Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance), P4

Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance), P4

Rome, Italy

Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national, and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Financial Operations Department (FOD) is a dynamic financial, strategic and responsive business partner and service provider fully supporting IFAD in developing its financial strategy and managing its financial, investments and material resources. FOD ensures that these resources are efficiently, economically and effectively used to achieve IFAD’s objectives in the long-term and deliver on its development commitments. The Financial Operations Department is composed of the following three divisions: (a) Financial Controller’s Division (FCD), (b) Financial Management Services Division (FMD) and (c) Treasury Services Division (TRE).

The Financial Controller’s Division (FCD) plays a key role in supporting stakeholder confidence and protect IFAD’s clean external audit opinion on IFAD finances, ensuring sound financial practices and internal control at IFAD, and providing innovative finance solutions to solve problems and improve the decision-making processes. FCD is also responsible for the integrity, transparency, and control of the management of IFAD’s resources.

The position works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director and Controller, FCD, and the direct supervision of the Chief, Financial Reporting and Corporate Finance.

Details on how to apply for this role can be found at the end of this Vacancy Announcement.

Job Role

The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) at this level manages complete financial operations, encompassing a wide variety of funding sources, a large volume of transactions and extensive dispersment activities. They are typically accountable for establishing the unit work plan and supervising a team of Finance Specialists, Associates and/or Assistants.

Position specifics: The scope of the role of Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) includes coordination with internal and external stakeholders for financial accounting and reporting activities, being a key stakeholder for external and internal auditors and various multilateral climate finance donors. The incumbent should have an in-depth knowledge of multilateral climate funds such as Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Adaptation Fund, EU, etc., and related financial and administrative procedures applicable to other IFAD supplementary fund agreements. They are senior professionals with an in-depth understanding of relevant financial management and accounting principles, standards, and methods applicable to operations financed by financial institutions/ international aid organizations. The incumbent plays a key role in the fulfilment of FCD`s financial management and reporting function of the GCF Trust Fund, Rural Resilience Trust Fund, GEF, Adaptation Fund, LDCF, SCCF, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GASFP), EU, etc., and other Financial Reporting requirements.

Key Functions and Results

FINANCE PRACTICE LEADER: The incumbent is accountable for technical leadership in their operational area at the corporate level and/or responsibility for leadership of other Professional and/or General Service staff, ensuring compliance with financial principles and concepts, policies, regulations, and rules, as well as for soundness of judgement and conclusions. They directly supervise a finance unit with responsibility for work planning and organization, supervision of the work of the unit/section assigned, and establishing and monitoring performance management indicators of success. The Senior Specialist develops, implements, and monitors the interpretation and application of new financial policies, regulations, rules, practices, procedures and systems to meet the evolving needs of the Fund. Their authoritative knowledge of the Fund’s governing structure, mandate, long-term business strategy, financial rules, and regulations, as well as of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) ensures accuracy and enhances accountability in the preparation of IFAD’s financial statements, policies, and procedures.

FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNER: The incumbent is a credible, trusted partner to the client offices served and the Department/Division/Unit where assigned. They contribute directly to the development of the Fund’s financial strategy and plans, as well as models a commitment to financial integrity by acting as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. In all interactions, they promote the concept of results-based management and accountability for the financial resources entrusted to IFAD.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: The incumbent is a team leader with the capacity to develop, as well as authoritatively interpret and apply, a broad range of international and IFAD financial policies, rules, and regulations as well as systems, standards, and techniques. Activities performed by all finance occupations include: (a) contributing to the development and continuous evolution of strategic frameworks; (b) adapting rules and establishing financial procedures relating to the assigned operation; (c) creating effective monitoring systems, including operational oversight to ensure effective management of assigned operations, and ensuring due regard to segregation of financial tasks, as required; (d) financial reporting and preparing responses for management on queries raised and views expressed by IFAD’s Governing Council and other relevant stakeholders; (e) reviewing audit reports and providing guidance to IFAD staff and project teams on sound financial management practices; (f) leading the preparation of timely, substantive replies to internal and external audit observations concerning assigned financial operations; and (g) analyzing IFAD experience with other IFIs and development organizations to adopt best financial management practices in administering IFAD’s financial resources.

