Senior Program Manager

  • Verra
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Jul 10, 2020

Job Description

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 helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve livelihoods and protect 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 is looking for a Senior Program Manager to manage Verra’s programs including the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ framework (JNR), the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards and the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta).

A day with Verra’s collaborative Program Team might include...

  • Leading discussion with the Program Team and other relevant members of the organization to determine solutions to unique issues that arise for users of the VCS, CCB, and SD VISta Programs.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders (i.e., project proponents, VVBs, and other market participants) to track evolving policy and market dynamics, gather feedback on Verra standards, and discuss ways to streamline and/or strengthen program requirements and procedures.
  • Reviewing and providing feedback on project submissions, methodology reviews and research assignments completed by members of the Program Team and helping to resolve key issues.
  • Coordinating with other Verra teams (i.e., Innovation; REDD+; Outreach and Communications) to ensure synchronization on key opportunities and challenges (e.g., ensuring recognition and effective integration of the VCS Program in key emerging markets such as CORSIA, South Africa, etc.).

Specific functions you will be responsible for leading... 

  • Positioning the Verra programs for success in the context of changing policy dynamics in coordination with the Director of Programs. This includes gathering and synthesizing input via participation in relevant working groups and conferences and through research on emerging markets and policies, and ultimately developing and implementing improvements to Verra program operations and rules.
  • Supervising and serving as an expert resource for a team of program officers, ensuring that the Verra programs run smoothly at all times. This includes managing our processes, including project quality reviews, auditor oversight, and stakeholder enquiry management.
  • Providing guidance, support, and mentorship to the Program Team staff.
  • Serving as an internal and external go-to resource for technical matters, particularly as related to natural climate solutions and other AFOLU issues (in coordination with the REDD+ Director).
  • Collaborating with other internal Verra teams, including:
    • the Registry Team to ensure close coordination on project registration and credit issuance processes;
    • the Outreach and Communications teams to ensure Verra programs respond to and incorporate broad market feedback as well as effectively communicate relevant program updates;
    • relevant regional staff to ensure sufficient support to projects, auditors and other key stakeholders around the world; and,
    • the Innovations team to support expansion and integration of new ideas, tools concepts and standards into Verra’s programs, such as innovations emerging from the Agricultural Land Management, Blue Carbon, and other sequestration-related working groups.
  • Representing Verra at external meetings and events.

You bring with you...

  • Direct work experience in Natural Climate Solutions (e.g., AFOLU, REDD+ or other nature-based solutions), preferably within the context of project development or auditing, carbon markets, or sustainable development, and with a detailed knowledge of GHG quantification methodologies, baselines, additionality, leakage, non-permanence, and monitoring.
  • 7-10 years of relevant professional experience, preferably working for a standards organization, NGO, government, project developer and/or validation and verification body.
  • A relevant university degree, with a master’s degree preferred.
  • At least five years of work experience building and managing technical teams and demonstrated success in leading collaborative teams to produce significant outcomes.
  • An existing network of key organizations and individuals working on climate change action.
  • Good interpersonal skills; capable of maintaining a professional approach and demeanor in high-pressure situations, and able to provide support and levity for team members.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Fluency in English is essential.

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

  • 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.
  • Finding effective ways to improve and streamline Verra program procedures where possible, while ensuring the quality of projects and units and collaboratively addressing issues with a solution-oriented mindset.
  • Expanding your network of professionals working in the climate and sustainable development space, including government officials, private sector actors, NGOs, and others.
  • Supporting the development of a junior team of professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, experience levels, and expertise.

You will know you are successful, if...

  • Verra continues to be the leading standard-setting organization in respect of certifying climate change and sustainable development impacts from projects and programs.
  • Verra’s programs are recognized as providing the highest level of rigor, integrity and workability.
  • The Verra Program Team remains motivated while continuously improving the usability and rigor of Verra programs.
  • Verra stakeholders consistently express positive feedback in respect of Verra’s management of its programs.

You will join a team...

  • From diverse locations and backgrounds, including carbon market experts, ex-government representatives, auditors, and more.
  • Committed to driving finance to projects and programs that advance climate action and sustainable development through high-quality standards and programs.
  • That embodies the values Verra has established for itself, and which include Teamwork, Results, Integrity, Balance and Exploration.

Compensation at Verra

To help us attract and retain top talent, we pay 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 $85,000 to USD $97,000.

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:

  • 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), sabbatical and other leave allowances; and
  • Funds to support professional development.

Organization Type


Organization Size



Funding, Advocacy & Activism