Regional Team Leader (Environment, Energy, and Climate Change)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Bangkok, , TH


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work is carried out through a network of advisors and specialists located at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, to ensure that local knowledge and context specific expertise is linked to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP provides its policy advisory and programme support functions through the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains, in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and works closely with the Crisis Bureau (CB) that has the responsibility to guide and implement UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery.  

In line with its Strategic Plan, UNDP supports countries to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion through five inter-related areas of environment and climate work: (i) sustainable management of ecosystem goods and services; (ii) scaling up of climate change adaptation and mitigation; (iii) sustainable, affordable and accessible energy services; (iv) sustainable management of chemicals and waste; (v) improved water and ocean governance. These areas of work are fully aligned with the four environmental outputs of the Strategic Plan and are financed through various sources including the Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, and other bilateral/multilateral donors.

UNDP has specialized technical and policy advisory teams in New York, Addis Ababa, Geneva, Istanbul, Bangkok and Panama working to catalyze environmental and climate finance for climate-resilient, sustainable development. These teams provide support to UNDP country offices and work closely with staff in other Bureaus through the Global Policy Network to develop country capacities needed to design and implement regulatory and financial incentives, remove institutional and policy barriers, and create enabling policy framework that attract and drive public and private sector investment into sustainable development and the SDGs. In doing this, UNDP assists partner countries to access, combine, and sequence resources from a wide range of funds, financial instruments, and mechanisms.  

UNDP’s Environment, Climate Change and Energy work is organized into substantive technical teams (Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Water and Oceans, Food and Agriculture Systems, Energy and Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Chemicals & Waste, and Climate and Forests) with a Principal or Senior Technical Advisor (PTA/STA) being the team leader within each area. Each team leader supports and guides a team of Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) or Specialists (RTSs) as well as policy and programme advisors or specialists. As well as being a member of a technical team, each RTA/RTS is also a member of a regional team, which consists of RTAs/RTSs from all technical teams working together under the leadership of a Regional Team Leader and technical quality assurance of the Principal Technical Advisors. The regional teams are based in regional hubs from where they support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region.

The Government of Sweden, through Sida, has agreed to fund a four-year, USD$40m global Strategic Collaboration Programme designed to strengthen UNDP capacities to achieve its overall SD vision for poverty eradication through a more integrated, coherent approach to the environmental and climate dimensions of the UNDP Strategic Plan. Sida funds will be used to augment the delivery of programming and policy support to countries in ways that leverage synergies across UNDP’s technical service delivery options.

In line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan, the objectives of the Sida Strategic Collaboration Programme, and complementary initiatives, the Regional Team Leader position will oversee and guide, through matrix management, all of UNDP’s environment and climate change work supported by the Bangkok Regional Hub, irrespective of funding source. This includes demand-driven and integrated advisory services to UNDP country offices in the region and beyond and the portfolio of regional, interregional and global projects and programmes funded by environmental vertical funds as well as bilateral and multilateral donors. The expected focus for the Regional Team Leader position is to dedicate 80% of time to country support functions (50% on technical support areas and 30% on cross-thematic/integration support areas), with the other 20% of time spent on Global and Regional focused support. The Regional Team Leader will work across units by supporting greater integration of UNDP’s environment and climate portfolio and positioning UNDP as a solution provider to complex development challenges.

The Regional Team Leader for Environment, Energy, and Climate Change will coordinate and work closely with regional hub management, liaising across the RTAs, desk officers and with the SDG Integration Advisor, to promote policy and programme development and implementation that focuses on integrated work and innovative and scalable solutions across UNDP’s biodiversity and ecosystems, water and ocean, climate change, energy, chemicals, and green/circular economy portfolio integrated with other areas of work of UNDP in the People, Planet, Partnerships, Peace and Prosperity thematic areas. The role of the Regional Team Leader is to provide strategic and technical leadership to guide the policy and programming support to country offices across technical areas in an integrated manner. S/he will promote cross-unit collaboration within the Bangkok Regional Hub and globally as part of the UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN) to ensure integrated, holistic support to countries to tackle environmental, climate change, and energy-related challenges as a means to achieving the SDGs. The Regional Team Leader will matrix manage with global Principal and/or Senior Technical Advisors a team of RTAs/RTSs, policy and programme advisors/specialists, programme assistants, and administration staff to ensure that high quality technical guidance and support is delivered to policy and project development, implementation support and risk management. This includes support provided through UNDP country offices, and with other UN agencies, governments, inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, and donors.

The Regional Team Leader is also responsible for providing detailed knowledge related to sources of funds for environment work in the region, and assisting partners to obtain, use, and report on such funding, including Sida.  Currently, UNDP serves as an Implementing/Accredited Agency for a number of Environmental Vertical Funds: the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEFTF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the Adaptation Fund (AF). UNDP also works with various bilateral, multilateral, and sub-national donors and partners including governments, NGOs, and the private sector. 

