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Chief Economist

Vacancy #:   1472
Unit:   Economic Knowledge Unit
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
  or IUCN Washington DC Office, USA
Reporting to:   Global Director - Policy and Programme Group
Work percentage:   100%
Function group:   -
Expected start date:   01 April 2017
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   28 February 2017
In view of the pressures on nature and biodiversity and based on the understanding that these pressures are multiple and caused by factors outside the environment conservation movement, IUCN is enhancing its economic capacity through the appointment of a Chief Economist.

The Chief Economist will work closely with the Chief Scientist in an integrated Science and Economic Knowledge Team, forming the foundation for IUCN’s scientific and economic analytical leadership. S/he will oversee a small number of economists in that Team and across the network of IUCN offices.

The Chief Economist will be based either in IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland or in the IUCN Washington DC Office and will have an administrative placement in Global Policy Unit with frequent substantive engagements with the Director General and her Office.
The new position of the Chief Economist with work in tandem with the Chief Scientist. Together, these two functions will provide strategic direction and quality control for IUCN Secretariat knowledge generation. Specifically, the position will help strengthen IUCN’s intellectual leadership in framing economic policy options to address the drivers of biodiversity losses.

Within the Science and Economic Knowledge Team, the Chief Economist will lead a small economic team and will be expected to:
• Provide forward looking thought leadership to help frame the Secretariat’s strategic priorities – informed by IUCN’s 2017-2020 Programme and on the Hawai’i Commitments – by enhancing the volume, quality, ambition and depth of its analytical production (studies, surveys, working papers, monographs)
• Elevate the voice of IUCN outside of the conservation community by ensuring the continued relevance of its written outputs
• Identify trends and define key topics on which IUCN Secretariat should provide new thought leadership
• Identify, actively monitor and strategize the Secretariat’s pipeline of publication projects
• Review and sign off on publication concept notes. Provide final sign-off of written products to ensure that standards and quality are acceptable
• Draft policy analysis as input to key policy fora, providing new knowledge, new policy insights and broader dimensions of understanding
• Coordinate closely with the Global Communications Unit as well as the Office of the Director General to ensure maximum reach and impact of IUCN analysis
• Represent the Director General in relevant technical fora and meetings, such as at the World Bank, OECD and relevant United Nations meetings
• Prepare and manage the implementation of research and funding proposals for identified and agreed priority work
• Provide leadership by promoting continued quality improvement in the generation of IUCN analysis

The Chief Economist, working together with the Chief Scientist, will lead the production of a periodic (in due course, annual) flagship product with the aim of creating greater awareness of and priority for the imperative of biodiversity conservation in circles outside the conservation community. In so doing, the Chief Economist will:

• Finalise the conceptual framework for a flagship report. The report would focus on conservation with each issue tackling a priority area (e.g. conflict, agriculture, urbanization, consumption) and how the conservation imperative relates to this
• Lead on the conceptual development of an index which would provide insights on country performance on aspects of conservation. Such an index would be updated with each edition of the flagship report
• Manage the production of the flagship report, including by mobilizing IUCN Senior Management, leveraging IUCN project results and connecting to knowledge generated across the Secretariat and IUCN Commissions
• Provide input to the development of associated communication products, as these are developed by the Director of Global Communications
• Fundraise for the ongoing development of the flagship report, in close coordination with the Strategic Partnerships Unit
  • PhD in macroeconomics, public finance, statistics, or related fields with a good grounding in quantitative analysis and, preferably, experience in empirical and policy oriented research

• Minimum of 20 years relevant experience in macro- economics, international economics or environmental economics (with macroeconomics specialisation) within international organization or the private sector

• Strategic, big picture thinking and ability to relate to the “global conversation”. Deep understanding and interest in current affairs and the international development and environment agenda

• Impeccable writing skills and strong track record of publications and quantitative analysis

• Strong management skills and ability to lead multidisciplinary teams

• Outstanding communications skills with an ability to reach out to different audiences , including technical fora, high level policy platforms, media

• Diplomacy, good networking skills and excellent interpersonal skills. Track record of working effectively in a multicultural and diverse environment with colleagues at all levels

• Willingness to travel

• Fluency in English is essential for this position. Fluency in one or more of IUCN’s other official languages (French and Spanish) is highly desirable

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.