Director, Financial Innovations, Verra – Washington DC/Remote

Published 23:18 on October 8, 2021  /  Last updated at 23:18 on October 8, 2021  /  Job Postings  /  No Comments

Verra is creating the new role of Director, Financial Innovations, to lead the development and implementation of Verra’s strategy for standards-related financial, investment and insurance innovations.

Verra is a global leader helping to tackle the world’s most intractable environmental and social challenges. As a mission-driven non-profit organization, Verra is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving livelihoods, and protecting natural resources across the private and public sectors. We support climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools, and programs that credibly, transparently, and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and enable funding for sustaining and scaling up projects that verifiably deliver these benefits. We work in any arena where we see a need for clear standards, a role for market-based mechanisms, and an opportunity to generate significant environmental and social value.

Verra manages a portfolio of standards, including the:

  • Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) — the world’s leading carbon crediting program, with more than 1600 registered projects in 80 countries, and accounting for two-thirds of all voluntary carbon market transaction volume.
  • Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) — a flexible framework for assessing and reporting on the sustainable development benefits of project-based activities.
  • Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards — to identify projects that simultaneously address climate change, support local communities, and conserve biodiversity.
  • Plastic Waste Reduction Program — to enable robust impact assessment of new or scaled-up waste recovery and recycling projects around the globe.

Verra is creating the new role of Director, Financial Innovations, to lead the development and implementation of Verra’s strategy for standards-related financial, investment and insurance innovations.

A day with Verra’s Innovation Team might include:

  • Researching the potential for new financial products and services to address carbon project development, transaction and funding barriers (e.g., securing early finance to undertake reforestation efforts that may take decades before generating carbon credits) and unlock major new investment in GHG mitigation.
  • Exploring how tokens issued on third-party blockchain registries could be used to reach new audiences and drive additional investment into climate action and sustainable development (SD) projects.
  • Working with the Verra Registry team to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to successfully launch and manage the new Projected Carbon Unit (PCU).
  • Engaging with major insurance providers to identify the potential for insurance products to address non-permanence (reversal) risks as a complement or alternative to the current VCS buffer approach.
  • Collaborating with the Policy & Markets team to develop a coordinated engagement strategy for the financial industry.

Specific functions you will be responsible for leading: 

  • Developing and directing Verra’s strategy for standards-related financial, investment and insurance innovations, including potential products and services that could be developed by Verra or third parties.
  • Engaging standards users and financial industry players to assess investment needs, identify potential Verra led or linked offerings (including new assets, standards and programs), and collaborate/partner to advance the most promising opportunities for driving additional investment into carbon projects.
  • Finalizing the design of Verra’s Projected Carbon Unit (PCU), determining the VCS Program infrastructure needed for implementation, and operationalizing and launching the new unit.
  • Managing PCU-related stakeholder relationships and issues arising from the regulatory treatment of PCUs, as well as other potential investment-enabling assets or programs that may be developed by Verra.
  • Supporting developers and managers of blockchain and other transaction platforms issuing tokens (e.g. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)) linked to VCUs or other Verra units, as a means of scaling investment in climate and SD action.
  • Collaborating with insurance providers and project proponents to develop or link new third-party and self-insurance products to the VCS, and potentially other Verra standards, to cost-effectively and robustly mitigate project (including non-permanence) and investment risks.
  • Assessing the ongoing resiliency of the VCS buffer pool and approach (including stress testing the system through modeling potential reversal scenarios), and developing recommendations for addressing any potential challenges or risks to the long-term health of the buffer.
  • Assessing existing and emerging financial regulations and fintech that might affect Verra standards, and developing recommendations for potential actions that should be taken to mitigate possible risks and take advantage of worthwhile opportunities.
  • Working with Verra’s Policy & Markets and Program teams to ensure that any proposed financial innovations support Verra’s market-facing strategy and could be effectively implemented under existing or new Verra programs and infrastructure.
  • Represent Verra at relevant industry conferences, workshops, and events.

You bring with you:

  • A degree, preferably graduate-level, in business, commerce, finance, economics, carbon/environmental markets, or related field.
  • A decade of relevant professional experience, with at least five years of experience in project finance/investment, ideally related to carbon markets.
  • Financial market experience, ideally working with project developers, investors, and other players looking to increase investment into carbon and sustainable development projects.
  • Track record of successfully formulating and executing complex strategies. An ability to think creatively and in a solution-oriented manner is essential.
  • An existing network of key organizations and individuals working in financial markets and/or the carbon finance space.
  • Experience overseeing teams and supporting strategic partnerships, demonstrating success in leading collaborative endeavors to produce significant outcomes.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; capable of maintaining a professional approach and demeanor in high-pressure situations, and able to provide support and guidance to other Verra team members.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Fluency in English is essential. Fluency in other languages would be an advantage.

In this role, you will grow and expand your expertise by:

  • Supporting the creation of new fintech assets, tools and programs to significantly scale-up investment in climate and SD action.
  • Developing creative and scalable solutions to addressing key financial challenges associated with the development and implementation of carbon projects.
  • Working at the cutting edge of programs designed to drive finance towards high-impact activities that tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.
  • Leading, developing, and implementing a strategy to ensure Verra financial innovations are robust, respond to market needs, and provide workable solutions that drive climate action and sustainable development.
  • Expanding your network of professionals working on climate change and sustainable development (SD), including industry players, technology providers, NGOs, and others.
  • Learn from a diverse group of climate and SD thought leaders and other talented professionals at Verra.

You will know you are successful, if:

  • Verra financial innovations are recognized as providing the highest level of rigor, integrity, and workability, and are playing a key role in dramatically scaling up investment in carbon projects.
  • Verra continues to be the leading standards organization in the voluntary carbon market, with financial innovations playing an increasing role in its work and partnerships.
  • Verra is recognized by the global investment community as the most innovative and impactful standards setter enabling and leveraging fintech.
  • Verra stakeholders consistently express positive feedback regarding Verra’s management of its financial innovations and their impact.

You will join a team:

  • From diverse locations and backgrounds, including carbon market experts, project developers, consultants, policymakers, technology implementers, researchers, auditors, and more.
  • Committed to driving finance at scale to projects and programs that advance climate action and sustainable development through high-quality standards and programs.
  • That embodies Verra’s values, which include Teamwork, Results, Integrity, Balance, and Exploration.

Compensation at Verra

To help us attract and retain top talent, Verra pays employees competitively to the market. In return, we expect each employee to, at a minimum:

  • Meet expectations in terms of work effort and performance;
  • Take the initiative to build the skills and knowledge needed to do their job effectively; and
  • Embody Verra’s values.

For this position, the salary range is USD $98,000 – $112,000, depending on experience.

We will recognize employees who go beyond expected performance with salary increases and/or promotions, but the bar for earning those rewards is high.

Salary is one component of Verra’s total compensation package, which also includes:

  • Top-tier health, vision and dental care, and life insurance;
  • Verra contributions to each employee’s retirement plan;
  • Verra contributions as required by national labor laws in countries where staff are located;
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) comprising 22-30 days plus ten floating holidays, sabbatical after five years of service, and other leave allowances; and
  • Funds to support professional development.

How to Apply

To apply, please send us the following:

  • Cover letter (not to exceed one page)
  • Resume/CV (not to exceed two pages)

Apply here

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Verra provides equal opportunity for all job applicants and employees and is committed to providing a work environment free of discrimination. We conduct our recruitment and hiring without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetics, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, and local law.

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