Associate I, Climate, Energy & Finance

About WRI
World Resources Institute is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our 500 experts and staff work with partners in more than 50 countries; we have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. WRI is consistently ranked as the top global Think Tank working on environmental issues.
In 2014, WRI was ranked one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.
The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities seeks an Associate to support engagement, outreach, and research on urban finance. The Associate will lead engagements, support research and provide writing and project management support to the Energy and Climate team, which contributes to research and project implementation in the areas of energy, climate change and finance related to cities and urban transport.
The position is being offered in an expanding team that is working on energy, climate change, and finance in cities with an underlying focus on development impacts of related activities within the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. The Associate will contribute to the Energy and Climate team’s objective to help cities power development with affordable sustainable electricity, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to climate change impacts, meet ambitious goals on access to urban opportunities and energy, and drive ambition in both sub­national and national climate commitments.
The candidate will be required to actively support all elements of the strategy with thorough knowledge of municipal finance, urban policy-making, sustainable low carbon urban infrastructure and services delivery financing, public and private finance, domestic and international finance (including climate finance). Therefore the candidate will need to have a firm grounding in both municipal finance and urban low carbon policy and practice on all levels from the local to the national. The candidate will also be expected to possess an understanding of related issues, such as enabling frameworks (both local and national) for sustainable low carbon urban development, urban transport, residential and commercial building efficiency, and electricity production and distribution.
In particular, the Associate will support the development and dissemination of content related to innovative approach for urban services delivery, replicable and scalable business models to support the deployment of innovative solutions, and financial structuring of those sustainable business models. The associate will lead the engagement with local and national, public and private stakeholders.
The associate will be in charge of facilitating dialogue between city representatives, national policy-makers, public and private investors, and technology and infrastructure providers. Experience working directly in (or for) a municipality – and in particular, in (for) the finance department - is an advantage. Ability to work in different languages and to navigate in different cultural context is also an advantage. The Associate will be a natural and experienced facilitator and use these skills to successfully engage cities from across the world to share, solve, participate and collaborate through skillful management of content.
The position is located in WRI's Washington, D.C. office and will report directly to the Director of Energy and Climate of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
The Associate's main areas of responsibility will include the following:
  • 50% Engagement with local and national stakeholders
  • 25% Research
  • 10% Project Management
  • 10% Communication
  • 5% Program support
  • Leads on the ground implementation of the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative, a joint initiative between Citi foundation, C40 and WRI that aims to accelerate the development of sustainable business models for innovative solution;
  • Convenes and facilitates dialogue between local and national, public and private stakeholders to achieve transformative outcomes at the local level (specific urban project or policy) or at the national level (enabling environment);
  • Draws on knowledge of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to provide research and advisory support to cities, investors and infrastructures providers;
  • Contributes to development and testing of analytical framework, tools and models;
  • Facilitates bilateral and multilateral city interactions and convenings, including delivery of a workshop to address city financing challenges and disseminate the Financing Sustainable Cities platform to stakeholders;
  • Facilitates peer-to-peer exchange, enable direct support, and research/knowledge management support through with a focus on priorities identified by cities, responding flexibly when such priorities change;
  • Works with other staff to facilitate delivery of technical support, largely through managed partnerships, strategically prioritizing based on potential impact and feasibility.
  • Researches and documents emerging trends and best practices in municipal finance and climate urban finance, urban services delivery, replicable and scalable business models to support the deployment of innovative solutions, financial structuring of those sustainable business models, in urban transport, building efficiency, and sustainable production and distribution of urban electricity;
  • Supports the development and implementation of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and analytical framework of financing the delivering of sustainable urban services;
  • Supports research initiatives, including coordinating necessary inputs, literature reviews, synthesizing research findings, development of analytical framework, collection and analysis of complex data, and critical writing, editing, and revising;
  • Co­authors WRI working papers and reports, and academic publications; and
  • Serves as an internal and external reviewer.
Project Management
  • Monitors and manages project deliverables, setting and clarifying priorities for project teams; Monitors and manages project budget performance, expenses and revenue;
  • Supports development and implementation of project strategies and work plans in collaboration with the Director of Energy &Climate of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities;
  • Manages dynamic teams of researchers, engineers, economists, communicators and designers – including remote staff – to implement project strategy;
  • Evaluates and reports projects’ impacts; and Completes institutional and donor reporting (narrative, quantitative and financial) for projects.
  • Supports writing and review of research publications;
  • Supports project influence strategies and executes them in collaboration with WRI Marketing & Communications experts;
  • Writes succinct and timely content related to sustainable municipal/urban finance and low carbon cities;
  • Develops and leads others to develop refined presentations for internal and external audiences;
  • Produces clearly and persuasively written content for print and online media;
  • Delivers oral presentations with competence and confidence;
  • Contributes written and graphic content to reports and presentations summarizing the Energy and Climate unit, projects and related issues, trends and opportunities;
  • Contributes written content for funding proposals and concept notes;
  • Drafts text of partner agreements and MoUs;
  • Participates in conference calls and meetings;
  • Summarizes content and next steps from key meetings;
  • Uses positive influence to improve communications among team, partners and donors; and
  • Elevates issues to senior staff when necessary.
Program Support
  • Contributes to sustainable energy, climate and finance knowledge sharing across WRI network;
  • Contributes to developing research funding proposals (both narratives and budgets);
  • Organizes and leads project team meetings;
  • Proactively engages with colleagues across WRI;
  • Manages and takes responsibility for the outputs and contributions of external partners;
  • Interacts with WRI’s global network members and partner institutions;
  • Effectively manages own workflow after ensuring understanding of expectations;
  • Sets and continually manages project expectations with team members and other stakeholders;
  • Provides complete and timely project reporting;
  • Reliably and responsibly meets deadlines and ensures team completes high quality work;
  • Sets and manages interim milestones to meet project deadlines;
  • Seeks input and elevates concerns in a timely way; and
  • Supports the maintenance of shared datasets.
Required Qualifications
  • Master’s Degree required preferrably in finance, municipal finance, urban and regional economics, urban energy policy, transport planning, urban/regional planning, or environmental science.
  • 3-5 years of relevant professional experience (at least 3 years if PhD) in conducting finance or economic analyses in the field of sustainable low ­carbon urban development, either in a project implementation or research capacity in a developing country.
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese.
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of one or more junior staff.
  • Experience of working in municipal/urban authority, with preference for experience in municipal financial decision making.
  • Experience in stakeholder management and outreach.
  • Demonstrated excellent written and spoken communication skills.
  • Detail-­oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, sometimes competing, priorities.
  • Experience with external communications and/or donor management.
  • Ability to work well in multi­disciplinary and multi­cultural teams.
  • Enjoys working in a fast­-paced, start­up nonprofit environment.
Final candidates will be required to take a writing/analytical test.
Optional: Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples.
Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package
Application Deadline: June 3, 2016

Qualified applicants should apply online at careers.wri.org. All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.
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.