Local recruitment: Senior Environmental Specialist

The World Bank
Vienna, Austria
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 provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank consists of two entities – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). It is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, and coordinates responses to regional and global challenges. Visit http://www.worldbank.org/.


The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region


The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Although 10 of our clients have joined the EU and 7 of these have graduated, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and/or lending services. Furthermore, in the midst of a crisis like the pandemic that we are experiencing now, some of the advanced countries re-engage with the Bank for additional support, including financial. ECA has a strong lending pipeline as well as a large and growing portfolio of Reimbursable Advisory Services. Knowledge is critical to the Bank’s value proposition to client countries in the ECA region in both lending and advisory services.


A predominantly middle- and high-income region, ECA continues to be at the forefront in confronting the numerous development challenges that countries face in the evolving global economy. The region is at the vanguard of building regional connectivity while having to manage the changing structure of the labor market. At the same time, digital technologies are changing the nature of work, populations are aging, and large migration flows have generated social tensions that have contributed to increased political polarization. These emerging trends threaten to reverse the region’s achievements in regional integration, poverty reduction and shared prosperity.   


The ECA region is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change. It has a large potential to strengthen climate change resilience and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change. Other important challenges affecting parts of the region include frozen conflicts and domestic political instability.


In February 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak interrupted the incipient recovery and the impact on growth remains highly uncertain and in a downside scenario of prolonged shutdowns, output in ECA could contract by nearly 8 percent in 2020. The pandemic also poses medium-term risks, particularly if global value chain linkages are lost or if extended school closures have a significant impact on learning, dropout rates, and human capital development.


The near- and medium-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis serve to re-emphasize the critical importance of ECA’s medium-term strategic agenda on raising productivity and boosting resilience. This focuses on three priority areas:

  • Boosting human capital to raise productivity;
  • Building solid foundations and resilience for growth; and
  • Enabling markets to achieve high productivity in the private sector.

The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/eca


The Sustainable Development Practice Group 


The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food, Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water.


Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice (GP)


The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction. For more information: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/environment


Duties and Accountabilities


SCAEN, the ENB unit of SD PG in ECA, seeks to recruit a Senior Environmental Specialist in Vienna to provide leadership to its ECA-wide work, with particular focus on advancing the green growth agenda and climate  considerations  in  operations, policy dialogue, and analytical and advisory services. The Specialist will join a team of over 35 environmental professionals located in Washington DC and various ECA countries and will report to unit’s Practice Manager (currently located in Washington DC). The Specialist will be an integral part of the Vienna office, comprised of staff from several GPs and other units.


The key responsibilities include:

  • Lead/contribute to policy dialogue, operations and analytical work on green growth policies and green finance, circular economy, air quality, and climate resilience
  • Contribute to “greening” the development policy operations and collaborate with other Global Practices on innovative /green finance, climate informed public investment / financial management, climate related analyses of policies and institutional effectiveness
  • Lead efforts on enhancing climate action foreseen by the World Bank’s strategic targets and plans and achieving the Climate Corporate Commitments in a timely manner, including maximizing climate co-benefits in ECA operations
  • Lead/contribute to development of a new generation of “green” and climate informed operations and programs
  • Facilitate and maintain effective communication and promote knowledge generation and dissemination with relevant stakeholders inside and outside the World Bank Group, including government officials, NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector, as well as specialized international organizations, on the green growth and climate change agenda
  • Represent ENB GP and ECA SD in relevant Bank-wide initiatives and external meetings on environment and climate, within the region and beyond

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in environment management, engineering, economics or/and finance, climate change, or other relevant disciplines
  • At least 8 years of experience, with track record and demonstrated leadership in environment / climate policy and finance, both mitigation and adaptation
  • Knowledge of EU policies and directives relevant to environment and climate, experience of working on environment and climate issues - both at the policy and project levels - in ECA countries
  • Strong analytical skills with focus on results, demonstrated maturity and sound judgment 
  • Excellent inter-personal and team leadership skills and ability to easily interact with people of different backgrounds and seniority inside and outside the World Bank, including clients and partners
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are essential, working knowledge of Russian is a plus
  • Willingness to travel frequently (subject to COVID-10 restrictions)

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: https://bit.ly/2kbIA7O.