Senior Climate Adaptation Programme Manager

Reports to Chief Strategy Officer
Advanced, Alchemist
26 Aug 2022
Any EIT Climate-KIC Hub



EIT Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) is Europe’s foremost climate innovation initiative. Our mission is to leverage the power of innovation to build a zero-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive society. Climate-KIC’s strategy, Transformation, in Time, responds to the need for a 1.5° aligned, systemic approach to reversing global warming and developing climate resilience, commensurate with the complexity, scale and requisite pace of response to the climate challenge.

Established in 2010 and headquartered in Amsterdam, we orchestrate a community of more than 400 organisations comprised of large corporations and SMEs, municipal and regional governments, universities and research institutes, as well as non-governmental organisations and uncommon actors. We are an organisation of circa 160 people. We operate out of 13 hubs across Europe and conduct activities in 39 countries globally. We have historically managed €80-100 million per year in grants, provided predominantly by our founder and core funder, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). We are transitioning to a multi-funder model with the objective of maintaining a large scale mobilisation of funds for innovative climate action.

We use a portfolio approach for developing and deploying innovation, entrepreneurship, education and community mobilisation to unlock structural change in systems where emissions are tough to reduce and resilience is lacking – cities, land-use, industry, and finance. We do so by combining activities and innovation outputs from applied research, learning and reskilling, start-up incubation, movement building and innovation ecosystem building. Over the last ten years, we have supported more than 4,500 businesses, in over 50 countries, that have gone on to attract over €1.5 bln of capital and featured regularly in the Forbes 30 under 30 European list. Our education programmes have influenced the lives of over 45,000 people who have launched a movement building an alumni community. In 2019, we launched Deep Demonstrations, a demand-led methodology for composing innovation portfolios across technology, policy, finance, social change, citizen engagement, and other relevant levers of change, in order to generate options and test transition pathways for place-based systems and value chains.

Our goals for 2027 are to ensure that 200,000 people across Europe are equipped with enhanced climate-relevant innovation and entrepreneurial skills; 10 million people benefit from improved resilience to the impacts of climate change; 50 cities, countries, regions and large scale businesses across Europe are achieving net-zero as a result of a partnership with EIT Climate-KIC; 500 million tons of CO2 eq. emissions have been avoided cumulatively and we have succeeded in leveraging €100 bln to scale-up innovations tackling climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Purpose of the Role

EIT Climate-KIC has been developing some of the most exciting and innovative programmes to lead step changes in place-based transformative climate adaptation. Two key ideas and practice-based approaches dominate both part of the UN Race to Resilience campaign.

The first involves working with regional governments to design and deliver multiple, connected innovations simultaneously to test and learn how a region can rapidly advance its level of climate resilience. This has been trialed with four European regions through EIT Climate-KIC’s Forging Regional Resilience Deep Demonstration and will now be scaled to dozens more regions in partnership with the EU Adaptation Mission.

The second involves developing multiple regional economic innovation clusters to take advantage of the fast growing climate adaptation economy. It focuses on matching supply and demand and nurturing innovation ecosystems that seed and scale multiple climate adaptation goods, services and approaches through start-up businesses, SMEs and community groups. Trial programmes are advancing in Tanzania and Sierra Leone, with plans to work in several other locations globally.

EIT Climate-KIC wishes to recruit two Senior Programme Managers, one for each of these programmes. The roleholder will be responsible for ensuring excellence in delivery by designing and shepherding processes, managing diverse and multiple relationships among consortium partners, and providing operating frameworks. This role will collaborate intensively with internal stakeholders too, and contribute to overall leadership, strategy design and further development to maximise impact. The roleholder will be central to establishing and maintaining effective communications with funding bodies and with key challenge owners in Regional Governments and other bodies.

