Director of Sustainable Private Sector Finance

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

You may either be based in the US or one of our offices in Europe - the UK or The Hague. Please let us know in your cover letter which location you prefer and if you are legally able to work there. Thank you.

Job Summary:

In this role, you will be joining WRI at a pivotal moment as we seek to expand this important line of work, which has a strong focus on integrating climate change into financial decision-making. You will be responsible for setting the pillar’s objectives, strategies, and plans, as well as proposing, designing, and directing knowledge and data products to promote sustainable private sector finance. You will play a critical role in the effort to sustainably invest WRI’s endowment, serving as the Head of Sustainable Investing for the endowment.

Your other duties will include writing reports and other knowledge products, conducting outreach to key stakeholders, fundraising with donors, developing internal and external partnerships, and managing a team of 3-5 staff members. You will be expected to engage with and present research findings to investors, bankers, and their networks, along with government officials, media, and civil society.

You will report to the Global Director of the Sustainable Finance Center and coordinate closely with the Global Director of the Center for Sustainable Business and WRI’s Chief Financial Officer.

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

Job Responsibilities:

Program Management (25% of time required)

  • Manage the Sustainable Private Sector Finance strategy, projects, research, and communications in line with the Finance Center’s strategic goals—informed by engagement and collaboration with WRI programs and external experts and stakeholders
  • Develop innovative new research/program concepts for how WRI can promote sustainable private sector finance, in partnership with other WRI programs and external organizations
  • Set project objectives, strategies, plans, and success criteria for the Finance Center’s private sector finance pillar; monitor and evaluate performance for the pillar in line with these criteria
  • Serve as the Head of Sustainable Investing for WRI’s endowment: work closely with WRI’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Finance & Investment Committee to implement and continuously raise the ambition of WRI’s sustainable investment strategy for its endowment, in line with WRI’s Investment Policy Statement
  • Advocate for ideas internally with Center colleagues, across the WRI matrix, and with WRI leadership
  • Establish project and staff management processes for effective functioning of the pillar, and deliver on Center, pillar, or institutional processes
  • Supervise and provide leadership, creative direction and oversight to a team of 3-5 junior and mid-level staff, with room to grow the team
  • Proactively manage, change and devise contingency plans for workplans, funding, and staffing
  • Monitor pillar budgets and financial performance with support from the Center’s Operations & Development Manager
  • Assist in resolving difficult or sensitive human resources or financial concerns

Fundraising (25% of time required)

  • Lead fundraising efforts for the pillar, in collaboration with the Global Director for Sustainable Finance, Development, and other WRI program leads—meeting a fundraising target of approximately $500,000 per year, with the aim of further growing the pillar over time
  • Leverage new and steward existing relationships with foundations, donor governments and/or individual donors to raise funds for the private sector finance pillar
  • Develop funding proposals and conduct outreach/funding presentations to potential donors

Research & Knowledge: (25% of time required)

  • Propose, design, and direct knowledge and data products to advance sustainable investing and banking practices
  • Author knowledge and data products on sustainable private sector finance (e.g. reports, briefs, data visualizations)
  • Collaborate with and support WRI’s other programs/centers/international offices on work related to promoting sustainable private sector finance
  • Review knowledge products written by other WRI researchers

Outreach & Influence (25% of time required)

  • Manage relationships with existing partners and identify/cultivate new strategic partners to advance sustainable investing and banking practices
  • Attend forums and meetings and engage widely with private sector finance stakeholders and influence targets to present and disseminate research findings and recommendations, as well as lessons from WRI’s own endowment experience
  • Collaborate with Finance Center’s Communications Manager to identify influence opportunities and develop strategic outreach activities
  • Represent WRI and the Finance Center at internal and external meetings, serving as one of WRI’s leading sustainable private sector finance experts
  • Author external-facing communications pieces (e.g. explainer articles, commentaries, etc.) to provide expert and timely views on key topics/developments, disseminate research findings and recommendations, and share lessons from WRI’s own endowment experience
  • Engage with the media, as appropriate and in close consultation with the Center Director and communications staff, to disseminate research findings

Job Qualifications:

  • Masters or equivalent advanced work experience in business/finance (international, environmental, development or sustainable focus preferred), economics, public policy, international relations, international development, environmental science/studies
  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant full-time work experience with 8 years in a leadership role and 3 years of experience supervising and mentoring junior staff
  • Minimum 10 years of full-time experience working with private sector and/or governments and NGOs on sustainable private sector finance and related issues
  • Strong program implementation and project management skills
  • Deep knowledge of the financial sector, including asset management and banking industries
  • Experience with sustainable investing and/or banking
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change
  • Exceptionally good writing, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical research skills
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple competing priorities
  • Experience with external communications and donor management
  • Ability to travel
  • Local work authorization is required for this position

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Professional and/or research experience in one or more of the following topic areas:
    • Paris-alignment methodologies and processes for investors and financial institutions (e.g. net zero transition plans)
    • Climate-related risks and their implications for investors and financial institutions, particularly climate-related physical risks and efforts to build resilience
    • Sustainability and climate-related financial disclosures
    • Climate justice and fostering a just transition

Potential Salary:

$108,000 - $146,000 if based in United States. 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:

WRI’s Sustainable Finance Center aims to shift finance away from environmentally unsustainable activities and towards sustainable ones. We do this by producing evidence-based, policy-actionable research and data products and by convening coalitions of key stakeholders that can drive action on the ground. Our team is multidisciplinary and brings together experience from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The Finance Center supports the rest of WRI as we seek to tackle WRI’s Global Challenges through deep partnerships with a subset of WRI Programs, cross-cutting activities designed to influence financial institutions and markets, and tailored technical advice to WRI’s programs and international offices.

Our work is structured around five key themes/pillars:
(1) enabling NDC implementation through access to climate finance,
(2) promoting sustainable private sector finance,
(3) strengthening public financial institutions,
(4) encouraging the U.S. and China to be sustainable finance champions, a
(5) promoting successful UN negotiations with respect to finance. The

Finance Center’s Sustainable Private Sector Finance pillar works to facilitate the shift of private sector capital toward sustainable activities that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, promoting a fast, resilient, and just transition to net-zero global emissions. The pillar engages institutional investors, banks, and other market participants to inform, develop, and promote widespread adoption of sustainable investment and financing strategies in the mainstream financial sector. We leverage WRI’s own investment experiences through our endowment, provide cutting-edge research and data, and promote peer-to-peer learning through our convening power to encourage this transition.

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.