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Forestry Principal Technical Lead, Ecosystem Services

Winrock International
Arlington County, Virginia, US
Closing date
Oct 20, 2022

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Job Description
Position Title: Forestry Principal Technical Lead

Location: Arlington, VA or remote

Department: Environment & Energy Group (E2)

Reports to: Director, Ecosystem Services Unit (ECO)

Winrock is a non-profit organization that works around the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment. Winrock's E2 Group is comprised of three complimentary units: Ecosystem Services, Clean Energy, and Forestry and Natural Resource Management. The E2 Group collaborates closely with other Winrock groups, including Agriculture, Resilience and Water; Human Rights, Education & Empowerment; and Corporate Affairs, to identify and implement cutting-edge solutions to climate change.

As a senior member of the team, the Principal Technical Lead will contribute to an environment that is collaborative, conducive to growth, respect, equity, and thought leadership. The position will lead projects within the ECO Unit focused on land use and climate change, provide technical support to USAID funded projects in the Forest and Natural Management Unit, and pursue new business opportunities for ECO and E2.

Ecosystem Services Unit

ECO forms the cornerstone of Winrock's scientific leadership and has been at the cutting edge of the evaluation of ecosystem services from forests and agriculture for twenty-five years. ECO excels at the translation and application of science to benefit countries, businesses, organizations, and people. Winrock employs state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to generate and distil information for resource managers, land use planners, communities, and industries for use in low emission and climate resiliency development and spatial planning, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission estimation, and habitat mapping and restoration. Winrock is a leading innovator in applied climate and landscape sciences due to the pragmatic and scientifically robust approach Winrock applies.

ECO's portfolio is focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation, REDD+, Low Emissions Development, environmental services, and related topics. For more than twenty-five years, ECO has served as a global leader in ecosystem evaluation, carbon accounting, climate change mitigation and adaptation, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the sustainable management of forests, and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), watershed management, and other forms of environmental services accounting. The Technical Lead supports the Unit Director and works with other staff in ECO and throughout Winrock to manage projects, provide technical assistance, ensure quality control and evaluation, and augment new business and thought leadership.

ECO's focus areas include developing:
  • GHG measurement and monitoring approaches under voluntary and compliance markets; for companies, governments, and NGOs around the world.
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and other Land Use (AFOLU) and REDD+ measurement and monitoring protocols
  • Capacity building toolkits and training programs for a wide variety of stakeholders, from local farmers to national and multilateral agencies
  • Interactive tools for sustainability assessment and measurement and monitoring of GHG emissions and ecosystem services in the land use and forestry sectors
  • Scientifically robust geospatial and remote sensing solutions
  • Decision-support tools
  • Approaches to support net-zero commitments

Essential Duties

Technical Leadership and Donor Stewardship
  • Develop critical thinking and innovative approaches, new analyses, new analytical methods and interpretations of international policy relevant to the work of ECO, particularly REDD+.
  • Develop and implement statistically sound approaches to project design and data analysis for carbon and other eco-assets, including use of field data, new statistical tools, and models.
  • Provide training to counterparts/stakeholders in the use of methods and internationally accepted best practices.
  • Recommend and implement new approaches that strengthen Winrock International's reputation for sound science and expand the visibility of Winrock International as leading developers of measurement and monitoring methods.
  • Augment ECO's technical visibility with key stakeholders, practitioners, and donors with an eye towards identifying and engaging promising partners for collaboration and innovation through thought leadership activities including, but not limited to, penning op-eds, serving as a technical panelist, and identifying topics and convening technical fora.
  • Network with external stakeholders and other experts to ensure that project approaches reflect cutting edge technical approaches

Project Management and Implementation:
  • Implement international projects focused on management and monitoring of forest landscapes.
  • Provide high-level management of key projects in portfolio, liaising with donors (including but not limited to USAID, Department of State, World Bank, and other multi-laterals), mentoring project support staff and producing high quality deliverables/products.
  • Maintain day-to-day client relationships by communicating clearly with and addressing clients' needs.

New Business Development:
  • Contribute to the strategic growth and diversification of ECO's portfolio, deepening impact, scale, and reach.
  • Support and grow ECO's new business by surfacing and recommending opportunities, leading proposals and/or serving as contributor, or reviewer.
  • Utilize professional network to build and maintain relationships with current and prospective donors in the portfolio through regular outreach.
  • Identify, document, and promote technical best practices and methodologies for future new business design, internal learning, and external promotion. Foster and promote the capture, utilization, and growth of knowledge and learning within ECO and across the organization, more broadly.

Qualifications and Background:

Education: Bachelor's degree in environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, ecology, climate change, or other related field required; terminal degree (Master's) strongly preferred.

Required Experience: Minimum of 9 years' experience in natural resource management and nature-based solutions, including experience in climate change adaptation/mitigation/resilience, GHG accounting for land use, and ecosystem services accounting
  • Excellent leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, interpersonal skills
  • Experience in the development of AFOLU projects and/or programs in the voluntary and/or compliance carbon market
  • Overseas experience with technical and/or operational issues related to forest management, or related issues strongly preferred. Experience working in developing countries is required
  • Ability to foster and maintain good working relationships with clients and partners, including government ministries and officials at national and local levels, non-profit organizations, the private sector, foundations, multilateral organizations, and the U.S. Government. Strong preference for experience with USAID, World Bank, Department of State, and bilateral and multi-lateral funding mechanisms as relates to climate change projects
  • Track record developing winning proposals
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills (written and verbal)

Desired qualifications
  • Demonstrated experience in research and public communication on technical issues, including peer-reviewed publications, blogs, op-eds.
  • Experience managing technical projects with a diverse team of individuals and consultants.
  • Fluency in a second language, especially French or Spanish, is strongly preferred.
  • Willingness to travel to developing countries as required by portfolio/new business opportunities.

As a condition of employment at Winrock, all US-based Winrock staff, regardless of location must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Winrock offers competitive pay and an excellent benefits package.

Winrock is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people and value diversity and inclusiveness. Winrock recruits, employs, trains, promotes and compensates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care status, or any other basis protected by law.

At Winrock we have a clear mission: Empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources through unwavering dedication to accountability, equity, innovation, integrity and transformation.

Winrock knows that its success comes from the hard work and steadfast dedication of its diverse workforce. Winrock remains committed to maintaining diversity, inclusion and equity across the entire organization

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