Director, Country Engagement, NDC Partnership

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

Job Summary:

As the Director, Country Engagement within the NDC Partnership Support Unit, you will lead the Support Unit’s country engagement work, building on existing efforts to ensure that the NDC Partnership remains a leading mechanism for leveraging partners’ resources and expertise to support countries’ NDC enhancement and implementation in an increasingly crowded field. You will be helping to steer the strategic direction of a partnership of 115 countries, 44 institutions, and 38 associate members, with an unrivalled opportunity to create entirely new modalities of climate-focused development cooperation. While the Partnership’s first five years have cemented its place as a powerful coalition for increased climate ambition and accelerated climate action, the coming years will require proof of concept in the form of measurable contributions to NDC implementation. Your vision in this role will be critical to delivering on the Partnership’s mission.

As the support for the Country Engagement Team, you will coordinate the rapid, flexible provision of technical support, financial resources, and knowledge products, in response to country needs. It assists member country governments and the Partnership’s in-country facilitators, as needed, to engage partners in the enhancement and execution of countries’ NDCs, often through implementation of NDC Action Plans. Your role will consist of guiding this work, while continuously looking for ways to innovate in order to ensure that the Partnership remains as responsive as possible to member countries’ changing needs and rises to the challenge of the next decade of climate action. You will also work to ensure effective deployment and maximal impact of resources channeled through the Partnership’s new funding mechanism, the Partnership Action Fund (PAF). A team of dedicated professionals from over fifteen countries will be supporting you in this work, allowing you to capitalize on a varied and extensive base of experience and expertise. You will contribute positively to the team spirit of the Support Unit and collaborate and support the development of staff through a positive and motivating leadership style.

You will be an integral part of the Management Team (MT). As a member of the MT, you will be directly contributing to Partnership’s Work Program design, COP planning and execution to make Partnership strategically positioned, leading the preparation of Steering Committee meetings, and representing the Partnership in external events. Working closely with the Deputy Director for Country Engagement, you will be in charge of managing a team of approximately 25 staff members with up to 8 staff members reporting directly to you. Your job will be conducted in accordance with the NDC Partnership Work Program 2021-2025 and its M&E Framework, annual work plans, Country Engagement Strategy, Gender Strategy, and Youth Engagement Plan. You will report to the Global Director.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based in Washington, DC once restrictions have been lifted.

Job Responsibilities:

Ensure the country engagement strategy is flexibly and systematically implemented across all member countries:

  • Oversee the work of the NDC Partnership’s Regional Managers in strategically engaging with the countries in their respective regions
  • Provide guidance to the country engagement specialists as needed
  • At least one region would be under direct managerial responsibility of the Deputy Director, under your supervision
  • Build, strengthen, and sustain relationships with member countries’ government officials, development and implementing partners, and other key partners to advance country engagement and resource mobilization
  • Advance the mission of the NDC Partnership through advocacy and participation in high-level country missions, external meetings, and workshops
  • Ensure all relevant performance targets of the Partnership are on track, in line with the M&E framework of the Partnership
  • Guide the continued development and expansion of the Partnership’s Major Emerging Economies (MEEs) strategy, Project Information Notes (PINs), and Readiness Support for Greening Central Banks
  • Ensure the effective implementation of recommendations emerging from the Economic Advisory Initiative, including through deployment advisors at the sectoral and sub-national levels
  • Oversee efforts to strengthen the NDC Partnership’s network of in-country facilitators and sustain its impact, including through capacity development opportunities for facilitators and the preparation of facilitation exit strategies
  • Deploy your vision, experience, and relationships to ensure that the Partnership’s country engagement strategy remains responsive to member countries changing needs
  • In collaboration with the Knowledge and Learning team, optimize country feedback mechanisms to ensure that member countries drive the Partnership’s in-country engagement and influence its global strategy development
  • Lead efforts to innovate in response to country feedback and new challenges, including through sustained coordination with development and implementing partners
  • Ensure the Partnership’s country engagement work is continuing to enhance the effectiveness of technical assistance support and climate finance
  • Ensure effective deployment of the Partnership’s new funding mechanism, the Partnership Action Fund (PAF) in collaboration with the Deputy Director
  • Oversee implementation of the NDC Partnership’s Finance Strategy, together with the Director of Knowledge and Learning
  • Building on aid and development effectiveness frameworks, guide efforts to continuously increase the effectiveness of resources mobilized by the Partnership or in alignment with Partnership work
  • Pursue innovative ways to attract new and different sources of support for member countries’ requests and plans, including through the private sector Work with the Management Team to keep the Partnership’s country engagement work ahead of the curve:
  • Identify potential new strategic directions to increase the coverage and diversify the focus of mobilized support
  • Develop new ideas for how to expand the scope and increase the impact of support provided through the Partnership
  • Pilot these ideas with interested member countries and partners to refine and strengthen them before integrating them into existing country engagement modalities
  • Work with the Management Team to further staff development within the Support Unit
  • Provide leadership within the Support unit in your areas of expertise and facilitate staff learning and development
  • Lead select internal processes to strengthen staff culture, satisfaction, and performance, and mentor staff in their professional development
  • Organize sessions for the Support Unit’s Seminar Series

Job Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in international development, development economics, climate change (management, science, policy or economics), finance or a related field, with a concentration on environment/climate change
  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in international development or climate change/environmental/ natural resource economics, policy, or a related field, minimum of 5 years of this in a country of the global south
  • Minimum of 10 years of demonstrable experience in international cooperation, including work related to delivering development or technical assistance in a developing country context. This should include experience dealing with Governments, bilateral and/or multilateral organizations, private sector and/or civil society actors. Working experience with Planning or Finance Ministries will be an added advantage.
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in program management or project leadership
  • Past team management responsibility
  • Good knowledge of the Paris Agreement and its architecture, aid, and development effectiveness principles in relation to the Paris Declaration
  • Demonstrated skills in building effective relationships with government officials from both developed and developing countries and navigating the complexities of working across the whole of government, including in countries with limited institutional capacity
  • Demonstrated skills in managing and aligning diverse groups of stakeholders, including development agencies, non-state actors/civil society, financial institutions, the private sector, and others
  • Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills in English. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is an added advantage
  • High level of organization, flexibility, ability to work in a team, to work well under pressure and successfully manage multiple deadlines and competing demands

Potential Salary:

$150,000 - $200,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply:

Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants mustapply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Program Overview:

The NDC Partnership is a global coalition that works with national governments, international institutions and civil society, to fast-track climate and development action. To date, the Partnership’s membership is at 197 members and growing, including 115 countries, 44 institutions and 38 associate members. Through the Partnership, members leverage their resources and expertise to provide countries with the tools they need to implement their NDCs in order to combat climate change and build a better future. In 2015, the world endorsed the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These historic accords presented countries with an unprecedented opportunity to align the climate and sustainable development agendas to spur economic growth and improve the livelihoods of all people. Nations signal their commitments to the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (or NDCs) - each country's strategy to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency against the negative effects of a changing climate.

One of the unique value propositions that the NDC Partnership brings through its in-country work is leveraging the support from a consortium of partners towards a common objective set by the government. As part of the Partnership’s Country Engagement process, Country Engagement Specialists engage directly with ministries and other stakeholders to assess climate-related needs and identify opportunities for collaboration around these needs—across sectors, regions, and international partners. Through targeted and coordinated technical assistance, members of the Partnership support countries with, for example, policy and strategy formulation for NDC mainstreaming, development of NDC implementation plans and resource mobilization, NDC revision and enhancement, or green economic recovery post-pandemic.

WRI Overview:

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills, and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years, and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.