Senior Vice President, Sustainable Finance, World Wildlife Fund - US

Location: Washington, DC
World Wildlife Fund - US
Senior Vice President, Sustainable Finance
Washington, D.C.  

WWF seeks an experienced finance executive to lead our efforts, partnerships, and alliances to leverage the power of private and public capital markets to meet Sustainable Development and Climate goals. Our current team and global colleagues are already strongly engaged in both sectors working on safeguards and standards; have pioneered early conservation finance techniques, and have had early successes with blended project finance. But, we need to do even more with the finance sector to address urgent environmental and development challenges. Our new Senior Vice President for Sustainable Finance will lead efforts to catalyze private/public finance initiatives that can fuel transformation at scale. If you are passionate about leaving a sustainable planet for future generations, this is the opportunity to make a difference.
 
About the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Network
 
Founded in 1961, WWF is the world’s largest non-governmental conservation organization, with 6,500 staff operating in more than 100 countries, the support of six million members, and 22 million Facebook and 14 million Twitter followers worldwide.
 
WWF efforts are grounded in its work with communities and governments to conserve and restore species and ecoregions 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, and unsustainable food production and consumption. 
 
In 2016, WWF launched a new global strategy to help nations, states/provinces, and cities around the world achieve the targets set under the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement, and Convention on Biological Diversity. WWF works through strong country programs like WWF-US, linked through global practices, to drive local innovation and large-scale solutions and partnerships with the objective of reversing the loss of nature by 2030. Global Practices include Forests, Oceans, Freshwater, Climate, Food, Wildlife, Markets, Finance, and Governance.
 
About WWF-US
 
WWF-US oversees work with institutions and geographies across the United States, hosts the network’s Science and Markets programs and its engagement with most major multilateral finance institutions, 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 2016 total revenues and support of over $300 million.
Current high priority initiatives of WWF-US include:
 
  • Conserving Priority Landscapes: WWF-US provides technical and financial support to conserve globally significant ecoregions in Latin America as well as parts of Asia and Africa.  
  • Applying Cutting-Edge Science and Research to Real World Solutions. WWF-US hosts the global science program led by the network’s Chief Scientist, Rebecca Shaw, out of Palo Alto, with special emphasis on impact measurement, technology, and big data, as well as identifying and framing emergent solutions, and advancing new paradigms of research and practice. This work occurs in partnership with many universities across the world, but most particularly in the United States, with schools such as Duke, Stanford, Yale, Wisconsin, and Princeton.
  • Driving Sustainability with Multinational Corporations. WWF-US has built an impressive network of partnerships with leading multinational corporations in the United States. These partnerships include Google, Apple, Facebook, Walmart, Cargill, Coke, Procter & Gamble, Mars, and others to drive sustainable practices across global corporate operations.
    • Pioneering projects to drive sustainable production of food. WWF-US works with many of the largest food, retail, and trading organizations in the world through certification programs of global commodities. We also partner with the hospitality industry and public school systems to reduce food waste and influence consumer choice.
    • Helping to grow corporate demand for renewable energy. WWF-US helped build the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), with NGO partners, customers, suppliers, and policymakers to increase access to renewable energy, in the US, India, and Mexico, and to argue for favorable regulatory frameworks. WWF worked with Walmart as their lead NGO partner in their Gigaton Challenge which aims to remove one gigaton of supply chain greenhouse gas emissions with 250 suppliers. Finally, WWF played a pivotal role in bringing together the We Are Still In coalition of more than 2,000 companies (representing $2.2 trillion in revenues), cities, states (representing 125 million Americans), and 309 universities (with 4.1 million students) to honor our country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
    • Innovating technology for conservation and communication platforms. WWF-US works with technology companies, such as Cisco, FLIR, HP, and Google, to identify solutions such as thermal cameras, UAVs, and software algorithms to tackle conservation challenges. We also work with consumer-facing social media companies, such as Facebook, to engage and drive widespread movement to support conservation.
  • Influencing our Government to Support Sustainability at Home and Around the World. WWF-US works closely with US agencies, from Congress to the White House to the Departments of State, Interior, Environmental Protection, and Defense, USAID, the Science community, and NOAA. WWF-US works to drive progress on climate and conservation here at home, and with other countries on priorities including climate change, international financing for conservation, illegal fishing, protecting the Arctic, and international wildlife crime.
  • Multilateral Institutions. WWF-US leads, on behalf of WWF’s global network, work with the World Bank, IFC, InterAmerican Development Bank, the Global Environmental Facility, and the Green Climate Fund, including acting as the fiduciary and accredited implementing agency for both the GCF and GEF.
  • Inspiring Individual Choices and Philanthropy. WWF-US works to engage individuals in the choices they make—on food, energy, transportation and other actions affecting environmental footprint. The institution has built an activist network of more than 5 million individuals in the United States and relies upon its unrivaled social media presence to engage on specific issues, ranging from food to wildlife to climate change and more. WWF-US engages American institutions and individuals, inspiring commitments and building partnerships to advance large-scale conservation results in all of WWF’s work.


