Printer-friendly version

Senior Policy Advisor


About the position 

The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) delivers cutting edge research and practical policy support for the reform and redirection of fossil fuel subsidies towards sustainable energy systems. Since 2005 the GSI has been working alongside country partners and governments to raise and tackle the issue of harmful energy subsidies through hands-on country level work and via international forums such as the G20, UNFCCC and SDGs, with groups such as the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. Many governments are now reforming and removing subsidies to fossil fuels and we are hiring a Senior Policy Adviser to deliver GSI’s work on the need for effective reform and reinvestment for sustainable development.

We are looking for an outgoing, motivated and highly-organised individual to join our team. IISD-GSI is active in over 10 countries (including Indonesia and India), and seeks a Senior Policy Adviser to work alongside existing staff, consultants and partner organisations. The successful candidate will have a background in energy, economics and sustainable development, and experience of working in emerging or developing economies would be considered an asset. She or he will have experience of planning, undertaking and delivering quality policy research managing small research teams and designed for government and non-government audiences. The successful candidate will have the ability to condense research into clear policy advice to governments and a strong command of English. She or he will be an excellent planner, organizer and multi-tasker. The Senior Policy Adviser will have a strong ability to work comfortably across different cultures, and a willingness to travel. Fluency in English is required and additional language capacity is an asset.

The Senior Policy Adviser will be responsible for:

  • Research design and project management for large, complex projects spanning energy subsidy reform, energy access and energy sector development in a range of countries.
  • Working closely with a network of in-country and international partners and consultants. Emphasis will be placed on developing excellent networks in relevant ministries as well as contacts within intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, academia and media.
  • Undertaking effective engagement with policymakers in order to promote buy-in for the GSI’s work and influence decision-making.
  • Business development in areas of responsibility, and undertaking full-cycle management of funding streams: from both designing and writing technical and financial proposals to reporting to donors and managing donor relationships.
  • Effective outreach and communication of research and analysis conducted through, blogs, webinars, media and events.



  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in energy, political studies, economics or an interdisciplinary programme or equivalent with a focus on sustainability.  


  • Professional experience: A minimum of seven years relevant work experience, preferably working in international organisations or think tanks, government or the energy sector, and preferably with experience of working within a developing or emerging economies.
  • Knowledge: It will be considered an advantage if candidates can demonstrate strong experience working with or within government on fiscal, industrial and energy policy and particularly in developing and emerging economies; and if they can demonstrate practical knowledge of approaches to structural economic reforms including political economy aspects, social protection/safety net reform for lower-income groups,  fiscal shifts for sustainable energy, gender implications, and complementary reform policies; as well as familiarity with sustainable development.
  • Project management skills: candidates should be able to assist in the management of large, complex projects in developing and emerging economies with a number of simultaneously occurring component parts and involving a broad range of in-country partners, consultants and clients.
  • Research and technical skills: Candidates should be able to demonstrate the ability to contribute to the design and management of high quality, cutting-edge research and events intended to have influence over energy sector reform processes. It will be considered an advantage if candidates can demonstrate experience in energy economics, poverty and social impact assessments, economic modeling (or the management of economic modeling projects), impact analysis, stakeholder mapping, the design of questionnaires and methods for structuring and facilitating discussions among different ministries and/or non-government stakeholders, and survey design and delivery.
  • Experience working with India and expertise on Indian energy policy challenges and issues would be a significant advantage.


  • Willingness to travel internationally (up to one week a month);
  • Excellent English-language written and spoken (our working language is English);
  • Computer skills (including Excel, PowerPoint and Word);
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and ability to translate technical findings to advance policy positions, including engaging with governments and donors;
  • Proactive approach to meeting deadlines and delivering results with limited supervision;
  • Ability to work in Switzerland (Swiss nationality, Swiss residence or work permit, or EU nationality.); and
  • Strong interpersonal, cross cultural and organizational skills.

 Application process

  • Cover letter (maximum one page) and a CV (maximum three pages) submitted as PDF documents.

Application Deadline is  April 7, 2017 

We thank all candidates, however only those currently eligible to work in Switzerland will be considered.

To apply please go to