Lead Specialist (Safeguards)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Washington, DC, US


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, seeks a Lead Specialist, Safeguards. The role will manage the safeguards unit that ensures WWF’s Environment and Social Integration Policies and Procedures (SIPP) is applied thoroughly and effectively to all WWF GEF (Global Environmental Facility) projects totaling 70 Million USD and Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects totaling 35 Million USD. Responsible for ensuring compliance of institutional standards and policies and responsible for WWF’s strategy on environment and social risk mitigation as a donor and ensuring project sustainability.


  • Leads as the focal point for environment and social safeguards for GEF and GCF projects; providing oversight and quality assurance. This will include direct operational support to medium risk and complex operations, and advising WWF’s Senior management and staff on responses to safeguards related complaints
  • Serve as the environment and social safeguards focal point for WWF – US as well as the WWF network on matters related to multilateral finance institutions and engage actively and regularly with WWF country offices and project teams, and coordinate WWF’s position when necessary on multilateral safeguards policies and procedures.
  • Advises as lead technical specialist, advising GEF and GCF project teams and WWF staff on strategy and a range of interventions and provide support for on-going and future work in the areas of among others community empowerment, stakeholder engagement, gender-based violence, labor and community health and safety.
  • Responsible for risk mitigation and ensuring sustainability in GEF and GCF projects by managing the team of experts that help develop operational designs and mechanisms to assess environment and social impacts, constraints and risks related to GEF and GCF operations.
  • Leads policy dialogue with national governments on environment and social risk mitigation and advises GEF/GCF recipient governments on technical options for environment and social development, particularly resettlement, indigenous peoples, mitigation plans and institutional development strategies.
  • Responsible for partnerships with other civil society groups and WWF country offices including US government agencies. Lead sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms including providing technical guidance to support the implementation of revised safeguard policies with capacity building for national project teams, consultants and stakeholders in government and NGOs. This includes leading trainings for WWF staff, GEF and GCF project teams, and the WWF Network’s capacity to ensure effective application of Environmental and Social Safeguards
  • Spearheads the application of WWF’s ESSF to GEF and GCF projects and leads necessary revisions on tools to improve its performance and effectiveness including leading or participating in analytical studies, support other analytical work on different environment and social safeguards topics, and stay abreast of developments in globally and on cross-cutting issues on safeguards.
  • Supervise the work of technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to WWF ESSF.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, international studies, conservation, business or related field is required. Master’s degree preferred. At least 8 years of experience with best practices and commonly recognized safeguards, indigenous peoples and involuntary resettlement policies held by international multi-lateral institutions, GAAs, and other organizations. Examples include the GEF, IDB, IFC and the World Bank safeguards system. Knowledge of a foreign language, particularly Spanish or French and experience with major donor-funded projects is a plus.
  • Familiarity with safeguard protocols, policies and best practices
  • High level of familiarity with the administration and management within government and non-governmental organizations
  • High level ability to management a matrix team and distributed institutional resources
  • Ability to operate with independence, under pressure, to meet deadlines and commitments
  • Ability to work on initiatives with multiple and competing priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal and analytical skills
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member with a wide range of individuals, across cultures and time zones

To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #20081
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone





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