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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Civil Society Specialist, Global Forest Watch, Washington, DC

Civil Society Specialist, Global Forest Watch

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WRI was recently voted the #1 Environmental Think Tank in the world and is consistently recommended by staff as one of the "most desired organizations to work for." In 2014, WRI was ranked one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.

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The World Resources Institute is seeking a full-time Civil Society Specialist for Global Forest Watch (GFW). GFW’s mission is to make high-quality information about forests universally accessible and useful for people worldwide, so as to empower them to manage forest landscapes sustainably and improve the livelihoods of local people. The GFW platform unites satellite technology, open data, and human networks to provide free access to the most timely, reliable, and actionable information about the world’s forests. The GFW initiative supports governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to apply this information to solve critical forest monitoring and management challenges.

In the context of civil society, GFW aims to empower CSOs around the world to become more effective in their research, advocacy, and campaigns. Using the GFW platform and related tools, CSOs can access the information and evidence they need to hold governments and companies accountable for decisions that impact forests and indigenous and local communities who depend on forests for their livelihoods. The Civil Society Specialist will be responsible for developing and executing strategies to promote broad uptake and use of GFW by civil society. The position will bridge and foster collaboration between the Global Forest Watch team (in WRI’s Forest Program) and the Environmental Democracy Team (in WRI’s Governance Program).
  • With support from senior staff from the GFW and Environmental Democracy teams, lead the ongoing development and refinement of GFW’s civil society engagement strategy.
  • Translate high-level strategies into concrete activities and outputs. Lead the day-to-day implementation of these activities, including by coordinating contributions from other WRI staff as necessary.
  • Build and grow a diverse and engaged network of civil society users of GFW around the world. Document stories of how CSOs in this network are using GFW to affect change on the ground.
  • Design and conduct training and capacity building of CSOs on the use of GFW data and tools for research and advocacy purposes, including by creating guidance and learning resources.
  • Support the implementation of GFW’s Small Grants Fund, which provides grants between $10-40k to CSOs to apply GFW in their work, by reviewing proposals, stewarding grantees, and documenting outcomes.
  • In collaboration with civil society partners, drive and support campaigns for increased forest sector transparency and proactive disclosure of forest information at both local and global scales.
  • Conduct research and gather user feedback to enhance our understanding of civil society and local community needs and uses of GFW. Recommend ways to improve the data and functionality of the GFW platform to enhance its usefulness for civil society users.
  • Contribute to GFW’s overall efforts to monitor, evaluate, and communicate the outcomes and impacts of our work, including through formal internal and donor reporting processes. 
  • Facilitate strategic collaboration between the Global Forest Watch and Environmental Democracy Teams.
  • An undergraduate degree with adequate course work around natural resource management and governance, NGOs, NGO management, communications and messaging, and community development.
  • At least 3-5 years of relevant professional experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of civil society organizations, including NGOs, networks of NGOs, particularly in tropical developing countries;
  • Good inter-personal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-national context and team;
  • Experience in mobilizing civil society and/or communities around public interest issues as well as through evidence based advocacy
  • Excellent written and oral communications abilities
  • Excellent problem solving skills, with demonstrated ability to think outside of the box to find creative solutions.
  • A strong sense of intellectual curiosity and personal initiative
  • A graduate degree in a relevant discipline
  • Ability to speak and write well in Spanish, Portuguese or French
  • Experience with or knowledge of indigenous peoples’ organizations
  • International working experience
Final candidate will be required to take a writing test.

Finalists will need to submit 1 writing sample.

Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.
Location: Washington, DC

Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered. 
The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

About WRI
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WRI’s reputation is grounded in its excellent analysis, non-partisan approach, and high-impact results. We measure our success based on how our work helps to create real-world change on the ground—and approach we call “Managing for Results.”

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