Senior Vice President, Climate Change

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 2 months ago(8/27/2020 10:30 AM)
# of Openings


World Wildlife Fund-United States (WWF US), one of the world’s leading environment organizations, seeks a Senior Vice President, Climate Change to lead its dynamic and growing body of work to fight the climate crisis. Climate change threatens to compound the other threats that confront nature and to undermine human welfare. Without immediate and concerted action to both decarbonize economies and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, the loss of biodiversity will continue unabated and people reliant on nature and nature’s services for their well-being will face severe, and for many, catastrophic consequences.


WWF’s climate goal is to foster climate-resilient, low carbon development pathways. We seek to mobilize and strengthen climate mitigation and adaptation action at all levels, from individual citizens and rural communities, to the largest multinational corporations and the US Federal Government. Our efforts are bolstered by WWF’s reputation and deep field experience in the arenas of nature conservation and sustainable development; its global reach and engagement with governments and national and international policy processes; strong relationships and credibility with the private sector; thought leadership grounded in the best available science; and its unparalleled outreach capabilities through traditional and social media.


Organizational Background

Founded in 1961, WWF is a huge network of non-governmental environment organizations, with 6,500 staff operating in more than 100 countries, some 6 million members, and 22 million Facebook and 14 million Twitter followers worldwide. WWF’s efforts are grounded in its work with local communities, businesses and governments and other actors to conserve and restore nature and secure sustainable development for people in priority places around the world. We also work extensively with major private and public institutions to reduce the impacts of climate change, infrastructure projects, unsustainable food production, and consumption on nature and people. In 2016, WWF launched a new global strategy to help the nations, states, and cities of the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement, and Convention on Biological Diversity. WWF works through strong country programs, linked through global practices, to drive local innovation and large-scale solutions that seek to safeguard nature and nature’s contribution to people.

WWF-US, the largest organization within the WWF global network, works with partners across the United States and other countries to advance the WWF mission. WWF-US plays a pivotal role driving conservation and development action in the broader WWF network, collaborating closely with WWF offices around the world. It also hosts the network’s Science and Markets programs and administers field offices in Latin America (excluding Brazil), Nepal, Bhutan, and Namibia. WWF-US has just over 1,000 staff located throughout its domestic and international offices, with 2019 total revenues and support of over $325 million. President and CEO Carter Roberts leads the Senior Management Team out of the WWF-US Washington, DC headquarters.


The Senior Vice President, Climate Change plays a key role in aligning and advancing WWF’s body of climate work across the organization and oversees the management of a portfolio of programmatic initiatives that reduce emissions and build resilience. Major functions include:


Climate Policy

The Senior Vice President, Climate Change serves a critical function in the organization by leading the development climate policy positions in collaboration with the Senior Management Team and leads WWF’s engagement with the US Federal government on climate policy with the WWF’s Government Affairs team. This includes advocacy for increased climate finance for multilateral institutions, appropriate investments in economic stimulus funds, US engagement with the UNFCCC. The Senior Vice President also leads WWF engagement with bodies such as the Climate Leadership Council.


Finance for Climate Action

Underpinning WWF’s climate ambition is the need to build strategic partnerships with public and private institutions and to identify, access, combine and sequence funding at scale to transform the world’s economy and production systems to secure local carbon development pathways and to systemically manage climate risk. In concert with the WWF’s Public Sector Partnerships, Private Sector Engagement, Development and International Finance teams, the Senior Vice President, Climate Change helps mobilize resources for climate action, particularly in emerging economies, and influences the financial sector to spur investments in climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.


Internal Coordination and Alignment. The Senior Vice President, Climate Change advises WWF senior leadership on climate change strategy and priorities. Works collaboratively with goal and influence teams to co-create, resource and deliver climate initiatives in line with WWF’s comparative advantages in forests, food and freshwater, oceans and wildlife cross-organizational climate portfolio, ensuring both diversity and alignment in approaches. Ensures close collaboration and builds consensus on robust, science-based approaches to nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and resilience. Represents WWF’s cross-organizational climate strategy, positions and portfolio with key offices in the WWF Network and with the WWF International Climate and Energy Practice. Ensures WWF is speaking with one voice on climate change issues to external partners and the media.


