New York City (United States of America)
The IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab designs, tests, and scales life-changing, cost-effective solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. By applying the IRC’s deep technical expertise and field experience with a range of skills from the behavioral sciences, human-centered design, rigorous research, and multi-disciplinary problem-solving in humanitarian contexts, we work to develop breakthrough solutions that combine creativity and rigor, openness and expertise, and a desire to think afresh with the experience of a large-scale implementing organization.
Global humanitarian budgets are not keeping pace with our clients’ needs and aspirations. The Airbel Impact Lab’s Innovative Finance Practice is designing and testing new approaches to raising finance, and impactful new ways to use funds before, during and after humanitarian crises to deliver better outcomes for clients. Following a year landscaping recent financing innovations and designing a series of pilots, IRC is now starting to test, learn from, and scale pragmatic solutions to the most acute financing challenges facing crisis-affected communities.
Our work is structured around two streams of innovation: (i) humanitarian and resilience investing (HRI) and (ii) crisis risk financing (CRF).
Our HRI work attempts to align investment capital behind humanitarian objectives, generating both financial returns for investors and impact for crisis-affected communities. To ensure we add most value relative to private sector and official investors, IRC’s primary function over the medium-term will be as advisor, shaping how others’ assets are allocated for impact. This could include advising companies and investors on how to articulate and monitor meaningful humanitarian outcomes; advising new entrants on crisis risks in frontier markets that could affect a transaction’s financial returns and impact; and identifying and advising on risks of doing unintentional harm, helping to protect crisis-affected communities and uphold humanitarian principles. The objective is to enhance impact and help mitigate financial risk, unlocking ever greater flows of capital contributing to humanitarian objectives.
Our CRF work seeks to enhance IRC’s effectiveness directly, by building on our pioneering Crisis Response Fund to prearrange more finance before crises hit. This includes collaborating with IRC’s crisis analysts to understands the risks that we, our local partners, and crisis-affected communities face; and designing purpose-built risk-financing solutions to help manage these threats more effectively.
The Investment Lead will drive forward the HRI stream of innovations, building out a portfolio of advisory projects to realign capital behind humanitarian objectives, recruiting a small team to deliver across this portfolio, and representing the innovative finance practice with senior IRC leaders and externally. Current pipeline projects include advising a development bank and sovereign utility on community engagement in relation to an infrastructure project in the Middle East; advising high-nutrient food producers on how to maximise their contribution to tackling malnutrition and demonstrate outcomes to investors; and advising standard setting bodies on how to design disclosures aligned with humanitarian standards.
The Investment Lead is expected to work across IRC’s global network, requiring versatility and commitment to valuing our colleagues’ diverse perspectives. Reflecting the team’s focus on innovation in frontier markets, the preferred candidate will bring with them experience and network in a venture capital, private equity, and/or management consulting. They will combine this expertise with experience in crisis-affected or at-risk countries and regions.
Build and oversee portfolio of advisory projects, working with IRC colleagues, development finance institutions, and private sector corporates and investors
•Detail IRC’s advisory offering in relation to innovative finance
oBuilding on existing analysis, identify IRC’s value proposition relative to the advisory market and other humanitarian agencies.
oIdentify potential revenue models, including grants, blended revenue models, fees and less orthodox models.
oIdentify operational, financial and reputational risks and mitigants.
oDraft and secure approval for IRC’s medium-term HRI strategy, based on the detailed advisory offering.
•Build and deliver a portfolio of advisory projects aligned with IRC’s HRI strategy
oIdentify and prioritize a pipeline of advisory opportunities through networks with development finance institutions and private sector corporates and investors.
oConvert priority opportunities into funded projects, in partnership with colleagues across Airbel, IRC’s technical units and country programs.
oDeliver and oversee projects and overall portfolio quality, working within the Airbel Impact Lab’s governance framework.
Build and manage a diverse team of advisors
•Identify staffing requirements and recruit
oIdentify the skillsets required to deliver specific advisory projects and maintain portfolio quality. These skillsets will include technical finance capabilities and humanitarian expertise, including lived experience of the crises we work on.
oLead recruitment and onboarding of advisors to deliver across the portfolio by embodying IRC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
•Lead and manage innovative finance advisory team
oThe successful candidate will manage the first round of hires to deliver an initial portfolio of advisory projects.
oThis means setting clear vision and actionable milestones for the team and each member, managing progress towards individual and collective objectives, providing pastoral support as required, investing in reports’ learning and development, and championing IRC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our work.
Key Working Relationships:
●Position Reports to: IRC’s Chief Research and Innovation Officer
●Other Internal and/or external contacts:
○Nutrition and Education Global Research and Innovation Priority Leads
○Economic Recovery and Development Technical Unit
○Regional and Country Directors
○World Economic Forum
○Gulf International Bank
The role requires a lead who is well versed in finance so they can drive technical conversations, as well as familiar with the contexts in which we work, demonstrating strong judgement on the feasibility of new ideas in addressing humanitarian crises. More important than a formal educational background, we’re seeking someone who has excelled at taking concepts from idea to execution, navigating ambiguity and many different stakeholders. This experience can come from many different kind of organizations and roles; we’re interested in seeing how you have pushed through barriers to initiate new operating models and modes of working.
Education: no formal requirements, though undergraduate, postgraduate or professional training in business accounting and corporate finance would be welcome
●Minimum 6-8 years’ experience in venture capital, private equity, development finance, other relevant financial services or management consulting, ideally in frontier markets and regions.
●Experience working with development and humanitarian agencies, ideally in crisis-affected contexts and regions.
●Demonstrated expertise in development finance and innovative finance as it relates to humanitarian objectives.
●Outstanding network in two or more of the following fields: venture capital, private equity, management consulting, humanitarian NGOs/UN agencies, development finance, philanthropic giving, public sector donors.
●Strong leadership and management competencies including the ability to bring people along with a stated vision and strategy, and capacity to communicate effectively with IRC field leadership, technical peers, and colleagues in fundraising, communications and advocacy
●Demonstrated experience in articulating funding needs and cultivating a portfolio of fundraising opportunities from concept through execution, and ongoing donor/partner stewardship.
●Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to successfully and effectively liaise with a variety of people in a multicultural environment and work on a virtual team.
●Flexible work attitude, proactive and demonstrated creativity: the ability to work productively in a team environment and the ability to problem solve creatively with minimal guidance;
●Excellent organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities in a fast-paced team environment;
●Commitment to humanitarian principles and IRC’s values, including a demonstrable commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
●Standard office work environment
●Up to 20% travel
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct.These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability.In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.