Consultant: Senior Sustainable Finance Specialist

Share this to :


CGIAR Research Programs on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE) led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), are looking for a talented, creative and dynamic sustainable finance professional who is highly driven and have the skills and network required to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our food systems and related water and land systems. The Senior Sustainable Finance Specialist will play a crucial role in implementing and growing CCAFS and WLE sustainable finance work.


The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of the 15 Research Centers of CGIAR. We bring together the world’s best researchers in agricultural, climate, water and earth science to deliver innovative research-based solutions that catalyze positive change towards low-carbon and climate resilient food systems. As part of its sustainable finance work, CCAFS collaborates closely with the WLE, led by IWMI, in collaboration with eight partners.

CCAFS and WLE consider sustainable finance as a key lever for change in the sustainability agenda and a crucial driver to support the transition to sustainable and climate resilient food systems and landscapes. Greater engagement on sustainable finance will contribute to reducing poverty, improvements in food and nutrition security, water risk reduction and protection and regeneration of natural resources and ecosystem services. To that end, we work with governments, international financial institutions, asset owners, asset managers and corporates to help reorient and leverage capital flows towards innovative investments in sustainable food systems.

This is a key growth area for CCAFS and WLE, as we receive greater demand from public and private investors for our cutting-edge research, advisory services, global operational capacity and innovation focus. We focus on providing innovative science-based solutions that drive sustainable economic growth while delivering positive climate and development outcomes.

Main areas of work on sustainable finance focus on:

  • Develop innovative investment solutions for sustainable food systems
  • Provide advisory services to ensure that investments in food systems achieve sustainable development and positive climate impact
  • Develop cutting-edge research on the intersection between sustainable finance and sustainable food systems

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic and technical advice to CCAFS/WLE on sustainable finance, impact investing, blended finance, climate finance, land-use finance, etc.
  • Work with the Sustainable Finance Advisor to develop a roadmap to support the uptake at scale of the cutting-edge research and innovations generated by CCAFS/WLE and CGIAR
  • Develop and cultivate strategic relationships with key public (donors, DFIs, climate funds, etc.) and private investors (asset owners, asset managers, corporates, etc.) to accelerate investments in sustainable food systems and related land and water resources
  • Develop, negotiate and execute new partnership deals with leading corporates, financial institutions and investors in the food systems space
  • Support CCAFS/WLE to work with public and specifically private investors to develop and execute innovative strategies and investment solutions for sustainable food systems
  • Develop collective engagement projects with public and specifically private investors
  • Seek out and analyse new funding sources and opportunities, and secure a minimum of a seven-figure gift
  • Identify, design and advocate for potential new business models, and run early experiments that can lead to increased revenues, outreach and impact
  • Work with CCAFS and IWMI regional offices to develop a corporate and finance sector engagement strategy, and to develop opportunities for greater private sector involvement in CCAFS/WLE operations
  • Contribute to cutting-edge research on sustainable finance, sustainability and ESG related issues for food systems
  • Support project teams to disaggregate problems and provide innovative solutions
  • Keep abreast of latest innovations on sustainable finance and sustainable food systems

How to apply

Deadline to apply: 22 May 2020

What to submit: Applications should include curriculum vitae, a cover letter, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted, if you are shortlisted.

Where to apply: Prospective candidates must apply online through the International Water Management Institute website.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


The candidate shall have the following competencies, skills and experience:

  • Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Finance, Business, Economics or related field required. CFA and/or CAIA strongly preferred
  • Minimum 7 years working experience at international level in the area of sustainable finance, climate finance and/or impact investing, with direct experience working in the financial services industry or in a top tier consulting firm
  • Sound experience working with asset owners, asset managers, corporates, etc.
  • Experience designing and structuring innovative financial products strongly preferred
  • Solid knowledge of innovative financial instruments in sustainable land use
  • Good understanding of food systems and climate related challenges in developing countries, and how environmental and social issues relate to business risks and opportunities
  • Strong network of donors, trusts, foundations, HNWI, family offices, etc.
  • Intellectually curious and business-driven to deliver innovative and high-impact results
  • Strategic thinker capable to think outside the box
  • Diplomatic and politically savvy, as she/he will represent CCAFS at the highest levels of industry and government and will have a high level of responsibility and influence
  • Able to prioritize, work independently and proactively in a dynamic and decentralized environment, and operate under tight deadlines
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; a second language (French or Spanish) is strongly preferred
  • Must be able to travel internationally (up to 30%)


This position is globally recruited. It will be hosted by IWMI and funded by CCAFS and WLE. It will be based in Europe and home-based work may be considered.

The consultancy contract will be for an initial one-year period, renewable depending on performance and milestones achieved. We offer a challenging position with remuneration commensurate with experience, incentives based on performance, high degree of independence and a very flexible and multicultural working environment.

Share this to :