Chief Executive Officer, WRI India

Leadership New Delhi, India Mumbai, India, India Bengaluru, India, India

Chief Executive Officer - India Resources Trust


Who we are and what we do?

WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. WRI India’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. 

We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization. Currently over 400 researchers are working with WRI India in our offices at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. 

About your Role:

WRI India provides objective, evidence-based practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will address issues related to climate, food, forest, water, energy, and cities. It is inspired by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global nonprofit organization with a similar mission. 

Humanity stands at a critical point. Never have we been so successful, yet never has this success been so threatened by our actions. WRI India was established to move human society to live in ways that protect and preserve Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

As a visionary leader with conceptual clarity, you will build and lead a research-based organization in India that is associated with the WRI global network.  You will be expected to build upon and significantly enhance the impact and profile of the organization by bringing a combination of deep evidence-based policy experience, strategic vision, partnership development, people management, fundraising, engagement, and communications. You will be a recognized leader in fostering a workplace culture based on trust, respect, independence, and integrity.

Position Overview:

You are a dynamic and articulate leader who can assess the environmental and sustainability needs of the country and translate them into executable programs/projects underpinned by robust research, monitoring, evaluation and learning systems. You will be responsible for guiding and supporting the delivery of WRI’s next global strategy, along with WRI India’s program leads. Externally, you are the face of WRI India with funders and partners, creating the credibility and versatility to network and inform government institutions at the national, state and city levels. You are an influential leader with corporate and business leaders, multilateral/bilateral institutions, and civil society.

Internally, you will foster a values-based and collaborative culture to ensure the smooth running of programs and operations within India and with other parts of WRI’s global network. Being a people person who inspires and develops staff, you are an excellent communicator within the organization at all levels and across cultures. Sound financial understanding and business acumen are required.


How your day will unfold: 

  • Form and implement WRI India’s strategy and mission, partnering with WRI Global network and WRI India’s program leads
  • Partner with WRI’s Global network to deliver WRI’s Global five-year strategy
  • Lead the WRI India Executive team to coalesce a competent and effective WRI India team of experts
  • Develop and leverage critical networking relationships to continue to maintain a strong presence in India
  • Raise funds for WRI India operations and programs
  • Inspire and maintain at all levels the highest standards of quality and excellence in research, data and monitoring, evaluation and learning for all programs and activities
  • Ensure the highest levels of integrity in all aspects of the organization’s work – scientific, operational, and financial
  • Create a value-based and inclusive work-place underpinned by trust, respect, integrity and independence.


  • Develop and maintain a coherent country vision and strategy that contributes to WRI’s institutional mission and goals
  • Facilitate the overall planning and implementation of program activities in India
  • Foster a culture of excellence and collaboration in all aspects of work in India and impart WRI India’s values into all activities
  • Act as an essential member of a worldwide team of leaders
  • Lead WRI India’s 400+ staff located at three bases in India (Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi) and create a cohesive, inclusive and well-functioning team
  • Strengthen WRI India’s capacity to conduct research and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) to inform implementation activities on the ground

Political Strategy and Relationships

  • Develop a deep understanding of the national and state-level political context
  • Cultivate and sustain strong partnerships with government, civil society, research institutions, and the private sector
  • Represent WRI India at international forums
  • Represent WRI India successfully to national, state, and local government officials, donors, Indian and international media, NGOs, civil society, corporate leaders, academia, and other relevant partners
  • Cultivate, maintain, and grow a strong relationship with the WRI India board
  • Develop WRI India’s brand by building on WRI’s global brand working closely with the international and India based communication teams
  • Represent and provide visibility for WRI India in the target domains by organizing/participating in high-profile events and other avenues

Program Development

  • Shape and support programs depending on their stages of evolution – mature, emerging, and new programs
  • Explore and encourage cross programmatic initiatives within the organization
  • Identify potential new lines of work aligned with WRI India’s institutional goals and strategy that would lead to targeted transformative change
  • Ensure effective coordination of relevant programs about project activities in India
  • Foster a strong learning mentality underpinned by robust research and MEL, with a strong focus on equity

Program Management

  • Hold project teams accountable for remaining within the scope of their initial design and budget for their projects; propose amendments when necessary
  • Ability to work and manage in a matrixed environment and work with project managers to adapt WRI’s principles for practice and research/MEL standards for monitoring and evaluating projects in the Indian context
  • Partner across WRI’s network of International Offices and Programs/Centers to leverage global scale and expertise, including building streams of workaround South-South collaboration
  • Set adequate operational controls to maintain financial transparency and integrity