The role entails working closely and constantly with consortium delivery partners, as well as with advisory groups and other layers of management and governance as needed. Effective delegation of activities and tasks, resource planning, and financial management will all be additional primary leadership contributions of this role. Deep knowledge and a track record of working on large EU projects will be a crucial element for one of the roles.
We are seeking an experienced practitioner with a blend of leadership, management, and climate adaptation content expertise to serve as a Senior Climate Adaptation Programme Manager. The roleholder will need to be adept at multi-stakeholder governance and relationship management, all aspects of programme management (e.g., process design and facilitation, impact frameworks and accountability tools, project documentation, conflict management, decision-making), and above all committed to doing what it takes to enable bold and transformative change, building confidence in others, and at the same time supporting multiple projects.

Mindset matters hugely. We are looking for someone who understands the systemic work central to what EIT Climate-KIC is trying to achieve, offers creativity and pragmatism in fostering excellence in execution, and has the sophistication and experience to build and hold multiple and diverse relationships.

Given the nature of the work and EIT Climate-KIC’s overall thought leadership and practice-based innovation role on climate resilience, we need the roleholder to have technical expertise in climate adaptation, where knowledge and experience of innovation-led approaches are valuable.

The role will be a member of the EIT Climate-KIC’s Adaptation Team, part of our overall Team of Teams approach which allows us to operate with agility to bring the capability together we need to support delivery. We are looking for a successful candidate in this role to play a critical part in role modeling supportive and collaborative leadership, working closely with teams to empower decision making and good management and to evolve our ways of working to model the change we want to see in the world.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership on Execution

  • Participate in the leadership of EIT Climate-KIC’s climate adaptation programming in close collaboration with the Chief Strategy Office and other members of the Adaptation Team.. Contribute to and inform decision-making processes of the programme, ensuring governance processes are informed by all relevant aspects of the projects and programmes, and managing workflows to foster timely and strategic decision-making and communications.
  • Liaise with all consortium partners to ensure overall coordination of workflows, facilitate information sharing and collaborative problem solving throughout the process, build consortium partner trust and synergies, and enable communications work to have ready access to all relevant information.
  • Manage all consortium partner interactions related to project execution and performance management, in close collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC’s internal stakeholders.
  • Establish and manage all processes for effective programme documentation, to ensure high levels of information sharing and effective reporting and funder oversight. Adapt and deploy performance management tools and techniques to foster excellence and positive accountability among consortium partners.
  • Ensure all regions and city-regions connected with EIT Climate-KIC programme delivery are in regular dialogue to solicit information, recommend process improvement needs, and communicate across consortia effectively.

Process Design and Workflow Oversight

  • Lead design of project and programme processes consistent with strategic objectives, multiple stakeholders and relationship management needs, and high levels of public interest.
  • Direct and support all consortium partners in operating in an aligned and consistent fashion, using established tools and processes.
  • Set and direct all internal reporting processes and protocols, and manage internal consortium partners to ensure excellent and consistent internal communications.
  • Ensure funder communications and documentation needs are established and clearly understood across relevant consortia and manage activities to execute on these reporting and documentation needs.

Accountability Management with Key Stakeholders

  • Work in close collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC internal team to identify and establish key performance goals and indicators for individuals across the programme, especially those involved in the overall project and programme governance and management of various major activities.
  • Assist in proactive managing all layers of project and programme governance and oversight.
  • Lead activities to build a culture of operational excellence across consortia, including facilitating feedback processes and identifying tools to support the operational needs of specific projects.
  • Engage with consortia partners to identify operational issues, overall project needs, and other problems that affect the execution of the project, and work carefully with the Programme Director and others to solve issues and problems proactively.

Learning and Impact

  • Facilitate collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC Learning Services team and consortia partners leading work related impact frameworks and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning to advance shared learning, foster effective use of sensemaking and peer-learning processes, and appropriate and consistent impact frameworks in individual cities and to the programme as a whole.
  • Enable and facilitate collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC Communications team to identify and collect powerful stories from participating regions and entities to support digital communications, dissemination of actions and outcomes with key stakeholders, and general awareness raising.
  • Engage with consortia partners to identify success stories, failures, programming learnings, and problem solving to improve the execution and effectiveness of the project.

