Head of Secretariat, National Adaptation Plan Global Network

  • Contract
  • Canada


The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network (“the Network”) is a leading international initiative focused on accelerating adaptation planning and action in the Global South to reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems, economies, and people—particularly women and marginalized social groups—to the impacts of climate change. Established in 2014 at COP 20, the NAP Global Network currently connects more than 1,500 participants from over 150 countries with financial support from an expanding base of donors.

The Network’s success depends on strengthening technical and institutional capacities, building an active community of experts, and promoting greater global policy recognition around adaptation planning and action. This is achieved through the Network’s three activity areas: a) providing short- and longer-term in-country technical support on adaptation planning, b) facilitating South–South peer learning and exchange, and c) generating, synthesizing, and sharing knowledge on NAP processes. The Network is committed to ensuring that adaptation planning and action are gender equitable and socially inclusive.

IISD, an independent non-governmental organization with over 30 years of international experience, hosts the secretariat for the NAP Global Network, whose main functions are participant liaison, thought leadership, coordination of technical support, organization of peer learning events and exchanges, policy tracking, strategic communications, reporting, administration, and fundraising. IISD is responsible for the recruitment and administrative management of this position.

The NAP Global Network’s activities are currently driven by its 2025 strategy, with financial support from five governments. As the Network’s profile continues to grow, so too does demand for its resources and support. Moving forward, it will be important to manage these increasing—and evolving—demands for support, secure the additional human and financial resources to meet such demands, leverage our collective experience to contribute to relevant policy conversations, and have a secretariat that is fit for purpose.

What We Need From You as the Head of Secretariat:

You are a dynamic professional with a minimum of 5 years of relevant senior management experience in strategic collaborations, looking to play a central role in a global initiative. Committed to reducing people’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, you are diplomatic, able to liaise and work closely with governments across the world, and have a strong network. You understand and are sensitive to the particular needs of countries in the Global South and are preferably multi-lingual. You have a strong working knowledge of climate change adaptation governance and planning and the emerging international policy conversation—particularly under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). You have a firm understanding of how civil society organizations work and can be engaged in policy processes. You have experience with international policy work, government relations, partnership development, and strategy formulation. You can capture people’s attention by telling stories about program impacts and successes and speak frankly and constructively about lessons where activities have not gone as planned.

A self-starter, you can deliver independently and effectively manage and motivate a growing team, which you will help recruit. You have the ability to create a healthy culture of shared leadership and collaboration and deliver under pressure and competing deadlines. Your strong background in effective communication has led to a successful fundraising track record and strategic links to funders.

Working closely with the Management Team and Steering Committee of the NAP Global Network, you will execute a compelling vision; work on its strategic priorities; interact with key stakeholders, media, and the international public; and promote our ambitions. You will manage an annual budget of over USD 4 million.

Start date: As soon as possible

Deadline for submission: May 13, 2022


  • An initial 2-year renewable contract.
  • Competitive salary and conditions.
  • Location to be discussed, but Canada, Europe, or Africa are preferable.
  • Frequent international travel possible.
  • Authorization to work in your country of residence
  • A valid passport (with more than a year until expiration).

Application Procedure

Applications will only be accepted through Bamboo HR. Please include the following:

  • A CV (no longer than two pages)
  • A cover letter, one page
  • All submissions must be in English.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for one year.

IISD has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination policy that requires employees who are required or choose to be at an office or participate in in-person team events or in-person meetings/events to be fully vaccinated. Anyone unable to be fully vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from being fully vaccinated can request a reasonable accommodation.

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as LGBTQ2SIA+ to apply for this position. We offer reasonable accommodations in the recruitment process. Please identify in your cover letter if you need accommodations during the recruitment process.

How to apply