Senior Program Officer via Indeed

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

Washington, DC, US

Position Overview

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is looking for a Senior Program Officer (SPO) to join a growing staff in our Washington, DC headquarters. The successful candidate will work with a range of staff on the development and implementation of the new Landscape Standard (LS) and perform other related duties. The Landscape Standard is a globally applicable framework for assessing social, environmental and economic sustainability outcomes at the landscape scale in productive regions, and aims to link local production to emerging green supply chain incentives and diversified sources of finance.

VCS was launched in November 2007 and is now well established among the leading global greenhouse gas (GHG) standards and programs in the voluntary carbon market. VCS is committed to helping reduce emissions, improve livelihoods and protect natural resources, collaborating across the private and public sectors. We support climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools and programs that credibly, transparently and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and channel funding for sustaining and scaling up these benefits. We work in any arena where we see a need for clear standards, a role for market-based mechanisms and an opportunity to achieve environmental and social good.

Job Description

The Senior Program Officer will be central to the success of the Landscape Standard. Principal tasks and responsibilities include leading key elements of the development and implementation of LS including:

  • Manage technical inputs from advisory committees, technical working groups and consultants on key landscape sustainability metrics (social, environmental and economic)
  • Provide inputs and key lessons learned from technical discussions to the development of the LS framework
  • Contribute to the drafting of LS, leading key sections and coordinating other inputs as needed
  • Participate in ongoing communication and engagement with international partners and country pilots to gather lessons learned and inform LS development
  • Support project proposals and work plan development, including contributing to project strategy
  • Undertake research to support the development of the standard, including on sustainability data and metrics, monitoring and reporting outcomes and potential demand and finance sources
  • Represent VCS at conferences and other industry events
  • Assist with other parts of LS and the organization, as needed

Required Qualifications

  • A minimum of four years professional experience, or three years if holding a relevant graduate degree, working within the context of climate change mitigation or adaptation, environmental markets, responsible mining/extractives or agricultural/forest sustainability
  • Masters Degree, with emphasis in forestry or agriculture, natural resources, environmental management, international development or economics
  • Strong understanding of climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency concepts, SDGs, supply-chain sustainability initiatives, and/or climate/development finance
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative analysis, preferably in relation to sustainability monitoring and analysis (or M&E)
  • Ability to work effectively with international partners and diversity of developing country stakeholders
  • Excellent technical writing, spoken communication and presentation skills
  • Willingness to travel, including internationally (up to 20%)
  • Fluency in English

Preferred Qualifications

  • Understanding of public policy process and financing in developing countries, ideally related to climate change mitigation and adaptation policies or green growth strategies
  • Experience with sustainability-focused private finance, such as development finance institutions, impact investors, or green bonds
  • Experience with sustainability standards (eg, Rainforest Alliance, Utz, Fair Trade, ESG criteria)
  • Experience working with environmental, social and economic datasets
  • Experience working in developing country contexts
  • Professional proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese or French

Professional Qualities

  • Sharp analytical mind, with excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to manage a diverse, intellectually challenging workload
  • Ability to excel in a professional environment, with limited supervision
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Good organizational, communication, interpersonal and team skills