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Head of Breathe Cities, City Engagement

C40 Cities


29 Nov 2023

8 Dec 2023



Brussels, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, London

Job description

The Head of Breathe Cities, City Engagement will oversee the delivery of C40’s elements of the Breathe Cities partnership, supporting global activities and city-level projects that deliver priority urban-scale air quality actions.  The Head of Breathe Cities, City Engagement will lead a small team coordinating programme management across C40’s regional delivery teams and global programme support, oversee the setup and delivery of the Breathe Cities Forum, a peer to peer network of C40 cities, non-C40 cities, and other partners and stakeholders in the Breathe Cities Program, coordinate internally with C40 global and regional teams to ensure seamless delivery of technical work-plans in program cities, and work closely with Breathe Cities’ partners to connect C40’s work with the work funded through the broader partnership.

The postholder will be an exceptional and experienced leader, with exemplary skills and experience in project management, team management, and partnership building, preferably with specific experience in delivering large technical programs.  A natural collaborator and convener, the Head of Breathe Cities, City Engagement will bring together C40 and non-C40 teams and city staff to achieve common goals, maximising efficiency and impact. The postholder will have a good understanding of the needs, priorities and delivery mechanisms to support, in particular, C40 cities in the global south in the implementation of urban air quality and climate actions.  Experience working on urban air quality management and climate issues will be an added advantage.

  • Extensive experience in local and/or state government, private or public sector, research and/or NGO sectors of developing, implementing and/or advising on multi-disciplinary air quality, climate, or adjacent public policy initiatives.
  • Strong problem-solving, interpersonal and strategic thinking capabilities coupled with an outcome, delivery-oriented approach required.
  • International experience required, particularly working across different cultures, languages and time zones.
  • Significant programme management experience, including of large and complex programmes. Experience managing global programmes (e.g. across multiple countries and regions) is highly desirable.
  • Experience managing multidisciplinary teams located in different time zones.
  • Experience working in a matrix management environment.
  • Proven track record of effectively collaborating with major global partners and funders, such as NGOs and advocacy organisations, philanthropic trusts, and the corporate sector.
  • Experience dealing with senior political representatives and orchestrating complex multi-stakeholder partnerships.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential. Excellent convenor, with ability to bring together teams towards implementing a common goal, including proven ability to facilitate in-person as well as virtual meetings.
  • Knowledge, gained through professional experience, of sustainability and public health challenges faced in cities, policymaking approaches taken by city governments, and the role of technical work with city governments to overcome these challenges and support policy implementation.
  • Fluency in English is essential, additional languages would be an asset
  • Advanced degree in relevant discipline.
About the organisation

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities, who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis, and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Through a Global Green New Deal, mayors are working alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to go further and faster than ever before.

C40’s team of 400+ staff is based in offices in London, in New York, Johannesburg, Singapore, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, Beijing and Paris, and individual staff based across 25+ different locations.

The strategic direction of the organisation is determined by an elected Steering Committee of C40 mayors, which is chaired by Mayor Sadiq Khan of London and Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown. Three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the C40 Board of Directors, responsible for operational oversight. A regionally diverse management team, led by Executive Director Mark Watts, leads the day-to-day management of C40. C40’s three core strategic funders are Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania.

Our international staff work with the C40 network under the leadership of city governments to deliver this mission. Using a data-driven approach, our team identifies and promotes the exchange of proven programmes and policies developed by cities; provides world-class research, technical expertise and access to key partners to deliver new programmes and policies with cities; and communicates cities’ individual achievements and collective leadership.

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