Principal Environment Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Manila, Philippines
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.

1 Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first two performance reviews after appointment at the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new category.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Office of the Director General of East Asia Department (EARD/EAOD), which is responsible for relationships concerning ADB operations with Developing Member Countries in the East Asia subregion, with other multilateral and bilateral development agencies and other key stakeholders on matters relating to the subregion. EAOD provides overall coordinating assistance to the EARD Regional Management Team; in terms of development of country strategies and work programs, programming of loan, grant and technical assistance projects, project administration, mobilizing cofinancing from external sources for development projects, coordinating knowledge management work, ensuring safeguards compliance of projects, coordinating with other ADB departments and with external development partners, and overseeing operations of ADB's resident missions in People's Republic of China (PRC) and Mongolia (MON) as well as 4 sector divisions.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Environment Specialist will act as EARD's focal point for environmental safeguard policy compliance and quality assurance, responsible for (i) advisory, knowledge management, and mentoring within EARD; (ii) peer review of project's environmental aspects and compliance review of projects in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS), and reporting such to the Director General (DG); and (iii) quality assurance for substantive project environmental safeguard issues as part of EAOD clearance procedures. The position will ensure quality implementation of ADB's safeguard policies on environment for EARD's projects, coordinate EARD's environmental safeguard policy compliance efforts at HQ and Resident Missions (RMs), ensure consistency in compliance standards, and enhance staff skills in environmental safeguard compliance. The position will also be responsible for helping ensure the mainstreaming of climate change mitigation and adaptation elements and associated safeguard measures in project design to ensure sustainability in EARD projects. The incumbent will report to Director General, EARD and will supervise National Staff and Administrative Staff.


  • Coordinate EARD's activities to ensure compliance with all environmental safeguard policy requirements in projects processing, implementation, supervision and evaluation
  • Provide leadership in professional and operational matters related to environmental safeguards, and work across rural, urban, transport, energy, regional cooperation, financial and other sectors
  • Advise and provide operational support on environmental safeguard compliance risks in the design and implementation of EARD projects. Coordinate with environmental safeguards specialists and the Safeguards Division (SDSS) of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC) on environmental safeguards, due diligence, and ensure substantive and procedural compliance
  • Participate in selected loan review missions in East Asia to assess environmental safeguard implementation issues and, where needed, assist to formulate and agree on corrective action to address them. Participate in country portfolio review missions as needed
  • Advise the EARD Regional Management Team on environmental safeguard policy, environmental safeguard risks and compliance issues with the ongoing projects/programs in the EARD portfolio. Verify that the project teams ensure timely monitoring of all environmental safeguards to prevent unnecessary delays in implementation. Proactively coordinate with EARD portfolio team on critical environmental safeguards to facilitate implementation
  • Review and clear environmental safeguard planning documents within EARD to ensure their compliance with the environmental policy requirements and related to Operations Manual (OM) F1
  • Coordinate EARD interactions with the Office of the Compliance Review Panel (OCRP) and the Office of the Special Project Facilitator (OSPF) for environmental safeguard issues on EARD projects, including assisting project-affected people through consultative dialogue or mediation
  • Oversee Annual Reporting to the Chief Compliance Officer
  • Act as the departmental focal point to engage in policy dialogue with development member countries in East Asia on environmental safeguard policy requirements in order to harmonize developing member countries (DMCs) safeguard policies, laws and regulations related to OM F1 with that of international good practices
  • Promote and assist in the development and improvement of environmental safeguard capacities in DMCs in East Asia
  • Coordinate EARD's review of the environmental safeguard aspects of any policy revisions
  • Contribute new or innovative approaches to environmental safeguard policy and operational issues
  • Coordinate EARD's review of ADB reports that relate to environmental safeguards, such as evaluation studies by the Independent Evaluation Department (IED), SDCC evaluation or proposed changes to policy requirements, and evaluation reports from OCRP, OSPF, and Office of the Auditor General
  • Conduct capacity building exercises in environmental safeguard policy application in project planning and implementation for RM staff and borrower agencies and annual retreat with EARD environmental safeguard staff
  • Support the enhancement of EARD staff skills and contribute substantially to knowledge generation and dissemination by preparing knowledge products, promoting knowledge sharing and conducting training programs for EARD staff, and borrower agencies on environmental safeguard issue
  • Prepare knowledge products and analytical reports on emerging trends for environmental safeguards in East Asia
  • Oversee development and maintenance of EARD Safeguard Tracking System
  • Participate in project concept paper and staff review meetings, examining environment safeguards aspects as well as climate change impacts, and supporting design of climate change mitigation and/or adaptation measures
  • Review overall project design to ensure that opportunities to pursue aspirational environmental “do better” beyond “no harm” and climate change adaptation and mitigation project features and measures are optimized
  • Advise project teams and arrangement on new and emerging issues and technologies and on ways and issues of most effectively quality assurance of OM F1
  • Oversee the performance of staff under supervision and provide clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to new environmental safeguard staff in EARD and ensure their ongoing learning and development


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Master's degree, or equivalent, in Environmental Science or other related fields. University degree in Environmental Science or other related field combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s may be considered in lieu of a Master's degree;
  • Minimum of 12 years of relevant professional experience, including at least 5 years' international project experience, with a record of promoting and applying innovations;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Demonstrated experience in building effective external partnerships, knowledge dissemination and communication.
  • Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff Level 6.

General Considerations

The selected candidate is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB's standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual's qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.