AGENT OF CHANGE: The incumbent understands and applies the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. They use a seasoned knowledge of results-based management and budgeting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other information technology to develop, analyze and promote acceptance of new methods of work and automated workflows. At this level, the Specialist manages change through consultations with inter-organizational and internal finance colleagues and outreach to client offices to build understanding of, and ensure open and regular communications pertaining to, current and planned changes in the Fund’s financial standards, regulations and rules.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The incumbent is typically a team leader with accountability for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This may include: (a) People Management through work plan development, recruitment, performance and career management of P and GS staff, as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD; (b) Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into divisional budget preparation exercises; (c) Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring: (i) knowledge content within functional area is continuously updated and available to colleagues and clients; (ii) best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed; and (iii) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available to the Fund’s managers, supervisors and staff; and Information Technology Management through leveraging ERP functionality for improved business results, simplification of transaction and reporting processes, and improved client services.

Position specifics:

FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNER: The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) provides seasoned verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on finance regulations, rules, and procedures, facilitating a mutual understanding of roles and fiduciary accountabilities in direct support of integrity in the management of the Fund’s financial resources. They manage the accounting and reporting process for the relevant Supplementary Funds, with a particular focus on multilateral climate finance donors, to produce managerial reports, IFRS-compliant audited financial statements, and other financial governing body reports, as required. On financial management and reporting matters, they establish and maintain a constructive dialogue and coordination with internal and external stakeholders, including internal and external auditors, supplementary fund donors, and other IFI and UN organizations.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) is a seasoned professional with the capacity to interpret and apply a broad range of international and IFAD financial policies, rules and regulations, as well as standards and techniques. Activities performed by Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) include:

  1. delivering timely and accurate financial information of supplementary funds and hosted entities to internal and external stakeholders;
  2. preparing financial reports, including IFRS-compliant financial statements;
  3. maintaining and updating, when necessary, financial procedures relating to assigned operations;
  4. drafting responses for management on queries raised and views expressed by IFAD’s Governing Bodies and other relevant stakeholders;
  5. preparing timely, substantive replies to internal and external audit observations concerning assigned financial operations;
  6. contributing to Agreement negotiation with supplementary fund donors/recipients, ensuring legal documents reflect sound financial management arrangements and applicable policies and procedures;
  7. playing a key role in GCF, GEF, Rural Resilience Programme (2RP), GASFP financial reporting, expenditure verifications, and other donor-related financial assessments;
  8. providing a wide range of budget services for supplementary funds and related management fees.

Key Performance Indicators

The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) is accountable for authoritative advice and guidance on the Fund’s financial policies, regulations and practices, and authoritative interpretation to resolve difficult and unusual cases. They make recommendations to senior management on questions of financial policy, including those that may be the subject of inter-organizational consultations. The Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) is also accountable for leading and ensuring the accuracy of complete, complex financial operations identified by the variety and number of funding sources, diversity of currencies, and requiremenst for producing various reports to legislative bodies, member governments, and others interested in the activities of the Fund. They achieve finance programme goals and objectives through innovative program design or redesign. The work requires the development of new and/or modifications to existing policies, practices and techniques, as well as the review of Finance Officer and Analyst work performed at lower levels, taking corrective and adaptive actions. They provide technical advice to stakeholders in countries, and lead technical discussions and capacity building in countries assigned. KPIs include efficient performance of assigned finance operations and other responsibilities, technical quality in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs, customer service approach to problem resolution and team leading characteristics, as well as maintaining data integrity on assigned portfolios.

Working Relationships

Internally, the Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance) is the authoritative technical adviser to the Fund’s managers, other budget holders, and staff in their area of assignment, and advocates for accountability and integrity in the allocation and management of the Fund’s financial resources. They manage other professionals, as applicable, and lead improvements to relevant policies and procedures. Contacts extend throughout the organization and may include Country Office management, as needed, internal auditors and evaluation officers. Externally, work relationships require collaboration, coordination and partnership building with local counterparts and external stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of financial rules and procedures, with particular reference to the use of donor funding through contacts with Borrowers and Contributing institutions. They will also represent IFAD and FMD in global technical fora and be in direct contact with external auditors and counterparts in other IFI and UN organizations.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 2:

  • Building relationships and partnerships – Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally.
  • Communicating and negotiating – Acquires & uses a wide range of communication styles & skills.
  • Demonstrating leadership – Leads by example; initiates and supports change.
  • Focusing on clients – Contributes to a client-focused culture.
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating – Challenges, innovates & contributes to learning culture.
  • Managing performance and developing staff – Manages wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization.
  • Managing time, resources and information – Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making – Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact.
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development – Staff in management and/or strategic leadership roles.
  • Team working – Fosters a cohesive team environment.


