Senior Climate Change Specialist

The World Bank
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
8-9 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


About the World Bank Group:

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 Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism created in 1991 to provide grant and concessional funds to recipient countries for projects and programs that address biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, degradation of international waters, land and forests, ozone depletion, elimination or reduction of persistent organic pollutants and mercury, all within the framework of sustainable development. The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, GEF is the designated financial mechanism for five international environmental conventions: The Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $14.5 billion in grants for over 3,600 projects in over 165 countries. Pledges for GEF activities in the seventh replenishment period of 2018 to 2022, called GEF-7, reached approximately $4.1 billion. The GEF Secretariat, construed for administrative purposes as a Vice Presidential Unit (VPU) within the World Bank, has approximately 100 professional and administrative and client support staff. The Secretariat is seeking a Senior Climate Change and Urban Specialist to support the GEF Programs Unit with the implementation of a key program dealing with the flagship program on Sustainable Cities and with a series of program management, analytical and policy needs along with other climate change mitigation projects seeking GEF funding.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The GEF Secretariat is looking for a dynamic and experienced Senior Climate Change and Urban Specialist, with a passion for low carbon urban development, clean energy, zero-emission mobility, and other innovative climate mitigation technologies and frameworks. The Senior Climate Change and Urban Specialist will have a key role in the implementation of the GEF Sustainable Cities Program initiated in GEF-6 and expanded in the GEF-7 replenishment and beyond, including in the delivery of the Global Platform on Sustainable Cities (GPSC). The GPSC brings cities and global expertise together through a forum where they can tap into best practices and innovations for sustainable urban planning and share their experience with others. The GPSC helps cities better capture opportunities to increase the productivity of existing urban infrastructure, and incorporate innovations with the potential to revamp how they are developed and operate across a range of areas, including evidence-based spatial planning, decarbonization of urban infrastructure, building resilience, financing solutions for urban sustainability, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, and conservation of globally important biodiversity in urban landscapes. The ideal candidate should have a workable understanding of the complexity of the GEF partnership arrangement and of the dynamics of a complex set of GEF client countries. The candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, experience with climate change mitigation, clean technology projects and urban planning in developing countries, along with political acumen and the capacity to work effectively on sensitive issues with senior management, the GEF Council and across different implementing agencies and partners of the GEF. Reporting to the GPU Manager, the Sr. Climate Change and Urban Specialist will provide support to the GEF Programs Unit and work across regions and thematic focal areas, as required. Project Review and Regional Team(s) Participation Under the supervision of the Manager of the GEF Programs Unit, the selected candidate will:

1. Serve as the focal point in the Secretariat in the engagement with sustainable cities expert networks and be responsible for delivery of the GEF-7 Sustainable Cities Impact Program. Engage with the Global Platform on Sustainable Cities (GPSC), in particular for the areas of integrated sustainable urban planning, clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and electric mobility, as well as for the application of methodologies for the estimation of the GHG emission reduction outcomes.

2. Participate in one or several Regional Teams and contribute in the continued implementation of the GEF Programs Unit (GPU) business model including country resource programming, updates, and adjustments, liaising as necessary with GEF Agencies and Countries.

3. Support the management of the GEF’s portfolio of ongoing projects through implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities with GEF Agencies and countries, and contribute to the development of strategies and programs to enhance GEF’s impact.

4. Manage reviews of project proposals to be financed by the GEF Trust Fund, according to the agreed project review criteria, provide guidance on major issues involved in the development of project proposals and assist in overall preparation of work programs to be presented to council.

5. Participate in the GEF work within Regional Teams on GEF issues, including participation in country dialogues, expanded constituency workshops, and the GEF Country Support Program.

6. As required, represent the GEF at a senior level at selected international; political, scientific and operational forums.

7. Provide cross-support for climate change mitigation activities across other GEF focal areas and programs, including the use of non-grant instruments for financing global environmental benefits.

8. Provide thought leadership across the organization on thematic areas relevant for the GEF-7 Climate Change Mitigation (CCM) Programming Directions , in particular on electric mobility, clean energy, distributed energy solutions and/or energy efficiency.

9. Participate in the political outreach to relevant countries in international fora, with the UNFCCC and other related international instruments.

10. Provide quality inputs to the CEO and GPU Director on country and thematic briefings, talking points, speeches, analytical/strategic documents.

11. Support the design and development of knowledge management products, brochures, outreach and communication material, and provide inputs on the revision of operational processes and procedures, as requested.

12. Support the development and delivery of GEF reports, Council documents, engagement plans, and other work products related to the Climate Change Mitigation Focal Area, as needed.

13. Undertake additional duties as required by Director and Manager of the GEF Programs Unit.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria: 

• The candidate should possess a master’s with at least eight years of professional experience, or a Ph.D., with seven years of experience in the field of climate change, natural resources management/environmental sciences, economics, or other relevant discipline. 

• The candidate should demonstrate an excellent knowledge of global climate change financing architecture, and have experience managing climate change projects and programs, preferably within an international context. 

• The candidate should have demonstrable technical skills in the area of clean energy solutions and emission reduction projects, as well as a good track record in structuring, implementing and/or evaluating projects and programs related to one or more of the following areas: 

o Electric mobility and sustainable urban transportation solutions; 

o Distributed energy resources and solutions for energy access, including energy storage; and 

o Integrated energy efficiency solutions, such as district heating and cooling. • In addition to the required skills above, the following skills would be desirable: 

o Experience with GHG emission reductions accounting methodologies; 

o Experience with integrating climate mitigation solutions, such as low-carbon energy and sustainable transportation, into urban planning processes; 

o Experience with projects and programs in Asia, Latin America and/or Africa. 

• Ability to deal with a range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, private sector entities, developing country counterparts, and NGOs would be an advantage. 

• Ability to think analytically, strategically, and programmatically. 

• Excellent technical and working knowledge in various sectors. 

• Proven record of constructive and positive engagement in leading a program and policy dialogue with client Governments, donors and other stakeholders; 

• Proven ability to work in teams, both as a team leader and team member 

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. Second language (French, Spanish or Portuguese) is highly desirable. 

• Ability to work independently on complex tasks on tight deadlines. 

• Demonstrated ability to function as a team player within and across teams. 

• Ability to work in a multicultural environment in an international setting; 

• Working knowledge of the operations of the Global Environment Facility and its Agencies is preferable. Required competencies: 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 GEF corporate perspective in mind Lead and Innovate 

• Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions 

• Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of GEF’s values and mission 

• Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context Create, Apply and Share Knowledge 

• Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and lessons learned from across the GEF, clients, and partners 

• Is known across the GEF in their subject area and is sought out by 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 GEF 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 GEF’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