Senior Environmental Specialist

Sofia, , BG

Background / General description:


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2016, the World Bank Group committed nearly $64.2 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. The Bank’s Board approved approximately $45.9 billion in financial assistance, comprising about $29.7 billion in IBRD lending and about $16.2 billion in IDA support.
The institution is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 10,000 staff located globally. The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution (CCSAs) Areas to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country
Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the WBG’s poverty agenda.

The Environment & Natural Resources (ENR) Global Practice has been set-up to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.

The ENR GP has close to 300 operations under management, representing close to $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development. The practice consists of some 275 staff across the world plus numerous other staff in other Practices and CCSAs who are professionally associated with it.

The ENR Global Practice has three broad and distinct functions:

1.    Provides clients with lending and non-lending services aimed to support the GP’s three core business lines, namely: (i) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes; (ii) Marine, Coastal and Aquatic Resources; and (iii) Pollution Management and Environmental Health. The GP’s activities also include a focus on Clean and Resilient Growth through its work on environmental economics and support to institutional development.
2.    Supports effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies.
3.    Works closely with other sectors, including by leveraging GEF grant financing, to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.


The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Four of our clients in ECA are IDA only and another five are IDA blend countries.  The remaining 21 are IBRD eligible. Although 10 of our clients have joined the EU and seven of these have graduated from IBRD borrowing, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and/or lending services. In order to reach the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty within a generation and boosting shared prosperity, the ECA region’s strategy focuses on two main pillars: (1) competitiveness and shared prosperity through jobs, and (2) environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability, including through climate action. Governance and gender continue to be thematic priorities within interventions of both pillars.

Bulgaria is a country of about 7.2 million people, and has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 2007. The CPF covering the period 2017-2020 identifies the natural resource management and the environmental sustainability as one of the few key areas where there is strong government ownership and demand for World Bank Group (WBG) support.

In 2016 the Bulgarian government requested the World Bank to support and strengthen the framework for air quality management in Bulgaria, reducing emissions of air pollutants and associated health impacts in line with the EU Clean Air Policy Package. As a result, the World Bank developed this Reimbursable Advisory Service (RAS) project in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW). In particular, this project aims to support developing Bulgaria’s policies to reduce emissions of regulated air pollutants and to manage ambient air quality in support of its plans for compliance with EU air quality legislation and with targets set in the revised emissions directive (NEC).

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 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

ENR GP is seeking a highly qualified Senior Environmental Specialist who will provide technical and policy support to the World Bank RAS project on Air Quality Management in Bulgaria, based out of the Sofia office.

The Senior Environmental Specialist will have the following main tasks and responsibilities:

1.    Support the TTL (based in HQ), as well as the co-TTL and the project coordinator (both based on Sofia) on  issues related to project implementation;
2.    Contribute to all the  work for both component of the RAS project, leading to strategic programs for i) managing  municipal air quality in order to comply with the CAFÉ Directive; as well as ii) reducing emissions in order to comply with the new NEC Directive under the  Clean Air Policy Package for Europe;
3.    Ensure that the strategic programs are comprehensive, and adhere to European / Global good practice;
4.    Contribute to formulation of sector-specific measures aligned with meeting the goals of the strategic programs;
5.    Identify the data and information gaps that need to be filled into order to meet the goals of the strategic programs, and formulate action plans to fill those gaps;
6.    Assess the need for targeted expertise during implementation of the RAS project, and identify the required experts (ideally from Europe) in consultation with the TTL;
7.    Support the team with identification of  experts in the World Bank across sectors to provide advice and inputs during project implementation, as required;
8.    Use knowledge of World Bank processes and procedures to ‘source’ the internal and external expertise in order to ensure timely support to project implementation client;
9.    Participate in the Bank missions, conduct independent discussions with client representatives on key technical issues, and follow up on activities identified during  Bank missions;
10.    Conduct  consultations with key stakeholders and engage actively in workshops;
11.    Review all outputs and deliverables, provide substantial inputs to draft reports, and ensure their technical robustness; contribute to the timely delivery and consistency of all deliverables;
12.    Identify relevant (local and regional) knowledge sharing, capacity building, and  cooperation opportunities in Europe for the client related to addressing air pollution from domestic heating, and from mobile sources
13.    Keep track of latest relevant technical developments and policy issues from the EC related to the CAFÉ and NEC directives and keep the team informed;
14.    In consultation with the TTL and co-TTL, engage with the EC on matters related to AQ that could benefit the project;
15.    Support business development for air quality management projects in the region.

Selection Criteria:

•      A Masters or PhD Degree in environmental sciences, engineering or other relevant discipline
•    A minimum of eight (8) years of experience in environmental sciences, engineering or other relevant discipline, working with government / consulting to implement projects; good technical knowledge of air quality management issues, including field experience
•    Good knowledge of the EU environmental and air quality acquis, strategies and experience of the EU member states with the development / implementation of air quality legislation;
•    Ability to function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams, to deal sensitively in multicultural environment, build effective working relations, and ensure timely delivery through careful planning and execution of the local logistical support.
•    Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with internal/external partners and promote collaboration in a multi-cultural environment.
•    Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and diplomatic skills, and the ability to effectively negotiate and achieve balanced solutions to complex development problems;
•    Experience with the planning and conduct of training programs for external and internal audiences;
•    Excellent writing and communication skills; Fluency in English required; Fluency in local languages would be an advantage;

•    Integrative Skills
Is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work, and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.
•    Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena
Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level, and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
•    Policy Dialogue Skills
Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.
•    Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions
Has a solid understanding of the environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations needed to support development and for the success of the project. Knows the client’s strategy and structure, and can assess impact on the project. Can credibly and effectively engage with a range of environmental institutions to support project outcomes. Explains to clients and other stakeholders the risks to the project when environmental laws and regulations are deficient or not enforced. Supports client efforts to address such weaknesses.
•    Environmental Sciences
Has direct experience in the environmental sciences, including deeper experience in at least one area. Has extensive experience with applying this knowledge to projects, studies, and other deliverables. Develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges. Has experience applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.
•    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.
•    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.
•    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.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.