Youth Leadership Program Manager

Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)

Rotterdam, , NL

Job description

About the GCA

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization which works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future.

About the program

Young people are powerful agents of change who deserve to have their voices heard when it comes to decisions about their future. As a priority area of focus, the GCA’s Bold Idea on Youth Leadership includes a range of programs to make youth central in accelerating the adaptation agenda worldwide. These include the Youth Adaptation Network (YAN), the Youth Adaptation Solutions (YAS) Challenge, the Young Adaptation Leaders Program (YALP) and education programs.

The Youth Adaptation Network (YAN) is an umbrella platform to engage, empower and amplify the role of young people in the adaptation agenda. By creating an environment where young people are engaged as equal stakeholders in accelerating climate adaptation actions, and providing them with learning opportunities, the YAN will translate knowledge into action and advocate for adaptation to be accelerated at the national and global level.

The Youth Adaptation Solutions (YAS) Challenge is a competition and awards program for young people from every part of the world, incentivizing them to develop, share, and showcase innovative solutions for climate change adaptation. Recognizing the need to involve young people as equal stakeholders in shaping the global response to climate change, the YAS seeks to unleash their ambition and creativity.

The Young Adaptation Leaders Program (YALP) is a six-month, capacity-building internship program for the next generation of climate adaptation leaders. The YALP includes customized training and experiences, taking its participants on an innovation route, supporting them as they develop adaptation ideas into implementable solutions in the offices of GCA and our partners.

About the position

We are looking for a motivated and dynamic individual to lead our Youth Leadership team. The right candidate will be excited about working with young people from across the world to accelerate adaptation action at every level: local communities, national policy-making and global agenda-setting. The Youth Leadership Program Manager will report to the Director of External Affairs and manage a team and collaborate closely with colleagues across the GCA’s network of offices, integrating the value of youth perspectives and insights across all of its other programs.


Continuously develop and improve the Youth Leadership Program in a changing context, designing and modifying projects and content if and when necessary.

  • Manage the projects in the Youth Leadership Program (YAN, YAS Challenge and the YALP), meaning that project activities and objectives are achieved timely and within budget;
  • Establishing significant links between different elements of the Youth Leadership program;
  • Design and be responsible for communication strategies for each project, demonstrating the value of youth leadership in adaptation by promoting the projects to external audiences;
  • Manage the outreach and partnership building with organizations hosting YALP participants;
  • Manage the Challenge Incubation Fund, a seed funding mechanism to support the development of innovative climate adaptation solutions submitted through the YAS Challenge;
  • Coordinate the organization of youth events, virtual exchanges, capacity-building activities, intergenerational dialogues, and high-level meetings;
  • Manage relationships for the Youth Leadership Program with representatives of governments, United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, development partners, NGOs, youth organizations, academia and other stakeholders;
  • Determine and secure suitable academic, professional development and other relevant vocational awards for the YAS Challenge winners;
  • Ensure the enrolment of YALP participants in education and training programs such as the Online Advanced Certificate Course and Summer/Winter Schools delivered by the GCA in partnership with the University of Groningen/Campus Fryslan;
  • Identify and manage the incorporation of educational opportunities for young people relating to adaptation, including around the Climate Adaptation Summit;
  • Monitor, report on and respond to threats and opportunities relevant to the Youth Leadership Program achieving its objectives;
  • Identify and connect with other relevant youth leadership initiatives, especially those related to climate adaptation and education;
  • Design and implement internal procedures in compliance with standard GCA policies;
  • Establish timelines and program plans;
  • Develop and monitor program and project budgets and financial budget-actual variances.
  • Coordinate activity progress reporting and steer where needed;
  • Forecast financial and HR resources needed;
  • Lead the recruitment of project staff, perform good staff management;
  • Research and propose other opportunities to engage young people in leadership roles within adaptation initiatives;
  • Contribute to GCA reports, events and publications in the areas of youth leadership, as and when requested and relevant;
  • Other ad-hoc tasks as required relating to youth leadership and the work of GCA.

Job requirements


  • A Master’s degree in social, environmental sciences, sustainability, management and/ or climate change with preferably ten years of professional experience in youth leadership schemes and/or climate action;
  • Excellent knowledge of intergovernmental processes and agreements relevant to climate change, youth and education;
  • Proven experience in organizing youth events, virtual exchanges, capacity-building activities, intergenerational dialogues, and high-level meetings (candidates are requested to indicate in their application a list of key events organized, along with their experiences and achievements);
  • Proven experience in leading the preparation of reports, publications and outreach materials, specially related to youth, climate change and sustainability issues (candidates are requested to indicate in their application a list of key publications);
  • Successful track record in project management and establishing partnerships (candidates are requested to indicate in their application a list of key relevant projects and products, along with their responsibilities and achievements);
  • Strong leadership skills, demonstrated self-starter motivation, being able to innovate and take the initiative to problem-solve, allowing projects to succeed in not only achieving their objectives but finding new opportunities;
  • Experience running competitions, campaigns, coordinating different stakeholders towards common objectives with effective communication and marketing material;Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Teams;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team and on multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Experience of working in international/intercultural environments.


  • Experience working on projects relating to youth movements at the international, national and local level, particularly in developing countries
  • Experience on developing internships or professional development programs for young people
  • Experience working with or influencing policymakers at multiple levels and in different geographies.
  • In-depth understanding of social media marketing, database management and online campaigning.

What we offer

The GCA offers a dynamic, high-profile and international working environment in a growing organisation. You will have the opportunity to draw upon the substantial expertise available at the GCA and its partner organizations across the world and will be given an opportunity to support the shaping of a global organisation on climate adaptation and more specifically in the engagement of youth.

The post will be located at the GCA’s office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on a full-time basis (32-40 hours per week).

How to apply

If you are interested in this position, please submit your motivation letter and CV at before 22 July 2020. Kindly mention the date as of which you would be available to start (possibly temporarily remotely due to COVID-19).

Equal Employment Opportunities Statement

The GCA does not discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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