Business Development

  • Lead and participate in additional attempts to fundraise for programmes to maximise impact and scale given the criticality of the climate resilience challenge.
  • Contribute to funder outreach, pitching, proposal writing and preparation for delivery as required, helping to ensure a strong connection between existing projects and new projects.

Key Working Relationships

  • EIT Climate-KIC Management Team
  • Consortium Partners
  • EIT Climate Adaptation Team and other internal stakeholders
  • Regional Government and other Entities
  • Funder staff and representatives
  • Other stakeholders

Required Background and Qualifications


  • Relevant academic degree or qualification, ideally connected with climate adaptation. A relevant post graduate degree is highly desirable.
  • Proven experience, expertise, and track record as a practitioner in climate action and sustainability with a focus on climate resilience/adaptation.
  • Proven experience, expertise, and track record on programme and project management, particularly in complex projects and with multiple, diverse partnerships


  • Programme and project management with large, complex projects and multiple partners.
  • Knowledge and experience in supporting senior decision-making, facilitating and enabling excellent problem-solving, and helping individuals and teams consistently deliver high-quality results.
  • Experience designing, refining and using performance management tools and processes, particularly those linked to complex projects with multiple partners.
  • Demonstrated experience with and understanding of EU funding processes and projects; experience and expertise in documentation and reporting. (N.B. This is critical for one of the roles we are seeking to fill).
  • Influential communication and coaching with an ability to build leadership capacity and shape behaviours, working closely with individuals at different stages of maturity and seniority.
  • Planning, organisation, coordination, multitasking, problem solving and prioritisation under pressure with minimal supervision.
  • Strategic thinking with the ability to influence and support self-reflection and to provide developmental and performance related feedback.


  • Comfort and confidence working at systems levels, working in areas of complexity and uncertainty with multiple partners and relationships.
  • A high degree of confidence in managing accountability across a partnership, good at fostering decision-making with a consideration of risk and following through on commitments to completion.
  • Strong ability to build positive and fruitful relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, and manage relationships at a senior level and in different geographies.
  • Highly-developed adaptive leadership/leadership in complexity skills, emphasizing listening to learn, empathy, human-centered design, agility, empowerment, and collaboration.
  • Familiarity and proficiency in coaching others; able to build capacity by investing in the development of others and in the development of self.
  • Fluency in English, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and ideally in at least one other European language

Qualities, Personal Style, and Approach

  • Articulate and dynamic, with highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate people.
  • Highly adaptable, flexible, and resilient: able to work effectively in ambiguity and complexity and to respond dynamically to change.
  • Customer service ethos and commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Solutions focused, with a “can do” attitude; willing to undertake a range of tasks to meet needs.
  • Deeply curious, perceptive, respectful and resilient; oriented toward networking with people and teams and sharing expertise.
  • Gravitas with an ability to build trust.
  • Proactive, creative, and pragmatic.

How to apply

Applicants will be preferred who speak more than one language, ideally a continental European language, in addition to fluency in written and spoken English.

Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing concisely how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.

Please send your full application to

Please note that interviews will take place between the 25th of August – the 1st of September 2022.

Our application and recruitment process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should be written in English and consist of:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.
  • your current salary
  • where you saw this role advertised.

Please send your full application using the “apply now” button above. You should state your full name, followed by the role for which you are applying for in the subject line of the email. The deadline for receipt of applications is 23.59 GMT on the date published on the job advert.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email.

Your application will be reviewed on or around the closing date for the vacancy for which you have applied. If your application is shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted directly by Climate-KIC.

Candidates invited to a first interview, will be notified of the outcome and informed about next stages if they are successful.

NB/ This advertisement will be taken down from the website after the closing date so it is a good idea to copy and keep the text for reference to use should you be invited to interview.

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