Lead Senior Economist

WRI - World Resources Institute

Washington, DC, United States


The WRI Economics Center and New Climate Economy Program seek two Senior Economists to provide subject matter expertise, facilitate program management, and contribute to research and report drafting for the assigned program.

The successful candidates will be well-rounded economists, ideally with deep expertise on climate and energy issues, and with experience working on international projects and/or in country governments. They will be experienced in managing diverse research teams to produce cutting-edge knowledge products.


The Senior Economist's main areas of responsibility will include the following:

Research & Knowledge: (60% of time required)

  • Intellectual leadership - identifies knowledge gaps where WRI and NCE research can produce changes in society consistent with our mission, in collaboration with research staff from other programs/centers/international offices;
  • Identifies the data and methods needed to produce robust, unbiased research that addresses knowledge gaps and informs the program's influence strategies.
  • Authors or co-authors knowledge products (e.g., reports, briefs, data-products);
  • Coordinates research efforts between different departments, organizations, and across country teams;
  • Supervises multiple researchers;
  • Reviews 4-6 knowledge products written by other WRI or NCE researchers yearly.

Program/Project Management (20% of time required)

  • Sets project objective strategies and outcomes for major research projects;
  • Provides oversight of major financially integrated research efforts;
  • Monitors financial performance with support from members of the Operations team, and takes appropriate action to ensure key financial objectives are met;
  • Proactively manages changes in objective scope, identify potential crises, and devises contingency plans;
  • Identifies potential gaps in personnel or expertise and develops plans to fill them, including inputting into hiring decisions and overseeing procurement of research services through appropriate consultants;
  • Defines project success criteria and disseminate them to involved parties throughout project life cycle.

Program Development (20% of time required)

  • Contribute to the assigned program’s strategy development, partnership development, fundraising proposals (presentations, narratives, budgets);
  • Lead on determining appropriate research topics and plans for proposals and development efforts;
  • Leverage new and maintains existing relationships with foundations, governments and individual donors;
  • Develops and leads outreach/funding presentations to potential donors;
  • Monitor and help evaluate program performance;
  • Develop, and manage others to develop, presentations for internal and external audiences;
  • Additionally, in keeping with WRI’s commitment to gender equity across our programs, the Associate will also be required to identify relevant gender issues, as determined through a gender analysis, and ensure adequate and effective attention to these issues in project and partner development, budgeting and management.


Required Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in Economics;
  • Minimum 15 years of full-time work experience in relevant field, with program implementation and project management experience;
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change;
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of one or more expert staff;
  • Exceptionally good communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong quantitative, analytical research skills;
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, competing priorities;
  • Ability to travel when needed.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with external communications and/or donor management;
  • Experience working in major international institutions and/or in government.

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