Work Remotely as a Director for Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

This is a global remote position; CRS will give preference to candidates who are based in countries where we have existing offices. CRS does not sponsor visas for remote employees.

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. 

Job Summary

CRS has a long history of supporting agricultural livelihoods, land restoration, natural resource management, agroforestry and climate smart agriculture. Together with our local partners, CRS is working to scale restoration of degraded land to break cycles of poverty, increase food security and improve livelihoods for vulnerable and smallholder farming families. Climate finance is a growing source of support for land restoration efforts. CRS has begun implementing projects funded by carbon credit investors and is exploring additional opportunities. To guide this new area of work, CRS is establishing a Climate Finance Support Unit in the Program Implementation and Quality Assurance department and matrixed to the Institutional Donor Engagement Advancement department.

The Director of the Climate Finance Support Unit (CFSU) will work with country programs, regions and headquarters colleagues to develop CRS’ strategic approach toward climate finance, assess opportunities, and share guidance to advance CRS’ climate finance programming in ways that achieve CRS’ strategic goals while managing risks. With input from key stakeholders, the Director will be in charge of articulating CRS’ programmatic, ethical and financial strategy for climate finance. The Director will lead engagement with external actors, establishing partnerships and exploring program opportunities. The Director will assess and advise on climate finance related risks and risk mitigation steps, including for programming funded through carbon credits. The Director will supervise other members of the CFSU, which will initially include a Senior Project Support Officer and based on need may grow to include other team members, such as a carbon specialist and a program impact and learning advisor. In addition to supervision of the CFSU team members, the Director will coordinate closely with other CRS teams and manage climate finance support activities by other colleagues.


Strategic Leadership

  • Provide global leadership to define and position CRS’ approach to climate finance, including carbon credits. 
  • Present and seek input into CRS’ climate financing strategy at key moments from CRS leadership and country programs implementing these projects, addressing any key concerns and ensuring appropriate communication, transparency and buy-in.
  • Lead the development of CRS’ strategy for climate finance programming and ensure it reflects agency priorities and values.
  • Advise regional, country and HQ colleagues on strengths and weaknesses in CRS’ program design and approaches in climate finance contracts, providing technical resources and guidance to strengthen design. 
  • Participate in the review processes of climate finance projects, including those funded by carbon credits, ensuring that learning from previous opportunities is integrated as well as sector good practices.
  • Proactively analyze risks and liabilities for CRS’ climate financing work and provide recommendations for addressing them.


  • Structure and lead the new Climate Finance Support Unit, based on evolving needs and opportunities.
  • Lead the development of the unit workstreams, gathering perspectives and buy-in from across the agency.
  • Supervise other members of the CFSU.
  • Coordinate and as needed manage climate finance support activities carried out by colleagues in other units and/or external consultants. 

Representation and Influence

  • Maintain key networks across the climate finance space, positioning CRS and seeking to influence external stakeholders in line with CRS’ values related to prioritizing impacts among vulnerable populations, local leadership, and equitable benefit sharing. 
  • Support country teams in leveraging CRS’ learning to influence climate finance approaches and direction, including equitable sharing of benefits and prioritization of vulnerable communities.
  • Serve as the primary global liaison to CRS funders and prime partners, such as the Global Evergreening Alliance, to explore funding opportunities, represent issues and challenges, and negotiate solutions.
  • Represent CRS’ climate finance programs and approaches to donors and funders, stakeholders and partners, including at climate conferences and events. 
  • Engage with peer organizations working on climate finance to exchange learnings and, as appropriate, jointly communicate or advocate for approaches that prioritize the livelihoods of vulnerable populations.
  • Expand visibility of CRS’ climate finance programming, working in collaboration with CRS colleagues involved in landscape restoration, agroforestry, and water activities (and other sectors with climate finance opportunities). 
  • Coordinate internal communications regarding climate finance with divisions, regions, and leadership.

Business Development

  • Work closely with country programs to determine whether specific climate finance opportunities are good fits for CRS. Coordinate inputs from across teams to opportunities and support informed and timely decision making on go/no go decisions. This includes working with the Senior Contract Support Officer to bring in relevant CRS legal and financial review, working with technical advisors to determine whether design meets CRS program quality standards. 
  • Develop guidance documents and resources which enable teams to navigate the appropriateness of climate finance opportunities. Support the uptake and understanding of these guidance documents.
  • Once funding opportunities are deemed a good fit, support the country teams and regions in their pursuit of them, reviewing key documents as needed.
  • Support the Contract Support Officer in ensuring that contract reviews and sub-contract reviews are conducted and follow the appropriate process bringing in all key internal stakeholders appropriately including review of legal agreements with the Office of General Counsel (OGC). Recommend changes in the process as necessary. 
  • Participate and as needed lead contract negotiations for climate finance projects, working closely with IDEA, regional offices, and country programs.

