Senior Climate Change Specialist

Washington, DC, US

Background / General description:

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism created in 1991 to provide grant and concessional funds to recipient countries for projects and programs that address biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, degradation of international waters, land and forests, ozone depletion, elimination or reduction of persistent organic pollutants and mercury, all within the framework of sustainable development.

Resources for the GEF Trust Fund, which finances GEF’s programs and projects in the above mentioned areas, are mobilized every four years. Resources for the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) are not subject to replenishment cycles. The LDCF is tasked with financing the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs).
NAPAs use existing information to identify a country’s priorities for adaptation actions. The SCCF supports both long-term and short-term adaptation activities in water resources management, land management, agriculture, health, infrastructure development, fragile ecosystems, including mountainous ecosystems, and integrated coastal zone management.

The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, GEF is the designated financial mechanism for five international environmental conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $14.5 billion in grants for over 3,600 projects in over 165 countries. Pledges for GEF activities in the sixth replenishment period of 2014 to 2018, called GEF-6, is approximately $4.3 billion. Through the LDCF and the SCCF the GEF has financed 301 projects worth approximately 1.3 billion.

The GEF Secretariat, construed for administrative purposes as a Vice Presidential Unit (VPU) within the World Bank, has approximately 100 professional and administrative and client support (ACS) staff.

The Secretariat is seeking a Senior Climate Change Specialist (Climate Change Adaptation with special emphasis on Small Island Developing States) to support the GEF Programs Unit with a series of program management, analytical and policy needs.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

Coordination-Climate Change Adaptation
Under the supervision of the Manager of the GEF Programs Unit, the position will….
1. Lead the effort on developing programs, policies and priorities for operations under the LDCF and SCCF and provide relevant guidance to the GEF Implementing and Executing Agencies and country counterparts
2. Under the guidance of the MEA Lead Specialist, participate and follow the UNFCCC meetings and negotiations and lead the political outreach to developing countries.  Promote regular and informed communication about the climate change adaptation program of the GEF, with the GEF Family and the UNFCCC Parties and Secretariat.
3. Manage reviews of project proposals to be financed by the LDCF and SCCF, according to the agreed project review criteria, provide guidance on major issues involved in the development of project proposals and assist in overall
4. Under the guidance of the MEA Lead Specialist, follow the development of international negotiations under UNFCCC and other relevant initiatives, and prepare GEF operational guidelines and tools taking into account convention guidance on adaptation.  Develop indicators for adaptation projects, documenting best practices and lessons and contribute to the preparation of GEF Policies and guidelines.
5. Establish and maintain a productive dialogue with the GEF Agencies and Countries and key stakeholders.  As required represent the GEF at a senior level at selected international; political, scientific and operational forums.  Through Task Forces and consultation communicate regularly with GEF Agencies about the program and its projects
6. Monitor the status of a multi-agency portfolio of adaptation projects funded under the SCCF and LDCF.    Review project proposals according to the LDCF and SCCF project criteria.  Provide guidance to GEF Agencies and countries on the development of GEF Project Proposals and Programmatic Approaches, and monitor the project implementation performance of the LDCF and SCCF.
7. Assist with relations with Donor countries that voluntarily contribute to the Funds
8. Lead the effort in developing GEF Policies and procedures on climate change enabling activities such as UNFCCC National Communications, taking into account the most current UNFCCC guidance on national communications
9. Prepare regular reports to the LDCF/SCCF Council as required
10. Undertake additional duties as required by Director and Manager of the GEF Programs Unit, including participation in Knowledge Management, Results Based Management, Monitoring, and other related operational activities

Coordination Small Island Developing States
1. Participate in the SIDS Regional Team, and contribute in the continued implementation of the GEF Programs Unit (GPU) business model including country resource programming, updates, and adjustments and participate in resource programming in the SIDS Region with GEFSEC staff, GEF Agencies and Countries, including strategic role at the regional and country dialogues
2. Participate in the GEF work with SIDS on GEF issues, including participation in country dialogues, expanded constituency workshops, and the GEF Country Support Program.  
3. Participate in the political outreach to the small island developing states in international fora, in particular with the Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, CBD, BRS) and other related international instruments
4. Play an important role in developing strategies and programs to enhance GEFs impact in SIDS and support the management of the SIDS portfolio of ongoing projects (including direct access projects) through implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities with GEF Agencies and countries.
5. Provide quality inputs to the CEO and senior management on country and thematic briefings, talking points, speeches, analytical/strategic documents
6. Support the development and implementation of results-based management (RBM) and the integration of knowledge management in RBM, operational processes and procedures as it relates to SIDS.  Identify and, document best practices and lessons from SIDS projects
7. Undertake additional duties as required by Director and Manager of the GEF Programs Unit


1. Advanced degree in environmental/natural resource management, economics, and policy, or a closely related field.
2. At least seven (8) years of directly relevant national and international experiences.
3. Demonstrated detailed knowledge on climate change, and adaptation issues as well as relevant UNFCCC negotiations on these issues.  Broad understanding of the practical, scientific, economic, social, and political dimensions of climate change, and technical knowledge of sector issues related to climate change.  
4. Understanding of relevant UNFCCC negotiations on adaptation, National Communications, Biennial Update Reporting and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
5. Detailed knowledge of the environmental and political concerns related to SIDS, especially as it relates to climate change and an understanding of the Barbados Program of Action, the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, the Samoa Pathway, SDGs, the post-2015 development agenda and related UN activities.
6. Experience in project management and working with SIDS and other developing countries and in dealing with a range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, developing country counterparts, and NGOs would be an advantage.
7. Ability to collaborate within a highly diverse organization, and work with multidisciplinary teams. Excellent written and verbal English language skills, and demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically with peers, managers, and external partners.  Knowledge of French or Spanish would also be an advantage.  
8. Experience and/or interest in topics or issues of strategic importance, such as innovative financial instruments, and gender would be desirable.
9. An understanding of GEF’s policies and operations.


Deliver Results for Clients
• Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable
• Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients
• Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.
Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries
• Collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect
• Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due.  Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes
• Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind

Lead and Innovate
• Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions
• Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission
• Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge
• Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners
• Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others
• Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff
• Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks

Make Smart Decisions
• Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy
• Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long term implications of decisions
• Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached