Director, Africa Energy World Resources Institute Nairobi

About the Program
WRI Africa - WRI has been working in Africa for more than 30 years, supporting local partners and Africa governments to advance forest protection, landscape restoration, and sustainable cities. In recent years, we appointed our first vice president for Africa, established a regional hub in Addis Ababa, and created a region-wide strategy. Our vision for Africa is an inclusive transformation so Africa’s people and landscapes flourish. WRI Africa generates actionable knowledge across three strategic pillars: vital landscapes, thriving and resilient cities, and institutional and economic transformation. WRI’s Energy Program collaborates with policymakers, cities, companies, utilities, regulators and development institutions to secure a clean energy future for everyone. We facilitate partnerships to help cities and corporations purchase renewable power at scale to unlock economic opportunities. In Africa, we work with policymakers, development financing institutions, renewable energy developers, as well as civil society organizations to develop strategies and approaches for stimulating demand for clean energy in the livelihoods and health sector. We are also supporting national governments to develop clean energy transition pathways informed by data and evidence.

About the job

This position will be based out of WRI Kenya. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission. WRI is unable to sponsor visa work authorization for this position.

Job Highlight:

In this role, you will lead the Africa Energy Program, including the design and execution of strategy, overseeing program implementation, managing staff and associates, being responsible for delivery of targeted outcomes, and tracking indicators of progress and success. You will be supported by program managers and research associates that help manage the portfolio of work, as well as engagement support, and monitoring and evaluation support. In this role you will become one of the “go to” WRI experts on Africa’s energy system, helping to lead a team that creates high quality analytical outputs, articulating an WRI Africa perspective on complex energy themes, and leveraging WRI’s insights to influence industry & policy makers. You will report Global Director, Energy Program.

What will you do:

Strategic Leadership (40% time):

  • Lead development of pillar workplans, vision, theory of change, and strategy for WRI’s Africa Energy Strategy Energy Access Energy Transitions Energy Finance Execute and oversee Africa engagement, sub-national government partnerships, and energy system innovation.
  • Translates project strategies into annual work plans, objectives, and key results to guide implementation
  • Manage a growing Africa Energy team—currently 8 staff including 4 direct reports. The team is planning to expand to 12 staff by the end of 2023
  • The Energy lead is responsible for project implementation to ensure that desired results are achieved in a timely manner
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including government, private sector, non-profit, academia, funders, and other stakeholders
  • Engage WRI’s Senior Leadership and other Directors to ensure that WRI’s Africa Energy work is contributing to WRI’s overarching Africa objectives; identifies opportunities to collaborate with other WRI Programs, Centers, and International Offices to achieve these objectives

Strategy and Program Management (30% time):

  • Assume overall responsibility for project finances with support from Global Energy Program Operations Manager and Program Director
  • Proactively identify and address opportunities and threats to the project arising internally or externally, including by adjusting strategies and management approaches
  • Define project success criteria, monitors, and evaluate performance, and communicates progress to internal and external stakeholders and leaders
  • Participate in the WRI Africa office management and contribute to WRI Africa development in line with the WRI strategy. Lead conflict resolution with project funders, partners, stakeholders, and staff

Research, Knowledge & Engagement (30% time):

  • Shape Africa Energy program research and thought leadership efforts to demonstrate solutions for an affordable, urgent low-carbon energy transition Identifies and advances new lines of research and analysis relevant to the project’s influence strategy and objectives
  • Author or co-authors knowledge products (e.g., reports, briefs, data products, tools)
  • Ensure that all knowledge products produced by the Africa Energy team meet WRI's high standard of quality, including through oversight of the peer review process
  • Work with the Africa Energy team and communications staff to ensure a compelling and consistent message from our work as a key strategy for impact Identify new and existing donors and cultivate them to be part of WRI’s mission to transform the energy sector
  • Represent WRI as a thought leader in media interviews, high profile speaking events, and workshops with partners
  • Engage with WRI Board members and other senior leaders in the energy field to communicate WRI’s work and collaborate on strategy

What will you need:

  • Education: You have a completed Bachelors degree in a related field, preferably with coursework in international development, environmental policy, and environmental science
  • Experience: You have a minimum of 12+ years of full-time relevant work experience in the energy field, with 10+ years of program implementation and project management experience
  • Deep experience working on energy markets, energy technology, and energy policy
  • Experience building partnerships and engaging with diverse stakeholders—including governments, civil society, and companies—from global to local scales
  • Proven track record of fundraising success at a multimillion-dollar scale.
  • Track record in publishing high-quality quantitative research and analysis
  • Strong writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills with experience in cross-cultural communication and engagement with diverse constituencies
  • Languages: You have written and verbal proficiency in English required, French language skills highly desirable.
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship.

Potential Salary:

Salary Is Commensurate With Experience And Other Compensable Factors.

How to Apply:

Please submit a resume and a cover letter by 6 March, 2023.  You must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

What we offer:

  • A competitive salary  
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US.  
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities.  
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work.  
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI.  
  • Long-term commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours. 
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure.   

About Us:

Founded in 1982, 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 seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

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. 

Our mission and values:

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. 

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.  

Our culture:

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. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification. 

Our Human Resources team carefully reviews all applications.  



Job opening | 16 February 2023