Operations Lead Specialist in Sustainability

2100000429 Requisition #


Background: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CSD) Sector is looking for a strategic, highly motivated professional with deep knowledge and proven experience in the implementation of development projects and leading strategic dialogues with counterparts and development partners in the region, to support the Bank in optimallly bring to bear sustainability funding in close coherence with its operational portfolio. 

The team: The CSD Sector, within the Vice-Presidency of Sectors and Knowledge (VPS), conceptualizes, prepares, supports the execution, and oversees sustainability-focused Bank operations in borrowing member countries. Our main activities include lending operations, technical assistance, and knowledge generation related to urban and rural development, sustainable cities, agriculture, tourism, environment, disaster risk management and climate change. Due to the cross-cutting nature of sustainability and climate change, we work predominantly in a multi-sectoral fashion and in close collaboration with other VPS sectors, Country departments and representations, as well as those areas of the Bank that lead on institutional partnerships, fiduciary matters, and development effectiveness. The present position is part of the operations team in the CSD Manager’s office and reports to CSD’s Operations Senior Advisor.         

What you will do: As Operations Lead Specialist, you will work in partnership supply strategic-technical leadership in using climate and sustainability funding in Bank operations that promote low-carbon and climate-resilient development, building internal and external understanding of related opportunities, challenges, policies, instruments, and financial mechanisms. Your principal responsibilities will be to: 

  • Strategically advise on using the sustainability funding administered by or accessible to IDB to achieve measurable impacts in line with the IDBG’s Corporate Results Framework, as well as national and multilateral commitments to the sustainability and climate agendas. 
  • Proactively identify high-potential opportunities to bring to bear sustainability funding in complementarity to the Bank’s programming and loan portfolio, based on a mapping of operational priorities of borrowing member countries to those of different funding mechanisms. 
  • In collaboration with Chiefs of Operations, advise Country Offices at the strategic and technical level on how to use and operationalize the opportunities identified. 
  • Track the performance of the portfolio of operations supported through sustainability funding, collaborate as appropriate in our established portfolio-review mechanisms, and advise on strategic actions to improve the performance of the portfolio, with a focus on relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability. 
  • Facilitate fluid internal coordination on strategic and technical aspects of sustainability funding across the Bank, collaborating closely with fund-specific coordination teams (fiduciary/ fund management and technical), sectoral teams, country offices and, as appropriate, other areas of the Bank, such as partnerships, evaluation, risk management, development effectiveness or knowledge and communication. 
  • Maintain fluid communication on strategic and technical aspects with the Financial Intermediary Funds - FIFs (CIFs, GCF and GEF) and coordinate timely responses by the Bank to requests for information and inputs on the diverse strategic and technical topics that arise in the interaction with each FIF. 
  • Lead or collaborate on the development and enhancement of operating procedures, guidelines, and tools (dashboards, checklists, how-to-guides etc.) that will facilitate, harmonize, and increase the efficiency of the use of sustainability funding by operational teams and/or management. (A guiding principle in this work will be the aim to promote the greatest possible alignment with the procedures, guidelines and systems that govern operations financed with the Bank’s Ordinary Capital resources.) 
  • Support the Grants and Co-financing Management Unit (GCM) in strategic and technical aspects related to GCM’s coordination with donors and FIF Trustees, including reporting matters. 
  • In collaboration with GCM, ensure that adequate systems and processes are in place and implemented to ensure the transparent and appropriate allocation of fee resources in line with established criteria.
  • Coordinate the day-to-day strategic and technical activities related to the GEF at IDB, which implies, among others: supervising the IDB-GEF Technical Coordination Team; leading improvements to the effectiveness and responsiveness of the management of the GEF at IDB; closely coordinating with counterparts for the GEF in the Office of Outreach and Partnership; maintaining a fluid communication with operational areas that are already working with GEF-financed operations or are interested in doing so; providing strategic and technical guidance to IDB-internal clients on the consistent application of GEF policies, guidelines, norms and processes; promoting improved knowledge management and communication for IDB’s GEF portfolio; interacting with the various members of the GEF Partnership, and taking the strategic and technical coordination actions necessary for IDB to fulfill its responsibilities and role as a GEF Agency. 
  • Contribute of the effective tracking from climate and sustainability funding by supporting systematic reporting by other areas of the Bank (e.g. on the Corporate Results Framework, the SDGs or climate finance) and complementing such reporting where necessary through specific, purpose-made tracking and reporting instruments.


What you’ll need:


Education: You hold an advanced degree (master’s or equivalent) from an accredited university in a field of the natural or social sciences that is relevant to sustainable development. 

Professional Experience:

  • You have a minimum of 8 years of proven experience in operations, supporting the implementation of development operations at the project or portfolio level.
  • You have experience working with multilateral funding mechanisms and/or donors at a strategic and technical level.
  • You have participated in programming dialogues and have experience in connecting strategic-level discussions with realities at the operational level.
  • Experience with managing/ supervising projects in execution is highly desirable.
  • Experience working in a country of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is highly desirable.
  • A working understanding of the GEF partnership is highly desirable.


  • You have a collaborative spirit that allows you to integrate quickly and contribute effectively in a wide variety of teams and groups, a strong capacity for both analysis and synthesis, and excellent communication skills.
  • You are proactive, resourceful and thorough.
  • You are open to learning about new sectors and perspectives as needed to best attend internal and external clients.
  • You are at ease working in teams or independently, able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining focus on quality, priorities and results.


  • You have excellent proficiency in English (written and spoken)
  • You are proficient in Spanish (written and spoken)


Link to Technical Competencies (← please Ctrl + Click)

Link to Core Competencies (← please Ctrl + Click)


You are expected to abide by the IDB Groups values and behaviors as set forth in the institutional Code of Conduct. 

Opportunity Summary:  

  • Type of contract: Fixed term
  • Length of contract: 3 years, with possibility for renewal as per mutual agreement
  • Starting date: Upon agreement
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Requirements: You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.   


Our culture: Our people are committed and passionate about improving lives in Latin-America and the Caribbean, and they get to do what they love in a diverse, collaborative and stimulating work environment. We are the first Latin American and Caribbean development institution to be awarded the EDGE certification, recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality. As an employee you can be part of internal resource groups that connect our diverse community around common interests.                 

Because we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, LGBTQ+, persons with disabilities, afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply.           

About us: At the IDB, we’re committed to improving lives. Since 1959, we’ve been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48-member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve on the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills, but also are passionate about improving lives.

 The IDB offers an attractive remuneration and benefits package.
 Our recruitment team will review all applications and those meeting the requirement will be duly considered.


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for our Region, the IDB Group is reviewing its hiring needs and re-prioritizing its areas of talent acquisition. We encourage candidates to continue to apply to the active postings, yet current job openings may be subject to further decisions in terms of timing of the processes, or other actions, in accordance with business needs. Final hiring decisions may also be conditioned to the candidate’s ability to timely relocate to the post of duty at the moment of starting service. In the event, the selected candidate cannot relocate to the post of duty, the start date may have to be postponed or temporary work agreement ratified, ad-hoc, in accordance with business needs and applicable policies, with the view of having the candidate physically present in the post of duty by July 1 at the latest, should travel regulations permit it.

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