Team Leader, Climate Change, Energy and Low-Carbon Development

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Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry

Position description

Are you ready to make a difference? Join CIFOR-ICRAF and become a key player in leading our dynamic thematic program on Climate Change, Energy and Low-Carbon Development. We are on the lookout for a visionary leader with exceptional technical expertise, outstanding team-building skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a business-oriented mindset.

The Team Leader for Climate Change, Energy, and Low-Carbon Development spearheads transformative climate action within forests, wetlands, and agroforestry sectors. Aligned with the CIFOR-ICRAF 2020-2030 Strategy, the Climate Change, Bioenergy & Low-Carbon Development (CCE) Theme aims to achieve efficient, effective, and equitable climate change mitigation and adaptation, and a just transitioning to a circular bioeconomy with low-emissions energy provision, renewable biomaterials, and nature-based solutions while aligning goals of social benefits and livelihoods. The work in the CCE Theme also supports high-integrity carbon markets and global and national climate and sustainable (‘green’) finance.

Key Result Areas:

  • Coordination and Management of CCE Theme Activities: Effectively and efficiently oversees activities within the CCE Theme to prioritize impactful initiatives that harness scientific excellence to provide evidence that contributes to the Team objectives, achieving the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the CCE Team;
  • Publication of Strategic and Synthesis Materials: Produces publications in high-impact journal and strategic publications and synthesis reports, including journal special issues, to disseminate research findings widely and effectively;
  • Enhancement of Partnerships: Strengthens partnerships for CIFOR-ICRAF through the establishment of strategic alliances, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange;
  • Resource Mobilization: Secures funding to sustain and expand the operations of the CCE theme, ensuring financial sustainability and effective expansion of impact areas;
  • Effective Management of Staff: Implements efficient management practices to prioritize staff well-being and motivation, fostering a supportive work environment and seamless project implementation.

Duties and responsibilities

Science Leadership:

  • Directs scientific activities within the Climate Change, Bioenergy & Low-Carbon Development theme, overseeing programs and projects to ensure alignment with rigorous scientific standards;
  • Provides scientific guidance, supervises publication efforts, and drives research initiatives in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, renewable energy, and circular bioeconomy, and climate finance;
  • Ensures efficient and effective implementation of CIFOR-ICRAF’s climate change initiatives;
  • Supports the translation of research outcomes into actionable policies and practices, facilitating engagement with policy and practitioner communities.

Program Leadership and Management:

  • Provides oversight to scientists, support staff and consultants working within the theme, fostering a collaborative and growth-oriented work environment;
  • Strategically plans and manages the theme’s annual budget and activities, in close coordination with organizational leadership;
  • Contributes to the development and delivery of transformative partnership platforms (TPPs – currently existing for REDD+, Blue Carbon and Bioeconomy Solutions) and CIFOR-ICRAF Flagship Products, enhancing CIFOR-ICRAF’s impact and visibility.

Resource Mobilization:

  • Develops and executes strategies to secure funding for climate change initiatives, collaborating with directors, the resource mobilization team, and external implementation partners;
  • Develops and cultivates relationships with key funding partners, ensuring sustained financial support aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives;
  • Leads efforts to prepare and submit funding proposals, leveraging expertise in grant writing and project design.

Partnership Management:

  • Cultivates and maintains relationships with key partners and stakeholders, including through the TPPs, facilitating effective translation of the organization’s work and objectives into impactful work by the implementing partners, and supporting the building of alliances for actionable solutions;
  • Drives impactful collaboration with academia, policymakers, and practitioners to advance low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways;
  • Treats all partners respectfully and diplomatically.

Policy Outreach, Knowledge Dissemination, and Capacity Building:

  • Leads impactful dialogues policy-science, advocating for evidence-based decision-making at global, national, and regional levels;
  • Represents the organization in international forums and conferences, showcasing research findings and contributing to global discourse on climate change. Lead the organization’s delegation to UNFCCC annual COPs;
  • Oversees capacity-building initiatives, providing mentorship to students and junior scientists, and fostering knowledge exchange within and beyond the organization.


  • Holds a PhD in climate change science, forestry, ecology, agroforestry, environmental sciences, natural resource economics, or related field;
  • Demonstrates excellence in leading multidisciplinary research endeavours focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy, and low-emissions development;
  • Possesses exceptional publication records and fluency in English, with strong writing skills for effective scientific communication;
  • Brings over 10 years of relevant experience in collaborative research for development, with a proven track record of engagement across Asia, Africa, and Latin America;
  • Offers over a decade of successful leadership in managing high-performing, multicultural teams, and large-scale research programs.

Application instructions

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