Program Manager

2030 Water Resources Group

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Job #:req21104
Organization:World Bank
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type:International Recruitment
Location:Washington, DC,United States
Required Language(s):English
Preferred Language(s):French,Spanish
Closing Date:2/23/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

The 2030 Water Resource Group (2030 WRG) was launched in 2010 through an informal collaboration housed at the World Economic Forum between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and several companies, including Nestlé, PepsiCo, and The Coca Cola Company, as well as civil society organizations, such as WWF. 

A unique global public-private partnership, the 2030 WRG’s mission is to achieve transformational impact on the ground at scale and help countries achieve water security by 2030 (SDG 6), by facilitating collective action on water between government, private sector, and civil society (SDG 17). A key tool used by 2030 WRG to meet its objective is the multi-stakeholder platform (MSP), which is a convening forum for governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and companies to work together to achieve a water-secure future.

At the request of national authorities, the 2030 WRG works at a country level by establishing national MSPs that facilitate open discussion, foster partnerships, and catalyze change in water-stressed countries. The MSPs are informed by an objective, fact-based technical-economic analysis of the water situation a country faces in relation to its growth plans, sponsored by 2030 WRG. Informed by this analysis, stakeholders in the MSP then discuss and develop proposals at national and sub-national levels to address key sector constraints and identify additional analysis requirements and consultation processes to help shape policy reforms and relevant investment programs. 

To operationalize its agenda, the 2030 WRG theory of change is based on the need to ACT: to Analyze, Convene and Transform. 2030 WRG raises awareness through analysis, triggers momentum by convening discussions and initiatives, and then catalyzes and supports transformation. At the same time, to facilitate global knowledge sharing across countries, 2030 WRG interventions are aligned around five thematic areas: transforming value chains (sustainable agriculture), promoting circular economy approaches in water management, water and climate change (both mitigation and adaptation), disruptive technologies and governance reforms.

In 2012, the IFC agreed to develop a more formal structure for the 2030 WRG and offered to host 2030 WRG within IFC as part of the World Bank Group. This included the creation of a Secretariat in the IFC, a Steering Committee, and a Governing Council. The 2030 WRG implemented its second phase, from 2014 to 2017, under these arrangements. During this period, 2030, WRG expanded its activities significantly. It now works in 14 countries/states, with others in the pipeline, and with over 800 partners from the public, private, and civil society sectors.

In June 2017, the 2030 WRG Governing Council agreed to move 2030 WRG from IFC to the World Bank’s Global Water Practice for its next phase of activity to develop synergies, where relevant, to scale 2030 WRG’s activities and impact by leveraging the analytical, advisory and public/private investment portfolio at the country level, as well as to tap into the global knowledge and partnership programs across the diverse sectors of the World Bank and IFC.

The Water Global Practice (GP), housed in the Vice-Presidency of Sustainable Development, was set up in the World Bank Group in 2014. In line with  Sustainable Development Goal 6, the Water Global Practice integrates all aspects of water, including water resources management, service delivery in irrigation and water supply and sanitation, and building resilience to water shocks and risks. With a global team of over 350 professionals, the Water GP, in addition to being responsible for investment operations in client countries (with a current dedicated portfolio of $26 billion), also provides technical assistance based on its global knowledge acquired from countries across the world. Consistent with SDGs 6 and 17, the World Bank’s Water GP works towards global water security in partnership with client governments, other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society. 

After a decade of successful operations in 11 countries, with the MSP intervention model having been validated through external evaluations, 2030 WRG is ready to enter its next phase of leveraging significant transformational impact on the ground at scale while looking to expand to new countries. 

The World Bank, on behalf of the co-chairs of the Governing Council and Steering Board Members, is now seeking to recruit a globally recognized thought leader and highly experienced Program Manager for 2030 WRG to lead and accelerate the organizational shift towards achieving transformational impact at scale in participating countries.  

The Program Manager will report to the Global Director of the World Bank’s Water Global Practice while working with and being accountable to:

• A Steering Board of senior business, government, and civil society leaders who oversee and support the progress with the 2030 WRG Secretariat and who enlist the Secretariat’s support in helping them structure and deliver various initiatives that meet broader 2030 WRG objectives.
• A Governing Council of Principals from across public, private and civil society stakeholders – particularly its co-chairs (currently, the Vice-President Sustainable Development Practice Group of the World Bank and the Chairman of Nestlé) with whom the Secretariat will share progress and seek strategic direction where necessary. The Governing Council meets annually to discuss progress and approve the strategic objectives of the 2030 WRG for the coming year.
• All 2030 WRG partners, including through their national country platform processes, and through the facilitation of more strategic working groups and other interest-driven activities.

The specific duties and accountabilities of the Program Manager will include, inter alia:

• Lead and motivate the 2030 WRG Secretariat and technical staff, presently consisting of several full time staff and consultants,

• Develop, refine, and oversee the Strategic Plan, in active consultation with World Bank management and Steering Board, and approval by the Governing Council. The Plan should incorporate a road map and results framework to achieve transformational impact on the ground at scale with milestones towards the goal of water security for partner countries by 2030.

• Develop a business plan through 2030, which would address starting new programs, supporting existing ones, and “graduating” the mature country programs into self-sustaining country partnership models, to allow for a focus on expansion to new countries.

• Oversee the implementation of 2030 WRG MSP programs and set the thematic agenda and knowledge exchange system across countries and regions.

• Supervise the production of high-caliber analytical products, e.g., hydro-economic analyses, and ensure that they are rigorously quality-assured following regular WBG procedures.

• Fundraise and bring in new partners, including funding partners at the global, regional, and local levels, to ensure the financial sustainability of an expanded program and effective budget management.

• Develop a strategy to leverage opportunities for resource mobilization at the country level, including tapping into World Bank Group and external Trust Funds. 

• Participate actively as a member of the Water Global Practice Leadership team (comprising all regional Practice Managers and Global Leads) and closely coordinate with all relevant groups in the World Bank and IFC.

• Strengthen 2030 WRG visibility, thought leadership, and impact communications globally. Engage with and maintain close ties with civil society, academia, and private sector partners at C-Suite levels. Build out different partnership formats and/or levels to be able to tap into a wider set of corporate and other relevant partnerships.

• More detailed responsibilities and priorities will be refined at the outset of employment and annually.

Selection Criteria

• Master’s or doctoral degree in Water Resources, Environment, Economics, Business strategy, and/or administration. 
• At least 15 years of international and country-level work experience in program management, financing/business development, or water and other environmental issues, with significant experience working across organizations and sectors.
• Clear understanding of the technical and policy drivers of the water sector and, in particular, the political economy of reform.
• Demonstrated track record of successfully leading large-scale transformational programs and delivering large-scale public-private partnership initiatives in water/sanitation/environment/sustainability/ resource security issues.
• Well-established networks among key individuals and organizations associated with the water, climate, and environment agenda, ideally across public, private, and civil society sector activities
• Proven ability to work with C-suite business leaders and leading experts in academia, Director-level staff in the World Bank Group or equivalent in other international organizations, senior-most government officials (at the Minister or Principal Secretary level), non-governmental organizations, as well as with representatives from grassroots organizations.
• Sound managerial skills, with proven capacity to recruit, manage and motivate team members in complex, highly decentralized, and matrixed organizational settings and manage budgets and work programs. 
• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills in English; proficiency in other languages desirable.
• Direct experience and/or familiarity with the current and potential country partners of 2030 WRG is highly desirable.

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.  Women and SSA/CR candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  Candidates with open-term appointments will retain their employment status if selected for this position. All others will be offered a 4-year term appointment. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development