Senior Policy Expert, Energy Supply

Energy · Geneva, Switzerland
Department Energy
Employment Type Contract
Minimum Experience Experienced

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today—ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.


We work closely with groups such as the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, and international non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.  Our approach is hands-on through country-level research and outreach as well as via international forums such as the G20, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



About the Position


The world is at a critical moment of acting on climate change while tackling several other crises. The COVID-19 crisis has intensified some of the alarming trends that existed before, including increased pressure on governments to bail out fossil fuel projects with the threat of emissions lock-in and opportunity costs to clean energy. At the same time, many oil, gas, and coal extraction projects have become less profitable, compounding the vulnerabilities of workers, communities, and government budgets currently dependent on fossil fuel extraction.


The Senior Policy Expert, Energy Supply, will work with IISD’s Lead, Sustainable Energy Supply, to build on IISD’s long-standing stream of work on subsidies to fossil fuel production and the transition of oil-, gas-, and coal-dependent economies beyond fossil fuels. The position is based within the IISD Energy Program ( ), a diverse and dynamic team of over 20 experts based in the IISD Geneva and Ottawa offices as well as remotely in India, Indonesia, South Africa, and other countries.


The Senior Policy Expert will work on such flagship initiatives as the Energy Policy Tracker ( ), an influential database by about 20 organizations led by IISD to create transparency on government energy support commitments in response to the COVID-19 crisis; assessments of the G20 countries’ efforts to phase out fossil fuel production and transition beyond fossil fuels; collaborations with climate NGO networks; and implementation of various projects by IISD Energy and its Global Subsidies Initiative (

The Senior Policy Expert’s key areas of responsibility will include but not be limited to:

  • Conducting quantitative and qualitative research; developing and verifying research methodologies.
  • Contributing to and leading reports, policy briefs, and other outputs for the program.
  • Contributing to the design of strategies, communications, and other activities on energy supply and fossil fuel phase-out with the aim of identifying cutting-edge developments and maximizing policy impact.
  • Managing research and advisory projects from proposal development and fundraising to implementation and reporting, working with IISD staff and contractors as required.
  • Keeping up to date regarding emerging issues related to energy supply and the wider agenda of the Energy Program.
  • Networking and maintaining strategic relationships with a variety of partners from governments, international organizations, NGOs, and academia.
  • Presenting and communicating IISD’s work to a variety of audiences.


About the Successful Applicant


The successful applicant will be a recognized expert in the field of energy supply and energy transitions (fossil fuel resource management; oil, gas, and coal divestment; government policies in the extractive sector; and economic diversification of resource-dependent regions). They will

be confident providing intellectual leadership for a research and policy agenda, engaging with colleagues and partners and implementing research and advisory projects.


The successful applicant will also have:

  • A minimum of a master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g., natural resource management, economics, public finance, international and development studies, political science, engineering, sociology, or interdisciplinary studies).
  • A minimum five years of relevant work experience in one or several of the following areas: energy policy and energy transition, natural resource management, fiscal policy, climate change mitigation, sustainable development, and social policy.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the policy-making and environment in developed and developing countries (mandatory); experience working in or with developing countries will be considered a strong advantage.  
  • Excellent oral and writing skills in English and a track record of relevant publications in English. Ability to work (read, write, speak) in other languages will be considered an advantage.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills and ability to think critically and learn fast.
  • Experience in qualitative research methods in the areas of energy policy is mandatory; quantitative experience in research methods will be considered a strong asset.
  • Experience working in emerging and developing economies will be considered a strong advantage.
  • Confident and engaging communication skills, including an understanding of different communications approaches for different audiences; experience with advocacy and campaigning approaches will be considered a strong advantage.
  • Excellent organizational, planning, and project management skills.
  • Fundraising skills would be of benefit.
  • “Can-do” work attitude and ability to work both independently and in different team roles, managing workload and producing deliverables to time and to budget.
  • Results-focused, ability to prioritize and to work quickly and accurately, with flexibility to take on tasks ranging from highly complex to basic in nature.
  • A strong ability to work comfortably across different cultures, be inclusive and positive with different colleagues.
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and experience in handling web-based communications and management systems.
  • Availability to travel internationally.


Location: flexible, with regular working hours in Europe or East Coast North America 

Starting Salary: competitive and depends on location

Type of engagement: full-time consultancy or staff position, depending on location  


Application process

  • Cover letter (maximum one page) and a CV (maximum two pages). Applications without a cover letter or CV will not be considered.


Application deadline: September 28, 2020, 10 p.m. CET

Start Date: November 1, 2020


All submissions must be in English.

IISD is committed to equal opportunity. Candidates must hold appropriate work authorization for locations where they expect to be based.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for one year. 

Thank You

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  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience