Principal Environment Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Manila, , PH


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division (EAER) in the East Asia Regional Department (EARD). EAER provides lending and non-lending assistance in agricultural and rural development, and environmental protection and natural resources management. Under agricultural and rural development, EAER specifically operates in (i) sustainable agricultural production and market development; (ii) rural renewable energy development; and (iii) agricultural infrastructure (e.g., irrigation, drainage, and access roads) development and management. Under environmental protection and natural resources management, EAER operates in (i) policy, institutional, and technology development of environmental management (e.g., waste and wastewater management, soil contamination control, emission trading, and payment for environmental services); (ii) natural resources management (e.g., forestry development, integrated water resource management, wetland and/or lakes conservation, and biodiversity and ecosystem management); and (iii) natural disaster risk management. EAER also assists in developing projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation; and incorporating feasible adaptation and mitigation measures (e.g., greenhouse gas reduction, carbon sequestration, and land degradation improvement) in its operation. EAER also provides policy support and assistance in knowledge development and sharing using its vast knowledge accumulated through its operation.

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Job Purpose

The Principal Environment Specialist will lead in providing substantive technical input and analyses to support the planning and development of ADB’s policies and strategies on environment within general policies, principles and goals. Lead and coordinate safeguard policy compliance for environment projects, ensuring that environmental issues are adequately addressed and incorporated in the division activities. Lead the implementation of post-2020 biodiversity framework in the developing member countries (DMCs). Work within a framework of broad policies, principles and goals, applying a high degree of autonomy in selection of work methods. The incumbent will report to the Director, EAER and will supervise National and Administrative Staff.


  • Leads in integrating environmental issues into country operations by providing inputs to country strategy and sector work, and ensuring that environmental dimensions are adequately reflected in country strategies, sector work and projects.
  • Provides guidance and advice to developing member countries (DMCs) on environmental issues and in building and strengthening their capacity for environmental planning and management.
  • Oversees the preparation of country environmental assessments and briefs.
  • Oversees policy dialogue to assist governments of DMCs on environment policy and safeguards.
  • Facilitates effective liaison with resident missions (RMs) for consistency of approach, exchange of experiences, and continuous improvement of practices and integration of environment policy commitments to the management of projects.
  • Supervises and reviews project initial environmental examinations (IEEs)/summary initial environmental examinations (SIEEs) and environmental impact assessments (EIAs)/ summary environmental impact assessments (SEIAs) to ensure conformity with ADB’s requirements in substance and format.
  • Supervises and reviews project environmental impacts and the recommended environmental management plans and monitoring programs, to ensure that the environmental impacts of ADB-funded projects will be mitigated to acceptable levels.
  • Coordinates Bank’s participation in conference of the parties (COP 15) of the convention on biological diversity.
  • Leads the implementation of post-2020 biodiversity framework in the DMCs.
  • Oversees, guides and supports the identification, preparation, appraisal, and supervision of loans, grants, and technical assistance (TA) projects related to water supply, wastewater, urban development and environmental management.
  • Leads and supports the identification, processing and supervision of grant and TA projects with significant environmental dimensions, including supervising consultants and ensuring the high technical quality of outputs.
  • Develops and maintains a suitable network of the latest institutional developments in international and national environment and natural resource management of relevance to the division.
  • Leads the knowledge dissemination and sharing with governments, multilateral and bilateral organizations, civil society and NGOs on environmental issues and programs.
  • Supervises and contributes to sector and thematic studies, including EIAs relevant to the division operations, and prepares knowledge products related to environmental issues.
  • Substantially contributes knowledge, inputs and insights to activities for advocacy, dissemination and knowledge building on environment issues.
  • Creates and leads multidisciplinary teams and ensures the overall quality of its work.
  • Supervises the performance of teams and individuals providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.
  • Provides coaching and mentoring to team and individuals and ensures their on-going learning and development.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent, in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science or other related specialized fields. University degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science or other related fields, combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree
  • At least 12 years’ relevant experience in environmental policy formation, implementation and coordination at senior levels.
  • Experience in analyzing environmental issues associated with water supply, wastewater and urban development projects, and operational experience in the preparation and implementation of such projects.
  • Experience with a multilateral institution’s policies and procedures.
  • International working experience in several countries, including in developing countries.
  • Significant expertise within a specific area of ADB’s operations (economic, sector or thematic), or breadth across multiple areas with in-depth knowledge within one area
  • Credible expert in field of expertise with recognized ability to lead projects and to share relevant knowledge to benefit the broader ADB community, in a way which may further enhance ADB’s ability to:
    • Recommend effective solutions to address DMCs’ specific economic, sector or thematic needs, based on wide range of experience and proven best practices
    • Successfully structure and implement loan and technical assistance projects in a more cost-effective manner
  • Manage risks more effectively by understanding DMCs, their environment (including the political, social and technical aspects), development priorities and economic / sector / thematic issues
  • Able to perform effectively as a mission leader or team lead, exercising supervision, coordination, and planning responsibilities over multi-disciplinary team/unit
  • Able to mentor team members, providing guidance and advice on project or technical-related matters
  • Able to coach team members to develop their capabilities/potential
  • Has potential for higher managerial responsibilities (for incumbents being considered for the Managerial career path) – able to think like a Director and demonstrate a high level of maturity
  • Able to act as an effective OIC of the Division when required

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB’s standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual’s qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.