Senior Environmental Specialist

  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    4 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Environment and Natural Resources
  • Deadline:





Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

Regional Context

The WBG serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LCR). Clients range from large rapidly growing sophisticated middle-income clients to IDA countries to small Caribbean states to one fragile state. Despite immense resources, dynamic societies, and an average annual per capita income of about $4,000, deep inequalities persist in most LCR countries, with nearly a quarter of the Region’s people living in poverty. The last Bank’s strategy for LCR focused on three pillars: (a) supporting the foundations for inclusive growth; (b) investing in human capital and protecting the poor; and (c) building resilience. In the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic, this strategy will need to be adjusted to better support the countries deal with a health crisis without precedents and an economic crisis not seen since modern statistical records started in 1900. Yet, the basic elements of the strategy: accelerating growth (following a projected GDP contraction in 2020 of 7.2%), investing in human capital, including in health (in the most affected region by COVID19), and building resilience appear fully relevant.  Further information on the Latin America and Caribbean Region can be found here.

Unit Context

The Operations Services Unit (LCROS) plays an important role in advising the Regional Vice President and supporting LCR’s management and operational team to ensure the highest quality of its operational deliveries. LCROS offers high quality inputs across key stages of strategy formulation and program/project preparation and implementation; embeds the WBG’s twin goals and LCR’s regional priorities into operations and outputs; and helps the Region deliver impactful strategies and projects to its client countries. LCROS’s work program ranges from Pipeline Delivery Management; Quality Assurance; Portfolio Management and Monitoring, Results Measurement and Management; Regional Risk Management; Support on Regional and Corporate priorities; and Operational Learning and Knowledge Sharing targeted to regional staff. It houses the Secretariat of the Regional Operations Committee and includes the team of the Regional Environmental and Social Standards Advisor (RSA).

Duties & Accountabilities

LCROS is seeking an experienced and practical Senior Environmental Specialist to join the unit and the RSA team, to support its work program including, but not limited to, pipeline and portfolio management, support on regional priorities, internal knowledge sharing, and client capacity building.

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Senior Environmental Specialist will support the implementation of the Bank’s Standards and Policies and will reinforce building environmental sustainability into project design and implementation.  In addition, the Specialist will champion an integrated approach to risk management across the portfolio and be an advocate for innovative approaches and solutions.

The Senior Environmental Specialist will report to the Manager for LCROS and for day-to-day coordination will work under the direction of the RSA.

The Senior Environmental Specialist will have the following responsibilities:

– Review new Investment Policy Financing (IPF), Program-for-Results (PforR), and where relevant Development Policy Financing (DPF) operations to ensure that environmental issues are sufficiently addressed as required by the World Bank’s Standards and Policies.

– Support oversight of select projects by providing advice on Borrower environmental documents, guidance on implementation of mitigation measures, and recommendations to project environmental specialists.

– Advice will cover a range of environmental management issues such as: natural habitats conservation, natural resource management, pest management, forest management, dam safety and international waterways management, occupational health and safety, pollution control, and environmental remediation.Guidance will be informed by the Banks’ ESF, the safeguards policies, and international good practice on environmental issues.

– Contribute to efforts to manage the pipeline and portfolio by leading portfolio reviews and providing recommendations for action.

– Play a key role in developing and implementing regional initiatives to enhance implementation of the ESF, including efforts to maximize ESF flexibility.

– Contribute to efforts to build client capacity and use country systems through, for example, supporting the development of training material, delivering client training, and promoting use of relevant analytical work to streamline ESF processes.

– Work closely with the learning focal point to identify, develop, and deliver demand-driven training for relevant staff including environmental and social specialists, operations officers, quality assurance teams, etc.

– Provide input to briefing material for regional discussions including those on pipeline and portfolio management, regional management discussions, etc.

As part of the RSA Team, the Senior Environmental Specialist will also interact regularly with colleagues in Headquarters and in field offices in the effective conduct of her/his work. Mission travel is expected.


Selection Criteria


The Sr. Environmental Specialist must be a team-oriented professional with technical expertise and operational experience, ability to provide practical and context-specific technical advice, demonstrated capacity to carry out complex tasks under pressure and to meet strict deadlines, and proven ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of actors.

* Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in environmental or natural sciences, engineering or other relevant discipline.

* At least eight (8) years of full-time relevant professional experience (including World Bank operational experience) with a sustained record of achieving high quality substantive results.

* At least eight (8) years of experience in environmental risk management including World Bank operational experience, preparation and/or review of project environmental risk and impact assessments, environmental management plans, capacity assessments and institutional strengthening measures.

* Demonstrated operational experience working on the World Bank’s Operational Policies (Safeguards) and the ESF, including the application of ESF principles of flexibility and proportionality.

* Knowledge of international environmental and social standards, including those of other MDBs would be an advantage.

* Experience working with Borrowers of varying capacity levels.  Experience working on fragile contexts will be an added advantage.

* Robust knowledge of World Bank financing instruments.

* Demonstrated maturity and sound judgment, attention to detail, and ability to convey complex messages succinctly and diplomatically.

* Proven capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders, and ability to represent the Department with internal and external partners and interact effectively with Senior Management.

* Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

* Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Spanish is required.  Working knowledge of Portuguese and/or French will be an added advantage.

* Excellent workflow management and task organization skills.

* Ability to coach/mentor more junior staff.

Required Professional Competencies:

– Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.

– Environmental and Natural Sciences and Engineering – Demonstrates strong knowledge of one or more relevant thematic areas of environmental engineering, civil engineering, environmental science, ecology, zoology, botany occupational health and safety related to infrastructure, or environmental risk management; and deep experience in applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.

– Policy Dialogue Skills – Possesses political judgement, diplomatic acumen and negotiating skills; builds and sustains key stakeholder relationships with government and other key stakeholders.

– Integrative Skills – Demonstrates ability to think and work across WBG practices and sectors; integrates divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent strategy/program/project.

– Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Fully understands the Bank’s development initiatives and policies and practices related to lending and non-lending; guides research and translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.

WBG Core Competencies

– Lead and Innovate – Develops innovative solutions with others.

– Deliver Results for Clients – Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client.

– Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiates collaboration across. boundaries and broadly across the WBG and brings differing ideas to the forefront.

– Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions.

– Make Smart Decisions – Recommends and takes decisive action.


World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

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