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Senior Environmental Specialist

World Bank Group
Work & Volunteer
Job vacancies
United States of America


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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism created in 1991 to provide grant and concessional funds to recipient countries for projects and programs that address biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, degradation of international waters, land and forests, ozone depletion, elimination or reduction of persistent organic pollutants and mercury, all within the framework of sustainable development.

The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, GEF is the designated financial mechanism for five international environmental conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minamata Convention on Mercury. GEF is also a designated financial mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

In the years since its establishment, the GEF has funded over 4,500 projects in 170 countries, and many thousands more through the GEF Small Grants Program, providing $20.5 billion in grants that leveraged $112 billion in co-financing. The GEF Secretariat, construed for administrative purposes as a Vice Presidential Unit (VPU) within the World Bank, has approximately 70 professional and administrative and client support staff.

The Secretariat is seeking a Senior Environmental Specialist to coordinate the Oceans and International Waters Program of the GEF Programs Unit with a series of program management, analytical and policy needs.  

The selected candidate will also ensure that generally recognized methodologies to estimate, monitor and report on the Global Environmental Benefits related to Oceans and International Waters focal area that are appropriately included in and applied to GEF projects and programs.

The ideal candidate should have a workable understanding of the complexity of the GEF partnership arrangement and of the dynamics of a complex set of GEF client countries. The candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, experience with multisectoral transboundary marine and freshwater conservation projects in developing countries, along with political acumen and the capacity to work effectively on sensitive issues with senior management, the GEF Council and across different implementing agencies and partners of the GEF.

Reporting to the GPU Manager, the selected candidate will provide support to the GEF Programs Unit and work across regions and thematic focal areas, as required.

Selection Criteria

  • The candidate should possess a Masters’ with at least eight years of professional experience, or a Ph.D., with seven years of experience in the field of marine biology, oceanography, hydrology or other relevant natural science disciplines with substantial experience on intersectoral transboundary freshwater and/or marine resource conservation, international and regional management, natural resources management and knowledge management.
  • The candidate should demonstrate an excellent knowledge of achieving conservation outcomes for transboundary marine and freshwater ecosystems, preferably within an international context.
  • The candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, experience with multisectoral transboundary marine and freshwater conservation projects in developing countries, combined with results management skills to build portfolio results and outcomes.
  • In addition to the required skills above, the following skills would be desirable:
  • Experience with transboundary marine and freshwater projects and programs in developing countries.
  • Knowledge of existing inter-governmental and private initiatives related to International Waters.
  • Understanding of transboundary water and marine knowledge and results management mechanisms.
  • Demonstrable experience in the selection and application of generally recognized methodologies for the estimation of Global Environmental   Benefits related to International Waters.
  • Ability to deal with a range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, scientific and technical bodies, private sector entities, developing country counterparts, and NGOs would be an advantage.
  • Ability to think analytically, strategically, and programmatically.
  • Proven record of constructive and positive engagement in leading a program and policy dialogue with client Governments, donors and other stakeholders;
  • Proven ability to work in teams, both as a team leader and team member
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. Second language (French, Spanish or Portuguese) is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work independently on complex tasks on tight deadlines.        
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a team player within and across teams.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment in an international setting.
  • Working knowledge of the operations of the Global Environment Facility and its Agencies is preferable.
Senior Environmental Specialist