Implementation Support

  • Coordinate internal and external technical assistance and/or provide direct technical assistance upon request to support country programs with project design, start-up and implementation.
  • Work with implementing teams, regional offices, and other colleagues to ensure that projects receive support as needed for carbon-related components of the project, such as sequestration calculations, carbon standards, monitoring, reporting and verification, Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) approaches and equitable benefits sharing models. 
  • Collaborate closely with MEAL and KML colleagues to contribute to knowledge management and learning on climate finance programs, including capturing and sharing lessons learned and best practices.
  • Oversee and provide leadership for agency training and capacity building for climate financing including organization of specific events as well as development and dissemination of relevant guidance and resources through online collaboration platforms.
  • Collaborate closely with the technical advisors within PIQA and the regions to ensure coherence with the agency’s climate finance approaches in programs.


  • Masters or higher advanced degree in climate finance, carbon management, environmental policy or management, or other climate change related specialties preferred. 
  • Minimum of 10 years of working with INGOs or comparable organizations in different capacities including program management of agricultural livelihoods programs, technical advisory capacity for agricultural livelihoods programs, leading design processes, start-up and implementation including monitoring and evaluation. Progressive leadership experience a plus.
  • Minimum of 5 years managing and leading teams, including teams with wide ranging technical expertise. Experience in setting up new structures within existing organizations a plus.
  • Experience with carbon financing which could include a combination of the following: experience implementing projects with carbon financing components, experience with carbon standard methodologies and project approvals, experience with auditing projects and/or experience leading carbon financing portfolios for project proponents. 
  • Demonstrated grant and contract management experience with complex, high value grants with multiple sub recipients and/or large-scale procurements. Experience with land restoration programming is desirable but not required.
  • Strong understanding of the carbon market and climate finance space. Existing knowledge and relationships with carbon financing actors preferred.
  • Experience in leading change management and/or strategic processes within organizations, experience in influencing senior leadership and navigating competing perspectives.
  • Excellent writing skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent networking skills and experience in representation, influencing and advocacy at a global level.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills including in cross-cultural settings. Experience and facility in interacting with a range of actors including but not limited to: investors, private sector actors, donor representatives, government actors, academics, policy makers and church representatives.
  • Understanding of and willingness to work within the Church structure and policies.
  • Oral and written fluency in English is required and ability to work and communicate in French/Spanish or Arabic is a plus.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel). Web Conferencing Applications and strong understanding of information and budget management systems and knowledge-sharing networks.
  • Ability to multitask and organize several different initiatives.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team-oriented environment.

Agency REDI Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

  • Personal Accountability – Consistently takes responsibility for one’s own actions. 
  • Acts with Integrity – Consistently models values aligned with CRS Guiding Principles and mission. Is considered honest.
  • Builds and Maintains Trust – Shows consistency between words and actions.
  • Collaborates with Others – Works effectively in intercultural and diverse teams.
  • Open to Learn – Seeks out experiences that may change perspective or provide an opportunity to learn new things.

Agency Leadership Competencies:

  • Lead Change – Continually looks for ways to improve the agency through a culture of agility, openness, and innovation.
  • Develops and Recognizes Others – Builds the capacity of staff to reach their full potential and enhance team and agency performance.
  • Strategic Mindset – Understands role in translating, communicating, and implementing agency strategy and team priorities.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Supervise Climate Finance Support Unit staff member and coordinate and manage additional internal and external technical support to carbon financing contracts.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Executive leadership, Regional Directors; Chiefs of Party managing carbon financing contracts, regional technical staff; PIQA staff; IDEA staff (note dotted line to Director Donor Engagement and Strategic Partnership); GKIM staff; Overseas Finance, Office of General Counsel, Global Risk and Compliance unit. 

External: The Global Evergreening Alliance and other future project primes and donors, peer organizations working with carbon finance projects, key actors in the global and regional carbon market space including, carbon standard setting organizations, key actors within the carbon policy and advocacy space. 

Physical Requirements/Environment

Normal conditions for an office environment. This position will require travel up to 25%, including in developing country contexts.

NOTE: This is a global remote position; CRS will give preference to candidates who are based in countries where we have existing offices. CRS does not sponsor visas for remote employees.

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.  

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people – especially children and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse and harm.

EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Also see: Senior Project Support Officer, Climate Finance Contracts

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