(Senior) Environment and Social Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, DC, US



Do you want to build a career that is full of meaning and impact? The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. Visit www.ifc.org

This is an exciting opportunity to join a high-performing team tasked with creating a new and impactful environment and social oversight department. The Environmental & Social (E&S) Policy and Risk Department (CES) was created in July 2019 and reports directly to the CEO.  Seeded with 12 seasoned staff, the department is expected to grow to around 30 by the end of the financial year. CES has a mandate to enhance IFC E&S risk management and is seeking an experienced E&S Specialist to provide risk management related to IFC’s FI business.

CES is responsible for:

  • Risk: providing E&S policy and risk oversight of the high-risk projects in IFC’s investment and advisory pipeline, and high-risk and non-performing projects in IFC’s investment portfolio;
  • Grievance Response: providing support and training to operational teams in responding to complaints associated with IFC’s clients as well as in responding to the Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO), IFC’s independent accountability mechanism.
  • Policy: maintaining IFC’s E&S policies, procedures and systems;
  • Knowledge and Learning: developing knowledge products and training programs, including accreditation for IFC staff;

CES works in close collaboration with IFC’s investment departments and the ESG Sustainability Advice and Solutions Department (CEG) which has 150 professionals and is housed in IFC Operations. CES provides an independent review in the management of E&S risk and the implementation of IFC’s E&S policies and procedures.

CES is looking for a dynamic, motivated, and detail-oriented professional with at least 10 years of relevant experience to support its risk function in the space of IFC’s global investments in Financial Intermediaries (FIs). The selected candidate will support Principal FI Risk Officer and other Regional Risk Officers (as needed) and will report to the Manager, E&S Risk Management Unit.

Duties and Accountabilities

Key accountabilities include:

New business (about 40% of time):  Reviewing project concept documents, including E&S category, scope of proposed E&S diligence, E&S requirements, contextual risk, etc. and support the Principal FI Risk Officer with reviewing each processing stage of high E&S risk FI transactions. This may include:

  • understanding the asset class exposure, nature of the financial market supported and financial investment structure, the extent of the FI’s leverage and access to information; 
  • identifying E&S risks and any gaps in proposed E&S risk management approaches;
  • advising on structuring, appropriate mitigation measures and contractual alignment of interest to address risks and impacts;
  • participating in select Investment Review Meetings;
  • opining on risk and mitigants as disclosed by the teams in project disclosure documents, board papers, E&S provisions in legal agreements, etc.;
  • capturing and codify precedents and benchmarks across transactions (see Policy function); and
  • contribute to development of high-quality work products that clearly and logically frame and concisely communicate risks and mitigants.

Portfolio (about 40% of time): Portfolio monitoring, particularly reviewing clients’ reporting, investment team E&S monitoring reports (and supporting documentation), draft portfolio reviews provided by CEG and performing independent analysis of IFC’s portfolio to:

  • maintain a WatchList of high risk, non-performing or complaint generating projects;
  • coordinate with CEG staff to build a clear picture of the issues associated with each WatchList client and review recovery action plans proposed by the investment team for agreement with the client;
  • perform assurance/audit reviews of IFC diligence and monitoring work quality on selected projects;
  • conduct FI sector specific portfolio analysis to identify and assess trends;
  • identify issues that are systemic, thematic, or of policy nature and propose policy adjustments as needed;
  • contribute to regional supervision program reviews;

Policy and Knowledge Management (about 20 % of time): Updating policy documents and developing guidance and procedures based on lessons learned in the new business, risk and grievance response functions, in particular support the development of new E&S risk management approaches/standards applicable to FI investments, guidance and knowledge products and liaison with other DFIs on emerging issues and consistency of approaches across the financial sector. Communicate and share, in coordination with CEG FI Regional Leads, information on FI practice across CEG FI specialists, including organizing and delivering training.

Selection Criteria

  • Minimum of ten years of relevant professional experience, including private sector experience in sustainability and E&S risk management, and relevant experience in the financial sector;
  • Good knowledge of different financial markets products and financial institution types to be able to appropriately structure E&S risk management approaches and requirements commensurate with the level of risk, access to information, and leverage associated with real sector activities supported;
  • Familiarity and proven experience in managing E&S issues related to complex transactions involving financial intermediaries and real sector;
  • Knowledge of IFC’s Sustainability Framework and Performance Standards, including IFC’s Interpretation Note of FIs;
  • Strong analytical skills, ability to think strategically, analyze and synthesize diverse information sources, and draw conclusions from sometimes limited data;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously under tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to changing circumstances, organize and prioritize deliverables, and maintain attention to detail;
  • Ability to communicate effectively and concisely in spoken and written English is essential.  Additional language skills are desirable;
  • Excellent interpersonal, listening and communication skills including the ability to relate well with a wide range of internal and external parties and develop solutions in potentially tense or conflicting situations;
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural team, influence and negotiate point of view within teams;
  • High personal integrity and emotional intelligence, with demonstrated ability to handle sensitive matters in a discreet and respectful manner. Diplomatic approach and calm under pressure;




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