  • Education includes Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in Accounting, Business Administration, or Finance or related field is required. The advanced university degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) in the above-mentioned subjects plus at least four additional years of relevant professional experience, over and above the minimum number of years of experience outlined below.
  • Degree must be an accredited institution listed on


  • At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience.
  • Three (3) years in an International Financial Institution.

Position-specific experience:

  • At least 5 years of experience with managing a team, to ensure motivation and high
  • Experience working with IFRS is required.
  • Experience in managing expenditure verifications from multilateral donors such as EU, and, budget management of supplementary funds and related management fees is required.
  • Experience in financial reporting to multilateral donors and knowledge of PeopleSoft–Oracle BI systems is considered an asset.
  • Professional training in audit is considered an asset.


  • Professional qualification in CPA, Chartered Accountant, CIPFA designation or equivalent is mandatory.


  • Required English (4 – Excellent)
  • Desirable: French, Spanish, or Arabic (3 – Good)


  • Capital market instruments: Knowledge of capital markets instruments (fixed income, derivatives, loans), risk and performance metrics and quantitative tools of fixed income valuation (cash flow, present value, interest rate risk, duration, etc.).
  • Climate Finance: Finance that aims at reducing emissions, and enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases and aims at reducing vulnerability of, and maintaining and increasing the resilience of, human and ecological systems to negative climate change impacts.
  • Debt capital structure management: Know-how in capital structure planning and implementation, development of efficient mix of debt instruments, Rating agencies reporting and road show material.
  • IFAD financing strategy: Expertise on the Fund`s governing and financial structure, mandate, long-term business strategy, financial rules and regulations.
  • Project financial management: Excellent know-how in project financial management, e.g. internal controls, rural investments, project audit and funds flows.
  • Risk & compliance: Know-how in asset liability management, risk reporting, capital adequacy, quality assurance and compliance (e.g. Anti-money laundering (AML), Know your customer (KYC) processes), etc.
  • Financial crime: Know-how in 3rd party integrity due diligence, KYC, AML, CFT, PEPs, Anti-fraud/corruption and compliance standards, practices and application of industry standard tools and monitoring including professional judgment.
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD’s activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies.
  • Strategy implementation: Ability to lead and manage the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies for IFAD / for respective divisions.
  • Performance management: Know-how in managing performance so that staff supervised deliver on the agreed objectives and meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD. Is proficient in establishing clear performance goals (operational and behavioural) and learning plans as well as in evaluating the performance of staff against the set goals.
  • Confidentiality & Discretion: Establishes self and division as trusted advisor to internal stakeholders by maintaining high level of discretion and confidentiality in assignments; demonstrates sound judgement when dealing with sensitive and/or confidential matters; drives good governance and is a “Culture Carrier” demonstrating IFAD institutional conscience through his/her work.
  • Leadership: Group thought leader, sought out by others and providing mentorship and effective guidance to others; Ability to build trust, inside and outside the organization by acting as a role model for IFAD’s core values and competencies, and to provide a clear sense of direction, mentorship and effective guidance to the team, strategizing the IFAD’s goals, giving the vision, empowering the team and ensuring a positive environment for all.
  • Political acumen: Ability to conduct sound political analysis and understand complex environments, providing options and advice.

IFAD is Equal Opportunity Employer; women are strongly encouraged to apply.

If you are interested, please send your CV and motivation letter to with the Subject: Senior Finance Specialist (Environmental Finance), P4

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted to complete the IFAD selection process.

* This is a two-year, fixed-term, co-terminus position fully financed by supplementary funds. Contract renewal depends on fund availability and/or duration of the project. There is no guarantee of renewal or conversion into another type of contract.