Environmental Economist

The World Bank

Washington, DC, US


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 www.worldbank.org.

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) has close to 300 operations, representing $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments and ASAs under active development. The ENB 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 an Environmental Economist to be based in Washington DCas part of the Economics Team within SENGL. The work program for this position will focus on managing an analytical work program (studies) related to natural capital accounting, measurement and valuation of ecosystem services, and economics of environment, natural resources and sustainability, particularly with respect to the Global Program on Sustainability (GPS). The position will have a combination both global level activities and country specific activities. This will include providing technical advice to county-based teams and to client governments.

Duties & Accountabilities

The Environmental Economist- will have the following key responsibilities as agreed with the Practice Manager based on an annual Results Agreement:

Analytical Work Program The Environmental Economist is expected to be a thought leader for the World Bank in the area of environment and natural resource economics. This will include remaining current on the latest developments in the field. The position requires the flexibility and adaptability to use economics tools to solve a range of practical problems in the areas of Natural Capital Accounting, forestry, biodiversity and rehabilitation of degraded landscapes, fisheries management and blue economy, and pollution management. This will include an ability to integrate economic analysis and bio-physical modeling in the assessment of ecosystem services. For Macro/fiscal economists the focus will include analysis of macro and fiscal policies related to environment. It will also include carrying out, with minimum supervision, selected components of studies on selected economics issues on the critical path to solving global problems in the areas listed above; and, in some cases, leading/ co-leading such studies. It will also include the effective communication of the results of these studies through written and verbal communication.

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 Environmental Economist will also be encouraged to present the Bank’s work at technical conferences and workshops.

Technical Advisory Work– You will be expected to provide technical advice on a broad range of economics related challenges faced in World Bank operations units that work directly with clients. This will include technical review of pieces of analytical work carried out by other teams in the Bank, economics advice to lending operations managed by the World Bank, particularly on protected areas management, landscapes restoration, coastal zone management and environmental contaminated site clean-ups.

Program Administration and Fundraising The Environmental Economist will be expected to support trust fund management for trust funds that finance the World Banks environmental economics program. This will include supporting development partner relations, trust fund oversight/ day to day management, preparation of annual workplans (and tracking their implementation), supporting the monitoring and evaluation of Trust Funds in accordance with results frameworks agreed upon with Trust Fund donors. The Bank administers large trust funds that fund activities in environment, natural resources, and pollution management.

Knowledge Management- The Environmental Economist is expected to maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations. Active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of economics, forestry, biodiversity and rehabilitation of degraded landscapes, fisheries management and blue economy, and pollution management will be an important component of this position.

The Environmental Economist 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.

Selection Criteria

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

• PhD in Economics, Applied Economics, Environmental Economics, Finance or related field.
• Rigorous quantitative training in economics, econometrics or quantitative economic modeling. 
• Candidates with macroeconomics and fiscal management training focused on environment and natural resources policy are also encouraged to apply.
• Minimum of 5 years of full-time relevant professional experience on research or applied work as an economist on environmental issues (time in a PhD program counts toward this professional experience). 
• Excellent in English communication skill 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 teamwork and ability to work independently with limited supervision.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
• Willingness to travel extensively, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

• Knowledge and experience working on integrated economic and ecosystem modeling would be an advantage
• Familiarity and some work experience with Natural Capital Accounting, particularly in the context of the System of Economic and Environmental Accounts (SEEA) would be an advantage. 
• 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 GF, Environmental Economist
• 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 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 – Solid understanding of fundamental concepts of natural science (soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.).
• Biodiversity – Solid understanding of biodiversity with ability to apply knowledge to projects and analytical work. 
• Environmental Economics – Deep technical knowledge of 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.