Sustainable Finance Specialist

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The Accelerating the Impact of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa project (AICCRA) is administered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, the lead center for the CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS). CCAFS brings together the world’s best researchers in agricultural, climate and earth science to deliver innovative research-based solutions that catalyze positive change towards low-carbon and climate resilient food systems.

CGIAR considers 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. Greater engagement on sustainable finance will contribute to reducing poverty, improvements in food and nutrition security 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 CGIAR, 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. Our main areas of work on sustainable finance focus on:

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

AICCRA is looking for a talented, creative and dynamic sustainable finance professional who is highly driven and has the skills and network required to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our food systems and related water and land systems. The Sustainable Finance Specialist will play a crucial role in supporting the implementation and growth of AICCRA sustainable finance work. This will include using sustainable finance to foster adoption of bundled Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) solutions (including bundled practices/technologies and climate information services) and providing guidance to countries’ led work in the 6 priority countries (Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Kenya, Ethiopia and Zambia).

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Key responsibilities

  • Support AICCRA to work with public and specifically private investors to develop and execute innovative strategies and investment solutions for sustainable food systems
  • Design of financial mechanisms and delivery channels that can accelerate deployment of larger pools of private capital in sustainable and resilient food systems. This may include co-developing climate smart modules such as credit risk scoring tools, digital finance etc.
  • Work with incubators/accelerators to identify a pipeline of commercially attractive business models (SMEs) to link with the investment solutions
  • Provide capacity development advisory services to financial institutions, asset managers and SMEs in emerging markets. Services may include training and facilitation, market research and product design to rollout CSA/CIS solutions
  • Develop, negotiate and execute new partnership deals with leading corporates, financial institutions and investors that promotes climate smart agriculture
  • Manage and implement complex research assignments for clients. This will include collaborating with AICCRA scientists and technical experts to outline draft proposals, conduct complex analysis, and take responsibility for the deliverable of final high-quality work products
  • Support the uptake at scale of the cutting-edge research and innovations generated by AICCRA and CGIAR
  • Contribute to develop cutting-edge research on sustainable finance 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

Qualifications and requirements

  • Advanced degree in Economics, Finance or Business Administration required
  • Minimum 7 years working experience at international level in the area of sustainable finance, climate finance and/or impact investing
  • Proven experience supporting impact investing and climate change for under-served populations and / or research on this topic. Direct experience in an impact investing role strongly preferred
  • Sound experience working with asset owners, asset managers, corporates, public & private donors etc.
  • Strong network of donors, trusts, foundations, HNWI, family offices, etc.
  • Solid knowledge of innovative financial instruments in sustainable land use and climate smart food systems
  • Good understanding of food systems and climate related challenges in developing countries, and how environmental and social issues relate to business risks and opportunities
  • Intellectually curious and business-driven to deliver innovative and high impact results to clients
  • Critical thinker able to analyze complex information and produce high quality work products in an easy-to-understand manner
  • Exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative and decentralized environment, and operate under tight deadlines
  • Solid knowledge of Microsoft Office, with advanced Power Point/presentation skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; a second language (French) is strongly preferred

Terms of employment

This is an international recruited position hosted by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and funded by AICCRA. The position will preferably be based in Nairobi, Kenya (other locations, i.e. Dakar, Senegal may be considered) and the candidate will report to Peter Läderach, Program Leader.

The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. We are an equal opportunity employer, and strive for gender, diversity and inclusion in our staff, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic.

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Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All correspondence should be addressed to the Human Resources Office, at ( and should clearly indicate “Application: Sustainable Finance Specialist. We invite you to learn more about us at: ;

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