Director, Global Development and Partnerships

Development Washington, DC, United States

This position can be based in WRI offices in Europe(The Hague or London) or in Washington DC.  It will require regular in-person work.  Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position. 

About the Program:

The decisions that national leaders, local officials, developers, and planners make today will determine how billions of people in urban centers will thrive over the next century. Already, half the global population resides in cities. That figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Traditional models of city development can lock us into congestion, sprawl, and inefficient resource use. However, compact, connected, and efficient growth can help ensure more competitive cities, and provide a better quality of life for citizens. WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI Ross Center) works to ensure cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources. We use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth. Our analysis and tools allow cities to effectively manage their natural resources and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Working across our network, we develop and support the implementation of research-based solutions in sustainable mobility, urban development, as well as urban efficiency & climate that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces for all people to thrive. WRI Ross Center builds on WRI’s global and local experience in urban planning and mobility, and uses proven solutions and action-oriented tools to increase building and energy efficiency, manage water risk, encourage effective governance and make the fast-growing urban environment more resilient to new challenges. Aiming to influence 200 cities with unique research and tools, WRI Ross Center focuses on a deep cross-sector approach in selected megacities on two continents, and targeted assistance to additional 50 urban areas, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to people in cities around the globe.

Job Highlight:

In this role, reporting to the WRI Ross Center Global Director, you will be part of the WRI Ross Center’s leadership team, a senior advisor and thought partner for the Global Director of the program. You will be a core member of the WRI Ross Center Executive Team, directly manage a small team, and mentor and guide the Funds Development team around the globe. The Global Development team partners with staff across its 9-country Cities Network — Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and the U.S.— on joint proposals, donor cultivation and fundraising strategies. You will play a critical role on integrating and coordinating these efforts to support the goal to raise 7- and 8-figure gifts across a diverse and highly matrixed $50M per annum growing Network.

The objective is to advance the Center’s most critical projects and relationships as determined by the Center’s Global Director in consultation with the WRI Ross Center Executive Team. You will develop partnerships and guide fundraising efforts with foundations, corporations, bilateral and multilateral donors, and high net worth individuals paying special attention to raising unrestricted funds. You will have a portfolio of donors to steward and expand, while guiding others in stewardship of existing donors. As the thought leader, you will share a vision and commitment to sustainable urban development and WRI’s mission and culture, characterized by intellectual enquiry, analytics and transparency toward the public and its donors.

What will you do:

Your main responsibilities are as follows:

Fundraising Strategy development and implementation (60%): 

  • In consultation with WRI Ross Center’s Executive Team and WRI Development team, formulate a cohesive fundraising strategy to guide efforts of the Cities Network across the globe
  • Set strategic priorities and goals for fundraising and oversee effective fundraising efforts across the WRI Ross Center network and stewardship of key funder relationships
  • Serve as a connector between our team’s work and the landscape of opportunities outside, developing pitches with the right language and approach, and incubating new strategic proposals
  • Acquire new and maintain/expand existing relationships with major corporate, foundation, government and individual donors
  • Develop and contribute with persuasive pitches to proposals and development efforts in the high 7- and 8-figure gifts
  • Work in coordination with WRI Core Development team to raise unrestricted funds
  • Provide expertise and strategic counsel regarding potential development opportunities on evolving initiatives
  • Work in a deadline-driven, fast-paced, results-oriented environment with complex and evolving relationships and priorities

Collaboration and Partnerships (40%): 

  • Mobilize the WRI Ross Center Development network across the globe to ensure coordinated outreach and engagement with partners and funders
  • Work in close coordination with WRI Core Development team and be well-informed of joint proposals to WRI-managed donors
  • Develop and nurture the growth of the Global Development team members, as well as facilitate regular communication and skills enhancement among fundraisers across the Network
  • Work with Communications & Engagement Director to effectively establish and communicate the WRI Ross Center ‘brand’ and narrative
  • Develop and leverage critical networks and relationships to establish WRI Ross Center’s strong presence and effective positioning in the field
  • Develop impactful partnerships with bilateral donors, (corporate) philanthropy and foundations, and support teams on partnering with key delivery partner organizations
  • Lead the management and effective use of the WRI Ross Center Advisory Group. International travel will be included as part of the role (around 30%)

What will you need:

  • Education: You have a completed a Master’s degree
  • Experience: Experienced and recognized leader, minimum of 15 years of relevant work experience with at least 8 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
  • Minimum of 10 years of external fundraising experience leading successful, large fundraising efforts from multiple donor types
  • Highly networked, track-record of successful fundraising
  • Documented success personally implementing complex, multi-year cultivation strategies that use a relationship-building and moves management approach leading to successful closure of significant gifts
  • Prior experience working with individual, corporate, and foundation funders; bi-/multi-lateral agencies; government grants; boards from corporations and foundations; and other executive or high-level, high-capacity volunteers
  • Experience preparing complex and detailed proposals and supporting materials in the eight-figure range
  • Experience leading strategy development and implementation, managing people, ensuring program delivery and flow of knowledge
  • Experience across multiple global contexts
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills; demonstrated ability to be an outgoing spokesperson, relationship builder and fundraiser

Potential Salary:  Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.  

How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter by the date of September 29, 2023.  You mustapply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.  

What we offer: 

  • A competitive salary 
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure. 

About Us:

Founded in 1982, 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 to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

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.  

Our mission and values:  

WRI’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.  

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.     

Our culture:

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. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.    

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.