Strategic Group Lead

The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region stretches 3,500km across Asia, spanning eight countries –  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Encompassing  high-altitude mountain ranges, mid-hills, and plains, the zone is vital for the food, water, and  energy security of up to two billion people and is a habitat for countless irreplaceable species. It is  also acutely fragile, and vulnerable to the impacts of the triple planetary crisis of climate change,  pollution, and biodiversity loss.  

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), based in Kathmandu,  Nepal, is an international organisation established in 1983, that is working to make this critical  region greener, more inclusive and climate resilient. For more information, read our Strategy 2030 and explore our website.  

The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region stretches 3,500km across Asia, spanning eight countries –  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Encompassing  high-altitude mountain ranges, mid-hills, and plains, the zone is vital for the food, water, and  energy security of up to two billion people and is a habitat for countless irreplaceable species. It is  also acutely fragile, and vulnerable to the …

Strategic Group Lead

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Position Overview:

This is a unique opportunity to lead our Strategic Group on Reducing Climate and Environment Risks – in the vibrant working culture and environment that is ICIMOD. This senior position holds responsibility for the delivery of the entire portfolio of the Strategic Group, ensuring that we collectively meet the commitments enshrined in our Strategy 2030: Moving Mountains and Medium-Term Action Plan V (MTAP V): Embracing Change and Accelerating Impact (2023–2026). The position will work closely with the two other Strategic Group Leads and report to the Deputy Director General.

The Strategic Group Lead is a senior professional with excellent strategic leadership and management skills and strong technical experience on issues pertaining to the management of climate and environment issues, particularly in mountain regions, and with knowledge of risks related to water, cryosphere and air. This position will suit someone who can build vision, develop, and nurture collective thinking, and is focused on delivering measurable impact. The Strategic Group Lead must be comfortable leading and inspiring multidisciplinary and cross-cultural teams, be open and flexible to innovation and change, and uphold the highest levels of ethics, quality, and teamwork standards. The position has a strong representational role, so excellent communication, outreach, and networking skills are essential.

Our work leverages knowledge for impact through four key pathways: policy, innovation and scaling, regional collaboration, and capability building. As Strategic Group Lead (SGL), you will lead work along all our four impact pathways and play a key leadership role to ensure that our work delivers the highest-level results.

Responsibilities and tasks 

You will play a critical role in leading the delivery of ICIMOD’s Strategy 2030 and MTAP V, together with the two other Strategic Group Leads and the Deputy Director General, to ensure our results align with our vision, mission, High-Level Outcomes and LongTerm Impact Areas. You will hold strategic oversight for the entire portfolio of SG1 Reducing Climate and Environment Risks, and the work of the two Action Areas (AAs) – A: Managing Cryosphere and Water Risks and B: Stimulating Action for Clean Air – which are the focus of programming. You will hold oversight for up to 40 core programmatic staff, as well as several key professional services and advisory staff. Leading a Strategic Group entails responsibilities at the highest levels. As well as being a thought leader in areas relevant to SG1, you will hold responsibilities that are vertical (within the Strategic Group) and horizontal (working across other Strategic Groups and leads of specialised units, i.e. Communications; Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Programme, Grant, and Partnership Management). As one of the Strategic Group Leads, you will be a member of the Senior Management Committee, ICIMOD’s highest strategic management decisionmaking body chaired by the Director General, to contribute to its overall development and delivery of its mandate.

More specifically, you will have the following responsibilities: 

1.STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP AND VISION 

  • Provide strategic vision and intellectual leadership for all the work of the Strategic Group. 
  • Ensure that the Action Areas deliver quality outcomes and results. 
  • Identify and bring in regional and global partnerships that facilitate delivery along ICIMOD’s impact pathways (policy, innovation and scaling, regional cooperation, and capability building). 
  • Represent ICIMOD in regional and international fora, and serve as an influential voice on all matters relating to climate and environment risks in our mountain areas, thus positioning ICIMOD as a thought leader. 
  • Engage and network with senior policy and decisionmakers, funders and finance institutions, and practitioners. 
  • Maintain close collaborative working relations with the two other Strategic Groups to ensure integration, collaboration, cross-working, and learning across all Action Areas. 
  • Keep the Strategic Group teams up to date on emerging trends, innovations, and learning. 
  • Oversee, track, and manage risks.
2.PEOPLE MANAGEMENT 

  • Lead and supervise the two Action Area Coordinators (AACs), as well as the small team of SG professional services staff, ensuring that the Strategic Group and Action Areas work effectively with Finance, Programme Management and Administration, Communication, and Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Reporting, and maintain close connections with the respective heads of units. Ensure staff nurture and sustain high-performing teams, acting as the secondary supervisor for all Action Area staff. 
  • Develop and update strategic staffing plans and ensure appropriate HR policies and processes are followed for performance management and recruitment of reporting staff whilst also ensuring their ongoing learning and development. 
  • Hold oversight for best-fit positioning and time allocations of Action Area staff, and ensure that Action Area Coordinators maintain coherent, inspired, and motivated staff who deliver results. 
  • Nurture a learning environment within the Strategic Group, where open and productive debate is encouraged, and skills development is provided for all staff at all levels.

3.PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: RESULTS AND BUDGETS 

  • Hold overall accountability for achieving the MTAP V high-level results (High-Level Outcomes and Long-Term Impact Areas), ensuring that Action Area outcomes are aligned, consistent, and complementary. 
  • Support the design of effective, strategic intervention priorities in close coordination with the Action Area Coordinators, ensuring that ICIMOD’s key cross-cutting issues are fully incorporated, and innovation and digital technology opportunities are captured. 
  • Oversee appropriate allocation of the Strategic Group budget and human resources and preparation of work plans, ensuring linkages are made between Action Areas within the Strategic Group and with other Strategic Groups where relevant.
  • Monitor implementation in the Action Areas, including follow-up on quality and performance, also ensuring that financial targets and standards are met and approving budgets at the appropriate delegated authority level. 
  • Ensure that Action Area Coordinators provide timely monitoring and quality reporting as required institutionally by the Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Unit and specific funders of projects. 
  • Provide critical and objective analysis of work areas to inform decision-making on priorities and to reorientate or close less productive lines of work where necessary

4.COMMUNICATION AND OUTREACH 

  • In close consultation with the Head of Communications, provide necessary scientific and technical input to: -generate effective Strategic Group and Action Area communication strategies, plans, and campaigns to maximise outreach, engagement and alignment with the institutional communication strategy. -Ensure appropriate targeting of knowledge products and communications to maximise opportunities across all four impact pathways. 
  • Oversee the work of the Senior Communications Officer in tandem with the Head of Communications, and ensure there is close liaison with the wider Communications team. 
  • Ensure both internal and external communication is consistent across the Strategic Group and that staff within the Action Areas are given opportunities to represent ICIMOD in line with their expertise. 

5. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCE MOBILISATION 

  • Make an active contribution to our business development and resource mobilisation (BDRM) work, in close liaison with the business development and resource mobilisation lead/team and represent the Strategic Group and its Action Areas on the ICIMOD Resource Mobilisation Committee. 
  • Find and identify emerging opportunities relevant to the Strategic Group; leverage networks and relationships; develop and maintain a constructive dialogue with funders; explore co-funding opportunities involving regional partners and/or member countries and keep the institutional BDRM function up to date with such engagements. 
  • Support proposal and concept note development with guidance and coordination from the BDRM and Communications teams, and source the right Action Area staff for project idea development in consultation with the Action Area Coordinator.

