Director, Climate Resilience Practice (CRP)

Program Management Washington, DC, United States


The ideal location for this position will be in one of our offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico or Brazil. Consideration will be given to locating the position in South Asia in our Delhi office, in Europe in either of our offices in The Hague or in London, or in Washington DC; wherever the top candidate is legally able to work. Please note this in your cover letter.

Job Summary

In this role, you will be a leading subject matter expert in the Governance Center’s Climate Resilience Practice (CRP) with a track record of successful research, publication, and fundraising in climate adaptation and resilience. You will facilitate program management and new project development in partnership with WRI’s programs and international offices and be expected to lead global research for the Practice. Working closely with the Deputy Director, you will manage the Practice. WRI’s Climate Resilience Practice seeks to help developing country governments develop and implement adaptation policies and practices commensurate with the scale and scope of climate change.

Our goal is to help national and sub-national decision-makers understand the drivers of climate vulnerability in their countries, engage vulnerable people in adaptation efforts, and access the information, tools, and resources they need to take account of climate change in planning and programs. We collaborate extensively with colleagues across WRI and Partner organizations globally. From 2018-2021, CRP was the co-managing partner of the Global Commission on Adaptation. The practice is taking forward several work streams building on the progress of the Commission: adaptation finance mainstreaming, locally led adaptation, and nature-based solutions. The practice also works on transformative adaptation in agriculture. The practice is expected to grow significantly over the coming years and to increasingly intersect with work in WRI’s Finance, Food, Forests, Water, Climate, and Cities Programs. The practice currently has twelve core staff members based in the US and India. Africa is anticipated to be an area of growth.

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

The Director's main areas of responsibility will include the following:

Management (30%)
  • Attract, motivate, and retain world-class CRP staff
  • Manage CRP staff members, ensuring they are effective and supported, and that planned deliverables and results are achieved
  • Oversee overall budgetary performance of CRP
  • Collaborate and coordinate with staff across WRI’s programs, centers and international offices, and external partners to advance the interests of CRP and of WRI
  • Review draft publications, blogs, press releases, and other research and communications materials developed by CRP staff to ensure they meet WRI’s high standards of quality
Research (20%)
  • Identify knowledge gaps and influence opportunities where WRI research can produce meaningful improvements in the climate resilience of society
  • Identify the data and methods needed to produce robust, unbiased research that addresses knowledge gaps and informs CRP’s influence strategies
  • Cultivate relationships that expand the audiences for CRP’s knowledge products and their uptake of tools and research produced by the Practice
  • Author or co-author knowledge products and review and provide constructive feedback on knowledge products produced by other WRI initiatives
Fundraising (20%)
  • Actively cultivate and manage relationships with existing donors to secure renewals
  • Identify and cultivate new donors to expand CRP’s funding base
  • Leverage existing relationships with foundations, governments, and individual donors
  • Write, develop, and review fundraising proposals with staff from CRP and other parts of WRI
  • Mentor staff to broaden their fundraising skills, help them engage effectively in fundraising, and cultivate new funding prospects
Leadership (15%)
  • Ensure WRI’s Climate Resilience Practice (CRP) has a compelling vision, strong research foundation, clear priorities, and coherent strategy
  • Lead CRP strategic planning, including development and planning of a major cross-institutional Signature Initiative, on climate resilience
  • Ensure Climate Resilience Practice activities lead to meaningful results that promote climate-resilient development, and lead reporting on impacts and successes to internal and external audiences
  • Lead CRP’s strategy development, partnership development, and fundraising efforts
  • Foster a culture of excellence in the work of the Practice within the Governance Center and across WRI
  • Promote close and effective collaboration with WRI’s Climate Program and International Offices
  • In keeping with WRI’s commitment to gender equity across our programs, the Director will also be required to identify relevant gender issues, as determined through gender analysis, and ensure adequate and effective attention to these issues in project and partner development, budgeting and management
Outreach (15%)
  • External representation of WRI’s Climate Resilience Practice
  • Develop and give presentations at public speaking events, international forum, one-on-one meetings, and within WRI
  • 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 CRP’s work
Job Qualifications
  • Advanced degree in a relevant field
  • Minimum 15 years of experience in climate adaptation or resilience research and/or policy and practice, and at least 10+ years of experience in management or leadership roles
  • Excellent project management skills and experience leading multi-million-dollar initiatives
  • Successful experience supervising and mentoring direct reports (experience with matrixed teams is a plus)
  • An experienced team builder, who motivates and empowers staff around a bold vision
  • Demonstrated experience in the application of evidence to policy or practice
  • Excellent fundraising skills
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills
  • Commitment to WRI’s mission and values
How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Potential Salary: $124,000 - $167,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

Program Overview

WRI’s Governance Center works to empower people and strengthen governments to build a resilient, just and sustainable future for all. The Governance Center works with governments, the private sector, civil society and the public to address issues that matter most to poor, vulnerable communities: adapting to climate change; affordable, reliable access to clean energy; environmental rights; water and air pollution; social equity; and open, responsive government.

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, watersustainable 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 inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited 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.