Senior Environmental Specialist, Washington, United States

Organization: The World Bank

Country: United States

City: Washington

Office: World Bank in Washington, United States

Closing date: Friday, 21 January 2022

Senior Environmental Specialist

Job #: req14211

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Environment

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 2 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish - Highly desirable

Closing Date: 1/21/2022 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. Visit .

About the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism created in 1991 to provide grant and concessional funds to recipient countries for projects and programs that address biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, degradation of international waters, land and forests, ozone depletion, elimination or reduction of persistent organic pollutants and mercury, all within the framework of sustainable development.

The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, GEF is the designated financial mechanism for five international environmental conventions: The Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

In the years since its establishment, the GEF has funded over 4,500 projects in 170 countries, and many thousands more through the GEF Small Grants Program, providing $20.5 billion in grants that leveraged $112 billion in co-financing. The GEF Secretariat, construed for administrative purposes as a Vice Presidential Unit (VPU) within the World Bank, has approximately 70 professional and administrative and client support staff.

The Secretariat is seeking a Senior Environmental Specialist to support the GEF Programs Unit with a series of program management, analytical and policy needs.

Duties and Accountabilities

The GEF Secretariat is looking for a dynamic and experienced Senior Environmental Specialist, with a background and expertise in land use systems and land use planning, including in agriculture, forest conservation, and ecosystem restoration, as means to promote integrated and transformative approaches to reverse the environmental degradation and improve livelihoods.

The Senior Environmental Specialist will have a key role in GEF programming to transform food systems, including the on-going implementation of the GEF-7 "Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration" Impact Program and the design and launch of the GEF-8 Food Systems Integrated Program. He/she will support the GEFSEC’s mandate to deliver global environmental benefits by supporting developing countries in their commitments towards several Multilateral Agreements. The selected candidate will also ensure that generally recognized methodologies to estimate, monitor and report on the Global Environmental Benefits of the Food Systems Program are appropriately included in and applied to the GEF.

The ideal candidate should have a workable understanding of the complexity of the GEF partnership arrangement and of the dynamics of a complex set of GEF client countries. The candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, experience with agriculture and forests in a landscape approach, land restoration, climate change mitigation, carbon benefits accounting and biodiversity conservation projects in developing countries, along with political acumen and the capacity to work effectively on sensitive issues with senior management, the GEF Council and across different implementing agencies and partners of the GEF.

Reporting to the GPU Manager, the selected candidate will provide support to the GEF Programs Unit and work across regions and thematic focal areas, as required.

Project Review and Regional Team(s) Participation

Under the supervision of the Manager of the GEF Programs Unit, the selected candidate will:

Liaise with the Program Strategy Lead to provide oversight for review, delivery and reporting requirements of all projects developed under integrated programs focused on food systems and land use. This includes the GEF-7 "Food, Land Use, and Restoration" Impact Program and the GEF-8 "Food Systems Integrated Program", and engagement with their respective global coordination platforms to provide technical inputs on the areas of agricultural commodity production, sustainable food systems and value chains, land restoration and biodiversity conservation in a large-scale approach. This engagement also involves providing guidance and monitoring the application of appropriate methodologies and standards for the estimation of the GEBs associated with the program.

Act as the point person, including for the provision of technical support to GEF staff as needed, for all issues related to agricultural land use and production of food staples and major commodities, representing the GEF at important events and meetings on these topics.

Provide thought leadership across the organization on thematic areas relevant for the GEF-8 Food Systems as established in the GEF-8 Programming Directions, in particular on food systems, sustainable forest management, landscape approach and planning, and carbon benefits assessment of land-related activities.

Manage reviews of project proposals to be financed by the GEF Trust Fund, according to the agreed project review criteria, provide guidance on major issues involved in the development of project proposals and assist in overall preparation of work programs to be presented to council.

Participate in the GEF work within Regional Teams on GEF issues, including participation in country dialogues, expanded constituency workshops, and the GEF Country Support Program.

