Associate, Adaptation Finance

Data Analysis & Technical Research Worldwide


Job Summary
In this role, you will work across the full range of activities undertaken by the Adaptation Finance and Investment team, but with two primary responsibilities. First, you will help prepare, launch, and implement the Adaptation Finance Mainstreaming program, which combines the first two thematic areas in building capacity in governments and universities in V20 countries and selected other African countries. Second, you will help develop and apply the instruments named above in the third thematic area and help implement the Systemic Resilience Forum under the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment.

These activities will combine technical research, project management, support to ongoing engagement and fund-raising activities. You will gain first-hand experience in the opportunities and challenges associated with climate adaptation finance in the public, private and university sectors. This work is primarily focused on developing countries, although with close collaboration with donors, universities, and other think-tanks in the US and Europe. In fulfilling your responsibilities, you will also collaborate with colleagues in other parts of WRI, including the Finance Center and International Climate Action team.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at one of our WRI’s offices worldwide once restrictions have lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Research & Knowledge (70% of time)

  • Conduct research aimed at improving the understanding of adaptation finance, tools for addressing climate risks, and capacity development in developing countries
  • The ultimate outcome, building on these outputs, will be increased levels of adaptation finance and investment
  • Contribute to the development of capacity-building programs that help stakeholders in both the public and private sector integrate climate risks into policy, budgeting, and investment decisions
  • Contribute to creating an active network of universities working to (a) improve their teaching and research on climate change adaptation and resilience, and (b) improve their ability to train governments and private sector officials seeking to better understand and manage climate risks
  • Serve as a resource for the team on the implementation of programs directed at government, the private sector, and universities, as they relate to climate change adaptation finance
  • Author or co-author knowledge products (e.g., reports, issue briefs, working papers, technical notes and blogs), and coordinate the publication process
  • Prepare presentations related to the above programs, and present our work to counterparts in governments, private sector, universities, donor organizations, and foundations
  • Mentor junior researchers and interns
  • Review at least two knowledge products written by other WRI researchers yearly
Project Management (20% of time)
  • In collaboration with senior level staff, manage outcomes and partnerships associated with project deliverables: Monitor and manage project deliverables, setting and clarifying priorities for global team members and external partners, as relevant
  • Monitor and manage project budget performance as relevant, including progress according to planned milestones, expenses and revenue, and internal and donor reporting
Fundraising/Grant Management (10% of time)
  • Complete institutional and donor reporting for projects, including project outcomes: Contribute to funding proposals between a five to six figure fundraising goal
  • Identify and develop funding partner relationships through external outreach and due diligence
  • Contribute to donor presentations
Job Qualifications
  • Minimum of 5 years of full-time work experience in relevant field, with program implementation and project management experience
  • Master’s degree in environmental sciences, finance, economics, or other related fields or work experience equivalent (or bachelor's degree with additional 2 years of relevant experience)
  • Demonstrated understanding of climate adaptation and resilience issues, climate economics, climate finance generally, and climate risk management specifically
  • Demonstrated understanding of the institutional challenges associated with mainstreaming climate capacities, planning, and finance in central government ministries such as Ministries of Finance and Planning
  • Demonstrated understanding of private sector investment financial analysis, and how risk and uncertainty are addressed in investment decision-making
  • Excellent written, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research and analytical skills
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, competing priorities
  • Comfortable communicating with different audiences, including colleagues, government officials, academics, and donors
  • Track record of working collaboratively on teams and providing support to team-members
  • Ability to take initiative and lead work involving many parties. Demonstrated interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and just transition issues
  • Experience with external communications and donor management
  • Ability to travel when needed
How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered

Potential Salary: $79,000 - $106,000 if based in US. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

Program Overview
WRI's Adaptation Finance and Investment team is part of the Climate Resilience Practice, which is under the Governance Center. We work to build climate risk management and adaptation solutions into all investment, budgeting and policy decisions. We work with governments and the private sector to develop new tools and capacities to integrate climate risks throughout their decision-making. We also work with the IMF, World Bank, and other development finance institutions on diagnostics and actions to help developing countries better manage climate risks and build resilience as part of COVID-19 recovery stimulus spending. Finally, we work with civil society organizations and local communities to better leverage and manage climate funds to build climate resilience.

Our work on adaptation finance covers these four main areas:
Building Long-Term Capacity to Mainstream Adaptation. WRI is developing a long-term capacity-building program to help finance, economies and planning ministries in V20 and African countries understand and manage climate risks. By focusing on central ministries, this program highlights how climate change must be reflected in a country’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) as well as its macro, fiscal, planning, budget and procurement policies.

Supporting University Curriculum, Teaching and Research. As part of the mainstreaming program, WRI is supporting university curriculum development, teaching and research in V20 and African countries in climate risk management. This university program will create a teaching network with academic partners in both developed and developing countries and promote centers of excellence in developing countries that train not only students, but also government officials and private companies in building climate resilience.

Scaling Private Adaptation Finance. WRI co-founded the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), now with 83 members of the private sector representing over $12 trillion in assets. CCRI, with leadership from WRI, is developing innovative instruments to mobilize private sector adaptation finance, such as the Systemic Risk Assessment Tool, Resilience Bonds Taxonomy and the Framework for Cash Flow Modeling.

Conducting Finance and Economics Research. WRI has ongoing finance and economic research activities on quantifying the adaptation triple dividends, analyzing the economics of adaptation investments, and exploring how to make COVID-19 recoveries more climate resilient.


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. In the US and across the world, communities of color are disproportionally affected by issues related to climate change and environmental degradation. Yet, action and support are not happening at the pace required and the environmental space addressing these issues remains dominated by white voices. WRI is creating access and opportunity to harness the power, creativity, and innovation of diversity by increasing representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the environmental space. We need a diverse set of voices to solve climate change, and that begins with you.