Africa Regional Senior Manager (Urban Water Resilience)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Addis Ababa or Nairobi, , XV

Job Summary

In this role, you will help city leaders advance urban water resilience strategies by activating partnerships to support technical assistance, and by supporting knowledge sharing and ambition building within the cohort of city members. Though you will focus initially on the Urban Water Resilience initiative, you will also contribute to the strategic growth of the WRI Africa office, working with colleagues across programs as a thematic lead for the region.

Job Responsibilities 

Strategy development

  • Work with colleagues in WRI Africa Regional Office and WRI global headquarters to refine a multi-year programmatic strategy to increase urban water resilience in African cities, including by consulting with regional stakeholders and potential partners
  • Support implementation of the strategy in collaboration with WRI DC and Africa team as well as core partners of the program

Partnerships and project governance

  • Develop and manage partnerships with a cohort of city and national government actors – identifying priority actions for increasing urban water resilience, and mobilizing political commitments
  • Develop and oversee strategic partnerships and sub-agreements, particularly local and regional actors


  • Design and facilitate a series of workshops, roundtables, labs, webinars, or other events with project partners to support knowledge sharing, capacity development and ambition building
  • Secure commitments from appropriate city leaders, agency leads and other local stakeholders to enable city level assessments

Research and thought leadership

  • Work closely with research staff to ensure research and analysis is high-quality, timely, and high-impact for target audiences
  • Work with WRI communications staff to communicate WRI research and analysis with external audiences
  • Speak at senior level conferences, workshops and other events  

Job Qualifications  

  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant, full-time work experience with 3 additional experience in a leadership position
  • Master’s degree (or bachelor’s degree with 2 additional years of relevant experience)
  • Demonstrable previous experience in leading original projects, products or research activities  
  • Demonstrated track record of accomplishments in advancing sustainable cities, climate resilience, and/or water-wise development
  • Experience working with city governments in Africa and knowledge of urban development issues
  • Experience managing partnerships and contracts
  • Experience with leading philanthropic fundraising (or business development)  
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including presentation experience  
  • Willingness to work effectively under pressure and take on new challenges as required  
  • Ability to think creatively and resolve complex, multi-disciplinary challenges  
  • Detail-oriented, organized and independent thinker  
  • Fluency in English required and second language (preferred)
  • Ability to travel 30% of the time

How to Apply 

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Program Overview

The WRI Africa Regional Office was established in 2017 with a thematic focus on Forests, Water and Cities. In 2020 WRI began a three-year program (2020 – 2022) to build a new initiative for urban water resilience in Africa. Our mission is to help cities in Africa overcome critical water and climate challenges to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. This program is a joint effort of the WRI Water Program and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

WRI will help cities address these challenges by convening city leaders, regional actors, financial institutions, and experts to make commitments toward a new urban water resilience vision. With partners, will providing technical assistance to help move city priorities and commitments forward.

During 2020 we will design and launch an accelerator program, building from research and extensive consultation. We will also begin working with cities to implement urban water resilience assessments, develop action plans, and begin providing technical assistance. Our goal is to work with a cohort of at least six cities in the first three years.