Senior Advisor: Environment and Conflict

  • Executive-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 2 July 2020

Job Description


The Senior Advisor will lead the Institute’s work to develop a new program on the interplay between conflict dynamics and changes in the natural environment. The new program may include research and field programming in any of the following areas: environmental peacebuilding, climate change impacts on conflict, climate migration impacts on conflict, or the relationship between natural resource management and conflict dynamics. The Senior Advisor will serve as the leading authority within USIP for advising the Institute’s leadership and staff about this substantive area. Among a range of duties described below, the primary responsibility for the Senior Advisor is to develop recommendations for the permanent program on environment and conflict at USIP. The Senior Advisor will report to the Vice President for Policy, Learning, and Strategy. USIP’s Center for Policy, Learning and Strategy (PLS) serves as the Institute’s hub for linking programmatic evidence and research to communities of policymakers and practitioners.


Grade 15 - $142,000 - 147,000

The Institute uses the General Schedule salary tables for administering compensation. Offers of employment are determined based upon candidate qualifications, related experience, internal equity and amount budgeted for the position.


  • Develop recommendations for a permanent USIP program on environment and conflict
  • Represent and speak on behalf of the Institute at public events on the topic of environment and conflict.
  • Provide technical guidance, as appropriate, on grants awarded in FY 20 pertaining to environment and conflict. Prepare regular reporting updates for circulation to the Grants and Fellows Director, the PLS VP, and other USIP stakeholders.
  • Lead the research and publishing for a diverse set of USIP outlets (e.g., USIP blogs, Peaceworks reports, Analysis & Commentary).
  • Develop partnerships with other policy research institutes and universities for the purpose of joint planning and action (e.g. co-organized expert workshops, presentations to USIP staff, linking USIP experts with external experts, etc.)
  • Provide technical guidance and support to USIP country teams on programming pertaining to environment and conflict.
  • Organize and lead an internal USIP working group on environment and conflict, bringing together USIP stakeholders to exchange updates on the latest work, share ideas about programming or research, organize presentations from external experts.
  • Partner with USIP experts to increase awareness of USIP’s growing expertise in this substantive area among policy and practice communities in the USG interagency, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organizations domestically and abroad.
  • Organize, support, and chair conferences, meetings, and workshops designed to draw on USIP’s convening power to enable exchanges of knowledge that strengthen understanding and inform USIP’s new portfolio on environment and conflict
  • Responding to requests for briefings, testimony and interviews with U.S. government officials, members of Congress and Hill staff, the media and other audiences.

Performs other duties as assigned.

  • Master’s degree in political science, economics, climate security, environmental studies, conflict/peace studies, international development, or related social science discipline.
  • Minimum of 12 years of experience leading research or field programs that address the relationship between conflict and environmental change
  • Demonstrated capacity to manage multiple projects simultaneously, creatively problem-solve, prioritize effectively, and produce results under conditions of uncertainty.
  • Ability to speak effectively at high-profile events and to represent the Institute publicly and in the media.
  • Demonstrated research, analytic, and writing skills, and excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to lead and motivate others, and to work as a team player. Highly effective in working in a cooperative, collaborative manner to produce high-quality results across the Institute’s centers.
  • Must be able to travel in both the United States and abroad.

This position is a term position for a minimum of one year. Extension beyond one year is subject to availability of funds.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Note: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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