Senior Environmental Specialist

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Background / General description:

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism established in 1991. It provides grants to developing countries for projects and programs that protect the global environment. GEF grants support projects related to five focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste.

Since its inception as a pilot facility in 1991, GEF has committed significant amounts in grants to almost 4,000 projects in more than 160 developing countries and transitional economies.  Resources for the GEF Trust Fund, which finances the GEF’s programs and projects, are replenished every four years.  

The GEF is open to universal membership, and the number of its participating countries currently reaches 183. GEF is governed by a Council comprising 32 Members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries.  An assembly of all participating countries meets every four years at the ministerial level.  

The GEF is the designated financial mechanism for four international environmental conventions: The Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.  The GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.  

The GEF Secretariat is construed for administrative purposes as a vice president unit (VPU) within the World Bank.  GEF Secretariat is structured into two units: Program Unit and Policy, Partnership and Operations Unit.  Each unit is led by a Director, who is accountable to the GEF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson. The GEF Secretariat is located in Washington, D.C. The successful candidate will be working in the GEF Secretariat in Washington, D.C.

The Program Unit is responsible for GEF’s strategic and technical work in the issue all focal areas. The Unit has one Program Manager and two Leads for Program Strategy and Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Program Manager takes responsibility of supporting projects of all focal areas, including climate change mitigation (CCM) and chemicals and waste (CW).

The GEF is now implementing its sixth replenishment (GEF-6) for the period from July 2014 to June 2018. Available funding for GEF-6 is approximately $4.3 billion, of which $1.3 billion is pledged to the CCM focal area and 0.5 billion to the CW focal area.

The programming objectives of the CCM focal area include technology transfer; innovative policy packaged and market initiatives; integrated low-carbon urban system; and management of land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF). The programming objectives of the CW focal area include reduction and elimination of POPs; reduction or elimination of anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury to the environment; and complete the phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in countries with economies in transition (CEITs). Both focal areas support enabling activities to help countries meet their conventions obligations.

The GEF-7 replenishment and its strategy is under negotiation. It will continue to support CCM and CW focal areas to serve the relevant conventions.

The successful candidate will manage climate change mitigation and chemicals and waste portfolio.  He/she will also be expected to contribute to multifocal and multi trust fund program/project development.

The successful candidate will be supervised by the Program Manager, and will work closely with the Lead for Multilateral Environmental Agreements as set out below. The main expertise brought by the successful candidate will be on climate change mitigation, and chemicals and waste.

Note: Japanese candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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:

1. Support the development of GEF programs and policies related to climate change mitigation and chemicals and waste.

2. Coordinate, review, provide analysis, and advise GEF management on project proposals submitted for funding in the field of climate change mitigation, especially technology transfer, and chemicals and waste.

3. Under the leadership of the Regional Coordinators, participate in regional team work and missions to GEF priority country to support GEF-7 programming and country portfolio design.

4. Maintain institutional relationships. Communicate regularly with the GEF Agencies about programs and projects. Communicate and consult with GEF participating countries, as well as with the secretariats of the relevant conventions, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

5. Prepare major reports (e.g. GEF report to the Conference of the Parties) as required.

6. Lead or participate in knowledge management, results based management, monitoring and other related operational activities

7. Undertake other duties as required.

Selection Criteria:

1. Strong academic background, including an advanced degree (Master’s degree equivalent required, Ph.D. preferred) in environmental engineering, environmental chemistry or other field related to climate change mitigation and chemicals management with a minimum of 8 years directly relevant experience.

2. Knowledge and expertise in climate change mitigation and chemicals and waste management. Broad understanding of the practical, scientific, economic, social, and political dimensions of climate change mitigation, chemicals and waste and ozone depletion policies. Broad state-of-the-art knowledge of sector issues as they relate to these problems.

3. Experience in the design, implementation, and monitoring of environmental projects, particularly in the fields relevant to this position. Experience in developing countries and in dealing with a range of stakeholders, as well as international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, developing country counterparts, and NGOs.

4. Demonstrated ability to work with limited supervision, independently adjusting priorities and achieving results with agreed upon objectives, and ability to work collegially in a multi-cultural team environment in an openly communicative way.

5. Excellence in written and spoken English is essential. Knowledge of other UN languages would be an advantage.

6. An understanding of GEF’s policies and operations would be an advantage.

7. Demonstrated ability to function as a team player, to work across institutional boundaries without resorting to formal authority, and to collaborate with other entities.

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