Grants & Finance Specialist I, Electric School Bus Initiative

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

Job Summary

In this role you will support the financial management of the Electric School Bus (ESB) project and Energy Program. We require an experienced, detail-oriented and self-motivated individual to support a robust team of experts actively engaged in research, analysis, and advocacy on clean energy and electric mobility in the United States. The work of the team you would be supporting encompasses policy and research at the national, federal, and local levels, as well as engagement with government, private sector, industry, and other civil society organizations. You will be responsible for budget management, grant proposals and compliance, subgrant and contract management, facilitating outreach efforts, and other operational duties as assigned.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at WRI’s office in Washington, DC once restrictions have lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Project Management (40% time)

  • Support project managers in coordinating with external partners and provides close liaison with WRI staff across programs and departments
  • Support project managers in the development of project workplans, deliverables tracking, and task assignments, and support tracking, implementation, and accountability of assignments
  • Prepare and execute subgrant and contract agreements and advise Project Managers on oversight and delivery of subcontracted work
  • Monitor and liaises with partners to ensure the timely delivery of contract requirements, including accurate submission of progress and financial reports
  • Coordinate outreach efforts on behalf of projects as needed
Grants & Financial Management (40% time)
  • Coordinate and advise project managers on budget design and management, including use of advanced budgeting software, monthly financial tracking, and supporting Project Managers in expense forecasting and revenue analysis
  • Regularly review, update, and monitor transactions, commitments, and revenue prospects for team
  • Supply timely financial reports and analysis to project managers and program Operations Manager
  • Collect invoices and process project payments in compliance with established governance
  • Draft proposal budgets and assists in the collection & submission of formal proposal packages, including routing through internal review
  • Maintain timely and accurate information in donor and grant management database (Salesforce)
  • Ensure and assist in the timely and accurate submission of grant progress and financial reports, and compliance with any funder requirements
Events & Administration (20% time)
  • Coordinate and schedule internal & external team meetings, and keep minutes as needed
  • Coordinate event logistics for meetings and workshops including venue and catering, participant tracking and travel support, and presentation materials
  • Coordinate recruitment efforts and manage onboarding of new staff and interns, as needed
  • Provide travel, scheduling, and other administrative support to US Energy Director as needed
Job Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree required, preferably in a relevant field (finance, accounting, economics, public policy, political science, etc.) or with demonstrated capacities in core job functions
  • Minimum 1 year of relevant full-time work experience is required, preferably in financial management, grants or contract management, or nonprofit operations
  • Detail-oriented, highly organized with experience and interest in program management, financial management, budgeting, and contracts
  • Adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and can manage multiple projects with varying deadlines
  • Strong process orientation with sensitivity to quality, timelines, and organizational systems
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, including proactively identifying problems and working with team members to develop solutions
  • Strong writing, database management, and proofreading skills
  • Strong computer skills including high level of comfort with Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook), web-based communications (Skype, Zoom), CRM databases (Salesforce); familiarity with advanced budgeting software (Quicken, Cognos) or project management software (Basecamp, Asana, preferred
  • Budgeting experience with Microsoft Excel, or more advanced budgeting software is highly desirable
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to work well in a team and with international colleagues
  • Strong commitment to WRI’s mission and the values of integrity, innovation and respect that underpin all aspects of our operations
  • US work authorization is required; WRI cannot offer visa sponsorship for this position
Potential Salary:
$46,000 - $60,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply

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

Program Overview

The 480,000 school buses in the United States account for 80% of all buses nationwide, yet less than 1% are electrified. School bus electrification represents a unique opportunity to accelerate decarbonization while bringing direct, tangible benefits to every community in the United States. This transition can help make electric mobility the new normal for an entire generation. Through the U.S. Electric School Bus Initiative (ESB), funded by the Bezos Earth Fund, WRI’s aim is to create unstoppable momentum over the next five years on a path toward electrifying the entire fleet of U.S. school buses by 2030. Overcoming the cost, infrastructure and policy barriers to mass adoption will require a systemic approach that engages an entire ecosystem of actors and prioritizes inclusive planning with impacted communities.

WRI will achieve this by partnering with key stakeholders and project partners to work on five key pillars: 1) aggregate demand 2) scale manufacturing, 3) develop innovative financing models 4) influence federal and state policy and 5) galvanize communities and stakeholders to push for an equitable and comprehensive shift towards electric school buses. In addition to ESB, this position will also support work in WRI’s Energy Center. WRI’s vision is for clean energy to be available, affordable and accessible for all the world’s people.

Our projects and partnerships make the demand for clean energy visible and actionable. We focus on: (1) mobilizing large energy users such as business and governments to purchase renewable electricity and pursue efficient, zero carbon buildings; (2) shifting and implementing new planning, policies and utility governance to speed deployment of clean and renewable electricity; and (3) improving energy access by identifying and matching unmet demand for energy services, including new finance and clean energy business models to improve development outcomes. WRI is committed to ensuring gender equity across our program portfolios. As such, you are expected to incorporate attention to gender where appropriate.

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.