The Regional Team Leader is expected to travel frequently. The Regional Team Leader position is rotational and may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different regional hub or HQ as needed. The Regional Team Leader position reports to the Executive Coordinator, GEF/Head, Natural Capital and the Environment, Energy and Climate Change in BPPS, with secondary reporting to the Regional Hub Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities

With the responsibility of overseeing, coordinating, and integrating a portfolio of more than $500M on environment, energy and climate change, the role of the Regional Team Leader for Environment, Energy, and Climate Change is to:

  1. Provide leadership, technical guidance and team management;
  2. Develop and advocate innovative policy and financial mechanisms;
  3. Identify, lead and direct the development of cutting edge strategic programmes, projects and activities, and mobilize resources and partnerships in support of these;
  4. Produce development impacts and results for country partners; and
  5. Facilitate effective learning and management of knowledge.

The key results expected from the Regional Team Leader for Environment, Energy, and Climate Change are:

1. Leadership, Management and Coordination (30%)

Provide technical guidance to UNDP’s environment, energy, and climate portfolio, and matrix manage a regional team of Regional Technical Advisors and Specialists and Programme Associates and consultants as necessary. The Regional Team Leader also represents UNDP in regional and national fora, liaises with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in government, local and international media, other international organizations, and in civil society. The Regional Team Leader promotes good cooperation and coordination among all technical programme and operations staff and between the various units of UNDP under the GPN, as well as external parties.

Key Results:  UNDP is widely recognized for the high quality of its programmes on environment, energy, and climate change in development. All UNDP environment, energy and climate change work is on the cutting edge of current knowledge and thinking and contributes to country priorities on environment, energy, and climate change in ways that advance sustainable development and poverty eradication and accelerate progress on the SDGs in line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan.

2. Policy Development, Dialogue and Advocacy (20%)

Respond to country office requests for policy support on environment, energy and climate change, with UNDP’s direct partners, and as a contribution to global debates on environment, climate change, and energy. This includes contributing to the development of complex policy positions at the interface of scientific knowledge and social, political and economic feasibility, wide ranging consultation with key players, the development of partnerships around positions and initiatives, and dialogue and advocacy.

Key Results:  UNDP is widely recognized for its ability to drive change and innovation in global, regional, and national level discourse on environment, energy and climate change and resultant policy making, and for its ability to fully integrate and leverage its environment portfolio towards progress on the SDGs overall. 

3. Programme Development and Resource Mobilization (10%)

Lead and direct the development of programmes, projects and other initiatives in consultation with, and in support of, PTAs. Identify funding and scaling sources and opportunities, as well as new and cutting-edge partnerships.  Negotiate funding and partnerships, including with the private sector, development banks and other development finance institutions. Identify, develop and roll-out of new business opportunities, business lines, and self-funding environment, energy and climate change service facilities.

Key Results:  Continued growth in the quality, scope, impact and influence of the UNDP environment, energy and climate change programme.

4. Delivery of Results and Impacts (30%)

Effective delivery of results and impacts through high quality strategic guidance, implementation support and risk management, including technical support, monitoring, risk mitigation, troubleshooting, evaluation, reporting, and dissemination of results and impacts. Support RTAs by working with desk officers, country office management, and regional hub management to accelerate implementation, including by identifying solutions for augmented implementation support.

Key Results:  UNDP widely recognized for its ability to efficiently deliver timely and responsive high quality, strategic, cutting-edge, results and impacts, including for its Climate Promise. 

5. Knowledge, Lessons and Tools Development (10%)

Analysis and synthesis of data, information, results and knowledge into papers, lessons, guidelines, methodologies, programming kits, training, and other new tools and codified knowledge products.

Key Results:  UNDP widely recognized as a source of cutting-edge tools, knowledge and information on environment, energy and climate change in development.

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow.
People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
Biodiversity and Eco-systems Management
  • Knowledge of conservation, sustainable use and access and benefit sharing of biodiversity, land, forests and oceans and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Climate Change (General)
  • Knowledge of climate change Including climate change international regime) and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations
Climate and Energy Financing
  • Knowledge of climate finance concepts and instruments, as well as market-based energy financing, and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Sustainable and Renewable Energy
  • Knowledge of sustainable consumption and production patterns and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Strategic Planning
  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission.
Resource Mobilization
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.
Advocacy and Representation
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).
Knowledge Management
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Collaboration and Partnership
  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (programmes/projects) or outside the organization and across a wide range of disciplines who can provide information, assistance, and support.  Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree (or higher) in Environmental Economics, Finance, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resource Management or other closely related field, ideally with a focus on biodiversity, water, oceans, renewable energy, and/or climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.  
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible relevant leadership in the fields of environment (biodiversity, water/oceans, energy, climate change mitigation/adaptation, and/or climate finance), strategic management, business development;
  • At least 7 years’ work experience with development-related organizations (especially multilateral development banks) and private sector;
  • Extensive experience with programme and project development, integrated planning and analysis, implementation, and management;
  • Experience in business systems, human resources management and budgeting; 
  • Proven track record of resource mobilization experience;
  • Experience programming with the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund at the global level or similar bilateral and multilateral funding sources;
  • Experience in the policy development processes associated with integrated environment and sustainable development issues; 
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Competency in other UN languages is an asset.