Urban Water Finance Manager, Washington

Job Summary

The World Resources Institute's (WRI) Natural Infrastructure Initiative, Encourage Capital (EC) and the Liquid Assets Project (LAP) are joining forces to create a new position at WRI – Manager, Urban Water Finance. In this role, you will co-lead efforts to develop and scale financially innovative, environmentally-sustainable municipal water management solutions in cities across the country. We seek a dynamic, creative individual with significant expertise working with, or for, municipalities or utilities, a strong background in water resources, finance and project development, and a deep commitment to advancing strategies, approaches, and tools that promote integrated water management and water sustainability.

You will help lead the Innovative Municipal Finance strategy, which seeks to develop and scale projects in the Western US that deliver environmental and financial returns. You will be responsible for overall strategy and day to day activities associated with maintaining and strengthening existing partnerships with designated cities; designing, implementing and scaling a portfolio of current projects – taking them to the next level of development and success; and identifying a new pipeline of opportunities, including linkages to Cities4Forests (see below). You will focus on completing a Joint Benefits Authority project (JBA - see below) in the next 1-2 years and exploring additional opportunities to develop environmental impact bonds, green bonds and other nature-based infrastructure solutions and other non-traditional water infrastructure projects with partner cities.

Joint Benefits Authority (JBA)

The position will focus on the development of a Joint Benefits Authority (JBA) – an innovative, multi-stakeholder partnership that unites multiple municipal agencies or departments behind one green infrastructure (GI) project and allows for each agency or department to pay for the specific co-benefits that the GI project will deliver to their program. This has the potential to lower costs for any one agency, leverage resources, increase the focus on co-benefits of green infrastructure, and accelerate the deployment of green infrastructure across cities. The new hire will advance JBA project work in three targeted western cities where WRI, EC and LAP have existing relationships, with an initial focus in San Francisco.

Cities4Forest (C4F)

Cities4Forests is a voluntary coalition involving mayors' offices— and supported by other subnational agencies such as public water utilities and offices of sustainability—from around the world. Cities4Forests encourages peer-to-peer inspiration and learning, and members receive technical support from institutions with expertise in forests, green infrastructure, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy.

The Urban Water Finance Manager will help develop and deliver a C4F scaling strategy for successful JBA and innovate financing approaches.

Job Responsibilities

  • Develop a Joint Benefits Authority pilot project in at least one city;
  • Work with select cities and utilities to develop/issue environmental impact bonds, green bonds and other nature-based infrastructure solutions and other non-traditional water infrastructure projects;
  • Develop a pipeline of investable opportunities and JBA applications;
  • Work with WRI's water, forest and cities team to develop and deliver a C4F scaling strategy for successful JBA and innovate urban water financing approaches;
  • Build and strengthen partnerships with municipal government agencies, utilities and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Present at meetings, webinars, workshops and conferences on behalf of the project;
  • Write working papers, case studies and blog posts outlining successes and lessons learned;
  • Potentially manage junior staff as project portfolio grows; and
  • Assist Initiative manager with budgeting, fundraising and grant reporting responsibilities.

Job Qualifications

  • Master's Degree (or two additional years of experience) in finance, business administration, public policy, water resources or similar and a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience.
  • Experience in municipal finance and management, including knowledge of municipal bonds, contracts, budgeting, processes, project design and investment tools.
  • Experience in water management and green infrastructure desired.
  • Effective communicator and collaborator with ability to work well in a team and closely with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Strong organizational, analytical and strategic skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Comfort in working on new and untested strategies, and flexibility in adjusting work tasks as circumstances evolve.
  • Patience and perseverance in understanding and explaining issues to partners and contractors.
  • Comfort working in a remote setting from direct manager and partners (possible).
  • Must be self-motivated, possess a balance of personal confidence and humility, and enjoy having fun while working.

Natural Infrastructure Initiative Overview

WRI's Natural Infrastructure Initiate is an interdisciplinary and cross-programmatic team to advance Nature-based Strategies that leverage restoration, protection, and sustainable management of natural and working landscapes and urban green infrastructure, alongside built systems, to provide water and climate-related services as well as disaster risk strategies and poverty alleviation approaches through the development, implementation and financing of hybrid built and nature-based solutions.

Encourage Capital (EC)/Liquid Assets Project (LAP) Overview

Encourage Capital is a new kind of investment firm that seeks to change the way investment capital is used to solve critical environmental and social problems.

EC is building a community of investors, foundations, market-leading companies and non-profits to deploy private capital into systemic solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. EC believes we can generate both compelling investment returns and social and environmental impacts for our investors.

EC believes that systemic problems require systemic solutions, and that this approach uncovers investments where the profit and the impact are inextricably linked. EC's investment strategies are designed with impact not as an afterthought, but as the fundamental value that lies at the heart of everything we do. EC believes that by doing this, we can not only generate competitive financial returns for our investors, but also work with our investors as partners to help change the world.

The Liquid Assets Project supports the development of impact-focused investment deals that are designed to help advance water sustainability across the American West. The project is advancing investments that provide environmental, social and financial returns related to Innovative Municipal Financing, designing green bonds, environmental impact bonds and joint benefits authority financing vehicles to finance green municipal water solutions. The Liquid Assets Project team will originate, structure and diligence initial pipelines of deals for sustainable municipal investments and will raise investment capital for those deals.

WRI Overview/Natural Infrastructure Initiative

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 six 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 $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

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.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

The World Resources Institute ( http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI's policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI's global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat. 

Deadline/closing date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018