Director (Humanitarian Climate Crisis Unit)

Save the Children

Washington, DC, US



The Director, Humanitarian Climate Crisis Unit (HCCU) will be responsible for leadership and strategic direction of Save the Children US’ first ever climate crisis team. In addition to overall strategic leadership, fundraising and onboarding of team members, the Director will be expected to achieve three key objectives in the first two years. First, the Director will need to establish core partnerships across the technology and academic space to ensure better design and utilization of tools for predicting climate crises. Second, the Director will be expected to oversee key research on climate induced displacement and the humanitarian impact of climate change on children. Third, the Director is expected to develop mechanisms across the global Save the Children movement to ensure that predictive tools and findings from research are enabling early action. As the leading technical expert on the humanitarian impacts of the Climate Crisis, the post holder will represent SCUS externally and internally including with partners, donors and in movement-wide working groups.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Strategic Leadership (35%)

  • Serve as agency-wide expert on climate related risks and their humanitarian impact
  • Lead development of SCUS humanitarian climate crisis strategy including 3 year strategic plan, key initiatives and annual goals and objectives
  • Liaise with the fundraising team to ensure strategy is properly resourced
  • Identify sector wide trends in humanitarian climate crisis work and build relationships with key partners, including academic and tech partners
  • Represent Save the Children in external forums, including serving as a panelist/expert
  • Follow and analyze developments and trends in the wider sector, in particular those related to the Climate and environmental crisis and effectively communicate them to SC leadership to inform strategic planning
  • Be actively involved in building the capacity of the SC team to engage effectively on climate and environmental issues, through talks, trainings and communications
  • Liaise and collaborate effectively with other departments (non-humanitarian) in SCUS and across the SC movement to ensure synergies are identified and acted upon

Build Partnerships and Develop Predictive Tools (25%)

  • Ensure active engagement with a network of key contacts in the climate crisis and environmental risk management space
  • Liaise with academic and technology partners to refine existing tools and/or develop new tools for predictive analysis of climate impacts
  • Collaborate closely with regional and country offices to ensure practical and feasible roll out of new tools

Engage in Early Action Programs (20%)

  • Provide leadership on the development of clear indicators and triggers for early action programming
  • Engage directly with technical staff under all three of Save the Children’s breakthroughs (Survive, Learn, be Protected) to ensure early action mechanisms cut across themes and programs
  • Pilot early action programming and document key lessons learned
  • Establish an early action fund and support fundraising initiatives for early action
  • Serve as key technical leader on early action programs, drawing on thematic technical experts from health, child protection, education, and food security and livelihoods (FSL) as needed

Oversee Research (10%)

  • Develop a research agenda aligned to the key priorities of the Climate Crisis Unit
  • Engage with other members and with technical teams across the movement to align research priorities and to ensure that impact for children is highlighted in all climate related research
  • Analyze the possibilities and potential of other risk management approaches such as insurance or disaster risk financing tools

Managing Key Personnel (10%)

  • In partnership with Human Resources, develop job descriptions, assist with sourcing, selection and onboarding of new staff for the Climate Crisis Unit
  • Effectively manage, develop, engage and utilize talent across the Climate Crisis Unit and as collaborative colleagues across the division and agency

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum 7-10 years’ experience in area of expertise, the majority and most recent of which should be in the climate change field (either adaptation, resilience, or response)
  • Bachelor degree or equivalent relevant experience required
  • Demonstrated experience in the humanitarian sector
  • Experience managing and/or leading a team
  • Ability to absorb and contribute to strategic thinking, including development of strategic objectives and work planning to achieve strategic goals
  • Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally up to 30%
  • Personal resilience and ability to deploy to climate emergencies on short notice

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with USAID/OFDA projects
  • Master’s Degree(or equivalent)
  • Language skills in Spanish or French (preferably both)

Why you should join the Save the Children Team…

Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.  

Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. 

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.  


We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.