Climate Change Specialist (Adaptation)

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Washington, DC, US


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The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF is the designated financial mechanism for five international environmental conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. 

The Climate Change Adaptation Program at the GEF is supported by the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which are designated as part of the operating entity of the financial mechanism for the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC. These two funds are supported by voluntary contributions from donors, and are entrusted to play a key role to strengthen developing countries’ resilience to climate change. Resources for the GEF Trust Fund, which finances other GEF areas, are replenished every four years.

Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing close to $20 billion in grants for over 4,700 projects in 170 countries. Through the LDCF and the SCCF, the GEF has financed approximately 350 climate adaptation projects and programs worth approximately $1.8 billion.

The GEF Secretariat is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the decision of the LDCF/SCCF Council and the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to UNFCCC regarding the funds; formulation of operational policies; review and processing of projects for CEO and Council approval; management of the portfolio of LDCF and SCCF projects; coordination with the Implementing Agencies, the Trustee and the Convention Secretariat; and reporting to the Council and the Convention.

The GEF Secretariat, construed for administrative purposes as a Vice Presidential Unit (VPU) within the World Bank, has approximately 100 professional and administrative and client support (ACS) staff. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Programs Unit in the GEF Secretariat is looking for a Climate Change Specialist for the Climate Change Adaptation Program. The Climate Change Specialist will be supervised by the Director of Programs, and work directly with and report to the Lead Environmental Specialist. S/he will have the following duties and responsibilities:

• Manage reviews of project proposals submitted for support to the LDCF/SCCF by applying the agreed project review criteria, along with providing guidance on major issues relevant to the development of successful projects, and assist in the overall preparation of Work Programs to be presented to LDCF/SCCF council.

• Conduct climate adaptation portfolio monitoring based on the Updated Results Architecture for Adaptation to Climate Change under the LDCF and SCCF, analyze data on project portfolio effectiveness, impacts, level of innovation, and best practices, and also keep abreast of pending project development, performance and resource allocations to aim for higher impact. Facilitate the inclusion of LDCF/SCCF portfolio analysis in relevant GEF documents.

• Participate in the organization of the LDCF/SCCF Council, including analyses of portfolio performance, Work Program, resource access, and secretariat budget to prepare Council documents and other background materials.

• Contribute to the GEF-8 replenishment/strategy development exercise, including researching and drafting programming strategy elements of relevance to climate change adaptation, with a view to encourage mainstreaming of climate adaptation and resilience.

• Participate in outreach and maintain regular communications with LDCF/SCCF donors and other stakeholders, including recipient countries, UNFCCC, Agencies, and constituency groups.

• Assist in the development, review, clearance, and submissions of the official GEF report to UNFCCC COP, in coordination with relevant team members and GPU management.

• Participate in the coordinated engagement initiatives between the GEF and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), including organization of regular Secretariat consultations, country outreach, and support for development of major initiatives programming to be supported by the two funds.

• Provide backstopping to the Director of Programs and Lead Environmental Specialist, and carry out additional technical and policy-relevant tasks as assigned.

Selection Criteria

• At least a master’s degree in technical disciplines in the field of environmental engineering, environmental and natural resource management, climate change, and policy.

• 5 years of directly relevant national and international experiences. Experience with least developed countries an advantage. 

• Excellent quantitative analytical skills, with spreadsheets, databases, technical writing, and web-based computerized analytical skills required. Experience with innovative financial instruments and private sector investments desirable.

• Broad understanding of scientific, economic, social, and political dimensions of climate change, and demonstrated expertise on key themes of relevance for climate change adaptation required. Knowledge of relevant UNFCCC negotiations and decisions desirable.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Knowledge of Arabic, French, Spanish, and/or other United Nations official languages would also be an advantage. 

• Proven ability to function as a team player, to work across institutional boundaries, and to collaborate with other entities. 

• An understanding of GEF’s policies and operations an advantage.





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