Grants & Finance Specialist II, Cities Program
World Resources Institute

Job Summary

In this role, you will support the Urban Development (UD) and the Urban Efficiency and Climate (UEC) teams within the Cities Program. Your key responsibilities will be to support project management, grants and contracts management, budgeting and financial management, communications, event organizing and other operational tasks

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at WRI’s office in Washington, DC once restrictions have lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Financial Management (40% of time)

  • Update and maintain project budgets utilizing WRI’s budgeting and forecasting software (TM1)
  • Update and maintain project funding and allocations in coordination with workstream director(s) and project managers
  • Process invoices and payments for projects in compliance with WRI’s policies (subgrants, consultancies, work orders, etc.)
  • Assist project team in project closeout process including turnover documentation and financial reconciliation
  • Coordinate and advise on project budget management and reports
  • With project managers, review on a monthly basis the transactions and finances of the projects and update the budget
  • Prepare financial review template(s) for review with workstream director(s) and operations staff
  • Work with Salesforce to add new proposals
  • Develop fiscal year budget forecasts on a yearly basis in coordination with operations and workstream directors of both teams

Program/Project Management (30% of time)

  • Process documentation for project commitments (i.e. agreements, contracts, work authorizations, and purchase orders)
  • Work with partners to help them understand and meet subgrant and contract requirements
  • Monitor program/project performance against contract requirements and deliverables

Grant Management (20% of time)

  • Lead the drafting of grant proposal budgets and assists in the collection & submission of formal proposals for grants
  • Coordinate with project managers to prepare all required grant forms for submission as instructed by grant
  • Keep track of deliverables and reporting required under grants
  • Coordinate with project managers to keep timely and accurate information on donors and contacts in Salesforce.

Administration (10% of time)

  • Coordinate and schedule team meetings; provide support in organizing presentations, workshops, conferences, research seminars and other events for the program as needed.
  • Provide timesheet guidance to workstream team members on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Coordinate recruitment and manage onboarding of new staff members as needed. Update and maintain new hire staffing information with core operations staff.

Job Qualifications

  • Two+ years of relevant, full-time work experience supporting financial and/or project management functions
  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, accounting, public policy, political science, international affairs, or similar subject required
  • Keen interest in the mission and work of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Keen interest in resilience planning, urban development, electric mobility, transportation planning, sustainable energy systems, etc.
  • Detail-oriented, highly organized individual with experience and interest in program management, financial management, budgeting, and writing
  • Must be adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and have the ability to manage multiple projects with varying deadlines
  • Strong process orientation with sensitivity to quality
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Strong writing, database management, and proofreading skills
  • Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Office, especially Excel; experience with statistical analysis and budgeting software is highly desirable
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to work well in a team and with international colleagues
  • In addition to excellent written and spoken English, additional language skills are a plus, especially in Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Chinese, French, and/or Hindi
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity.

Potential Salary$53,000 - $68,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to ApplyApplicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. Please include a cover letter and your resume.

Program Overview

The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (Cities Program) helps to transform cities into compact, connected and resilient spaces that provide healthy, accessible and prosperous living environments for their residents. We coordinate the Cities Program’s extensive technical and practical expertise through eight integrated solution areas: Integrated Transport Systems, Vision Zero, Zero Carbon Buildings, Livable Neighborhoods, E-Mobility, Water/Heat Resilience, Air Quality and Inclusive Climate & Energy Action Planning. Data and Urban Finance are cross-cutting themes that inform all of our solution offerings. We implement our solutions by working deeply with multiple stakeholders over long periods of time in large to demonstrate possibilities in rapidly transforming cities. We expand our impact to other cities by leveraging these demonstrated possibilities to convene multiple cross-sectoral stakeholders and partnering with city networks. Our research and projects in cities and in national policies connect environmental sustainability, health, safety, equity and quality of life.

The Urban Development workstream helps to build more holistic infrastructure for cities by emphasizing sustainable and equitable integrated transport, land-use planning, and urban design. Key pieces of this work involve several multiple country grants and ongoing work on air quality and urban water resilience.

The Urban Efficiency and Climate (UEC) workstream leads WRI’s work on climate action planning, clean and efficient buildings, electric vehicles, and waste-to-energy. UEC combines research with technical assistance on-the-ground with cities around the world, relying on grant funding to offer free services to city clients. Emphases are placed on activities that minimize global greenhouse gas emissions, ensure equitable access to clean transportation, and support broader sustainable energy and transportation objectives. The Electric Mobility team within UEC also researches and implements programs across a wide range of topics, including but not limited to battery and vehicle production, transportation planning, financing, government procurement, national and sub-national policies, and charging infrastructure development.

WRI Overview

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 seven 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, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

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 $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

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.