Principal Environment Specialist | Asian Development Bank

Principal Environment Specialist


Close relatives[1] of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB. [1] Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9)

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first performance review after staff has completed at least one full year in the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new position.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 67 members, 48 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 67 members.

The position is assigned in the Environment and Safeguards Division (SDES), within the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department. The Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department provides leadership, innovation, and knowledge sharing for ADB's sector and thematic work. SDES supports operations in environment and oversees and supports implementation of ADB's safeguard policy implementation across all ADB operations. SDES also hosts the Environment Thematic Group Secretariat within the Division. The Secretariat is the focal point for all environment-related work across the Bank.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Environment Specialist will lead the implementation of ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement and environment strategic directions at corporate level and through provision of direct support to ADB's operations departments. The incumbent shall work within a framework of broad policies, principles and goals, applying a high degree of autonomy in selection of work methods. The incumbent will report to the Director, Environment and Safeguards Division and will supervise Administrative Staff, National Staff and International Staff.


  • Lead in providing operational support to the environment sector operations of ADB to maintain quality and consistency in the application of sector policies on an ADB-wide basis. Provide advice and support to operations departments to mainstream environment in country operations and enhance project quality, including participation in project teams.
  • Contribute new or innovative approaches to policy and operational issues, including initiation of new programs promoting environmentally sustainable development in developing member countries (DMCs) through green growth, resource efficiency, resilience, and cleaner production.
  • Provide advice and technical leadership on environmental safeguard compliance risks in the design and implementation of environmentally sensitive and complex projects and identify necessary corrective actions.
  • Provide operational advice for the processing and implementation of ADB projects/operations with environmental impacts in relation to, among others, agriculture and natural resources, transport, urban development, water supply and sanitation and energy sectors.
  • Oversee and promote regional and global cooperation on environment and implement regional technical assistance projects to deliver global and regional public goods.
  • Initiate, oversee and conduct capacity building programs on environmental management for staff, executing agencies of DMCs, and other concerned parties.
  • Participate in and contribute to critical regional and international events, activities and programs that have high strategic and operational relevance to ADB's environment operations.
  • Oversee and develop knowledge products (i.e. sector/thematic studies and assessments, good practices, guidelines, checklists, indicators, roadmaps, etc.), services and partnerships to deliver the objectives of ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement.
  • Contribute substantially to the development and execution of in-house training on ADB's environment strategic directions and related safeguard requirements. Oversee the production of related training products/materials, learning tools and training reporting documents. Provide inputs into Environment Thematic Group activities as needed.
  • Create and lead multi-disciplinary teams and ensure the overall quality of its work.
  • Supervise the performance of teams and individuals, providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to team members and ensure their ongoing learning and development.
  • Liaise with international environmental funding agencies to mobilize funds for integrating environment aspects into ADB projects.
  • Manage and provide guidance and policy support at the bank on concerns raised at the departmental level under the accountability mechanism policy.
  • Contribute to new or innovative approaches to policy and operational issues, including initiation of new programs promoting environmentally sustainable development in, country safeguards systems and safeguards implementation and management across the region.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Master's Degree, or equivalent, in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Economics, Environmental Sciences, Ecology or other related fields. University degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Economics, Environmental Sciences, Ecology or other related fields combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master's degree.
  • At least 12 years of relevant experience in environmental management, at senior levels (e.g. leading projects) including international work experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is required.
  • Strong technical competence and expertise in environmental management, environment sciences, environmental policy, institutions, and capacity development.
  • Knowledge of multilateral environment treaties, DMC policy and regulatory frameworks for environmental management, biodiversity and landscape management, ecosystem service payments, environmental financial mechanism, and common environmental standards.
    • Familiar with the operations, policies and procedures of multilateral financial institutions, and experience in processing and implementation of TAs, loans or other development projects.
    • Credible expert in field of expertise with recognized ability to lead projects and to share relevant knowledge to benefit the broader ADB community
  • Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff Level 6

General Considerations

The selected candidate is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB's standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual's qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.