Senior Water Resources Management Specialist

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


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.


Established in 1944, the World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data. Innovation and partnership bond the five institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries.

The World Bank Group (WBG)’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity reflect a new global landscape: one in which developing countries have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation.

Context & Strategy

As the world’s largest multilateral source of financing for water in developing countries, the World Bank is working closely with partners to achieve “A Water-Secure World for All,” by sustaining water resources, delivering services and building resilience.

Water is at the center of economic and social development: it is vital to maintain health, grow food, generate energy, manage the environment, and create jobs. Water availability and management impacts whether poor girls are educated, whether cities are healthy places to live, and whether growing industries or poor villages can withstand the impacts of floods or droughts.

Water security is among the top global risks in terms of development impact. It is also an integral part to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The world will not be able to meet the sustainable development challenges of the 21st century — human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, and energy security — without improving management of water resources and ensuring access to reliable water and sanitation services.

Of the 2.1 billion people who do not have access to safely managed water, 844 million do not have even a basic drinking water service. Of the 4.5 billion people who do not have safely managed sanitation, 2.3 billion still do not have basic sanitation services. As a result, every year, 361,000 children under 5 years of age die due to diarrhea related to poor sanitation and contaminated water, which are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid. Water supply and sanitation is just one aspect of the broader water agenda. 

With a portfolio of water investments of US$41.4 billion (US$29.4 billion of water-sector projects and US$12 billion of multi-sector projects related to water), the World Bank is uniquely positioned to achieve the vision of a water secure world for all, developing and sharing global knowledge while amplifying the impact of lending through technical assistance on the ground.

The Water Global Practice is now hiring a Senior Water Resources Management Specialist with a focus on groundwater to be located in the Global Water Solutions Unit. The position will be based In Washington D.C. and report to the Practice Manager, Global Water Solutions.

Duties and Accountabilities

The focus of the position will include groundwater management lending, policy dialogue, and analytics.

The senior water resources specialist will play a key role in the strategic, operational and advisory work of the Water Global Practice in locations throughout the world. He/ She will have primary responsibilities  to lead and provide technical inputs to the preparation, appraisal, negotiation and supervision of complex water projects, especially ground water related projects.  S/he will actively participate in overseeing implementation of water operations with the aim to enhance quality and accelerate implementation. 

The senior water resources specialist should lead an active Bank policy dialogue with clients and other stakeholders on strategic groundwater issues and implementation of the Bank’s ongoing water sector reforms.  He/ She  will also maintain sufficient knowledge of individual operations and activities (including those not managed by him/her) to be able to identify and help resolve project-specific or systemic issues. 

While the primary focus of the position is operational, as needed, the candidate will be required to lead and contribute to analytical and advisory work. This includes supporting the development of national and regional analytical activities and advising governments. 

In performing the job duties, the senior water resources specialist would need to forge partnerships with organizations and individuals which can both better inform the Bank's groundwater strategies, and also result in higher quality implementation and impact of Bank-supported programs. This will require effective communication and outreach to key stakeholders including client governments, academia, civil society organizations, media, other development partners and other Bank units.

Selection Criteria

  • A Master’s degree in a field relevant to groundwater management, including civil and environmental engineering, water management, natural resources management, economics, or other related fields, with a specialization on groundwater;
  • A minimum of ten years relevant professional experience in groundwater management.  The candidate’s track record should combine both engineering/technical expertise as well as knowledge of institutional and economic groundwater issues;
  • Experience in groundwater management and regional challenges in World Bank client countries;
  • Proven record in coordinating and/or managing a large, complex, multi-disciplinary program on water or natural resources.  Program management experience in international institutions/companies is a plus;
  • Experience in leading teams and demonstrated qualities of leadership. Experience with multi-sectoral teams particularly desirable;
  • A track record of good external client relations skills at all levels of seniority;
  • High level of energy, initiative and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, in particular ability to effectively dialogue with and relate to clients and stakeholders;
  • Proficiency in English and French is essential.

WBG Competencies

  • Client Orientation - Translates insight into practice across disciplines, hierarchies, geographies and organizational units in service of clients.
  • Drive for Results - Ensures successful implementation and delivery of key programs and projects, ensuring that outputs positively impact results.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Creates a team climate of practical and innovative action, facilitating collaboration between competing interests and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Demonstrates command of all forms of communication and presents in a clear, objective and engaging manner in high-level settings; ensures knowledge is captured and shared in a variety of ways.