As required, represent the GEF at a senior level at selected international, political, scientific and operational forums.

Participate in the political outreach to relevant countries in international for a, with the UNFCCC and other related international instruments.

Provide quality inputs to the CEO and GPU Director on country and thematic briefings, talking points, speeches, analytical/strategic documents.

Lead and support the design and development of knowledge management products, brochures, outreach and communication material, and provide inputs on the revision of operational processes and procedures, as requested.

Support the development and delivery of GEF reports, Council documents, engagement plans, and other work products related to the Climate Change Mitigation, Biodiversity and Land Degradation Focal Area, as needed.

Undertake additional duties as required by Director and Manager of the GEF Programs Unit

Selection Criteria

The candidate should possess a master’s with at least eight years of professional experience, or a Ph.D., with seven years of experience in the field of landscape management, agriculture, climate change, natural resources management/environmental sciences, economics, or other relevant discipline.

The candidate should demonstrate an excellent knowledge of food systems, land use planning, forest landscape restoration and land-based sources of GHGs emissions and corresponding mitigation methodologies, preferably within an international context.

The candidate should have demonstrable experience in the selection and application of generally recognized methodologies for the estimation of greenhouse gases emission reduction, removal and/or avoidance, as applicable to the forestry, agriculture and other land-use sectors.

In addition to the required skills above, the following skills would be desirable:

Experience with improving sustainability in food systems, integrating climate mitigation solutions, land restoration and biodiversity conservation, into comprehensive landscape planning.

Experience with projects and programs in developing countries, Asia, Latin America and/or Africa.

Knowledge of existing inter-governmental and private initiatives to combat deforestation and restore degraded land.

Ability to deal with a range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, private sector entities, developing country counterparts, and NGOs would be an advantage.

Ability to think analytically, strategically, and programmatically.

Excellent technical and working knowledge in various sectors.

Proven record of constructive and positive engagement in leading a program and policy dialogue with client Governments, donors and other stakeholders;
Proven ability to work in teams, both as a team leader and team member c4UF3LC Dh7qKS

Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. Second language (French, Spanish or Portuguese) is highly desirable.

Ability to work independently on complex tasks on tight deadlines.

Demonstrated ability to function as a team player within and across teams.

Ability to work in a multicultural environment in an international setting;
Working knowledge of the operations of the Global Environment Facility and its Agencies is preferable.

Required Competencies:

Deliver results for clients:

Sets challenging goals to support the delivery of the GEF mission and is always looking to improve

Understands clients‘ most pressing challenges and contributes to solutions

Takes personal responsibility for producing high quality work, identifying and informing of risks, and delivering results for clients

Lead and innovate:

Applies critical thinking to current approaches, identifies areas for improvement, and tries new solutions that drive results

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

Operates in ambiguity and changing needs and supports others to do the same and helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context

Considers own behavior in context of World Bank Group values and mission and recognizes impact one has on others

Collaborate within Teams and across Boundaries:

Keeps others fully informed to ensure integration and work consistency and displays a sense of mutuality and respect

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.

Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved and leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes

Seeks and listens to input from others to inform own decision making and openly shares information

Frames thinking/actions with a WBG corporate perspective in mind

Create, apply and share knowledge:

Is known in the subject area and is sought out by peers to advise or contribute to knowledge products and is interested in building on personal and professional networks to advance GEF mission

Actively invests in own knowledge and seeks feedback and interested in contributing to the GEF’s body of knowledge by applying lessons learned and expertise

Seeks opportunities to mentoring junior staff less to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge

Builds networks across the international development/environment community and as part of existing external professional groups/networks

Make smart decisions:

Applies critical thinking and contributes to decision making by providing data and relevant risk-analysis and takes initiative and makes decisions in a timely manner

Seeks and analyzes facts, data and lessons of past experience to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others‘ work

Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long-term implications of decisions and commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

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