Portfolio Leadership and Management

The Senior Vice President oversees the management of three major programmatic initiatives under his/her leadership and direct supervision.


Building Constituencies for Climate Action: Delivering on the Paris Agreement requires the full mobilization of the world community at the national and subnational levels. Through We Are Still In and  Alliances for Climate Action, WWF builds and strengthens coalitions of states, cities, businesses, universities, and other non-state actors to set ambitious climate emissions reduction goals, provide a collective voice to influence national climate policy and realize climate action ambitions. The Senior Vice President, Climate Change strengthens these efforts by fostering a supportive ecosystem that allows sub-national actors to drive meaningful change in the climate arena, and by identifying and securing resources to support this work.


Resilience: Working closely with the Chief Conservation Officer, the Senior Vice President provides direct oversight of WWF’s resilience initiative, which provides deep expertise, practical tools, and guidance to design and implement nature-based and nature-friendly solutions that help institutions, the private sector and vulnerable communities build resilience to both climate and non-climate shocks and stressors. To strengthen these efforts the Senior Vice President, Climate Change works with the Policy, Public Sector and Private Sector Partnerships teams to advance policies, mobilize partnerships and secure financing to deliver interventions at scale. Advocates robust, credible, and integrated resilience solutions with peers in the forest, food and freshwater, oceans and wildlife teams.


Climate and Business Hub: WWF supports businesses in setting and implementing voluntary corporate emission reductions through deep one-on-one engagement and cooperative market transformation platforms that promote action at scale. WWF helps its private sector partners develop a compelling public narrative on climate leadership and advocate strong climate policy. The Senior Vice President leverages the organization’s extensive private sector relationships to find innovative ways to engage and mobilize companies in providing climate solutions to reduce emissions and build resilience in their supply chains and the in communities where they operate. The Senior Vice President collaborates with WWF’s Private Sector Engagement and other goal teams to ensure that these efforts are integrated with WWF’s broader interactions with companies.


Major Responsibilities and Duties

The Senior Vice President, Climate Change reports to WWF’s Chief Conservation Officer, Nik Sekhran, and leads a team of approximately 25 dedicated climate change professionals. S/he also serves on the senior management team of the organization.  S/he sets short- and long-term strategic direction for initiatives under her/his direct VP, Climate Supervision and is accountable for outcomes that advance progress on mitigating and building resilience to climate change.  S/he ensures the right resources are brought to bear in delivering on WWF’s transformational climate change initiatives while coordinating with other teams to mobilize resources for climate efforts involve multiple approaches. S/he is recognized both internally and externally as a leading expert on climate change and is called upon to bring the latest thinking and innovation to solve complex problems. S/he serves as WWF’s champion for climate change efforts in the US and globally and is the chief communicator for WWF-US climate change work to the external world. The Senior Vice President develops and leads major fundraising efforts in conjunction with other WWF staff and is accountable for annual fundraising goals and commitments. S/he serves as the US climate focal point for the WWF Network Climate and Energy Practice and as a member of that body’s leadership team. The Senior Vice President ensures that WWF-US interests are represented in Network discussions and strategies and works collaboratively with WWF offices in other countries to advance mutual climate change goals and objectives.


The successful candidate for the Senior Vice President, Climate Change will have:

  • A proven track record of policy, corporate engagements, research, and field efforts on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Master’s degree or equivalent and at least fifteen years’ experience.
  • Flexibility, nimbleness, and patience to lead effectively within a matrixed, dispersed organization with ability to learn and course-correct along the way. Self-confidence without rigidity.
  • Experience inspiring and uniting diverse technical staff pursuing independent work. Very strong management and mentorship skills.
  • A record of successful fundraising and willingness to be actively engaged in public representation and fund development.
  • Exceptional written and oral skills and the ability to communicate complex technical and scientific information to all audiences
  • A wide network of contacts in the conservation science community.
  • A commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion to strengthen the WWF-US climate change program and team.


The position will be located at WWF’s US headquarters in Washington, DC.



To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #20039 
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone

As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply.


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