Chief Program Officer

  • Verra
  • Washington, D.C., USA
  • Jan 08, 2020
Full Time Executive / Director Operations Other

Job Description

A global leader helping to tackle the world’s most intractable environmental challenges, Verra seeks a

Chief Program Officer (CPO) to oversee the various standards frameworks Verra currently manages,

ensure effective collaboration with Verra’s Innovation, Market Development and Administrative

teams, and provide strategic input to organizational opportunities and challenges. The CPO will

directly supervise Directors responsible for managing diverse teams working on the day-to-day

implementation of Verra programs, the development of program elements, including those related to

REDD+ and AFOLU, and management of the Verra registry.

The ideal candidate will have:

• Significant experience managing standards and their associated programmatic elements,

including the development of accounting methodologies, working with auditors and ensuring

the quality of their work, and overseeing a registry system;

• A keen understanding of the evolving policy frameworks affecting climate change action, the

achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other environmental and

social problems;

• Expertise working with external stakeholders and the ability to understand market and user

needs, to inform the ongoing evolution of Verra’s portfolio of standards;

• Deep understanding of REDD+ and nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation; and

• Proven expertise managing teams, including being detail-oriented and well organized with

excellent staff and project management skills.

About Verra

Verra develops and manages standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society

achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals. Currently, Verra manages the

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program and its Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ framework (JNR),

the Verra California Offset Project Registry (OPR), the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB)

Standards, and the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta). Verra is currently

developing standards under the Reduce, Recover, and Recycle (3R) Initiative to increase the value of

waste plastic and promote its recovery and recycling, and is working on the development of


LandScale, an effort to drive sustainability across productive landscapes. Verra’s global standards

frameworks serve as linchpins for channeling finance towards high-impact activities that tackle some

of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.

Job Responsibilities

The Chief Program Officer will lead the management of Verra’s existing standards programs and help

launch new standards programs for addressing global environmental and social challenges. The Chief

Program Officer will:

• Manage the Directors working to ensure the delivery and overall success of all active Verra

standards frameworks;

• Provide strategic leadership on Verra’s standards and programs, positioning them for success

in the context of changing market and policy dynamics and ensuring they continue to

effectively drive finance towards climate action and sustainable development;

• Work with market stakeholders and existing/potential framework users to understand and

respond to trends, risks and opportunities faced by Verra’s standards;

• Serve as one of the principal spokespersons for Verra at international forums, such as the

international negotiations on climate change, carbon and environmental conferences and

other gatherings;

• Conduct regular reviews of program operations and recommend corrective actions where


• Collaborate with Verra’s Innovation Team to provide standards implementation leadership to

new Verra initiatives, including LandScale and 3R Standards for Project and Corporate

Accounting, to ensure the effective development of these frameworks and taking over

management of the associated standards programs, as appropriate, once ready to be


• Collaborate with Verra’s Market Development team to ensure use and uptake of Verra

standards, and to gather feedback from users and other stakeholders to inform changes and

improvements to the full suite of Verra standards;

• Lead the development of the Program Department’s annual budget; and

• Participate in Verra’s executive team and contribute to the strategic direction of the


Required Qualifications

We encourage proven leaders who bring strong experience working on standards and who are

excellent managers to apply for this position. In addition, applicants should have outstanding written

and verbal communication skills, and expertise in environmental or other sustainability-related

markets. Successful candidates for the Chief Program Officer position will have at least 10 years of

demonstrated professional experience related to:


• The development and/or implementation of standards and their related programs;

• Detailed technical knowledge of at least one standard and the related programmatic

infrastructure needed to operationalize it;

• Nature-based solutions such as REDD+, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) or

landscape approaches;

• Managing teams of professionals;

• Cross-team collaboration and building effective working relationships with peers;

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills;

• Strong organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and work efficiently and

effectively under deadlines;

• Dynamic interpersonal skills, capable of maintaining a professional approach and demeanor in

high-pressure situations;

• Cultural awareness, with the ability to work well with stakeholders and partners from

different countries and cultures; and

• Self-starter with an ability to excel in a professional environment with limited supervision.

Employees based in the US must be eligible to work in the United States (i.e., US citizen or holding

current work authorization).

Preferred Qualifications:

• Graduate degree in environmental studies/sciences, sustainable development, engineering,

energy, or a related field.

• Solid network of contacts in any of the markets served by our programs.

• Fluency in a language beyond English.


Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive. Verra has established pay bands that

are based on market data for comparable positions for each of its jobs. These bands express a salary

range and provide a reference point for offers to new hires, raises within a job, and for promotions

from one job to another.

Verra offers a very attractive benefits package, including 22-30 days of paid time off plus holidays,

retirement contributions, access to flexible savings accounts, and a choice of top-tier health plans.

Organization type



11-50 employees  


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