Economics Deputy Director

World Resources Institute
Mitch, Louisiana, US
Jul 24, 2021
Jul 28, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
This search is being managed by an external consultant. To apply, please email Andrew Zalman at

Applications posted to our online portal will not be reviewed.

Position Summary

Your primary responsibility in this role is to oversee the work of the Economics Center by managing a growing and diverse team of Economists, developing strategies to ensure that high-quality economic analysis is used effectively to support projects across WRI, and implementing approaches to strengthen WRI's capacity to deploy appropriate and insightful economic tools and analysis in support of our mission.

You will provide thought-leadership in Economics for WRI, oversee and help to build the Economics Center work by hiring and helping to develop top talent, and oversee fundraising efforts to ensure appropriate coverage for the team and new projects. You will also lead on research efforts in their field(s) of expertise, including by developing proposals, authoring papers, managing research teams, and contributing to specific research products.


Research & Knowledge (60%)
  • Intellectual leadership - identifies and explores knowledge gaps where WRI economic research or tools 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 economic research that addresses knowledge gaps and informs the program's influence strategies.
  • Authors or co-authors knowledge products (e.g., reports, briefs, data-products).
  • Develops and oversees research efforts between different departments, organizations, and across country teams, as well as with external partners as relevant.
  • Supervises a team of 5-10 economists and researchers and engages with a network of ~40 economists across WRI Programs and International Offices.
  • Reviews 3 to 5 knowledge products written by other WRI or NCE researchers yearly.

Program Management (20%)
  • Sets objectives and strategies for the Economics Center and major research products in partnership with the Vice President for Climate and Economics.
  • Supports Junior staff with mentorship, development opportunities, and regular guidance on priorities and approaches.
  • Provides leadership and oversight of major research efforts across programs and International Offices
  • Manages the program budget and financial performance with support from members of the Operations Team, taking appropriate action to ensure financial objectives are met.
  • 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.
  • Represents the Economics Center in internal and external meetings, advocating for its strategic approach, needs, and value.
  • Proactively manages changes in the scope of work for the Economics Center, identifies and mitigates potential risks, and oversees implementation of annual work plans.

Program Development (20%)
  • Lead on strategy development, partnership development, fundraising proposals (presentations, narratives, budgets) for the Economics Center.
  • 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 evaluate program performance with support from staff.
  • Develop, and manage others to develop, presentations for internal and external audiences.

  • Advanced degree in Economics
  • Minimum of 15 years of hands-on experience in program implementation and project management, ideally within an international nonprofit organization. Minimum of 8 years of project management
  • Expertise in either Natural Resource Economics or Climate / Energy Economics (or both)
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of multiple research staff
  • Strong computer skills and experience in Microsoft suite, database management, cloud- and web-based communications. Advanced Excel skills required.

WRI Overview

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 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 developmentchallenges, 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 $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica,Brazil,China,Europe,India,Indonesia,Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

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.

WRI Economics Center

WRI's Economics Center helps provide a better understanding of the value that ecosystems provide to the economy, using an economics lens to analyze problems and solutions at the intersection of environment and human well-being.

WRI's economists conduct in-depth economic assessments of the value of terrestrial and marine ecosystem services, renewable energy investments, the impact of climate vulnerability for communities and their livelihoods and more. They develop tools and guidance to help decision-makers understand the economic and social trade-offs of investing in and protecting natural resources.