Senior Vice President (Climate Change)
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.
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.
WWF Climate Change Program
The WWF-US climate change program comprises four major areas of work:
Galvanizing climate mitigation action
Delivering on the Paris Agreement requires the full mobilization of the world community at the national and subnational levels. The Alliances for Climate Action initiative seeks to build and strengthen coalitions of states, cities, businesses, universities, and others to set ambitious climate emissions reduction goals, provide a collective voice to influence national climate policy and realize climate action ambitions. To date Alliances for Climate Action have been established in the United States (We Are Still In), Argentina, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Vietnam. Efforts are underway to replicate this model in Brazil and Colombia. With WWF acting as a catalyst and convener, each alliance defines its own purpose and program of action, all of which help remove implementation barriers and accelerate nationally determined processes of transformation towards low-carbon societies. 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.
The Senior Vice President also complements work at the sub-national level by designing, coordinating, and leading WWF’s engagement with the US Federal government on climate policy in collaboration with WWF’s Government Affairs team, and through engagement with bodies such as the Climate Leadership Council.
Nature-based Climate Solutions
Nature-based climate solutions are a centerpiece of WWF’s climate change adaptation and mitigation work. The Senior Vice President, Climate Change works collaboratively with the Forest and Food team leads within WWF to align strategy and drive cross-organizational work to maximize opportunities to reduce emissions and improve the carbon sequestration and climate resiliency benefits from forests and agricultural lands.
The Senior Vice President provides direct oversight of WWF’s adaptation and resilience team, which provides deep expertise, practical tools, and guidance to design and implement nature-based and nature-friendly solutions to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change and manage climate induced disaster risks. To strengthen these efforts the Senior Vice President works with other WWF teams to design strong locally appropriate adaptation measures and mobilize partnerships and financing at scale to deliver interventions.
Climate and Business Hub
Working with its partners, WWF supports businesses in setting and implementing voluntary corporate emission reductions through deep one-on-one engagement, cooperative market transformation platforms that promote action at scale, and the creation and dissemination of a public narrative on corporate climate leadership while engaging companies in climate policy advocacy. These efforts lead companies to set and achieve science-based emissions targets, scale renewable energy and sustainable food and fiber production, reduce emissions in their value chains and advocate with governments for systemic change. Building off the successful model developed and deployed for the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), WWF is facilitating the Renewable Thermal Collaborative with partners. The Senior Vice President strengthens WWF’s corporate sector work by leveraging the organization’s extensive private sector relationships to find innovative ways to engage and mobilize companies in providing climate solutions and in changing their own business practices to reduce emissions. 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.
Finance for Climate Action
Underpinning the bodies of work described above 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 WWF’s International Finance and Public Sector Partnerships teams, the Senior Vice President for Climate Change helps mobilize resources for climate action, particularly in emerging economies, and influences the financial sector to spur investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Major Functions, 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. The Senior Vice President develops strategic direction for all work in its climate change program portfolio. S/he is responsible for establishing and promoting the vision for WWF’s climate change efforts, setting short- and long-term strategic direction for its initiatives, and is accountable for outcomes that advance progress on mitigating and adapting to climate change. S/he ensures the right resources are brought to bear in delivering on WWF’s transformational climate change initiatives. 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 and adaptation. 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.
- 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