Minimum qualifications and experience
 

ESSENTIAL 

  • Phd in a relevant field, with more than 10 years of relevant experience, or Master’s, in a relevant field, with more than 13 years of relevant experience in climate risk management, disaster risk reduction, water, cryosphere, air, social development, development studies, economics, sustainable livelihoods, and/or sustainable development
  • At least 10 years experience in a leadership or management position, preferably in an international setting
  • Recognition as a thought leader in a relevant field and a track record of delivering significant outcomes
  • Excellent management skills, gained by managing large-scale policy, research, or development programmes
  • Excellent interpersonal and people management skills with experience working in multicultural environments
  • Proven communication and outreach skills, including public speaking, presentation, and writing skills in English
  • Commitment to promoting and supporting gender equality and social inclusion
  • Good networking, problem-solving and solution-seeking skills 

PREFERRED 

  • A good understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the HKH and other mountainous regions. 
  • Experience in science to policy and/or practice approaches. 
  • Experience in integrating gender equality and social inclusion into programming, applying inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary approaches. 
  • Experience in fundraising, winning research grants, etc. 
  • An extensive network of contacts in government organisations, businesses, research institutions, INGOs, NGOs, and media.

REPORTING AND SUPERVISING 

The Strategic Group Lead will report to the Deputy Director General on all aspects of Strategic Group 1. The Lead is responsible for supervising respective Action Area Coordinators and reporting staff. 

LOCATION 

You will be working in a cross-cultural, impact-oriented environment at ICIMOD’s head office in Kathmandu, Nepal. Frequent travel in the HKH region will be required. Kathmandu is a lively and exciting place to live. People are friendly, living costs are comparatively inexpensive, food is delicious (with a range of local and international cuisines), and there are good local and international schools and a low crime rate. Nepal offers amazing trekking trails, white water rafting, and safaris, combined with a rich culture and charming yet lively nightlife. DURATION Until December 2026, with a probation period of six months. There is a possibility of extension subject to performance and ICIMOD’s future funding levels. 

REMUNERATION 

This is an international position at ICIMOD. The starting annual gross salary for this position is USD 130,392 (negotiable based on experience and qualifications). Gross salary comprises of basic salary, provident fund, family/post adjustment allowance, and child/dependency allowances. Salaries and benefits at ICIMOD are competitive compared with other international organisations. We offer a comprehensive benefits package which includes insurances (medical, life and accidental), children’s education grant for maximum 2 children below 18 years of age, severance pay, paid leave (30 holidays and 10 public holidays per year) and day care facility.

For expatriates, there is a tax exemption in Nepal; they are responsible for their home country’s tax payments. Expatriate staff are entitled to housing allowance, annual home leave ticket, shipment of personal effects, and an installation and repatriation allowance. 

ICIMOD’S CORE VALUES 

Our core values are integrity, neutrality, relevance, inclusiveness, openness, and ambition. These values are an expression of our culture and are central to the guiding beliefs and principles of our work and behaviour. Our core values will lie at the heart of ICIMOD operations and delivery. They will underpin everything we do and frame how we work with our partners. They reflect our founding intentions and the balances we seek to hold, while equipping ourselves for the future. 

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND SAFEGUARDING 

ICIMOD’s human resource selection process is based on the qualifications and competence of the applicants. As an employer, ICIMOD is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and offers equal opportunities to applicants from all backgrounds and walks of life, including but not limited to gender, age, national origin, religion, race, caste, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or social status. ICIMOD strongly encourages applications from all eligible applicants, especially women, from all parts of the HKH region. ICIMOD is dedicated to establishing and upholding a safe and nurturing work environment, where all its employees can participate fully and meaningfully without fear of violence, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Any type of abuse or harassment, including sexual misconduct, by our staff, representatives, or stakeholders is not condoned or tolerated. 

ABOUT ICIMOD 

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), based in Kathmandu, Nepal, is the leading institute for the study of the HKH. An intergovernmental knowledge and development organisation with a focus on climate and environmental risks, green economies, and sustainable collective action, we have worked in our eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – since our foundation. 

Entering our 40th year, ICIMOD is perfectly positioned to support the transformative action required for the HKH to face the challenges of the escalating effects of climate change, pollution, water insecurity, increased disaster risk, biodiversity loss, and widespread socioeconomic changes. We seek to raise our ambition to support the required transformative action to step up our engagement through to 2030.

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