Grants and Finance Specialist, Cities4Forests

Grants & Contracts Washington, DC, United States

Job Summary:

In this role, you will support the efforts of the Cities4Forest team by assisting in the management of budgets, contracts, and sub-contracts for the Cities4Forests growing portfolio of grants and partnerships. Reporting to the team’s Grants and Finance Manager, you will work with them to develop contracts and sub-contracts with partners, track and update current project budgets and expenditure, manage contract operational deliverables and execute work orders and payments, draft budgets for new proposals and agreements, prepare financial reports and invoices, and other ad-hoc administrative, operational, and support tasks as needed.

You will also work closely with the Cities4Forests’ Director to provide day-to-day operational and administrative support for the team’s entire suite of projects. This position will be part of a growing team of Grants and Finance Specialists within the Food, Forests, Water and Ocean (FFWO) Program at WRI.

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

Job Responsibilities:
Financial Planning and Administration (50%)

  • Assist in the preparation of annual program budgets and quarterly financial reviews in consultation with project and G&F managers and the Senior Operations Manager of the FFWO Program
  • Assist the G&F manager with monthly review of transactions and finances of the projects
  • Support monitoring and tracking of project deliverables to ensure that they are submitted within the period of performance and coordinate the submission of invoices
  • Keep track of all funding opportunities and reporting deadlines and maintain and update internal and institutional grant deliverable tracking systems monthly
  • Assist with the preparation of budgets and narratives for all new proposals and grants
  • Assist in preparing detailed financial reports to funders as needed and ensure that progress reports are submitted in a timely manner
  • Additional ad-hoc operational duties as needed

Contract and Subgrant Management (40%)

  • Assist with drafting and maintaining contracts and subgrants with multiple partners across many different countries, including with WRI’s international offices
  • Support monitoring of partners to ensure the timely and accurate submission of progress and financial reports
  • Assist with the submission and tracking of work orders and requests for payment in a timely manner and ensure that payments processed are consistent with WRI’s internal policies and grant requirements
  • Assist project managers in ensuring compliance with all grants and contracts, particularly detailed government grant requirements

Administration (10%)

  • Coordinate and schedule team meetings and assist in the coordination of the team’s planning processes
  • Update and maintain new hire staffing information with FFWO operations teams
  • Provide timesheet guidance to team members on a bi-weekly basis
  • Support teams with financial management for conference and event logistics as needed, including participant travel

Job Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is desired, relevant work experience in lieu of a degree is accepted
  • Minimum of 1 year of full-time work experience in financial management and administration
  • The position requires a detail-oriented, highly organized individual with experience and interest in program operations, grant compliance, financial management, and budgeting
  • Must be adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and have the ability to manage multiple projects with varying deadlines
  • Attention to deadlines, particularly with regard to grant compliance and monitoring subgrantees and contractors
  • Patience and perseverance in understanding and explaining issues to partners and contractors.
  • Strong process orientation with sensitivity to quality
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and demonstrated strong work ethic
  • Comfort working with remote managers
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to take initiative to develop more efficient processes and share new ideas to improve operations.
  • Strong writing, database management, and proofreading skills
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to work well in and with a diverse and dispersed team
  • US work authorization is required for all WRI US opportunities

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:

Program Overview Over the past decade, WRI has been at the forefront of increasing investment in well-designed nature-based solutions (NBS) for water security, disaster risk reduction, and climate and community resilience. We have developed guidance on best practices for evaluating enabling conditions for NBS and appraising NBS projects. We have pioneered an economic method for analyzing NBS investment opportunities and applied it with utilities in several watersheds around the world including in Portland (Maine, USA), Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Monterrey (Mexico), Bogota (Colombia), and other locations. We have supported the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank with their NBS strategies. We have advanced the first green bond standard for water infrastructure and worked with a utility to issue the first-ever green bond for forest-based water infrastructure. And we have developed and piloted a multi-stakeholder finance platform, known as the Forest Resilience Bond, resulting in an unprecedented pipeline of blended finance NBS deals.

Our Learning Guide on Social Equity Considerations supports cities to advance inclusive and equitable NBS projects and our work with Caterpillar Foundation, L’Oréal, FEMSA, and Danone has resulted in significant investment in watershed stewardship as well. Building on this progress, we now aim to scale up our work on NBS through the Cities4Forests initiative. Cities4Forests Overview Cities4Forests is a cross-programmatic effort – involving WRI’s Water, Forests, and Cities programs – that aims to catalyze political, social, and economic support from city governments and urban residents to integrate inner, nearby, and faraway forests into city development plans and programs. Participating cities share an aspiration to reduce commodity-driven deforestation, restore forests and trees, and manage forests more sustainably. Cities4Forests’ goal is to amplify current best practices and extend the deliberate city-forest relationship to the global scale on which cities and forests interact. It is a voluntary coalition involving mayors’ offices — and supported by other subnational agencies such as public water utilities and offices of sustainability — from more than 75 cities around the world. We encourage peer-to-peer inspiration and learning, and members receive technical support from WRI and partners with expertise in forests, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy.

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.