Program Director - Climate and Energy
The Leader We Are Looking For
Climate change is the most important – and difficult -- collective action challenge facing humanity this century. Thanks to the Paris Climate deal and spectacular gains in technology and knowledge we are better equipped to address it today than at any time before. But we are not yet on track, and time is running out. Reaching the Paris goal will require global emissions to peak by 2020 or shortly thereafter, and to decline to net zero by the middle of the century. This in turn will require system-wide shifts of major proportions across most key spheres of economic and social life.
China is poised to play a major role in this historic transition. It is today the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses but, equally importantly, it is leading on the innovation and investment needed to decisively tackle climate change. China’s pledge to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and reach carbon neutrality before 2060 points to a historic opportunity for China to accelerate its economic transition towards a net zero carbon economy. The vision pushes the government to think well beyond emissions peaking and creates opportunities to significantly change planning frameworks and mindsets at both national and subnational levels.
WRI is seeking a creative and multi-talented expert on China climate and energy policy to fill the role of Climate and Energy Program Director in its WRI China office. You will lead the development of a comprehensive and compelling climate and energy strategy for WRI China that will help Chinese authorities identify optimal pathways for delivering on the country’s climate commitments and for increasing ambition in the years to come. As a thought leader, you will propose innovative approaches to enable the sustained transformation of China’s economy to achieve long-term zero-carbon targets. You will consider structural, geographical, and political economy challenges, and identify key entry points for leveraging change. Issues around social impacts and equity will also be addressed. With the WRI teams, you will shape and develop strategies for engaging with local and national political leaders in government, private sector, academia and civil society.
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, ocean and sustainable cities. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of more than 1,400 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.
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.
WRI, including global and international office staff, engages businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national and international levels to advance transformative solutions that mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts. With close partnerships with dozens of peer organizations and leading researchers, the global and international office Climate and Energy teams leverage deep analysis and inclusive stakeholder processes to deliver ambitious impact on a global scale. Whether designing the most widely-used tool for emissions accounting with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, re-writing the narrative of environmental development with the New Climate Economy, or playing a critical role in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement – WRI is a trusted, innovative, and effective leader in the field.
WRI China was established in 2008 as WRI’s first international office. Currently WRI China has about 40 full-time staff working on climate change, energy, cities, food, sustainable investment, and finance issues. WRI China Climate and Energy Program’s goal is to support China in building a prosperous, low carbon, and climate resilient society, in line with the global climate goals.
- Develop a well-structured and compelling climate and energy strategy for WRI China, with a strong research foundation, clear priorities, and coherent vision.
- In line with the above strategy, identify, develop and implement projects to deliver large-scale, high impact outcomes.
- Build coalitions and convene successful partnerships on climate and energy policy research to advance WRI's climate change and energy agenda.
- Foster strong collaborative relationships with government representatives and media, including senior government officials in relevant government ministries and departments.
- Foster a culture of excellence in work of the team and across WRI China.
- Promote close and effective collaboration with relevant programs and centers at WRI as well as with other International Offices.
- Manage the program team, including project management, staff management, and financial and administrative matters.
- Directly manage and deliver key projects/research.
- Provide input into WRI’s global climate and energy strategy.
- Write and review reports/publications to ensure high quality, high impact publications in line with WRI’s requirements.
- Participate in the WRI China office management as its management team member and contribute to WRI China development in line with the WRI strategy.
- Provide oversight of all China-related climate and energy policy relevant research and analysis.
- Produce/review publications and other research materials to ensure they meet WRI’s high standards of quality.
- Perform other tasks as directed by the management.
Communications, outreach, and external relationship building
- Establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including government, private sector, non-profit, academia, funders, and other stakeholders.
- Regularly communicate with external stakeholders to ensure our works will lead to on-the-ground change and to bring the outcomes to scale.
- Communicate and coordinate with different programs, centers, offices, and initiatives within WRI network to create synergies.
- Represent WRI's point of view on climate and energy policy developments at seminars, conferences, media interviews, blogs, press conferences, and other ways.
- Write briefs, publish blogs, and conduct media interviews in order to set public and private sector agendas, influence decision-maker perspectives, and communicate findings and recommendations from WRI’s China climate and energy works.
- Lead the development and implementation of the fundraising strategy.
- Develop and maintain relationships with existing and prospective donors.
- Identify fundraising opportunities and prepare funding proposals for corporate donors, private foundations, government agencies, bilateral donors, and other funders.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Well-established climate change, climate economy, and/or energy expert with known track record on China’s national and/or subnational climate works. Experience on mitigation is required while adaptation is a plus. In-depth understanding of China’s climate and energy agenda both domestically and in relation to the international climate regime, as well as bilateral/multilateral relationships.
- Proven ability to provide vision and superb strategic thinking skills to identify strategic projects, drive transformative change, and bring outcomes to scale.
- Strong governmental network with significant experience in working directly with relevant ministries and proven experience on stakeholder engagement, convening, and partnership management.
- Strong research skill with relevant experience on publishing high impact reports, familiar with peer review processes, and experience on multi-partner joint publications.
- Track record on raising large-scale, multi-year funds with broad connections with funders, both domestically and internationally.
- Excellent communication skills and command of written and spoken Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Strong public speaker in both languages.
- Superior management skills, including project management, staff supervision, and financial management. Demonstrated ability to successfully motivate and manage teams.
- Familiar with the operation models of NGOs/research institutions.
- Advanced degree in climate policy, energy, economics or other related fields, with at least 10 years of progressive professional work experience related to climate and/or energy works in China.
- Willingness and ability to travel within China and internationally.
Final candidates will be required to provide two writing samples.
Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package
Position reports to:
Duration: Full-time regular
Location: Beijing, China
To Apply: Qualified applicants should apply online at www.wri.org/careers. All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.
Application close: Open until filled.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual preference, parental status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.