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Senior Program Officer, Climate, Environment, and Conflict

United States Institute of Peace
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Jul 12, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Senior Program Officer, Climate, Environment, and Conflict
Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people's shared values and commitment to peace worldwide. We know that Peace is Security - it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.

We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts worldwide. Together we tackle the most challenging problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to .

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front-row seat on the world stage, USIP is the place for you.


The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is expected to play a critical role in advancing strategic priorities for USIP's new Climate, Environment, and Conflict (CEC) program. The successful candidate will take a lead role in overseeing research and USIP publications, convening and leading policy conversations, cultivating partner relationships, and organizing an internal speaker and discussion series. Additionally, the SPO will support the formulation of new program concepts that integrate climate and environment issues into USIP's core practice areas, including technical support for environmental peacebuilding programs. This position is based in Washington, D.C., and reports to the Senior Advisor of the CEC program.

USIP's Climate, Environment, and Conflict (CEC) program was launched in the beginning of FY2022. Its initial focus is in three key policy-relevant themes: understanding and mitigating the risks of conflict in a transition to a global green economy; the impacts of migration and displacement linked to climate and environmental change; and management of transboundary water resources in a changing climate. Through research, convenings, and collaborative partnerships with external stakeholders, the CEC program will develop policy recommendations designed to address challenges in these three areas-a task in which the SPO will play a substantial leadership role.

Grade 14 - $126,000 - $130,000

The Institute uses the General Schedule salary tables for administering compensation. Offers are determined based upon candidate qualifications, related experience, internal equity, and the amount budgeted for the position.


Development and Planning:
  • Lead in developing, planning, and executing activities of at least one theme and support the other two themes; identify the most critical policy issues; identify appropriate resources and partners required to support program goals and objectives; design and implement annual workplans around engagement on that issue(s).
  • Serve in a leadership role in building strategic partnerships with experts and a wide variety of policy and programmatic organizations, as well as internal partners, to advance the CEC team's agenda.
  • Design and manage research and lead policy papers to completion as USIP publications, using expert knowledge of policy and implementation experience.
  • Lead and organize an internal USIP community of practice on climate, environment, and conflict, bringing together USIP stakeholders to learn about and discuss relevant research and policy, exchange updates, and share ideas about programming or research.
  • Provide subject matter expertise and guidance to USIP country teams on programming pertaining to climate, environment, and conflict.
  • Stay up to date on new research and programs as they relate to the intersection of climate and environment issues, and conflict, fragility, and peacebuilding.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert speaker in both public and closed-door seminars, write commentary and analysis pieces for USIP's website on policy-relevant topics, and engage in media and Congressional briefings on the CEC portfolio themes.
  • Organize and serve as chair of conferences, meetings, and workshops designed to draw on USIP's convening power to enable exchanges of knowledge and policy options.
  • Build strategic partnerships and cultivates contacts with subject matter experts and a wide variety of external organizations including U.S. Government agencies, local and think tanks to leverage resources and combine efforts to promote USIP program initiatives and goals.
  • Attend and participate in various conferences, events, and other programs to speak on behalf of USIP on a specific subject matter area of expertise.
  • Take lead role in responding to the public or media regarding specific program area.
  • Provide regular briefings to governmental or other organizations on key subject matter area.
  • Support the Senior Advisor on strategic planning, budgeting, communications, and program management across the CEC portfolio.
  • Oversee the management of the program budget to ensure that the program is operating within its budget limitations in order to meet its goals and objectives.
  • Pursue external funding for project initiatives.

Performs Other Duties as Assigned

  • Master's degree in a related field is required.
  • Minimum of eight (8) of experience in in climate or environmental studies, conflict/peace studies, international development, or related social science discipline required.
  • Ph.D. with six (6) years of relevant experience is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated capacity to manage multiple projects simultaneously, creatively problem-solve, prioritize effectively, and produce results under conditions of uncertainty.
  • Demonstrated program design and project management skills.
  • Excellent research, analytic, and writing skills and deep knowledge of climate and environmental issues, including the ability to translate research results into policy and practice.
  • A strong record of innovation, collaboration, project management, and partnership building.
  • Excellent representation and communication skills (oral and written), including cross-cultural skills, media skills, and the ability to engage effectively with partners at all political, social, and economic levels;
  • Willingness to travel internationally.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Following the Federal mandate, USIP will require USIP employees and contractors to be fully vaccinated (except for religious and health exemptions). The vaccine mandate applies to employees and contractors with building access regardless of telework or remote status.

To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:
1. Completed employment application including titles, dates of hire, and salary requirements.
2. Cover letter
3. Resume

For questions about this position please email . Do not send resumes or attachments to this email address.

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

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