Program Officer

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is looking for a Program Officer to join a growing staff in our Washington, DC headquarters. The successful candidate will work with two main initiatives, including the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) and Landscape Standard (LS). The Officer will support these new initiatives, as well as perform various other tasks as required by the team and wider organization. The position is slated to be filled in 2017 dependent upon funding.

VCS supports climate action and sustainable development through the development of standards, tools and programs that credibly, transparently and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and channel funding for sustaining and scaling up these benefits. VCS is committed to helping reduce emissions, improve livelihoods and protect natural resources, collaborating across the private and public sectors.

Job Description

The Program Officer will be central to the success of ICAT and LS. Principal tasks and responsibilities will include at a minimum the following:

  • Support the development of the ICAT methodological framework including:
    • Coordinate VCS and partner inputs to develop a long-term project plan to establish and pilot a new, global climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation framework
    • Coordinate the technical working group developing finance guidance, and provide research support on issues related to financing policies and actions that reduce GHG emissions and provide sustainable development benefits
    • Support the development of a number of other components of the methodological framework, with research, drafting and coordination for technical working groups
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Landscape Standard including:
    • Undertake research to support the development of sustainability metrics, covering social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability in productive agricultural landscapes, including on potential data sources and measurement methods
    • Coordinate meetings, conferences and events focused on the development and piloting of the LS framework
    • Manage subgrant and contract agreements with global partners and donors
    • Assist with other elements of LS development and implementation, as needed
  • Represent VCS at conferences and other industry events
  • Assist other parts of the organization, as needed


Knowledge, Experience and Skills

  • A minimum of two years professional experience, or one year if holding a relevant graduate degree, working preferably within the context of climate change mitigation or adaptation, environmental markets or agricultural/forest sustainability.
  • University education, with emphasis in forestry or agriculture, natural resources or environmental management, or environmental economics. Graduate degree would be an asset.
  • Understanding of climate change mitigation and adaptation concepts, frameworks and multilateral institutions (including the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement)
  • Understanding of public policy process and financing in developing countries, ideally related to climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, would be an asset
  • Understanding of agricultural sustainability issues and standards (eg, Rainforest Alliance, Utz, Fair Trade) would be an asset
  • Experience managing grants from government donors (such as DFID, NORAD, USAID or BMUB) would be an asset
  • Ability to work effectively with international partners and diversity of developing country stakeholders
  • Excellent technical writing, spoken communication and presentation skills
  • Fluency in English; proficiency in Spanish, French or Portuguese would be considered a strong asset
  • Willingness to travel, including internationally

Professional Qualities

  • Sharp analytical mind, with excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to operate with limited supervision
  • Good organizational, communication, interpersonal and team skills
  • A collegial work-style and sense of humor


Terms and conditions

A competitive salary and benefits package are available, and other terms and conditions will be discussed during the application process. Applicants must be eligible to work in the US (ie, US citizen or holding current work authorization).

To apply, candidates are requested to submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter (not to exceed one page)
  • Resume/CV (not to exceed two pages)
  • 1-2 sample(s) of relevant written work (eg, webpages, fact sheets or reports on a relevant topic) All documents should be submitted to by close of business 11 December 2016.

View VCS’ job ad.