Job Opportunity: Global Water Director

Job summary:

WRI seeks a Global Director to take its ambitious, world-class Water Program to the “next level” and achieve our vision. The Global Director will be responsible for the Water Program’s overall strategy, management, thought leadership, and fundraising. This involves not only managing the Program but also leveraging WRI’s global network of offices and centers to achieve results. The position will lead a globally distributed team, with staff in the United States, Europe, China, India, and Africa. The position will be a member of WRI’s Management Team and will report to the WRI Vice President of Food, Forests, Water, and the Ocean.

This position can be in any WRI office location (e.g., Washington DC, The Hague, London, Addis Ababa, Beijing, São Paulo, Mexico City, Mumbai) ; Worldwide – All WRI Offices

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at any WRI office Worldwide.

Job Responsibilities:

Strategy and Impact (35%)

  • Develop a bold WRI water strategy that drives the global agenda
  • Ensure the strategy’s “theories of change” are robust
  • Develop and enhance landmark collaborations, platforms, and “movements” that help deliver the strategy
  • Leverage WRI’s entire global network (e.g., international offices, centers, programs) to implement the strategy
  • Establish WRI as the “go to” non-governmental organization on water for the decade

Management and Leadership (25%)

  • Inspire and lead a global team of professionals to implement the WRI Water strategy
  • Build a solid “tier 2” suite of leaders that is the envy of the world
  • Recruit, train, and retain world-caliber staff throughout the program
  • Help teams identify opportunities, problem solve challenges, and deliver top-notch results
  • Oversee the program’s budget and financial performance

Fundraising and Funder Stewardship (25%)

  • Develop a “next-generation” long-term fundraising strategy that expands the Water Program’s base of philanthropies, governments, high-net-worth individuals, and other funding sources
  • Conceive, write, help others prepare, and solicit impactful 6-8 figure project proposals
  • Cultivate new and manage existing high-profile donor relationships
  • Increase the public profile of WRI’s work on water, thereby making WRI more attractive to donors

Research and Outreach (15%)

  • Serve as the leading “face and voice” of WRI’s Water strategy on the global stage
  • Define a WRI research agenda that addresses the water challenges of the decade
  • Working with in-program experts and WRI’s science & research professionals, ensure the Water Program delivers high-quality research and impactful outreach
  • Communicate WRI’s research findings to target audiences in a compelling manner

Job Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in the natural sciences and/or engineering with relevance to water management and/or hydrology
  • Minimum of 15 years of professional experience in fields relevant to water resources management
  • Bold visionary and strategic thinker
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity
  • World-class presentation skills (ability to communicate clearly, passionately, and compellingly)
  • Effective motivator of people to fulfill their potential and achieve results
  • Experience with “cross-sectoral” water issues (e.g., water & energy, water & food/ag/land, water & cities, water & health)
  • Demonstrated fundraising track record, including securing multi-year seven-figure funding
  • Strong network of relationships
  • Ability to travel, especially internationally, about 20% of time (post-COVID)

How to Apply:

Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview:

The global water crisis is growing acute. In some places, there is too little water. In others, there is too much. And in many, water is too dirty. Addressing the water challenge is urgent, especially in the face of global warming. If climate change is a shark, water is its teeth. But because water issues are everywhere, sufficient attention is nowhere; water slips through the proverbial cracks. WRI seeks to change that.

During this critical decade, WRI aims to catapult the water challenge and its solutions to the top of government and business agendas. We will do so via our institutional “count it, change it, scale it” approach. In terms of “count it”, we will empower decision-makers to better manage water resources by leveraging our world-renowned Aqueduct™ data platform (which monitors and quantifies water risk for 15,000 watersheds around the world) and by building out more near-real-time water monitoring capabilities. In terms of “change it”, we will identify and—where needed—pioneer solutions to the water crisis for governments and companies. In terms of “scale it”, we will create landmark collaborations (such as the “Water, Peace & Security Partnership”, our emerging “Urban Water Resilience” initiative, and engagement with the World Bank and other global institutions) that accelerate the pace and geographic spread of water solutions.

Securing attention and scaling solutions is critical in this Water Action Decade. Fortunately, windows of opportunity are opening. For governments, the world’s first United Nations summit on water since 1977 is slated to occur in 2023. WRI seeks to play a leading role in setting the agenda and galvanizing country action at that summit. Moreover, climate change will be at the forefront of the global agenda. Adaptation will be increasingly a central part of this, especially as countries seek to build resilience post-pandemic. The climate window provides a unique opportunity to focus government attention on water at a level commensurate with the challenge. For companies, WRI is at the forefront of advancing the nascent “net water positive” and “science-based targets for water” movements within the private sector, working with major multinational companies such as Microsoft and Cargill. WRI seeks to scale this to the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies.

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 $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico 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.