Associate (Natural Infrastructure Initiative & Cities4Forests)
The Natural Infrastructure Initiative and Cities4Forests seek a full-time Associate with financial expertise to support the implementation and scaling of nature-based solutions for water quality, flood control, drought mitigation, recreation, biodiversity, and climate resilience, particularly in, around, and upstream in the watersheds of cities. Areas of focus will include developing and applying financing strategies, engaging financial institutions, building the capacity of project developers and other key stakeholders, and helping projects leverage resources across broad partnerships.
In this role, you will focus half of your time with a global focus as part of Cities4Forests and half your time advancing this work in Latin America. You will report to the Natural Infrastructure Senior Associate and collaborate closely with the Director of the Natural Infrastructure Initiative and Cities4Forests, as well as other team members, senior management, and external partners.
You will have exemplary finance and strategic skills, project management skills, an ability to cultivate and manage relationships with external partners, an ability to communicate highly technical material to investors and other audiences, and an ability to juggle multiple tasks and deadlines while setting and delivering on clear priorities. You will also have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Natural Infrastructure & Cities4Forests Finance (70%)
- Scope out investment-worthy natural infrastructure projects, design financing strategies, and assist with brokering investment deals that deliver environmental and financial results.
- Provide research, guidance, and recommendations on the development and application of innovative financing mechanisms, public policies, and institutional arrangements that unlock increased funding for natural infrastructure in Latin America and to support Cities4Forests cities worldwide to implement green infrastructure projects.
- Work with stakeholders and collaboratives in financial institutions, the public sector, private sector, and civil society to identify and prepare natural infrastructure projects for investment.
- Work with the Cities4Forests team to introduce cities to new business models and financing approaches for nature-based solutions.
- Authoring or co-authoring knowledge products (e.g. reports, briefs, data products).
- Reviewing knowledge products written by other WRI researchers yearly.
Outreach and Communication (15%)
- Develop presentation materials and tool kits and communicate WRI research and analysis with external audiences and represent WRI at high-level events.
- Author or co-author blog posts, case studies and other outreach and communications materials.
- Design and lead WRI roundtables, workshops, working groups or other convenings with key stakeholders.
- Support in-country capacity building efforts by leading the development of new analysis, convening key parties, and providing training on natural infrastructure approaches.
Fundraising and Operations (15%)
- Contribute to fundraising including cross-programmatic concept notes and proposals.
- Leverage and maintain existing relationship with funding partners and donors.
- Develop strategy and steward outcomes for some project components.
- Collaborate and work closely with project staff on the broader Natural Infrastructure and Cities4Forests teams, manage interns and consultants, and provide mentorship and guidance to partners.
- Develop relationships and manage multi-sector partnerships to produce project outcomes.
- Manage some components of business operations, such as budgeting, developing agreements and contracts, performance monitoring, and reporting for relevant project components.
- Master’s degree preferred, or bachelor's degree with two+ additional years of relevant experience in Finance, Business Administration, Public Policy, Environmental Management, or related field.
- Minimum of 3 years of work experience and recognized expertise in ecosystem services, natural infrastructure, or conservation finance.
- Demonstrated success in developing innovative financing strategies and/or brokering deals for environmental projects or relevant transactions.
- Relevant experience in Latin America preferred.
- Excellent English and Spanish speaking and writing skills, Portuguese language skills a plus.
- Ability to carefully analyze and address the scientific, political, social, and institutional conditions that influence natural infrastructure project success.
- Excellent research skills with strong financial analysis capabilities, experience authoring decision-relevant knowledge products a plus.
- Demonstrated ability to manage partnerships to advance environmental outcomes.
- Experience engaging and convening with financial institutions, investors, business, government, and/or civil society sectors.
- Demonstrated success in fundraising on relevant topics.
- Strong oral communications skills and experience presenting at major relevant events.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues at all levels inside and outside the organization.
- Extremely well-organized, efficient, responsible, self-motivated. Unequivocally committed to delivering work on time.
- Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner.
- Comfort with portions of the team and management being based remotely.
- Ability to work calmly and enthusiastically in a dynamic and diverse environment.
- Flexibility to travel.
- US work authorization is required for all WRI US opportunities. WRI is unable to offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.
How to Apply
Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. Only applications in English will be considered.