Associate II, Sustainable Cities, Washington

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world's greatest environment and international development challenges,and improve people's lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.


WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities seeks an Associate to guide several sustainable transport research or institutional development projects to successful completion and measurable impacts. You will provide project management and research support to the Ross Center's Urban Mobility team which contributes to research and project implementation in the areas of integrated transport, sustainable mobility, and road safety. The team supports and contributes to projects in the international Ross Center offices, leads global research activities synthesizing international best practices and contributes to institutional objectives.

This is a twelve-month contract position with the potential to become a full-time position contingent on funding availability and performance. The opportunity will allow you to connect with sustainable transportation and urban development experts and key stakeholders around the world.


You will be responsible to facilitating the management and timely operations of all Urban Mobility projects. Your main areas of responsibility will include approximately:

  • 40% Project Management
  • 40% Research
  • 20% Communications

Project Management

  • Support coordination of the global mobility work, including different funding sources, to ensure consistency and high-quality deliverables. This includes coordination with diverse teams of researchers, engineers, economists, communicators and designers - including remote staff - to implement projects and advance research within the urban mobility program
  • Support monitoring and managing project deliverables, setting and clarifying priorities for project teams along key solutions provided in the urban mobility work plan (e.g. New Mobility, Transport Demand Management, Public Transport, Walking/Cycling, Mobility Planning)
  • Monitor and manage project budget performance, expenses and revenue on an as needed basis for select projects within the program
  • In collaboration with the Urban Mobility Director, senior and junior staff, develop work plans and project strategies
  • Support, lead and/ or coordinate proposal writing (both narratives and budgets)
  • Complete institutional and donor reporting (narrative, quantitative and financial) for projects
  • Contribute to sustainable transport knowledge sharing across WRI network
  • Support the maintenance of shared datasets


  • Lead research on sustainable transport, impact evaluation and institutional process to advance the Urban Mobility work, this includes documenting emerging trends and best practices in urban transport, city planning livability and environmental sustainability
  • Develop and apply quantitative and qualitative transport and urban planning research methodologies
  • Develop knowledge products (reports, working papers, etc.) that follow WRI research guidelines to support the solutions of the Urban Mobility work plan. These topics may include but are not limited to: New Mobility, Transport Demand Management, Public Transport, Walking/Cycling, Mobility Planning
  • Conduct desktop or spot research on selected issues as the arise; as well as prepare presentations
  • Act as internal reviewer for WRI publications each year


  • Manage writing and review of research publications, blogs and other content
  • Develop project influence strategies and execute them in collaboration with Marketing & Communications experts;
  • Write succinct and timely content related to sustainable transport trends and solutions
  • Develop and lead others to develop refined presentations for internal and external audiences, and make presentations to such audiences.Additionally, in keeping with WRI's commitment to gender equity across our programs, the Associate will also be required to identify relevant gender issues, as determined through a gender analysis, and ensure adequate and effective attention to these issues in project and partner development, budgeting and management


Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 3 years' work experience in the field of urban development or planning, transport planning, transport & climate change or climate finance, either in a project implementation or research capacity
  • Sound understanding of sustainable transport/mobility issues, including public transport, walking & cycling, transport demand management, mobility/transport planning, etc., and knowledge on how sustainable transport relates to environment, health and quality of life
  • Demonstrated ability to connect research results to measurable external change
  • Advanced degree in transport planning/engineering, urban/regional planning, economics or environmental science
  • Professional history of increasing project management responsibilities, including leading diverse teams and managing six-figure project budgets
  • Prior supervision and mentorship of one or more junior staff
  • Demonstrated excellent written and spoken English communication skills
  • Strong quantitative, analytical and research skills
  • Published research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, sometimes competing, priorities

    Preferred Qualifications:

  • Creativity and an ability to apply innovative techniques, and approaches in gathering, analyzing, and visualizing data and demonstrated experience of statistical, modeling or visualization software (R, Python, TransCad, Tableau, D3) and GIS mapping applications (PostGIS, QGIS, Postgres, Carto)
  • At least 1-year experience working on sustainable urban development or transport in a developing country
  • Knowledge of foreign language such as Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, or others are welcome
  • Experience with external communications and/or donor management

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must apply online at to be considered. Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples (e.g. one blog entry, one published academic article).

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI's policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI's global agenda requires a staff that is diverse - with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018