Senior Program Associate

Conserving forested ecosystems for the services they provide – including regulating our climate and mitigating anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions – while also producing food, fiber, and fuel for our burgeoning human population, is one of the greatest challenges today. Furthermore, transforming land use to low emissions production systems is costly and requires substantial financing. Our Public Private Co-Finance Initiative works at this nexus and is strategically focused on creating public/private architectures that increase the amount of capital flowing to land use practices that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, improve the productivity of agricultural and livestock systems, and enhance livelihoods of rural populations. We work with public- and private-sector partners to create innovative, integrated, and efficient financial architecture.

We are seeking a Senior Program Associate to join the Public-Private Co-Finance Initiative’s small team and international network of partners in our mission to scale up effective models of investments in watershed services.

The senior associate supports Forest Trends initiatives focusing on analyzing market data, public and private capital flows and instruments to support conservation, investors, investment vehicles, and on-the-ground projects and stakeholders such as supply chain actors and producers. Primary responsibilities include: (1) supporting and carrying out research; (2) analyzing trends and data; (3) writing and editing reports and articles; (4) supporting design of new financial instruments and mechanisms (5) facilitating internal and external communication; and (6) tracking and coordinating grant and project deliverables.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Coordinate and track the overall Public Private Finance Initiative (PPFI) program work plan and deliverables and PPFI budget, across multiple projects and multiple grants, including all grant budgets, activities and deliverables.
  2. Work with PPFI team to engage financial institutions and commodity companies to develop new business models leveraging the public-private financial alternatives to promote smart or sustainable agriculture, low- or zero-deforestation in commodity supply chains, and other opportunities to attract private finance to promote sustainable natural resource protection.
  3. Play lead role in conducting the annual conservation investment survey (an integrated project with Ecosystem Marketplace) with the Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) team and key partners, including managing survey interviews with investment funds and financial entities, carrying out analysis of data, interpretation of findings and conclusions, and writing and editing the report.
  4. Support development and ongoing additions to new EM web facility for posting and tracking conservation finance investments.
  5. Coordinate PPFI activities and co-sponsored projects with related Forest Trends’ initiatives and integrated activities including EM, the REDDX project (and related work tracking the flows and impacts of public financing for REDD+ and forest and land use climate protection-.
  6. Carry out analytical work as needed on public and private finance structures or other opportunities, and/or supervise preparation of analytical work or other research by outside consultants.
  7. Carry out other original research, writing and editing, as needed.
  8. Other duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications, Skills and Qualifications:

  • Five or more years of overall work experience, with a minimum 2 years of specific experience in financial investment, banking or financial management consulting.
  • Knowledge about or experience with natural resource and land-based financing a plus, including conservation finance, ecosystem service payment mechanisms, and public/private financing for natural resources.
  • Comfortable working independently, and with a global team.
  • Committed to the mission of Forest Trends.
  • Knowledge of land-based carbon markets or projects and how carbon assets/credits are created, and/or exposure to REDD regulatory drivers, country framework development or public sector financing preferable.


Additionally, competitive candidates will demonstrate the following skill and experience:

  • Exceptional international project management, organizational, and time management skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working effectively with people across geographies, cultures, and sectors;
  • Talent for clearly and purposefully analyzing and synthesizing interdisciplinary information;
  • Technical expertise in a relevant field (including market-based instruments for environmental management and finance):
  • Ability to quickly learn new topics and strategically identify important objectives in complicated contexts;
  • Proficiency with Excel required, and facility with data management and analysis software;
  • Professional proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese languages; and
  • Master’s degree in related field.


Reports to: Director, Public-Private Finance Initiative

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to by November 30, 2015 and state the position name on the subject line.