Unit Chief Environmental and Social Safeguards

Business Leader
1900000599 Requisition #


Chief, Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit (ESG)

Background:  We are looking for a senior leader to manage and develop a team of highly qualified professionals whose work have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people.

The team’s mission:  The Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit (ESG) is responsible for the assessment and management of environmental and social impacts and risks in Bank operations. ESG also develops and disseminates knowledge to enhance the management of impacts and risks in such a way as to benefit clients and stakeholders and to champion sustainable development in the region.

What you’ll do: You will coordinate with organizational units within the Vice Presidency for Sectors and Knowledge (VPS) and its sector Departments, the Vice Presidency for Countries (VPC) and its country departments, the Office of Risk Management (RMG) and other areas of the IDB, as needed, in order to:

  • Provide thought leadership and vision on the Unit’s business orientation, leading the development and implementation of its strategy and annual business plan.
  • Ensure that the Unit provides timely, technically-sound, and risk-based operational advice to the Bank’s project teams and clients, in all phases of the project cycle, so that policies are followed.
  • During project preparation, oversee the due diligence and analysis of environmental and social impacts and risks of IDB financed operations, as well as the design of risk management plans and the inclusion of effective and feasible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts of operations. 
  • During project execution, oversee the supervision, monitoring and reporting of implementation of environmental and social risk management measures, at project and portfolio levels, reporting on compliance outcomes and trends. 
  • Provide strategic leadership to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of safeguard management processes, systems, tools, metrics, indicators of success, as well as plans, guidance notes, and training material.
  • Coordinate with and advise Sector Departments and Country Offices on the analysis and response to complaints filed under the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (ICIM), as well as the preparation and implementation of related action plans and reports.
  • Work to ensure we follow the most advanced international standard methodologies.
  • Develop and implement knowledge transfer programs on environmental and social risk management for IDB employees and executing agencies.
  • Provide technical inputs and support the development of the IDBG Country Strategies, as needed.
  • Lead and mentor your team, taking human resources and budget decisions for the Unit.
  • Manage highly skilled interdisciplinary and multi-cultural professionals to implement environmental and social policies and practices to strengthen the ability to effectively meet business needs.
  • Ensure proper coordination between functional areas within VPS, the IDB, and the IDB Invest and leverage opportunities for synergies. 
  • Advise on the application of existing safeguards policies and related guidance and procedures.
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration on topics associated to the application of the environmental and social safeguards.


What you’ll need:

Education:  Master’s or equivalent Licenciatura/advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in a field related to addressing environmental or social impacts, including environmental policy, engineering, anthropology, sociology, law, or another relevant field. Experience in management positions in international financial institutions would be highly valued.


  • To be successful in this role, you have least 10-12 years of relevant experience and a proven track record of managing and delivering environmental and social safeguard services, with 7-10 years at the senior leadership level, during which you have demonstrated an aptitude for working with data/statistics and a deep understanding of environmental and social risk management issues related to operations of multilateral financial institutions.  Knowledge and/or experience in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is essential.
  • You have a validated management record in similar positions, including supervision of technically strong multi-disciplinary teams (preferably in a matrix structure) and have a demonstrated track record in implementing and executing a complex and diverse array of environmental and social risk management services.
  • You have developed a strong understanding of client needs and challenges, of different country/regional areas, market idiosyncrasies, and drivers of change in LAC, and how to effectively achieve our objectives.
  • You have acquired through practice a good understanding of the operational framework of public sector and/or multilateral institutions (including their special governance, mandates, safeguards, and human resources structures).
  • Your excellent social skills allow you to establish and maintain trust and credibility with institutional stakeholders, at all levels across the IDBG, including Management, the Board of Executive Directors, various institutional committees, and particularly with clients.  Ability to generate networks is critical.  Solid change management experience in complex organizations is a plus. 
  • You are recognized for your strategic thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills and effective monitoring of metrics and results.
  • You are recognized for your ability to attract, select, and motivate talented and diverse staff; an outstanding, effective people manager who models inclusive behaviors and promotes diversity.

Languages:  You are fluent in English and Spanish; knowledge of Portuguese and/or French is a plus.

Link to Technical Competencies ( please Ctrl + Click)

Link to Core Competencies ( please Ctrl + Click)

Opportunity Summary: 

  • Type of contract: Fixed term
  • Length of contract: 3 years
  • Starting date:  As soon as possible
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Requirements: You are 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.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion and to providing equal opportunities in employment. We embrace diversity based on gender, age, education, national origin, ethnic origin, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. We encourage women, Afro-descendants and persons of indigenous origins to apply.

About us: 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 a competitive remuneration and benefits package.


Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.

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