Senior Program Officer, Climate Justice and Sustainability, GMF Cities

Posted by

German Marshall Fund of the United States

Published 16 days ago

Department Summary

GMF Cities works with and for cities in Europe and North America to further and fortify democracy; see that there is agency for all residents; promote justice in the social, economic and climate realms; and drive enterprise and entrepreneurship to social good. The team works alongside a wide variety of content and funding partners on topic-specific projects to bring the innovation of local actors on global issues and solutions.

GMF Cities facilitates the transatlantic exchange of knowledge for building inclusive, sustainable, and globally-competitive cities – connecting local leaders, maintaining a robust international network of urban practitioners, and highlighting individual innovation and new policies and models. GMF Cities has a broad portfolio of projects that explore key issues through high-impact gatherings, peer exchanges, and applied research, working across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Job Summary

The Senior Program Officer is responsible for the development and execution of initiatives that support local leaders and stakeholders in building practices, policies and systems that promote urban sustainability, climate justice, and livability while stimulating regional economies in an inclusive and equitable way.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge about urban climate action and the intersection to sustainable economic development in cities with demonstrated thought leadership on such topics. Preferred knowledge would include the areas of climate equity and environmental justice, climate mitigation finance, the local energy transition to carbon neutrality, restorative and circular economy policies and practices, and the desired impact of local policymaking within national and international forums.

Essential Responsibilities

·        Developing an overall plan for GMF Cities’ climate justice and sustainability portfolio incorporating key development trends and priorities in European and North American cities and regions.

·        Lead all aspects of content development, execution of projects, convening (virtual and in-person) activities, facilitation of meetings, ongoing communications with peer cohorts, and the writing and research associated with these activities.

·        Serve as a team lead, overseeing team activities, executing project management tasks including budget development and execution, stakeholder engagement, donor relations, and all evaluation requirements.

·        Research and developing original content for issue-specific convenings (in-person and virtual) under assigned initiatives. This includes developing curriculum suitable for mid-career professionals that is typically realized through peer-to-peer learning. Format examples include study tours, practitioner workshops, network meetings, major conferences, and webinars.

·        Work collaboratively with the GMF Cities Director to develop project concepts, funding strategies and the cultivation of partnerships with key funders/stakeholders. Identify and write proposals and related reports to donors and partners, including proposal narratives, methodology and budget memoranda, and grant reports.

·        Research and develop written and multi-media materials including op ed drafts, blog posts, social media messages, etc., that identify and lift innovative practices in the GMF Cities strategic framework and that respond to the public/news events taking place in transatlantic cities and regions.

·        Represent GMF and GMF Cities at internal and external meetings, conferences, webinars, guest panels, and work groups.

Knowledge and Skills Required

·        Minimum of five to seven years of full-time prior work experience in a think tank, the public sector, or a non-profit setting with experience in managing projects and leading teams.

·        Working knowledge of contemporary European or American urban and regional policy landscape with specific expertise in urban planning, sustainability, or economic development. Candidates with experience in cross-sector public-private partnerships, strategies for social and economic inclusion, and/or civic engagement are highly desired.

·        Experience in developing curriculum and innovative learning models for mid-career professionals with different backgrounds (urban planners, policymakers, city representatives, civil society, academia).

·        Demonstrated experience in public speaking, facilitation with different types of audiences, presentation at in-person conferences or workshops, and online leadership of webinars.

·        Track record in fundraising activities, including grant writing, program evaluation, and relationship management.

·        Excellent writing, editing, and speaking skills in English; second language of French, Spanish or German highly desirable.

·        Strong project management skills with superb attention to detail and an ability to meet rapid, multiple deadlines in a fast-paced team-oriented environment.

·        Strong internal and external customer service record, including an ability to work in an intercultural team environment and with diverse stakeholders.

·        Analytical skills and ability to work independently and with a team.

·        Strong computer skills are essential.

·        Ability to travel domestically and internationally.


·        Master’s degree in urban planning, public policy, public administration, international relations, or another related field is required.

The Organization:  

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a private, non-partisan, American, public policy and grant making institution dedicated to promoting understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues.

GMF does this by:

  • supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere
  • convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities,
  • contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics,
  • providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship.

Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw.

 Please provide a cover letter and your salary requirements. 

GMF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


Department Summary

GMF Cities works with and for cities in Europe and North America to further and fortify democracy; see that there is agency for all residents; promote justice in the social, economic and climate realms; and drive…

Details at a glance

  • Full Time Schedule
  • Master's Degree Required
  • Professional


Washington, DC

How to Apply

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.