Local recruitment: Senior Policy Advisor (Environment, Conflict, and Peace Unit)

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Winnipeg, MB, Canada 🇨🇦

Ottawa, ON, Canada 🇨🇦

Toronto, ON, Canada 🇨🇦

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 220 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

IISD’s Resilience program is a multidisciplinary team of policy researchers who work with governments, civil society, communities, and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks. The program is built around research and action in three core pillars: People, Planning, and Nature. Work under these three pillars focuses on preparing for a different or uncertain future, making sure different genders and social groups influence and benefit from resilience investments, and harnessing the role of ecosystems to help communities manage climate and conflict risk. The program hosts the Secretariat for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, an initiative focused on accelerating adaptation planning and action in developing countries.

Within this, the Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding (ECP) team explores and analyzes the complex connections between environmental issues and conflict. Environmental factors themselves are rarely, if ever, the sole cause of violence. But natural resource management and other environmental factors are linked to conflicts in a variety of ways often obscured by more visible issues, such as ethnic tension and power politics. We focus on what can be done about these connections across the three pillars of People, Planning, and Nature so that policy-makers and practitioners working in conflict-affected and high-risk areas can support the transition from fragility to peace.

Position Description

The Senior Policy Advisor will be responsible for the development, implementation, and communication of original research and technical support related to the Resilience program’s portfolio of work on ECP. They will contribute to the strategic direction of the ECP team, and the Resilience program more broadly, through the identification of opportunities, challenges, and solutions for advancing and growing our work at the intersection of environmental and climate change, natural resource management conflict, and peacebuilding in the Global South. Within this, they will advance associated work on adaptation planning in conflict-affected and high-risk areas via the NAP Global Network, as well as conflict-sensitive ecosystem-based adaptation in and around protected areas.

Main Responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Work with other senior staff within the Resilience program to support the operation and expansion of IISD’s work on ECP in a way that aligns with the strategic direction of the Resilience team and the priorities of partners and donors.
  • Engage with team members to recognize challenges, opportunities, and solutions relating to the ECP work and to the Resilience program more broadly; help define and execute appropriate response strategies.
  • Participate in the wider work of the Institute to strengthen IISD’s ability to achieve its mission; work with other senior staff to build synergies across IISD.


  • Lead the delivery of high-quality primary and secondary research, knowledge products, communication materials, and other project outputs that accurately synthesize and assess research findings.
  • Support institutional collaboration by serving as a peer reviewer, advisory committee member, or thematic expert on projects and deliverables throughout the organization.
  • Remain up to date in both specific and general areas of expertise related to conflict, peacebuilding, climate change, natural resource management, and biodiversity loss, in both the practice and policy realms.

Operations and Team Management

  • Lead and oversee the implementation of ECP projects from beginning to end. This includes taking lead responsibility for identifying funding opportunities and partnerships, proposal writing, designing and managing team work plans, delivery of project outputs, and coordination of contracting, communications, and reporting, all while working closely with the project management and program finance teams.
  • Supervise and collaborate with policy analysts working on ECP, supporting their professional development.
  • Ensure project compliance with IISD’s policies and that projects are actively monitored against risks, including financial, legal, and reputational risks.
  • Support systems to measure ECP’s contribution to the progress and impact of the Resilience program and IISD, as well as IISD-wide annual forecasting and budget planning processes.


  • Develop relevant materials to communicate the work of the Resilience program, particularly its ECP work, to targeted audiences in collaboration with the IISD Communications team.
  • Represent the Resilience program and IISD to clients, stakeholders, and policy-makers, including at national and international forums, conferences, and public events.
  • Share research results through webinars, workshops, conferences, and other events.

Business Development and Donor Relationships

  • Work with other IISD personnel on the identification of new fundraising opportunities and the development of new project ideas and proposals.
  • Contribute to the intellectual leadership of IISD by conceptualizing, developing, and seeking funding for research based on existing work or new ideas, as well as project management opportunities.
  • Draft and submit entire or large parts of proposals and other business development materials.
  • Collaborate with partners in government, the private sector, and research and non-governmental organizations, as well as with consultants, to advance IISD’s strategic objectives related to peacebuilding, resilience, and climate change adaptation.
  • Build relationships with existing program funders and participate in donor engagement and networking activities for the program.
  • Strengthen IISD’s involvement in networks and initiatives within Canada and internationally, aligned with its objectives.

Reporting Relationship:

The Senior Policy Advisor shall report to the Associate Vice President, Resilience.  One Policy Analyst will report to the Senior Policy Advisor role.

We are looking for the following experience and requirements:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field of the social sciences or humanities (e.g., geography, political science, economics, sociology) or in another similar area.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience, with a focus on: conflict, peacebuilding, natural resource management, migration, resilience, and climate change adaptation. Work experience in developing countries or conflict-affected states would be considered a strong asset.
  • Strong research skills and analytical capacity, and ability to become familiar with new topics quickly and draw links between emerging issues and established areas of work.
  • Fluent in written and spoken English. Fluency in French a strong asset.
  • Experience supervising, advising and/or mentoring other team members.
  • Excellent writing skills and strong oral communication skills; capacity to clearly and succinctly communicate policy issues and research findings to different audiences via different platforms.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, with a keen interest in identifying and pursuing opportunities, a track record in fundraising for policy research projects of different sizes, and experience in managing donor relationships.
  • Strong project management and demonstrated organizational and planning skills, including an ability to coordinate complex, multi-partner projects in multicultural contexts.
  • Strong understanding of current global trends and developments in the sector.
  • Capacity to develop budgets and oversee the tracking of financial performance.
  • Strong interpersonal, team-building, and networking skills.
  • Availability to travel within Canada and internationally up to 30% of the time.

Applicants must have the authorization to work in their country of residence with a valid passport.

Additional Details:

Location:                            Canada (Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg)

Term:                                  Full-time

Salary:                               $67,000 – $97,000 CAD (salary commensurate with experience and locations)

Start Date:                         As soon as possible

Closing date:                     April 13, 2023 at midnight EST

Please apply to only one posting, as this role is posted to multiple cities. 

Application Procedure 

All submissions must be in English. Accommodations for job applicants with disabilities are available on request.

Applications will only be accepted through Bamboo HR. 

Please include the following:

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for 1 year.

IISD has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires employees who are required or choose to be at an office or participate in in-person team events or in-person meetings/events to be fully vaccinated. Anyone unable to be fully vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from being fully vaccinated, can request a reasonable accommodation.

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQIA+ to apply for this position. Preference will be given to the equity-deserving groups during the hiring process. We offer reasonable accommodations in our recruitment process and seek applicants’ advice on how best to accommodate their needs. Please self-identify and answer our employment equity questionnaire on our applicant tracking system when you apply.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development