Senior Environmental Specialist

The World Bank
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level/Senior (8-9 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group (WBG) provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

The World Bank Group (WBG)’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity reflect a new global landscape: one in which developing countries have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. 

Global Practice Context
Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the WBG poverty agenda. Biodiversity and natural resources constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood. Sustainable ENRM promotes a green, clean, and resilient world where natural resources—from forests to fisheries, freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems—are managed to support livelihoods and strong economies. Sustainable ENRM builds a world better prepared for shocks and global challenges, helping countries limit their exposure to resource scarcity, more-volatile weather patterns, and the long-term consequences of climate change.

Unit Context
The Environment Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice (GP) Global Platform Unit (SENGL) comprises about 30 staff, most of them based in Washington, DC. The team reports to the Practice Manager also based in DC. SENGL is primarily responsible for (i) designing and leading the global programs for the GP whose implementation in country rests with the GP's regional units, including alignment to key business areas and crosscutting solutions; (ii) resource mobilization and donor coordination, including trust fund management, planning and reporting; (iii) conducting key global studies to advance the environmental agenda globally and internally; and (iv) knowledge management of SENGL’s key outputs.

The Position:
The World Bank is seeking to recruit a Senior Environmental Specialist based in Washington DC.  The work program for this position will focus on providing technical leadership on biodiversity and wildlife management program, managing an analytical work program (studies), and providing technical advice globally on matters related to ecology and wildlife management to World Bank lending program as needed.  There is also an expectation that in time the candidate would be required to become proficient in the Bank’s environmental and social framework (ESF) and to become an accredited environmental risk management specialist for projects that have complex ecological challenges.  


The Senior Environmental Specialist will have the following key responsibilities as agreed with his/her Practice Manager based on an annual Results Agreement.

Technical Advisory Work:  As a member of the Global Platform Unit, you will give technical advice on a broad range of solutions to biodiversity and wildlife challenges faced in World Bank operations.   This will include advice on ecology focused lending operations managed by the World Bank, particularly on protected areas management, landscapes restoration, natural resource management, and   coastal zone management. Providing advice on environmental safeguards and risk management related to the full range of World Bank projects, including infrastructure projects such as roads, hydroelectric dams and other projects that have complex ecological risks is another key responsibility.  
Analytical Work Program: You are a thought leader for the World Bank in the area of biodiversity and wildlife management.   This will include remaining current of the latest developments in the field, in particular, the drivers of the sharp global reduction in biodiversity and wildlife and possible solutions.   It will also include leading studies on selected issues on the critical path solving global problems in the area of ecology and wildlife management.  
Global Outreach:  You will be expected to provide input into the World Bank’s global outreach on environment and climate change issues.  This will include preparing briefs and presentations for the Bank’s senior management for engagement in international conferences, negotiations and bilateral cooperation. The Senior Environmental Specialist will be expected to provide input to Bank’s participation in ICCWC, and to the Bank’s collaboration with CITES and CBD secretariats.  The Senior Environmental Specialist will also be expected to present the Bank’s work at technical conferences and workshops.   
Program Administration and Fundraising: The Senior Environmental Specialist will be expected to take a leadership role in managing the technical aspects of trust funded programs, managing development partner relations, and trust fund oversight and day to day management.  The Bank administers large trust funds that fund activities in environment, natural resources, and pollution management.   This includes the PROGRREEN, a fund for landscapes management, and the Global Wildlife Program, a GEF funded program that addresses issues around wildlife management and illegal wildlife trade.    
• Knowledge Management: You are expected to maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations.  In particular, active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of biodiversity and wildlife management will be an important component of this position.  

The Senior Environmental Specialist is expected to learn World Bank Group procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant safeguard management process. 

Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.

Environmental Risk Management: The Senior Environmental Specialist, following appropriate training and in time, will be expected to be proficient in environmental risk management.  This will include ensuring the effective integration of environmental due diligence as defined by World Bank Group (WBG)Environmental and Social Management Framework into the design, appraisal and implementation of WBG supported projects.  It will also include providing expert advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and WBG management on the preparation of environmental impact assessments. 

Selection Criteria

Do you meet the following selection criteria? If so, we encourage you to apply: 

• Advanced degree (PhD or MS – A PhD qualification is strongly preferred) in ecology, zoology, botany, wildlife management or related scientific training, with a strong preference for candidates with a rigorous technical academic training and field research experience.
• Deep technical experience in as a practicing ecologist or wildlife management specialist. 
• A minimum of 8 years of full-time relevant professional experience in ecology or environmental management sector is required.
• Fluency in English is required (writing, speaking, listening and reading).
• A second language (French, Spanish, or Portuguese) would be highly beneficial.
• Proven teamwork and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.
• A strong sense of team work and ability to work independently with limited supervision.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
• Experience working in different developing countries.  
• Willingness to travel extensively, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

• Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of investment projects involving the ecological aspects of large-scale civil works, extractive or industrial activities would be an advantage, especially the experience in the preparation of environmental safeguard/risk management documents of the lending projects of the WBG or other international organizations.
• Experience working in developing countries, understanding the institutional and political context and exposure to the national environmental policy challenges would be an advantage.

Competencies Level GG, Senior Environmental Specialist: 

• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners. 
• Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions - Solid understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.  
• Environmental Sciences – Deep understanding of fundamental concepts of natural science (soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.).
• Biodiversity – Deep knowledge of biodiversity with ability to apply knowledge to projects and analytical work.  
• Environmental Economics -Understanding of fundamental economic concepts relevant to environment.
• Team Leadership - Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members.  
• Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.