Technical Specialist/ Sr. Technical Specialist– Climate Resilient Development At Near East Foundation


Near East Foundation

Title: Technical Specialist/ Sr. Technical Specialist– Climate Resilient Development

Reports to: Vice President of Business Development

Location: Syracuse, New York

Salary: $78,750 – $124,950

Travel: 10%

Relocation Assistance: Yes

The Near East Foundation (NEF) seeks candidates for the position of Technical Specialist- Climate Resilient Development to be based in its Syracuse, New York headquarters. Since 1915, NEF has supported community-led economic and social development in Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus. As a non-profit international development organization, NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, increase resilience, and empower conflict, climate- and crisis-affected people to improve their outlook and wellbeing. Our programs span three focal areas: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate Resilient Development, and Peace and Stability.

NEF works through a network of country offices and with local partners, with current or recent operations in Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Our global headquarters are based in Syracuse, NY, London, UK, and Brussels, Belgium.

Climate Resilient Development

NEF works in partnership with frontline communities to support them to become more resilient through inclusive, locally driven adaption, improved resource governance and nature-based solutions, investments in community assets and resilient livelihoods, and support for inclusive and innovative green economies. We work with entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers, pastoralists, forest users, and fisher communities to support inclusive approaches that reflect local conditions and priorities, value local knowledge and adaptive strategies, and build local capacities— strengthening food security and livelihoods, readiness to cope with climate extremes, and governance. Current Climate Resilient Development efforts are concentrated across four interconnected program areas: Resilient Food Systems, nature based and innovative solutions, inclusive green economies, and locally led adaptation and climate finance.

Position Overview

We are seeking a skilled and motivated individual to join our team as a Technical Specialist with a focus on Climate Resilient Development. This position requires expertise in climate change adaptation and resilience strategies, with a focus on integrating climate considerations into development projects and programs and on climate financing. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of designing and implementing innovative solutions to address climate-related challenges, as well as experience in writing successful proposals to secure funding for such initiatives.

The Technical Specialist will sit within the Business Development (BD) team.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Proposal Development: Lead the conceptualization and development of high-quality proposals for climate resilient development programming. Conceptualize project ideas in partnership with relevant country and HQ colleagues, contribute as lead technical writer, and coordinate technical inputs from NEF HQ, country team members, partners, and any technical experts. Coordinate with Cost Specialist, MEAL, HR, and compliance teams to ensure alignment of technical and financial components in proposals. Contribute to the development of budgets, cost narratives, and financial projections for proposed projects.
  2. Proposal Review and Alignment: Review proposal documents to ensure clarity, coherence, and alignment with donor requirements. Provide feedback and revisions as necessary to enhance proposal quality and competitiveness.
  3. Representation and Networking: Represent the organization at meetings, conferences, and other events to showcase NEF’s expertise in climate resilient development. Identify and engage potential partners and donors to support NEF’s climate resilient development efforts.
  4. Research and Analysis for Business and Program Development: Work with the program and MEAL teams to prioritize, devise, and conduct strategic research and analysis to identify key opportunities and challenges in relation to climate risks and vulnerabilities in target communities or regions and to develop strategies to mitigate identified risks and enhance community resilience to climate change impacts. Utilize insights to inform program design and business development.
  5. Program Design and Technical Advisory: Work with program, MEAL, and other relevant teams to prioritize, conceptualize, and develop climate resilient development technical innovations and initiatives,. Provide technical advisory to project teams when needed to ensure the effective incorporation of climate resilient best practices into project activities, program strategies, and learning agenda.
  6. Knowledge Integration: Stay updated on the latest trends, research, tools, and methodologies related to climate resilient development. Integrate relevant insights into NEF’s program strategies and knowledge products to inform program and business development and contribute to program growth. Co-lead with MEAL and program teams on deep-dive processes at project and program levels. Contribute to the development of learning agendas and the prioritization, conceptualization, and development of knowledge and business development products such as technical innovations, technical briefs and fact sheets, technical capacity statements, and technical presentations. Contribute as technical lead writer or reviewer on strategically important products.

Crosscutting:

Uphold NEF’s core values of localization, respect, inclusion, and integrity by helping to build an environment of accountability and learning, keeping work commitments and respecting colleagues’ time, listening to diverse colleagues, and participating in regular feedback and performance reviews.

Other duties as assigned.

Basic Requirements

We encourage all individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to succeed within this position and thrive at NEF to apply for this role, even if you do not meet 100% of the qualifications.

Commitment to NEF mission, curiosity, a strong willingness to learn and understand NEF’s programs and the communities and stakeholders who are our partners in development, and a capacity for passionate advocacy for locally led and impactful work.

  • Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field such as climate policy, environment and sustainability, climate finance, agriculture, natural resource management, or a related discipline.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in climate-resilient development, sustainable agriculture, or a related field, with a track record of successful proposal development.
  • Strong business development experience with technical expertise in climate-resilient agriculture, sustainable resource management, and climate-smart agricultural technologies.
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building, training, and knowledge-sharing activities.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clear, concise, and compelling proposals for funding from a variety of donors, including bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, and private sector partners.
  • Fluency in English required, proficiency in additional languages preferred.
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed.
  • Proficiency in Salesforce, Microsoft Word and Teams, familiarity with Excel.

Required Qualification

Candidates must be legally authorized to live and work in the United States without company sponsorship now and in the future.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A proven track record of successful proposals with key institutional donors, such as USAID, EU, FCDO, and other multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors.
  • Experience using participatory approaches to design programs and develop proposals, including applying principles of co-creation.
  • Experience engaging relevant communities of practice.
  • Experience engaging and coordinating with international colleagues and programs.
  • Knowledge and understanding of themes and cross-cutting requirements in international development, such as gender mainstreaming, market-based approaches, locally-led programming, resilience, innovative finance, technology and innovation.
  • Proficiency in French and/or Arabic

How to apply

NEF will accept a rolling application until the position is filled. Review of application will begin on April 15, 2024. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply:

Please apply by submitting the following documents in the English language on the Near East Foundation careers page at https://neareast.bamboohr.com/careers/362?source=aWQ9OA%3D%3D :

  1. Cover letter outlining all relevant experience, how you meet the essential criteria.
  2. Curriculum Vitae.
  3. List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer). You will be given further notice prior to us contacting references.

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Woman candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at www.neareast.org

The Near East Foundation promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees.

Pre-employment Checks

Any Employment with the Near East Foundation will be subject to the following checks prior to start date:

  • A satisfactory Restricted Party Screening.
  • Receipt of satisfactory references.
  • Workplace Verification Check.

Benefits

NEF offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes: 20 vacation days plus 12 Company Holidays; flexible sick-time policy, generous medical, dental and, vision coverage; HRA and FSA benefits; employer paid short and long-term disability; employer paid life insurance; TIAA-CREF retirement plan with 8% employer contribution, paid family leave, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and more!

NEF’s strength is its people. Our team is our fuel to achieving the innovation, quality programming, community focus, mutual trust, sustainability, and learning needed to realize our mission. To help our team thrive, we support a working structure that prioritizes flexibility, personal commitments, and staff well-being while promoting a work culture of teamwork, collaboration, respect, integrity, and excellence.

As an international organization, we value a truly diverse workforce and prioritize a culture of inclusivity and belonging. We strive to create a high-achieving work environment informed by different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. With a commitment to diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion in all we do, our aim is to ensure that people feel heard, protected, and empowered to contribute to NEF’s mission from day one.

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