Director, Africa Energy Access

Director, Africa Energy Access

WRI - World Resources Institute

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Program Overview

The WRI Energy program is seeking a Director, Africa Energy Access, to lead an expanding portfolio of partnerships and research. Currently, 1.2 billion people lack access to affordable, clean electricity and population and economic growth are outpacing electrification efforts. Unless there is a paradigm shift in how countries plan their electricity systems, it is likely that global energy access goals will not be met – hampering the health, economic development and sustainability efforts. WRI’s energy access experts engage with the public sector, investors and civil society, building capacity to support energy access investments that alleviate poverty and promote development.

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. You will be expected to identify and advance opportunities to strengthen attention to gender and social equity within your work to ensure WRI elevates solutions to climate and other urgent environmental issues through approaches that improve human well-being.

Job Summary

This Director will be part of the global energy program leadership team, which supports three pillars of work: 1) accelerating the deployment of clean, affordable reliable energy, 2) advancing energy efficiency and energy productivity, and 3) addressing the urgent challenge of energy access and energy poverty. The Energy program works closely with other WRI programs and centers and the Energy Access project work is co-led by the Governance Center in WRI.

Specifically, the Director is responsible for leading a strategy and projects to accelerate the deployment of clean energy in support of the sustainable development goals. This includes providing strategic oversight to the overall energy program’s growing engagement in East Africa. In particular, the Director will also have a hands-on role in project management of the Energy for Development project, engage and establish in-country partnerships, support communications and fundraising, and help advance data collection efforts on energy demand, renewable energy finance, and building energy consumption. We are committed to ensuring gender equity across our program portfolios and this individual will help advance gender and inclusiveness in our Africa project work. Finally, this role will engage government agencies, international organizations and global institutions as well as the private sector in support of policy analysis and engagement efforts. The Director will work with WRI Africa’s International Office Director based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Job Responsibilities

The main areas of responsibility include approximately:

  • 50% Project and partner management;
  • 25% Thought leadership and strategy;
  • 25% Communications and fundraising.

Project and Partner Management:

  • Lead the East Africa portion of the Energy for Development project;
  • Support new and existing partnerships in 4 East African countries in 2018-2019: Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Help scope possible project activities in Rwanda;
  • Help deliver action and analysis deploying renewable energy and accessing finance approaches that will enable scaling of clean energy in East Africa;
  • Ensure partnerships are clearly defined, well run, and create tangible outcomes;
  • Monitor project deliverables, helping set and clarify priorities, and ensuring high-quality, high-impact deliverables;
  • Manage small and growing team and effectively work across the WRI matrix including with project teammates in the U.S. and India.

Thought leadership and Strategy:

  • Shape the growing work of the WRI energy program in Africa, including interventions that will help create sustainable energy and resilience strategies for the buildings sector, and growing work exploring the linkages of water and energy in national planning and private sector decision-making;
  • Collaborate with partners to test and demonstrate new solutions to clean energy deployment and provide blogs and insights on the rapidly emerging themes and lessons from project experience;
  • Work with key stakeholders such as utilities, cities, and the private sector to build a compelling narrative about the role of low-carbon energy, to deliver an affordable and decarbonized energy future;
  • Engage with the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities which is leading WRI’s building-sector work and global electric vehicle strategy;
  • Create an Africa energy strategy in consultation with WRI management.

Communications and Fundraising:

  • Work with the Energy and Governance teams and communications staff to ensure a compelling and consistent message from our work as a key strategy for impact;
  • Contribute to analysis and review metrics, results and outcomes from project activities and work with the measurement and evaluation specialist to help communicate impact;
  • Identify new and existing donors who are aligned with our work and cultivate them to be part of WRI’s mission to ensure access to energy in Africa, and to transform the pathway for the energy sector in Africa to focus on clean technology;
  • Represent WRI as a thought leader in media interviews, high profile speaking events, and workshops with partners;
  • Engage with development banks, government officials and senior leaders in the energy field to communicate WRI’s work and collaborate on strategy;
  • Monitor program budget performance, expenses and revenue;
  • Lead on fund raising to support WRI’s energy access work in Africa with support from global energy and governance colleagues in India and the U.S.

Job Qualifications

  • 15+ years of relevant experience with approximately 8+ years in a leadership capacity;
  • PhD or master's degree in environmental policy, energy policy, economics, international development, public policy or related field, or a relevant law degree;
  • Experience managing, conducting, and publishing research on energy, sustainable development, environment, or related fields in Africa;
  • Experience managing effective partnerships;
  • Experience managing a high performing team and delivering outcomes;
  • Track record in publishing high quality quantitative research and analysis;
  • Strong knowledge of energy policy with a track record of working with energy sector stakeholders around energy policy development in Africa;
  • Demonstrable experience with engaging government agencies around sustainable energy policy issues;
  • Institutional relationships in East Africa that are leading action leading to deploy low- and zero-carbon energy, energy storage, and improved energy efficiency;
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in cross-cultural communication and engagement with diverse constituencies.

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© EuroJobsites 2018

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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