Deadline: 10.12.2022


World Researces Institute
United Kingdom

Job Highlight:


This is an outstanding opportunity for a human resources executive with global experience to lead WRI’s people strategy as our new Chief People Officer (CPO). WRI is a mission-driven international not-for-profit organisation. We work at the cutting edge of climate, nature and development. With offices in 12 countries and operations in more than 50, we employ some 1800 people. We anticipate continuing growth over the coming years. Your job is to attract, retain, motivate and support this talented group of people so that they can contribute their best efforts to tackle the foremost global challenge of our generation.

You will have a track record in fostering thriving and positive workplaces for a high-performance workforce. You will be a creative problem-solver and experienced change manager, able to engage and inspire staff and leaders at all levels in the organisation.  Your mission is to ensure that WRI remains an employer of choice in its sector.

WRI’s new 5-year strategic plan commits us to build an inclusive, equitable, and joyful organisational culture, strengthen organisational infrastructure, streamline systems, and achieve tighter operational integration. The CPO’s creativity, leadership and strategic insight will be crucial in building a stronger WRI that can deliver the impact at scale needed for this crucial decade.


What you will do:

The CPO will oversee a team of HR professionals in the GHRN (Global HR Network) located in WRI offices in multiple countries. A core component of this role is to build and maintain trust with staff alongside WRI senior leadership in all the countries in the WRI network. The CPO will steer the direction of talent acquisition, employee engagement, and Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) policies and programs. Main areas of responsibility include talent acquisition, succession planning, talent management, change management, employee engagement, performance management, training and development, organisational effectiveness, compensation and benefits, and DEI. The CPO provides strategic advice to the Global Executive and Management teams, and the Board of Directors. The position reports to the Managing Director for Global Delivery.


Specifically, the CPO will:

  • Serve as a trusted partner on all aspects of human resources including decision making, influencing, and driving desired cultural change across WRI’s diverse international network.
  • Design and implement global HR strategy, policies, and efficient processes – leveraging modern cloud based technology – that align and support WRI’s strategic objectives, promote staff well-being, and build a “One WRI” that offers a consistent user-experience to staff across the network.
  • Understand and keep a “pulse” on overall staff engagement in WRI and improve HR data management to ensure staff well-being, engagement/satisfaction, organisational skill/capacity/productivity, etc.
  • Support WRI’s international growth and organisational design for the network so as to deliver WRI’s strategic objectives and maintain staff well-being.
  • Facilitate solutions for managing employee relations, and proactively develop/coach/counsel leaders on hiring, management, and conflict resolution.
  • Lead, develop, and oversee an effective talent management function to include global talent acquisition, orientation, performance management, 3600 engagement review process, capability building, employee/leadership professional development, coaching/mentoring, DEI solutions, and retention planning.
  • Drive HR related initiatives (e.g. EDGE certification, Top Places to Work, learning ROI, or other new processes/procedures) with a high level of customer service.
  • Develop, implement, and oversee Affirmative Action Plan, and other statutory requirements in all countries where WRI operates.
  • Help develop and oversee administration of institute-wide career tracks, procedures, and practices (e.g. market competitive compensation and benefits philosophies/programs, etc.)
  • Serve as WRI fiduciary on employee pension and benefit plans. Be available to respond to audit inquiries from donors and external auditors on talent related matters.
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable labour and employment laws and liaise with WRI’s General Counsel on all potential liability issues.


What you will need:

The CPO will be people-oriented, compassionate, flexible and a steward of WRI culture. You will have a track record of measurable results and experience working in a global setting. You will be comfortable making and explaining difficult decisions when needed. Key competencies will include the ability to identify root causes to complex problems, develop innovative solutions, be forward-thinking, and demonstrate a commitment to WRI’s mission and values. Collaborative management and working style and the ability to achieve goals using influence and negotiation skills are critical.


Education: You have a completed Master’s degree or academic equivalent, preferably with a significant component in Human Resources.


  • You have at least 15 years’ relevant HR experience with a minimum of 8 years in a senior management role. Previous non-profit experience is desirable.
  • Experience with HR best practices, standards, policies and legal frameworks in multiple countries with diverse local cultures.
  • Track record of forecasting talent needs and managing growth in a globally distributed organisation.
  • Experience with influencing and engaging multiple stakeholders.
  • The ability to effectively interface with staff (including the Staff Association), senior leaders, and WRI’s Board of Directors.
  • Experience working in international environments is essential.

Languages: You have verbal and written proficiency in English.

Requirements: This position can be based in any of WRI’s offices (US-DC or where state registered, UK, Hague, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Nairobi, or Addis Ababa). The applicant will be expected to hold existing work authorization for their preferred location at the time application is submitted.


How to Apply:

You must apply by 10 December 2022. Please upload a resume detailing your experience and the nature, scope, and scale of responsibilities held with a cover letter stating your motivation and relevant skills.


What we offer:

  • A competitive salary
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US.
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organisation with access to varied learning and training opportunities.
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work.
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI.
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours.
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure.

About Us: Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organisation 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 to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

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.

Our mission and values: 

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.


Our culture: WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organisational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognising our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

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