Senior Counsel, Washington, United States At The World Bank

Closing date: Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Senior Counsel

Job #: req22684

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Legal

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English (Required)

Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish, Arabic and/or Portuguese desirable

Closing Date: 5/31/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

The World Bank Group (WBG) consists of five institutions that specialize in different aspects of development: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank: the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

With twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, the WBG works in more than 100 developing economies to improve living standards and to fight poverty. For each of its clients, the WBG works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to formulate assistance strategies. A network of offices worldwide delivers the programs in countries, liaises with governments and civil society, and works to increase understanding of development issues. The World Bank is owned by 189 member countries whose views and interests are represented by a Board of Governors and a Washington, DC-based Board of Directors. With more than 150 offices worldwide, the WBG works with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges.

The World Bank Group It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data.

Legal Vice Presidency – In the context of the World Bank’s broad development agenda, the Legal Vice Presidency (LEG), under the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel (SVP-GC), is responsible for providing legal advice and support to internal and external Bank clients on operational, advisory, financial, administration, and institutional matters.

The Environmental and International Law Practice Group (LEGEN) provides support to internal and external Bank clients to promote environmentally and socially sustainable development, in accordance with Bank policies and relevant international laws. LEGEN’s work program includes providing legal advice and services to the Bank’s Regions, Global Practices, Climate Change Group and other Vice Presidencies, on the operational aspects of environmental and international law in Bank-financed projects, including those on environmental and social safeguards; climate change; knowledge creation and knowledge sharing; and development of policies and procedures relating to environmental and international law. Environmental topics include environment and natural resource issues such as climate change, biodiversity, pollution, international waters and water resource management, as well as social issues such as resettlement and indigenous peoples.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

The Senior Counsel will play a key role in providing advice on climate change law and policy as well as on transactional legal support for carbon finance. The Senior Counsel will also support the Bank’s portfolio of projects on environmental and natural resource law issues as well as environmental and social safeguard policy issues. Working under the supervision of the Chief Counsel, LEGEN the Senior Counsel will:

  •  Serve as an advisor on land law issues including on: (i) the strengthening of property rights; (ii) framing of appropriate regimes for compulsory land acquisition; (iii) reforming state land management; (iv) the design of effective land use regulations; (v) how to accommodate the legal diversity represented by customary land law systems and their interaction with national and other legal systems; (vi) reforming land administration systems and institutions; (vii) enhancing access to land for disadvantaged groups including indigenous communities; and (viii) the interplay between the World Bank’s policy requirements including under Environmental and Social Standard 5 and core land law and land reform processes.
  •  Serve as Environmental, Social and Natural Resources Legal Advisor. In close collaboration with the Chief Counsel, LEGEN, the Senior Counsel will be responsible for contact with a wide range of staff and managers in the Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (SDVP), identifying legal advice and assistance that LEGEN can provide to clients. This work will include helping establish areas where the Bank can support capacity building and advising Bank programs that provide this support in Bank borrower countries.
  •  As needed, act as LEG adviser regarding World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards/Standards. The Senior Counsel would, in close consultation with the Chief Counsel, Environmental and International Law, with Lead Counsel and other appropriate LEG staff, provide timely advice on the legal aspects of environmental and social safeguard policies, including providing technical guidance to Bank staff, and to act as a LEG resource in special-risk projects and issues of the development and interpretation of safeguard policies. The Senior Counsel will help ensure the development of a consistent and sound LEG position on significant issues relating to the application of safeguard policies and the new Environmental and Social Framework with a dedicated focus on labor and working conditions, the Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines and relevant international legal instruments. In special or high-risk projects, the Senior Counsel would be available to join the task team if so requested.
  •  Work across a wide range of Bank units. The Senior Counsel will work and interact frequently with:
  •  Lawyers and managers in LEG VPU.
  •  Counterparts within Regional operational units, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (SDVP) and Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS).
  •  Management and staff at HQ and in the field, as required.

Selection Criteria

  •  Academic qualifications and experience:
  •  Law degree: JD or LLB, LLM (required), SJD or PhD (optional) and admission to the Bar (or equivalent) in at least one jurisdiction, with at least 10 years of relevant experience desirable.
  •  Expertise in climate change law and policy
  •  Expertise or familiarity in environmental and natural resources law.
  •  Legal transactional experience.
  •  Ability to work collaboratively, to build trust among peers and colleagues, to respond quickly and consistently to key issues.
  •  Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives.
  •  High degree of persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus, especially on divisive legal issues.
  •  Language skills. Fluency in English, both written and oral, is required, with additional fluency in French, Spanish and/or Portuguese desirable.

General Competencies:

  •  Ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, difficult and complex issues and positions to senior Bank management, government officials and civil society groups
  •  Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environment and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues
  •  Demonstrated ability to effectively mentor/guide staff and design training/skills enhancement initiatives to ensure transfer of knowledge/skills
  •  Ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries

Other competencies required:

  •  Deliver Results for Clients: Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have an impact. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks.
  •  Client Orientation: Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.
  •  Flexibility: Able to adapt strategy, and objectives; making corresponding structural or organizational changes as needed, to move the work forward and meet the needs of the situation. Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries: Ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues in multidisciplinary teams, brings differing ideas into the forefront, integrates and initiates collaboration across boundaries.
  •  Pressure: Ability to handle demands related to the delivery of multiple tasks within demanding and occasionally conflicting time constraints.
  •  Lead and Innovate: Contributes to new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact on own behaviors on others in context of
  •  WBG’s values and missions. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues.
  •  Create, Apply and Share Knowledge: Leverage departments and WBG body of knowledge by applying lessons learned and expertise.Actively invests in knowledge and seeks feedback.Builds personal and professional networks within and beyond the work group.
  •  Make Smart Decisions: Seeks diversity of information and inputs, research possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis, makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.
  •  Professional Maturity: Understands others and the reasons for their behavior. Takes the time to clarify others’ points of view so that progress can be made, particularly in situations of stress or conflict. Is never condescending or arrogant.

Values, Leadership Potential:

  •  Demonstrated commitment to the World Bank Core Values for WBG and a proven track record of fostering a strong and healthy culture of diversity, inclusion, teamwork, honesty, trust, openness, integrity, and accountability.
  •  Demonstrated ability to be sensitive to issues around race, gender, ethnicity, inclusion, and intersectionality.
  •  Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and foster a positive working environment.
  •  Demonstrated commitment to the Bank’s mission, and ability to work towards WBG’s corporate targets for successful outcomes.
  •  A strong results-oriented mindset.

This internal requisition is open to WBG and IMF staff only (including short-term and extended term consultants/ temporaries). External candidates are requested not to apply. In case an external candidate applies, their application will not be considered.

Employment Value Proposition

The World Bank Group (WBG) offers comprehensive benefits including a retirement plan; health (medical dental, pharmacy, vision), life and disability insurance; generous annual leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Please note that certain benefits may vary based on appointment type (Term or Extended-Term Consultant/Temporary; HQ or Country Office appointment). We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

The WBG aspires to remain competitive in all markets by providing compensation that attracts and retains top talent to deliver on the WBG mission of reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development.

WBG entry salaries are determined based on the grade, years of relevant experience and internal comparators. Consistent with our entry salary methodology, new hires are likely to be offered a salary between the minimum and midpoint of the salary scale for the advertised grade. In addition to the base-line salary, international staff posted to a field assignment receive generous field benefits and those at HQ receive expatriate benefits for five years, provided they are not US citizens or permanent residents.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.


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