CESR is Hiring a Program Officer (Environmental & Climate Justice)

Are you passionate about transforming the economic system? Experienced in climate and human rights issues? Help us grow the capacity, diversity and reach of our vibrant global team working for a rights-based economy.

CESR is seeking a Program Officer with a proven commitment to human rights, economic and environmental justice to play a key role in achieving our programmatic goals. This is a vital position, which will help us expand our work to new communities, issues, and audiences. In particular, the Program Officer will lead CESR’s work on building linkages between human rights and climate and environmental justice— ensuring that we are able to more frontally take on the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change. This includes contributing to our work on the rights-based economy and on responses to COVID-19.

Who We Are

We are an international non-governmental organization that works to harness the power of human rights to inspire fairer and more sustainable economies. Our vision is of a world in which a just distribution of resources and power enables current and future generations to live with dignity, in full enjoyment of their economic and social rights.  With a budget of US$1.4m and a 14-strong staff team of human rights and economic justice advocates across four continents, we are currently embarked on a multi-year strategy aimed at envisioning a human rights-based economy and catalyzing collective action towards it. This is an exciting opportunity for a researcher, advocate and/or activist to join a well-respected, high-impact international organization that is working to advance a more just, equitable and rights-based economy in the context of climate breakdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.
What You’ll Do
Reporting to CESR´s Director of Program, the Program Officer devises and implements effective strategies for research, advocacy, skills-building and movement-bridging, aimed at fulfilling the objectives of CESR’s organizational strategy.  Specific responsibilities include:

Research and policy

  • Conducting rigorous qualitative and quantitative research - with a political economy and human rights lens -  to identify trends in relevant policy areas (especially climate finance and investment in climate adaptation and mitigation) and document how they impact human rights enjoyment and affect structural inequalities within and between countries;

  • Putting forward evidence-based and human rights-aligned policy proposals, which complement those of our partners and allies especially in the Global South, as well as with the demands of those communities who are most affected.

Advocacy and relationship building

  • Designing and executing collaborative advocacy strategies to highlight the negative human and environmental impacts of economic policies and hold powerful actors (e.g. governments, multinational corporations and international financial institutions) accountable for them;

  • Expanding CESR’s network of allies and partners; building strategic, trusting and mutually strengthening relationships, particularly with actors in the climate and environmental justice communities and with local activists and community groups;

  • Undertaking skill-sharing and learning activities with partners and allies (in a variety of countries) relating to the application of human rights in economic and environmental policy debates.
  • Producing high-quality and compelling outputs making the link between economic and climate/environmental justice and human rights, with a particular emphasis on clear, gender responsive, accessible materials that can bridge the gaps between movements.

Project management and strategy implementation

  • Managing, overseeing and contributing to selected projects in fulfilment of these objectives. This includes: ensuring collaborations with external partners are strategic and meet high standards of transparency, trust and mutual learning; collaborating internally with other CESR staff to develop our organizational expertise and advocacy strategies; and contributing to monitoring, learning and evaluation efforts to assess and guide our progress.

Who You Are

To be successful in this position, you will have:


  • At least 5 years of increasingly responsible professional experience working on environmental or climate justice issues (ideally in the Global South), looking at how they intersect with human rights and/or economic justice; 

  • Solid research experience, ideally in more than one discipline, and some familiarity with quantitative research methods;

  • Ability to apply research findings to construct powerful arguments and advocacy  strategies;

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to summarize complex information (including quantitative data and statistical information) in powerful, concise forms;

  • Experience working with local and community activists, and/or in civil society / social movement coalitions, and excellent skills at building and maintaining respectful, trusting, horizontal, dynamic collaborations;

  • Familiarity with advocacy on human rights, economic or environmental issues with governments and/or multilateral institutions such as the UN (e.g. UNFCCC, UNEP and COP, regional processes, UNCTAD, UNFfD), OECD, IMF, World Bank and/ other multilateral development banks;

  • Familiarity with human rights standards and frameworks, and an understanding of how they relate to the economy and the environment;

  • Strong project management skills, close attention to detail, and ability to juggle several different projects;

  • Commitment to the values of CESR, to equity and justice in the workplace and in the wider world;
 in line with our organizational values, candidates from the Global South are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Postgraduate qualification in economics, environmental policy, law, political science, development, human rights or similar field (or an exceptionally strong track record of work which shows equivalent expertise);
  • Fluency in English is required; working knowledge of other languages is a strong advantage. 

What Else You Need to Know

We’re looking for someone to start relatively soon, ideally beginning in November/December 2021.

The location is flexible, provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured. CESR is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the state of New York, USA, and currently retains an office in New York City. However, since 2020, its international staff team is currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe that our current economic model disproportionately hurts the most disadvantaged people in our societies, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ people, and those from working class backgrounds—particularly in the Global South. In line with our commitment to embodying equity and justice in our work and workplace, we aim to center these communities in the work we do, and therefore strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other disadvantaged communities.

The salary range for this position is between USD 52-72,000, depending on experience and location, considering relative cost of living and the need to ensure equity and comparability within the team.

CESR also offers a range of benefits, depending on the location of the individual, and 22 days of paid annual leave in addition to public holidays and end of year leave. CESR recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace, so we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements which might work for you.

How to Apply

Prospective candidates should fill out this form, and upload their CV and a writing sample (2 pages max) as instructed.  The deadline for applications is Friday 17 September 2021. Due to the volume of expected applications, we will likely be unable to respond to individual queries, but we expect to be in touch with shortlisted candidates by late September.