Natural Infrastructure Economist

World Resources Institute (WRI)
Mexico City, Mexico
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and Spanish


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.

Job Summary

In this role, you will expand our efforts to integrate green infrastructure into traditional infrastructure plans and investments. You will lead our economics work in Latin America with opportunities to engage globally through the Cities4Forest network.

With support from managers and senior economists, you will design and conduct analysis of NBS investment opportunities in priority geographies throughout Latin America. While the team has already lined up discrete projects for you to undertake in your first year, you will help develop the Initiative’s strategy and practice in Latin America and source new opportunities to scale our impact.

Job Responsibilities

Research & Knowledge Development (75%)

  • Lead a team of researchers and partners to conduct complex and decision relevant analysis of NBS investment options.
  • Produce impactful policy research and economic analysis of natural infrastructure, such as cost-benefit analysis of green infrastructure options for water supply management or flood control.
  • Author knowledge products (e.g. reports, briefs, data products).
  • Identify and contribute to shared research agendas with external partners.
  • Conduct outreach and communications including presenting at internal/external meetings and conferences, co-authoring blog posts, and other activities.

Program Management and Operations (25%)

  • Lead strategy development and management of a collection of economic studies across the Initiative.
  • Fundraising, including cultivating new project opportunities and prospective donors as well as preparing proposals.
  • Organize internal and external meetings, workshops, and other data gathering and research dissemination activities.
  • Liaise with internal staff and project stakeholders to problem solve and generate solutions to project implementation issues.
  • Additional ad-hoc program management and operational duties as needed.

Job Qualifications

  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant, full-time work experience
  • Master’s degree (or bachelor's degree with 2 additional years of relevant experience) in natural resource economics
  • Excellent quantitative economic or financial research skills
  • Ecosystem valuation, natural infrastructure project analysis, and cost-benefit analysis is a plus
  • Conceptualizing and executing impactful cost-benefit analysis involving natural systems
  • Prior experience in government or working with government; proven ability to navigate pathways to influence public policy.
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Exemplary quantitative skills, an ability to communicate highly technical material to policy makers and other lay audiences, and an ability to cultivate and manage productive relationships with external partners. The successful candidate will also have a strategic and entrepreneurial spirit.Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse teams of individuals and colleagues.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, particularly when it comes to communicating technical concepts to non-technical audiences.
  • Ability to juggle multiple tasks and deadlines while setting and delivering on clear priorities.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and demonstrated strong work ethic.
  • Flexibility to travel.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish required.
  • US work authorization is required. WRI cannot offer visa sponsorship this opportunity.

Natural Infrastructure Initiative Overview

The World Resources Institute’s Natural Infrastructure Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort to advance water security, climate resilience, and community well-being through the design, implementation, and financing of nature-based solutions (NBS) in combination with built infrastructure systems. We specialize in identifying and maturing well-designed NBS investment opportunities that conserve, restore, and sustainably manage ecosystems to achieve more resilient and cost-effective infrastructure system performance and healthy communities. Our work on economic and financial analysis of green infrastructure, for example in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Monterrey (Mexico), and Portland Maine (USA), enables decision makers to compare green infrastructure on equal footing with gray infrastructure, and where suitable, route more investment towards green infrastructure.

The Natural Infrastructure Initiative also leads Cities4Forests—a voluntary coalition involving 60+ city’s mayors’ offices globally—committed to implementing NBS by 2022. Cities4Forests members receive technical assistance and participate in peer-to-peer learning to advance NBS strategies in cities, nearby forests that supply cities water, and far-away forests important for climate change.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. Only applications in English with Cover Letters will be considered. Specify in your cover letter if you are legally authorized to work in either Mexico or the United States.