Manager, Executive Office and Special Assistant to the President

World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 05

Position description

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges,and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in BrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico and the United States


WRI’s Executive Team supports the President and the Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of the World Resources Institute in their work with leaders in government, business, and the non-profit community to forge alliances that further the Institute's work; with external audiences and media to spread WRI's messages; and internally with staff on the development of programming and resources to strengthen the quality of WRI’s strategies and deepen its impact. The Executive Team facilitates the smooth running of the management mechanisms of the institution and the executive office, conducts research and preparation of remarks, facilitates engagement in high-profile external events, focuses on special projects as needed, coordinates and manages day-to day workflows of priorities and approvals, and liaises with the rest of the institution to support the transmission of decisions and action points and equip the President and the Executive Vice-President with the information they need in order to carry out their work effectively.

In this role, you will work in close coordination with the Chief of Staff, the President and the Executive Vice President and will play a critical role in helping to ensure that the Institute runs efficiently and effectively by supporting the execution of executive responsibilities. You will help oversee and manage the work of the Executive Office team to meet the demands of a fast-paced, high volume global organization with an ambitious set of programmatic initiatives. A critical area of responsibility is to play an active role in facilitating the smooth functioning of WRI’s management mechanisms and its leadership team, with particular regard to supporting the work of WRI’s global network by working in close coordination with the directors of its international offices to facilitate the smooth functioning of WRI’s leadership team in its matrixed organizational structure. In this role, you will work alongside the Chief of Staff as a liaison to the rest of the Institute to meet the Executive Office responsibilities and will also help facilitate special projects related to the President’s and Executive Vice president’s strategic vision.

We require outstanding organizational, communication and interpersonal skills necessary to perform in a high-volume environment. The individual must be self-motivated, result-oriented, practice discretion and respect for confidentiality and have steadfast commitment to environment and development issues. The position is based in in Washington, DC and will report to the Chief of Staff. 


Your main areas of responsibility will include the following:

Executive Office Team

  • Manage a team of staff with the skills and expertise necessary to produce consistently high-quality work, setting objectives and priorities in order to ensure task completion and to support the smooth functioning of the Executive Office team and the broader institution
  • With guidance from and working with the Chief of Staff, ensure the highest and most effective use of the President and Vice-President’s time
  • Conducting daily briefings and limited research, and analyzing and interpreting information, problems and proposals to ensure objective and complete information is provided for decision making
  • Support effective communication and interface with all parts of the institution and external partners through liaison, timely response to requests and preparation of information to meet deadlines
  • Work closely with relevant staff to enhance institutional communications to share pertinent information for dissemination across the institution
  • Develop and implement systems to manage and track priorities, deadlines and longer-term planning working in close conjunction with all parts of the institution
  • Oversee the preparation, review and editing of letters and reports as needed, and preparation of materials as needed to support internal and external meetings
  • Provide support to team members to advance their professional development


  • Develop and maintain a broad, substantive knowledge of issues related to the entire WRI portfolio and its strategic goals
  • Support the implementation of WRI’s strategic plan, particularly relating to new initiatives or areas of focus, and new or enhanced management processes and approaches
  • Working in tandem with the Chief of Staff, ensure the organization and successful delivery of key management meetings and leadership retreats to maximize the effectiveness of WRI’s global network and equip the leadership team to meet their managerial responsibilities
  • Staff the international office Directors by holding regular, effective meetings and ensuring communication takes place in order to create cohesion among and between the international directors, their WRI executive team counterparts and the rest of the institution
  • Help lead the formation and ongoing management of a liaison team that supports the work of international offices, specifically focused on matrixed programmatic activities
  • Improve across-WRI team building, understanding, and collaboration by working with visiting IO staff to the Global Office to plan brownbag presentations of their work and/or updates from the IOs
  • Highlight issues that require the attention of the President, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff and help problem solve where needed
  • With the Chief of Staff, work closely with the core functions of WRI to ensure an integrated and coordinated approach between and among them
  • Provide support to ensure the successful execution of special projects. In the immediate future, this will involve the development of a centralized guide to WRI’s processes and protocols to facilitate decision-making in WRI’s matrixed structure
  • Carry out other tasks as needed

External Relations

  • Staff the President and Executive Vice President in high-level meetings as needed, including international travel when needed
  • Work with relevant internal departments to organize events, donor trips, speaking engagements, meetings and workshops involving the President and Executive Vice President
  • Monitor trends, external developments and news related to the work of the program and the reporting of programmatic gains
  • Develop briefings, contribute to the development of reports, articles or other materials as needed
  • Work with the Executive Office team and communications colleagues to ensure an ongoing and active social media profile for the President and Executive Vice-President 


Required Qualifications:

  • A minimum of five years (three years with a Master's degree) of directly related professional experience in the environmental or public policy arena, with international conservation or international development experience preferred.Undergraduate degree required; master’s degree preferred
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills; ability to handle several projects at different stages simultaneously, a high influx of information and a strong capacity to track details and pay attention to detail are required
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to express oneself concisely and clearly, including an ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner
  • Strong interpersonal skills; diplomatic, and able to develop and manage productive relationships with colleagues and consultants. Excellent listening skills
  • Ability to work productively with a wide array of different people and institutions that frequently disagree with and are in competition with one another
  • Excellent analytic and problem-solving skills
  • Seasoned judgment, ability to make decisions, justify recommendations and be responsive and clear with colleagues and partners
  • A detail and results-oriented style with a focus on process and achievement. Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization
  • Friendly, positive demeanor, sense of humor, and determined attitude
  • A commitment to WRI’s mission

Application instructions

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