


The candidate will work closely with the Global Lead of the Water and Resilience GSG and will be responsible to: 

  • Incorporate resilience into operations through participation in project review activities (Concept Notes, Safe Spaces, Decision Meetings, etc.).
  • Help to track and oversee Analytical Services and Advisory (ASA) in other GSGs that have resilience dimensions.
  • Lead or contribute to high profile ASA that focus on climate resilience.
  • Support Bank-financed projects on issues related to climate resilience, including activities such as serving as team member on projects with important climate resilience issues. 
  • Providing advice to teams on corporate climate responsibilities such as climate screening, greenhouse gas accounting, carbon shadow pricing, and climate co-benefits.
  • Collaborate with Bank’s Climate Change Group (CCG) to ensure the Water GP is informed of all relevant corporate climate related activities, including mandates, conferences, training opportunities, ASA, etc.
  • Proactively contribute in building relationships with other GPs to promote effective collaboration across GPs and the WBG, and build strong relations with key external stakeholders.
  • The position requires a strong understanding of the intersection between water and climate change, both in terms of the analytical work and operational mitigation and resilience response, as well as direct experience integrating the resilience dimension into WSS and WRM investment programs.

Selection Criteria

  • Masters or a Ph.D. with at least 10 years of relevant experience in the field of climate change adaptation, climate finance, innovation management, natural resource management, or other relevant discipline.
  • Experience relevant to climate change adaptation required. Background with private sector engagement within the context of climate change adaptation and/or mitigation strongly preferred. Must demonstrate an excellent knowledge of global climate financing architecture and familiarity with mainstreaming climate resilience in the context of multiple development sectors, including natural resources and infrastructure. Experience in addressing climate change in the context of developing countries, particularly LDCs, strongly preferred.
  • Ability to engage with a range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, private sector entities, developing country counterparts, and civil society organizations would be an advantage.
  • Must be able to think analytically, strategically, and programmatically.
  • Must have proven ability to work in teams (within and across), both as a team leader and team member.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. Second language (French, Spanish, Arabic) is highly desirable.
  • Must be able to work in a multicultural environment, and also independently on complex tasks on tight deadlines.
  • Working knowledge of the operations of the GEF preferable


Deliver Results for Clients:

  • Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable
  • Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients
  • Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes. Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries
  • Collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect
  • Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due. Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes
  • Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind

​​Lead and Innovate:

  • Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions
  • Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context
  • Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge:

  • Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners
  • Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others
  • Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff
  • Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks

​​Make Smart Decisions:

  • Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy
  • Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long term implications of decisions 
  • Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached