Associate II (Natural Infrastructure for Water)

Washington, DC, US

About WRI

World Resources Institute is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our 500 experts and staff work with partners in more than 50 countries; we have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. WRI is consistently ranked as the top global Think Tank working on environmental issues.

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The Associate will be a key subject matter expert and will facilitate program management and contribute to the development of high quality research products that are designed to influence targeted audiences.

The Associate II will work with the Natural Infrastructure for Water Project of the WRI Food Forests & Water program, and contribute building a strong evidence base for how investing in watershed management can be an effective water security strategy for cities facing increasing water stress under a changing climate. The WRI Natural Infrastructure for Water (NIfW) initiative works at the intersection of water security, environmental restoration, and sustainable rural development. NIfW is catalyzing a global movement to enhance water security and bolster economic development through landscape conservation, restoration, and sustainable management. It convenes and empowers champions at all levels of decision-making, and provides the best available evidence base and best practice guidance to put natural infrastructure into action. The program also leverages WRI’s geospatial mapping (e.g., Aqueduct and Global Forest Watch) and economic expertise to identify water risks, unveil natural infrastructure opportunities, and inform smart strategies to secure water resources. In 2016, NIfW launched several initiatives in Latin America and the United States to inform decision makers about opportunities to invest in natural infrastructure. NIfW is developing new analysis and case studies to inform water policies and programs in these regions as well as ongoing global work.


The associate will co-lead, with the project director, major research projects and cross-sector partnerships in Latin America and the United States, while also providing some support to other project components. Specifically, the associate will lead the development and dissemination of case studies for several Latin American cities that evaluate the business case for investing in natural infrastructure and investigate important enabling conditions to facilitate natural infrastructure investments. The associate will be responsible for managing a wide partnership, identifying promising natural infrastructure solutions for specific sites, engaging key decision makers, and disseminating results. In addition, the associate will conduct research and manage partnerships to advance the development of financing mechanisms that connect private investors with natural infrastructure projects, in both the United States and Latin America. The Associate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Research Leadership: Develop and execute research project work plans including literature reviews, interviews, coordination and support of technical research across WRI programs, and lead review processes for publications. Identify knowledge gaps and new opportunities for WRI to scale up natural infrastructure investments in priority regions.
  • Outreach and communications: In line with the project communications plan, lead author, or otherwise contribute to, WRI reports and outreach materials, produce blogs and web articles, and represent WRI at major international and national events.
  • Fundraising: Serve as lead fundraiser on several major project proposals annually, leverage and maintain existing relationships with funding partners and donors.
  • Strategy development and execution: Develop project objectives and strategies, and steward outcomes, for several project components and assist Natural Infrastructure Project Director on long-term strategy development.
  • Partnership management: Develop relationships and manage multi-sector partnerships to produce project outcomes, especially in Latin America and the United States.
  • Operations Management: Independently manage core components of business operations, such as budgeting, developing agreements and contracts, performance monitoring, and reporting for several smaller projects.
  • People Management: Work closely with the Natural Infrastructure team, and across WRI programs. Occasionally manage interns and consultants and provide mentorship and on-site guidance to other team members.


Required Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in Environmental Management or related field.
  • At least five years of full time work experience in ecosystem services, conservation finance or related issues, work experience in Latin America a plus.
  • Recognized and proven expertise in natural infrastructure strategies and challenges in the field, especially for Latin America and U.S. contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex environmental research projects and author high quality, peer-reviewed publications on relevant topics.
  • Excellent research skills with attention to detail and quality of source material.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage partnerships to advance environmental outcomes in Latin America and/or the United States. Experience engaging and convening with business, government, and civil society sectors a plus.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising six-figure grants on relevant topics.
  • Experience with budgeting and project administration.
  • Portuguese language skills preferred.
  • Strong oral communications skills and experience presenting at major relevant events.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues at all levels inside and outside the organization.
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Ability to work calmly and enthusiastically in a dynamic environment.
  • Ability to think creatively.
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated.
  • Extremely well organized and efficient.

Final candidates will be required to take a writing/analytical test.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package

How to Apply

Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI’s policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

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