Climate Change Specialist

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Background / General description:

The World Bank Group (WBG) works to promote poverty reduction and shared prosperity in developing countries.  Recognizing that climate change poses a threat to the progress made in both realms over the past several decades, the WBG takes an integrated approach to addressing climate change across the organization.  Facilitating the Bank Group’s increased climate focus is the recent commitment by WBG President Jim Yong Kim that the WBG will seek to increase its climate-related financing from our current 21% level to 28% by 2020.  

There is considerable climate change expertise embedded in many Bank units and country teams which will aid in the delivery of this goal, but specialized technical support and intellectual leadership on many issues necessarily falls the Climate Change Cross-Cutting Solutions Area (CCSA), a 250+ person team with expertise on carbon finance, climate investment, and climate change mitigation and adaptation policy and practice.  

Within the CCSA, the Climate Policy team leads much of the Bank Group’s global engagement on climate policy matters, but in the post-Paris Agreement era, the team will also have a growing operational focus, providing specialized support to task teams implementing technical assistance or investment projects on the ground.  To enhance its capabilities in this area, the Climate Policy Team seeks a Climate Change Specialist (Adaptation/Resilience) with operations and/or consulting experience who will shape and drive the mainstreaming of climate adaptation/resilience throughout the World Bank Group’s portfolio. The Climate Change Specialist will also play a key role in building strategic knowledge and partnerships for effective learning, innovation and investment in adaptation/resilience.  The Climate Change Specialist will report to the Manager of the Climate Change Policy team.

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.


• Support strategies to increase Climate Policy Team engagement with WBG task teams on investment and technical assistance activities linked to climate adaptation elements of client INDCs/national adaptation strategies

• Lead/contribute to preparation of analytical work and knowledge products on climate adaptation/resilience and risk management, including supporting task teams and driving forward efforts to extract information from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) for application to other Bank projects.

• Lead/contribute to distillation and development of cutting edge knowledge and technical innovations  that can advance and scale up uptake of adaptation and resilient solutions, including through testing and validation with task teams

• Develop guidance and methods to support inclusion of climate and disaster resilience in WBG policies, strategies and investments; provide strategic advice to Climate Change CCSA management on issues related to climate adaptation/resilience.

• Support implementation of current and future IDA policy commitments in Bank operations by providing advice to operational teams, on a demand basis or through reviews of draft SCDs or CPFs; take the lead on preparation of reports to the IDA Board and other corporate reporting responsibilities on these issues.

• Lead efforts to modify/expand Climate Change Knowledge Portal to maximize its relevance and use by WBG task teams  

• Represent the WBG in discussions with international organizations, donor groups, clients and stakeholders on issues related to mainstreaming climate and disaster resilience.

Selection Criteria:

• Climate Change – Extensive experience working on climate change adaptation and or disaster risk management issues and projects.  Solid familiarity with climate science, including interpretation/analysis of output from climate models.  Able to translate climate model results into material accessible to the layperson.

• Client Engagement Experience – Candidate should have significant operational (client-level) experience within World Bank operations or at other development banks or donor aid organizations ; or within civil society organizations focused on climate change.

• Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of environmental and climate policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations. Experience in applying knowledge (soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, engineering, urban planning etc.) to climate policy-related decisions and advice.

• Business Development – Solid experience with advisory, analytical and/or operational business engagement.  Must have a strong client orientation, with proven ability to provide evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge and maintain/build client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions.

• Drive for Results – Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.

• Integrative Skills – Able to undertake cross-sectoral work, applying a climate resilience lens to lending and non-lending operations.

• Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas, verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.

• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Other Selection Criteria:

• Masters and or advanced degree in environmental economics, natural sciences, engineering, public policy, urban planning, or related discipline.

• At least 5 years of international working experience in sustainable development, climate change, or sustainability issues.

• Previous management or strategic consulting experience highly desirable.

• Experience working in multiple WBG regions.

• Solid familiarity with climate adaptation/resilience strategies, metrics, policy frameworks, and financing mechanisms.  

• Demonstrated ability to lead or contribute to high-level analytical work.

• Ability to deliver in a dynamic environment with multiple demands and quick turnaround of outputs.

• Results oriented, with an ability to work independently, devise and produce results in collaboration with departments across the WBG.

• Excellent report writing and communications skills in English, knowledge of another major language desirable. Ability to work under pressure while retaining perspective and a sense of humor.

• Strong interpersonal, organizational and team management skills, with demonstrated ability to build strong networks and teams to achieve results across the matrix.

• Knowledge of social media and other knowledge communications tools an advantage.