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Nov 25 / BARD CEP

Energy & Climate Associate I, World Resources Institute – Washington, DC

Organization: World Resources Institute

Position Title: Energy & Climate Associate I

Location: Washington, DC

Hours and Compensation: This is a twelve-month, limited term full-time position with the potential to become a full-time position contingent on funding availability and performance.

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Description: The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities seeks an Associate to guide several urban energy and climate research and institutional development projects to successful completion and measurable impacts. The Associate will develop 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 a small and expanding team that is working on energy and climate change 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 sub-national and national climate commitments.

The candidate will be required to actively support all elements of the strategy to reach this aim and so will need to have a firm grounding in both urban energy system analysis and urban low-carbon policy and practice on all levels from the local to the international.  The candidate will also be expected to possess an understanding of related issues, such as financing sustainable low carbon urban infrastructure (including climate finance), the UNFCCC negotiations, and enabling frameworks (both domestic and international) for low carbon urban development. In particular, she / he will support the development and dissemination of content related to urban energy system and low-carbon urban infrastructure planning and financing.

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.

Responsibilities: The Associate will be responsible for facilitating the management and timely operations of all Energy and Climate projects. His/her main areas of responsibility will include approximately:

60% Research
15% Project Management
15% Internal and external communications
10% Program support


  • Researches and documents emerging trends and best practices in finance and climate finance, in urban energy and low-carbon cities, in transport and land-use integrated planning and in urban environmental sustainability;
  • Leads the development and implementation of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and analytical framework of urban energy system;
  • Leads 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;
  • Draws on knowledge of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to provide research and advisory support to colleagues across WRI;
  • Follows the latest development of the UNFCCC negotiation;
  • Has confidence conducting research both independently and as part of a large multi-disciplinary team;
  • Contributes to development and testing of analytical framework, tools and models;
  • Co-authors WRI working papers and reports, and academic publications; and
  • Serves as an internal and external reviewer.

Project Management

  • Leads several concurrent sustainable low-carbon urban development research, impact evaluation and institutional process projects to successful achievement of outcomes;
  • Monitors and manages project deliverables, setting and clarifying priorities for project teams;
  • Monitors and manages project budget performance, expenses and revenue;
  • Develops 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.


  • Manages writing and review of research publications;
  • Develops project influence strategies and executes them in collaboration with WRI Marketing & Communications experts;
  • Writes succinct and timely content related to sustainable urban energy systems 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;
  • Synthesizes complex quantitative and qualitative information into concise info-graphics;
  • 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 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.



  • Master’s Degree in economics, urban energy policy, transport planning, urban/regional planning, or environmental science, PhD in economics, urban planning, or environmental science preferred.
  • Demonstrated excellent written and spoken communication skills.
  • Proficiency in Spanish required, Portuguese and/or Chinese will be a significant plus.
  • Minimum 2-4 years work experience in the field of urban development or planning, transport planning, low-carbon cities or climate finance, either in a project implementation or research capacity in a developing country.
  • Professional history of increasing project management responsibilities, including leading diverse teams and managing six-figure project budgets.
  • Experience with external relations, communications and/or donor management
  • Strong quantitative, analytical and research skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel.
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, sometimes competing, priorities.
  • Ability to work well in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
  • Enjoys working in a fast-paced, start-up nonprofit environment.


  • Prior supervision and mentorship of one or more junior staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change.
  • Published research in peer-reviewed journals

How to Apply: Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.

Final candidate will be required to take a writing test. Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples.

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