Policy Advisor, Energy Supply

Energy · Anywhere in the World, Geneva
Department Energy
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries. We are currently looking for a Policy Advisor, Energy Supply to work within the IISD Energy Program.

About the Position

More than 5 years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. One reason is the continued expansion of fossil fuel production, especially oil and gas, which has long been a blind spot in international climate policy. Investments in fossil fuels still exceed those in renewables. However, we are at a potential tipping point. For the first time, some governments are taking bold and genuine steps to end the licensing of new oil and gas. And bilateral and multilateral public financial institutions have begun to adopt comprehensive fossil fuel exclusion policies. These moves were all driven by concerted efforts by civil society, with a “first mover” strategy that aims to build a core group of progressive institutions and countries, then progressively extend to a larger group in order to isolate laggards. The strategy now seeks to add others to join the first movers.

The Policy Advisor, Energy Supply will work as part of IISD’s Sustainable Energy Supply team, which delivers research, policy proposals, and strategic advice to support a Paris-aligned, managed phase-out of oil and gas production and the end of public finance to fossil fuels. The team collaborates with a large range of stakeholders, including civil society organizations and networks, international organizations, governments, and media. The position is based within the IISD Energy Program (www.iisd.org/energy), a diverse and dynamic team of over 30 experts based in the IISD Geneva and Ottawa offices as well as remotely in India, Indonesia, South Africa, and other countries.

The Policy Advisor will focus on influence and impact, using research developed by colleagues in the team on oil and gas phase out, international public finance, and energy scenarios. Their key areas of responsibility will include but not be limited to:

  • Conducting policy advocacy, aiming to influence governments and international institutions.
  • Producing policy briefs and other materials based on the team’s research and tailored to different target audiences (policy-makers, civil society, media).
  • Networking and maintaining strategic relationships with a variety of partners from governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and others.
  • Presenting and communicating IISD’s work to a variety of audiences.
  • Contributing to research, fundraising, and strategy development, with the aim of identifying cutting-edge developments and maximizing policy impact.

About the Successful Applicant

The successful applicant will be a natural influencer with compelling communication skills and strong strategic awareness. They will be confident shaping public debates, engaging with governments and institutions, and collaborating with allies and partners in civil society.

The successful applicant will also have:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’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 3 years of relevant work experience in campaigning or advocacy with a proven track record of successful influence, ideally applied in the areas of energy policy, public or private finance, or climate change mitigation. Experience working with a broad network of other non-governmental organizations, advocates, foundations, and governments will be considered a strong advantage.
  • Demonstrated strategic skills and an ability to think critically and learn fast.
  • Confident and engaging communication skills, including an understanding of different communications approaches for different audiences.
  • An understanding of policy-making in developed and developing countries; experience working in or with developing countries will be considered a strong advantage.
  • An understanding of climate change and its broad implications for energy systems; detailed knowledge of energy and/or public finance will be an advantage.
  • Excellent organizational, planning, and project management skills.
  • A “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.
  • The ability to be 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 and be inclusive and positive with different colleagues.
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and experience in handling web-based communications and management systems.
  • Excellent oral and written English. Ability to work (read, write, speak) in other languages will be considered an advantage.
  • Availability to travel internationally.


Location: Flexible, with regular working hours in Europe or East Coast North America. We strongly encourage candidates from the Global South to apply.  

Starting Salary: Salary is commensurate with skills and experience, depending 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 26, 2021

Start Date: November 2021

All submissions must be in English.

Candidates must hold appropriate work authorization for locations where they expect to be based.

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

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQ+ to apply for the Policy Advisor position. 

Thank You

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  • Location
    Anywhere in the World, Geneva
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience