Air Quality (AQ) Research Lead

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World Resources Institute

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Jakarta, Indonesia

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30+ days ago

Program Overview
WRI’s air quality program is a global initiative that seeks to identify, build awareness of, and eliminate the root causes of air pollution that damages climate, human, and ecosystem health. The program has three main areas of work: (i) engagement with city stakeholders to use participatory science to diagnose and develop targeted, cost-effective clean air solutions to protect human health and climate, (ii) working with the science community to convert innovative methods into tools and products that communities and policymakers can use to better manage their impact on the atmosphere, and (iii) working with national governments and business networks to design and implement broader regional-to-global air quality governance. It is a part of the WRI Ross Center on Sustainable Cities, with additional oversight from the Data Lab and engagement with Climate, Governance, Energy, and other programs at WRI. The team is global, with senior experts distributed across WRI’s network of international offices.

About the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
The decisions that national leaders, local officials, developers, and planners make today will determine how billions of people in urban centers will thrive over the next century. Already, half the global population resides in cities. That figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050.

Traditional models of city development can lock us into congestion, sprawl, and inefficient resource use. However, compact, connected, and efficient growth can help ensure more competitive cities, and provide a better quality of life for citizens. WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI Ross Center) works to ensure cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources. We use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth.

Our analysis and tools allow cities to effectively manage their natural resources and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Working across our network, we develop and support the implementation of research-based solutions in sustainable mobility, urban development, as well as urban efficiency & climate that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces for all people to thrive.

WRI Ross Center builds on WRI’s global and local experience in urban planning and mobility and uses proven solutions and action-oriented tools to increase building and energy efficiency, manage water risk, encourage effective governance and make the fast-growing urban environment more resilient to new challenges. Aiming to influence 200 cities with unique research and tools, WRI Ross Center focuses on a deep cross-sector approach in selected megacities on two continents, and targeted assistance to additional 50 urban areas, bringing economic, environmental, and social benefits to people in cities around the globe.

Highlig h ts
WRI Indonesia is seeking an Air Quality (AQ) Research Lead to be based in Jakarta, Indonesia to lead and expand the air quality portfolio in the country and region. The role of the Air Quality (AQ) Research Lead is to anchor WRI’s air quality research, technical support on air quality management, and engagement in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. This role will lead and oversee the implementation of air quality-related projects in Indonesia, namely: (1) The USAID-funded “Clean Air Catalyst” program that WRI is leading with EDF and other partners and (2) the Southeast Asia Air Quality Management of Practice - a regional project to strengthen stakeholders through establishing a Community of Practice in Southeast Asia, and implement experience sharing to address capacity gaps in the region. In implementing these programs, this role will be expected to provide science-based advice to the stakeholders, hence an advanced scientific understanding of air quality is mandatory.

Below is the overall job summary of the candidate:
  • The candidate will contribute to identifying ways in which WRI’s capacities can help reduce pollution sources based on the available scientific evidence, particularly those that affect the most vulnerable populations and those that have multiple impacts on health, climate, and ecosystems. Hence, the candidate will be expected to maintain a fluent understanding of air quality science, including the sources and their impacts
  • The candidate would be responsible for identifying, building, and managing robust working relationships with local scientific, community, policy, private sector, and other partners to collaborate with in developing the air quality program.
  • The candidate will work with the global air quality team and beyond to develop and implement the regional strategy for assisting project of air quality improvement, building awareness of air quality sources, catalyzing momentum for reducing health and climate-damaging emissions, and supporting policy, business, and community leaders in implementing effective clean air solutions.

What You Will Do
The Air Quality Research Lead is expected to work on the following
  • Research/Scientific leadership (80%)
    • Lead the research design, provide scientific direction, and coordinate the execution of scientific analysis to identify priority pollution sources;
    • Oversee the formulation of air quality research methodologies and their advanced analyses;
    • Execute and supervise strategic air quality research and scientific work of the national stakeholders;
    • Lead the study of pollutant root cause analysis and engagement with stakeholders involved in pollution-producing sectors, supported by WRI teams and local sectoral partners.
    • Lead the capacity building and provide technical assistance to the state and non-state actors in both national/regional levels;
    • Act as a key topic content lead for air quality and other urban proposals and research development work to build and strengthen WRI air quality scientific portfolio in the country & region;
    • Prepare and present oral and written reports of findings to related stakeholders;
    • Publicly representing the WRI in national/regional/global events.
  • Project Management & Stakeholder engagement (20%)
    • Leading small but high-impact teams and owning content and day-to-day interaction;
    • Contribute to the scientific section of the project report;
    • Actively developing, managing, and maintaining relationships with national, regional, and global scientific partners to build source awareness of air pollution and other topics;
    • Lead role in presenting key findings to stakeholders’ C-level executives;
    • Liaise with national counterparts and other matrixed portfolios within WRI;

What You Will Need
  • Education: You have PhD (preferred) or Master’s level education in environmental sciences, chemistry, engineering, sustainable development, or other relevant disciplines relevant for AQM or pollution management
  • Experiences: Ideally 3-5 years of experience in AQM and/or other relevant environmental management subjects, including the preparation and/or environmental management plans, capacity assessment, research, institutional strengthening, public consultation plans, or other related project environmental plans/ studies;
  • Deep experience and clear expertise alignment on AQM especially in middle-income countries and urban landscapes;
  • A good understanding of the key aspects of air quality and pollution including analyses of pollution sources, air quality monitoring technologies, how health impacts from air pollution concentrations are being estimated, how cost-effective abatement options are being determined, and some understanding of how AQM models are being applied;
  • Comprehensive understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations and ability to input into the design and implementation of policy reforms for pollution control;
  • Strong organizational, coordination, and project management skills, including experience in managing complex and time-sensitive donor reporting requirements;
  • Ability to work creatively and analytically in a problem-solving environment;
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in conveying complex science, building empathy, and winning the trust of donors and non-expert audiences in compelling ways;
  • A proven track record of demonstrating the ability to manage complex projects and teams with result oriented;
  • A solid track record of building strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, as well as identifying opportunities to deepen those relationships and grow the portfolio;
  • Ability to work with peers and managers in a matrixed environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate across organizations, practice areas, and disciplines;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in Bahasa and English along with strong interpersonal skills. Having authored papers on air quality and pollution-related will be a plus point.

Contract Arrangement
Full-time with fixed-term employment agreement for 12 (twelve) months (possible for extension) with 3 (three) months of consultancy contract apply before the fixed-term employment agreement started.

What we offer
  • A salary that is commensurate with experience and skills
  • Competitive and comprehensive benefit package
  • Access to the WRI global network
  • Opportunity to join and/or get involved in different working groups
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • A chance to have an impact and develop your career within a mission-driven organization

Must have the authorization to work in Indonesia to be eligible for this position.

Final candidates might be required to take a writing test and to produce two writing samples when needed.

How to apply:
In order to be formally considered, please submit an updated resume and cover letter through the WRI career portal.

Application close: 1700 (
DKI Jakarta local t ime), 31 January 2023. We will close the advert earlier when the best candidates are identified at earlier dates.

This is a locally engaged position; Indonesian nationals are encouraged to apply.

About Us
Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization 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 environmental 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, and 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 organizational 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. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

WRI Indonesia
is a national entity (Yayasan) associated with the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global environmental research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. WRI works with various stakeholders in the natural resources sector to support policy and management that are both profitable and sustainable. WRI work with leaders in more than 50 countries for more than 30 years, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States.

Launched in early 2014, WRI Indonesia builds on WRI’s 10-year history in the country and strengthens our impact on the ground. In the short-to-medium term, WRI Indonesia aims to expand its presence and portfolio to include projects in the climate, energy, as well as city and transportation programs.