Innovative Finance Lead

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Negotiable



Start Date


Application Deadline



New York
New York
United States


Requisition ID: req2953

Job Title: Innovative Finance Lead

Sector: Research & Development

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Location: USA-New York, NY - HQ

Job Description


The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

As a global humanitarian organization, the IRC has unique capabilities - and is particularly known for rigorous research and evidence-based programs. The IRC's strategy over the next 5 years builds on these capabilities, and its mission is to extend IRC's thought and operational leadership in the sector.

A key initiative that supports this strategy is the IRC Research & Development (R&D) lab, aimed at investing in the design, development, and scaling of new humanitarian interventions and delivery models. The lab seeks to apply best practices from human-centered design, rapid iteration, multi-disciplinary problem-solving, and an innovation portfolio management function in the humanitarian context. Combining these capabilities in IRC's extensive field presence, supported deep sector expertise from our research capability, we believe it is possible to design and scale breakthrough humanitarian programs that could impact millions of people most affected by conflict and disasters.

Job Overview:

Calls for restructuring humanitarian financing have grown increasingly loud: The World Humanitarian Summit identified financing as a core commitment, the USG for Humanitarian Affairs has delivered a speech on innovative financing for humanitarianism, and NGOs and donors alike are structuring new instruments to reshape the way humanitarian aid is delivered.

The Airbel Center is recruiting for an Innovative Finance Lead to build on this momentum and become a leader on innovative finance in the humanitarian sector. In this role, the Innovative Finance Lead will lead on developing and launching a set of new financial instruments for the IRC. Importantly, this role will not only serve as a thought leader on innovative financing the humanitarian sector, but will lead on the development, structuring and implementation of innovative financial instruments at the IRC.

In addition to leading on the development and structuring of a set of instruments, the Innovative Finance lead will also contribute to the strategic and analytic development of current and new R&D investments, ensuring that projects in our pipeline integrate innovative finance into their approach.

This role will be a high-visibility position, and will have the unique opportunity to engage leading humanitarian sector innovators, social entrepreneurs, and private sector leaders, and innovation thought leaders in the world.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Develop, refine and execute an innovative finance strategy for the IRC and serve as the in-house technical expert on innovative finance for the Airbel Center and organization;
  • Develop, structure and oversee the implementation of 1-2 pilots of innovative financial instruments at the IRC for international or domestic programming;
  • Work closely with finance to conduct a gap analysis on what it would take from a systems and operations perspective to support innovative finance solutions;
  • Identify and support the development of new financial instruments for the organization across different sectors;
  • Conduct the analysis to scope, detail and structure instruments, or oversee the procurement of these services;
  • Conduct analysis and craft advocacy points for advocacy related to humanitarian financing;
  • Lead the IRC's engagement with multilateral institutions and donors to shape the debate on innovative finance and catalyze financial instruments for the humanitarian space;
  • Serve as a public-facing thought-leader in innovative financing in the humanitarian space through writing and publication, work with key stakeholders, and engagement in high-level fora;
  • Actively fundraise for these instruments and an innovative finance portfolio;
  • Proactively develop and manage partnerships with private sector partners, academics, and other organizations that will help advance the innovative financing;

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Director of Innovation Strategy
Position directly supervises:

Indirect Reporting: N/A
Other Internal and/or external contacts:


Chief Innovation Officer

Senior Director, Research, Learning and Evaluation

Technical Unit Directors and Team Members

Country and Regional Directors

R&D and Strategy Project Managers

Job Requirements:

  • Advanced degree in economics, finance, or relevant degree; PhD preferred;
  • Extensive knowledge of humanitarian and development financing as well as innovative finance field;
  • Advanced analytic or actuary skills needed to effectively model financial instruments and market opportunities;
  • Experience in developing, structuring, and launching financial instruments or mechanisms for humanitarian or development settings; experience in launching new financial instruments for implementing agencies a plus;
  • Successful experience building and managing high-level relationships in government and multilateral institutions, as well as the private sector;
  • Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy approaches for innovative policy;
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policy makers and peers;
  • Strong communication skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate successfully with players in all segments of the humanitarian field, including high level-officials.

Working Environment:

  • Standard work office environment
  • Ability to travel 25% of the time

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply