Action Track Coordinator - Food Security & Smallholder Agriculture, Global Commission on Adaptation

Program Management Washington, District of Columbia


Job Summary

You will manage the development of the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Action Track on Food Security and Smallholder Agriculture and support its implementation. You will work under the guidance of the Action Track Co-Managers and in coordination with other Action Track Coordinators. You will coordinate the development of the Food Security and Smallholder Agriculture Action Track by working with both a small group of influential and representative players who will be expected to lead the Action Track and the broader coalition of partners who will support it.  You will be assisting all these partners on issues of content, organization, and outreach. This may include commissioning analytic work in support of the Action Track and convening meetings of the partners. You will ensure that the Action Track sets ambitious, measurable, and achievable goals and that it has a strategy and timetable for achieving those goals. The Action Track will need to make bold new announcements either before or at the 2019 UN Climate Summit. You will also work actively with Action Track partners to secure the necessary funding.

You will be accountable to both the Global Center on Adaptation and World Resources Institute, referred to as the Managing Partners of the Global Commission on Adaptation, on delivery of the Action Track. You will be employed by the World Resources Institute, with senior oversight by both the Global Center and WRI. You are expected to travel for this position, including to Rotterdam.

This is a limited-term position with an end date of December 31, 2020.

Job Responsibilities

Working under the direction of the Action Track Co-Managers you will be:

  • Managing the development of the Action Track on Food Security and Smallholder Agriculture, including development of an engagement strategy for Commissioners, Advisors, Convening Countries and other key stakeholders, and identification of action track leads and core stakeholders
  • Managing the support of the Managing Partners for implementation of the Action Track on Food Security and Smallholder Agriculture
  • Organizing, in coordination with the Commission’s Communications team and other senior staff, appropriate outreach events and opportunities for the Action Track
  • Developing high quality presentations on the Action Track for internal and external audiences 
  • Ensuring partners and other stakeholders are kept informed and engaged on the Action Track
  • Building relationships with a diverse network of relevant public and private sector actors to maintain a strong network for the Action Track
  • Undertake other tasks to support the work of the Commission

 Job Qualifications

  • Master's degree required (or two additional years of experience); minimum of 5-7 years of relevant full-time experience in climate change & adaptation issues
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a fast-paced office environment, both independently and as part of a global team
  • Adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and able to manage multiple deadlines and deliver high-quality work products
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in key issues in adaptation
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Extremely well-organized and efficient
  • Flexible, responsible, and self-motivated
  • Entrepreneurial and collaborative
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues
  • US work authorization is required. WRI cannot provide sponsorship for this opportunity.

How to Apply

This position is open to both full-time and part-time candidates. Please provide a cover letter and resume.

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Global Commission on Adaptation Overview 

Over the last decade, more countries, cities, and communities have sought to protect economic growth and reduce extreme poverty by better managing the impacts of climate change. With the signing of the Paris Agreement, 192 governments agreed to a global goal on adaptation. Current mitigation commitments have reduced the trajectory of emissions to give us a chance to keep global temperature increase to 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Risks associated with this temperature scenario could threaten our ability to reduce poverty, develop sustainably, and achieve well-being and security for all. The decisions we make today could lead us toward a more climate resilient future, or they could undermine food, water, and energy security for decades to come.

A new high-level Global Commission on Adaptation, led by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, was launched in October 2018. It is composed of current and former heads of government and leaders from business, philanthropy, and civil society. The Commission seeks to elevate the political visibility of adaptation with a strong focus on solutions. The Commission will develop a narrative that marks a qualitative shift in the way we think about and act on adaptation. It will demonstrate that adapting to climate change improves human well-being and results in better, more sustainable economic development and security for all. It will make the case for the importance of taking climate risks into account and radically changing the way we do development. And most importantly of all, it will show the importance of ensuring that adaptation action and support reaches the most vulnerable.

Following its formal launch in October 2018, the Commission has engaged in outreach and coalition building within the wider development and adaptation communities. It is also preparing to deliver a Flagship Report at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019. This outreach, coalition building, and report will catalyze a year of action during which Commissioners and partners will inspire governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society to enhance adaptation commitments, mobilize finance and accelerate action in the form of several Action Tracks.

The Global Commission on Adaptation’s Action Tracks 

Each Action Track will address a specific adaptation challenge or problem that is both significant and tractable. These challenges will be ones that are common to a large number of countries, communities and actors, and whose solution will pave the way for a measurable increase in climate resilience. The Action Tracks will catalyze action to address and overcome that challenge or problem in a specified timeframe. Each track will involve tangible, actionable targets. Each track will need to identify what game changing new targets, commitments, and partnerships they could deliver or announce at the UN Climate Summit. All Action Tracks will have started implementation by September 2019. Action Tracks may continue beyond the lifespan of the Commission, which is due to sunset in December 2020.

 Each Action Track will be led by a small group of influential and representative players in that area and supported by a broader coalition of partners. There will be scope for the Action Track leaders and partners to gain branding and visibility from their role. It is important that each Action Track involve a range of different actors, ranging from large global organizations to leaders of vulnerable communities and groups. Action Tracks will, wherever possible, build on the foundation of existing initiatives and coalitions, giving them added impetus to take to scale.

Each Action Track will organize itself in a way that suits the individual partners and the adaptation challenge that it is addressing. It is therefore expected that each Action Track will vary in its modalities and ways of working. The Commission will endorse the Action Tracks and, collectively and through individual Commissioners, give political weight, reputation, and profile to the respective tracks. The Commission will bring all Action Tracks together under one umbrella and provide coordinating functions between the different tracks.

Global Center on Adaptation Overview

The Global Center on Adaptation was initiated by UN Environment and the governments of the Netherlands, Japan, and the Philippines and has established partnerships with global organizations, NGOs, governments, financial institutions, knowledge institutions, and businesses to accelerate climate adaptation. The Center focuses its activities on those areas where acceleration is most needed: where action is most urgently required and where this is complementary to the work of others. It is an independent organization, working across the Global North and South, headquartered in the Netherlands.

The Center works across different sectors and cross-cutting issues to define and scale up effective climate adaptation. It does this by mobilizing and convening the global adaptation community through discussion briefs, workshops, webinars & conferences to set the global adaptation knowledge agenda. The Center recognizes and builds excellence by identifying projects for best practices and lessons learned to share tools, guidance, metrics and lessons.

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 $120 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 800+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in AfricaBrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico 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.  

 The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. 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 orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran 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.