For more information about WWF-US, please visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/
 
About the Sustainable Finance Practice
 
Reflecting passage of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris accord, a global movement has started away from our carbon-based economy towards renewables, energy efficiency, public transport, and greater attention to the environment, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. The finance industry is starting to understand this shift, and allocation of capital will play a crucial role in transforming our economic infrastructure.

WWF seeks to influence and accelerate such investments and has worked in the recent past or is currently engaged on a number of initiatives with the finance sector, both public and private, raising international norms for sustainability and helping to set industry standards, backed by policies and regulations. A hallmark of WWF’s efforts is a collaboration with important global institutions and partners – bringing its global to local biodiversity and development expertise to bear on critical financial issues and solutions.
Examples of that work spanning capital mobilization as well as efforts to reshape finance sector norms include:  
  • Working with the IFC and Bond Markets to support the development of credible standards for Green and Climate Bonds. 
  • Participating in the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation seeking to identify and overcome barriers to investment in projects generating returns while improving conservation.
  • Partnering with Multilateral Development Institutions around safeguards, forest, water and climate policies and better incorporating environmental factors into regional and sector investment decisions.
  • Helping to “green” National Development Finance through green economy planning and mapping the value of Natural Capital with governments and communities in the Arctic, Myanmar and Mozambique.
  • Assisting the banking sector and its regulators with the development of rules and regulations for sustainability screening in Brazil, Indonesia, and Singapore relating to commodities finance.
  • Directly engaging in Project Financing, often blended public and private, to demonstrate new ways to cope with climate change and manage natural resources sustainably.
 
About the Position
 
The Senior Vice President, Sustainable Finance is responsible for leading a program of work that increases the flow of capital into investments that conserve or improve the environment and influencing public financing and private capital management to drive sustainable development. Working closely with senior executives in our private sector, policy/governance, and conservation teams, the Sustainable Finance group will help catalyze opportunities, alliances, partnerships and transactions that drive transformation at scale. The position oversees WWF’s relationships with and financing from key private finance, multilateral and US bilateral funding institutions.
 
Key Responsibilities
 
  1. Strategic Direction:  In consultation with other WWF-US teams and the WWF network’s global Finance Practice, provide overall vision, leadership, and strategic guidance for a Sustainable Finance program – covering both public and private sector finance – that engages and influences financial institutions and relevant international agency and government programs to greatly enhance the incorporation of sustainability considerations into investment decisions and measures of financial performance. Ultimately, this team should focus on creating new financial models and approaches for sustainable development, and helping them to become established finance sector practice.
 
  1. Program Execution: Establish goals and objectives by being an inspirational leader and manage teams covering relations with private sector, multilateral finance institutions (including the World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank), multilateral environment and climate funds (including the GEF and GCF, for which WWF is an accredited implementation partner), and Conservation Finance.  Work with other teams within WWF-US and the WWF network, together with external advisors and consultants, to engage with financial sector actors to implement the agreed strategy.
 
  1. Engagement: Serve as the Sustainable Finance Lead for WWF-US within the WWF global network and with external stakeholders, including donors, key partners, and financial institutions. Coordinate sustainable finance efforts across the organization to ensure programmatic coherence and consistency. Engage with the broader scientific community and represent WWF at events and in coalitions to build a community of experts and partners.
 
  1. Influence Key Actors: Work to catalyze new financial approaches and models, build strategic partnerships, and change the behavior and policies of key stakeholders. Foster close relationships with key players within business, governments, international organizations, NGOs and other institutions.
 
  1. Resource Mobilization and Operational Oversight: With fundraising and conservation colleagues, lead efforts to mobilize resources to fund both transformational efforts and institutional operating costs to support those efforts. Ensure effective management of WWF teams, key initiatives, and critical projects.
 
  1. Innovation and Collaboration: With partners and internal colleagues create opportunities for the ongoing design of new approaches and alliances for transformation at scale.
 
Skills and Abilities
 
The ideal candidate will have the right combination of experience, competencies, and personal characteristics, to include:
 
  • An advanced university degree from a relevant field, such as finance, investment finance, economics or business administration (MBA).
  • Minimum of 15 years of financial sector experience in banking, asset management, international finance, financial regulatory authorities, equity markets, or equivalent institutions – preferably including experience outside of the United States.
  • Commitment to achieving global environmental sustainability improvements, with prior international experience highly useful.
  • Demonstrated results in changing practices and creating new models to improve/achieve environmental sustainability in either public or private sector finance institutions. 
  • Outstanding skills, expertise and track record in building alliances for change across multiple institutions and partners
  • A powerful network of potential partners and colleagues from within financial communities and/or civil society organizations to co-design solutions and initiatives for the future. 
  • Experience leading teams and working in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural setting, preferably at the international level.
  • A dynamic, creative and outgoing personality with excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to define and defend priorities and influence the thinking of others.
  • Understanding of how international NGOs (especially with federated structures) work.
  • Fluency in English is required as well as strong written, verbal and presentation skills.
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