Operations and Management

  • Responsible for People management and creating cohesive, inclusive and effective teams based on mutual respect
  • Ensure timely donor reporting and grant compliance
  • Build sound internal controls, sound financial risk management via compliance, financial management, and ensure sufficient operations capacity by working effectively with the Global Operations Team
  • Ensure WRI India’s learning from and collaboration with other members of the WRI Network
  • Keep the WRI India Board regularly updated on activities through regular interactions
  • Carry out any other responsibilities as requested by the WRI India board

Fundraising and Communications

  • Lead efforts to develop and secure long-term funding for new projects based on identified needs for India working in coordination with WRI Development staff and various Programs/Country offices
  • Donor Stewardship and profile building - back existing strategies/work and ensure that the donor will desire follow-on funding
  • Identify and cultivate donors from among government, business, foundation, and individual sources in partnership with WRI India program and development leads
  • Provide strategic leadership for the long-term financial stability of WRI India


Qualifications and Requirements we seek

Key criteria:

  • Experienced and recognized leader with 15+ years of relevant work experience and at least 7+ years in senior management roles. Successful track record of leading organizations, integrating and working with existing teams, and building teams in a multi-cultural environment
  • Strategic mindset capable of providing a compelling vision and strategy. Demonstrated experience in strategic planning, project management, conducting research, and operations execution
  • Effective relationship builder who inspires staff and maintains the confidence and stature to engage with various stakeholders, including national and state governments, NGOs, private sector, and academic institutions. Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships for WRI India’s growth
  • Proven track record in building and maintaining solid and successful relationships at the highest level of government
  • Depth of knowledge and experience in India. Successful track record of engaging with international organizations and the Indian government and institutions (e.g., academic, business sector, and NGOs)
  • Extensive knowledge and passion for the environment and sustainable development related issues
  • Effective team builder and leader. Ability to lead, manage, empower, and motivate a diverse team located at multiple sites
  • Passion for people and openness to new ideas. Ability to retain and develop the organization’s talent pool and build talent for the future for the sustained success of WRI India
  • Excellent writing, speaking, editing, and presentation skills. Demonstrated skill influencing at all levels of interaction
  • Ability to travel frequently within the country and internationally
  • Fluent in spoken and written English and at least one Indian language
  • Hold a valid Indian Passport

Management Style and Personal Attributes

  • A strategic mindset and a passion/knowledge for sustainable development are essential
  • Sense of urgency about the mission of WRI India and the need to address the environment and development challenges confronting humankind
  • Patience, resiliency, and tenacity with an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, creativity, common sense, and well-honed strategic judgment that establishes credibility and ease of partnerships with other members of the team
  • Leadership style that is open, collaborative, respectful, and evidence-based results; a manner that inspires trust, motivates staff to work well together, provides them with a clear sense of direction, and respects their capabilities and independence. Be an effective mentor and guide to all staff
  • Cross-cultural interpersonal skills with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders, strong and active listening skills, and an ability to relate well to people at all levels
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and under deadline pressure; personal grace in dealing with a broad spectrum of personalities; and good humor in leading the day-to-day work of the department

To Apply:

Only Qualified applicants should apply online at [email protected]. All applications must be submitted online through this career mail to be formally considered.

List of Documents to be attached:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview purpose. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) @WRI India

WRI India values and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion across all areas of our work and workforce. Integrating these values into our actions fosters a progressive and collaborative culture and can also enhance our impact.  It is our responsibility to create a welcoming working environment for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experience to learn together. We are responsible for fostering a safe and inclusive workplace where questions, concerns and information about diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our ongoing dialogue and development.

Learn more about WRI India’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Click Here

People-centric to the core:

We keep our people at the center of everything we do - from a welcoming work environment to benefits and a culture that encourages staff to stay healthy, happy, engaged, and growing.

Some of the non-monetary benefits that our staff get:

Health benefits: 
We cover health insurance for you and your loved ones for up to INR 8 lakhs

Term Insurance: Our term insurance policy covers life coverage of 50 lakhs per staff member

Employee Assistance program: Promoting mental well-being and supporting staff in achieving a satisfying work-life balance

Digital healthcare service: Online doctor consultations for your primary healthcare needs

Flexible work schedule:  Alternative work arrangements for all who are eligible by nature of their job

Learning culture: Workshops and trainings to empower staff, encourage new learning opportunities

Rest and Recharge weeks: We encourage staff to take time off to rest, rejuvenate, upskill, and pursue their interests.

Our leave policy: Avail personal time off at 36 per year, along with public holidays, maternity, paternity, and adoption leaves.

Click here to know more about our benefits Careers | WRI INDIA (

Equal employment @WRI India

We believe in equal employment opportunity, it is our policy to recruit, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to caste, religion, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, parental status, or disability.