Environmental Finance Associate, Natural Infrastructure Initiative

Data Analysis & Technical Research Washington, District of Columbia


Job Summary

The Natural Infrastructure Initiative and Cities4Forests seek a full-time Associate with financial expertise to support the implementation and scaling of nature-based solutions for water and climate resilience. Areas of focus will include applying strategies that leverage private finance, engaging financial institutions, building the capacity of key stakeholders to prepare bankable projects, and helping projects leverage financial resources across broad partnerships.

In this role, you will focus half of your time with a global focus as part of Cities4Forests and half your time focused on Latin America. You will report to the Natural Infrastructure Senior Associate and collaborate closely with the Director of the Natural Infrastructure Initiative and Cities4Forests, as well as other team members, senior management, and external partners.

You will have exemplary finance and strategic skills, an ability to cultivate and manage relationships with external partners, and an ability to communicate technical material to investors. You will also have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Job Responsibilities

Natural Infrastructure & Cities4Forests Finance (70%)

  • Scope out investment-worthy natural infrastructure projects, design financing strategies that blend public and private sources, and assist with brokering investment deals that deliver environmental and financial results.
  • Provide guidance on the development and application of innovative financing mechanisms, public policies, and institutional arrangements that unlock increased funding to implement green infrastructure projects.
  • Work with financial institutions, the public sector, private sector, and civil society to prepare natural infrastructure projects for investment.
  • Introduce cities to new business models and financing approaches for nature-based solutions.

Outreach and Communication (15%)

  • Communicate WRI research and analysis with external audiences and represent WRI at high-level events.
  • Author or co-author blog posts, case studies and other outreach and communications materials.
  • Author or co-author knowledge products (e.g. reports, briefs, data products).
  • Review knowledge products written by other WRI researchers.
  • Design and lead WRI roundtables, workshops, working groups or other convenings with key stakeholders.
Fundraising and Operations (15%)
  • Contribute to fundraising including cross-programmatic concept notes and proposals.
  • Develop and maintain existing relationship with funding partners.
  • Collaborate and work closely with project staff on the broader Natural Infrastructure and Cities4Forests teams, manage interns and consultants, and provide mentorship and guidance to partners.
  • Manage some components of business operations, such as budgeting, developing agreements and contracts, performance monitoring, and reporting for relevant project components.

Job Qualifications

Required:

  • Master’s degree preferred, or bachelor's degree with two+ additional years of relevant experience in Finance, Business Administration, or related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience and expertise in environmental finance.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing innovative financing strategies and/or brokering deals for environmental projects.
  • Excellent English and Spanish speaking and writing skills, Portuguese language skills a plus.
  • Excellent research skills with strong financial analysis capabilities.
  • Experience engaging financial institutions, investors, business, government, and/or civil society sectors.
Desired: 
  • Relevant experience in Latin America.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage partnerships to advance environmental outcomes.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising on relevant topics.
  • Strong oral communications skills and experience presenting at major relevant events.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues at all levels inside and outside the organization.
  • Extremely well-organized, efficient, responsible, self-motivated. Unequivocally committed to delivering work on time.
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Comfort with portions of the team and management being based remotely.
  • Ability to work calmly and enthusiastically in a dynamic and diverse environment.
  • Flexibility to travel.
  • US work authorization is required for all WRI US opportunities. WRI is unable to offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. Only applications in English will be considered. Please submit a cover letter.

Program Overview

The Natural Infrastructure Initiative is an interdisciplinary and cross-programmatic effort to integrate nature-based solutions into core water management, climate and disaster risk reduction strategies worldwide. The team is a top source for high-quality and actionable information about the restoration, protection and sustainable management of landscapes that can provide vital infrastructure services as well as poverty alleviation and carbon removal. With staff in Washington, DC, Sao Paulo, Addis Ababa, and Mexico City, we work with governments, businesses, financial institutions, and other stakeholder groups to support the development, implementation and financing of integrated built and nature-based solutions. We convene and empower champions at all levels of decision-making and provide the best available evidence and guidance to put natural infrastructure strategies into action.

Cities4Forests is a cross-programmatic effort – involving WRI’s Water, Forests, Finance and Cities programs – that aims to catalyze political, social, and economic support among city governments and urban citizens to integrate inner, nearby, and faraway forests into city development plans and programs. Participants share an aspiration to help reduce deforestation, restore forests and trees, and manage forests more sustainably. Cities4Forests’ goal is to amplify current best practices and extend the deliberate city-forest relationship to the global scale on which cities and forests interact. It is a voluntary coalition involving mayors’ offices— and supported by other subnational agencies such as public water utilities and offices of sustainability—from around the world. Cities4Forests encourages peer-to-peer inspiration and learning, and members receive technical support from institutions with expertise in forests, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy.

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.