Discovery Unit Chief
As the innovation lab of the IDB Group, the IDB Lab mobilizes knowledge, connections and financing to promote disruptive solutions across Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Lab co-creates projects with innovative partners to improve the lives of those who are vulnerable due to economic, social or environmental factors. IDB Lab has a high tolerance to risk and employs an array of flexible financing tools, including both reimbursable and non-reimbursable instruments.
IDB Lab is looking for a highly qualified professional to lead a unit and manage the origination, execution, and oversight of the grants' portfolio. The unit works with clients to find and co-create innovative solutions, focusing on high-risk, early-stage yet scalable solutions. The person selected for this position will also work with partners and corporates to attract third party funds and multiply the impact of projects financed.
What you'll do:
Originate grants operations (deal source and design):
Coordinate the identification, design and approval of grants projects; co-design, test and use new sourcing models (e.g. challenges, call for proposals, etc.) to find opportunities for impact and foster creative ideas in need of financing, connections and/or knowledge;
Actively promote IDB Lab grants projects' alignment with IDB Group departments;
Ensure an adequate distribution of the grants' operations across countries and strategic thematic areas;
Find opportunities with the Investment Unit Chief to use reimbursable and non-reimbursable funding to achieve greater impact;
Identify challenges and develop minimum viable products geared towards eventually scaling development solutions through other partners;
Lead, craft and oversee IDB Lab teams and resources in grants projects;
Coach and supervise a team of highly motivated professional located in 26 country offices and in Washington DC.
Actively manage the implementation of the grants portfolio:
Provide strategic inputs to IDB Lab team on key implementation and execution issues;
Report on performance and impact;
Develop, with the Impact Unit and the Knowledge Unit, and deploy enhanced impact evaluation tools and methodologies through analytics and data insights;
Work closely with the Finance and Administration Unit the management of the project portfolio to ensure compliance and optimizing efficient deployment of funds;
Bring to bear cross functional teams to guarantee the best execution of grant projects;
Implement/revise grants operational cycle process:
Update sourcing model periodically to meet the needs of IDB Lab as an innovation laboratory and to better connect with IDB Group;
Improve and make project cycle more efficient by reducing the processing time of project approvals;
Implement a more agile and collaborative process and a new operating model using leaner experimentation models including a new sourcing model that will facilitate more IDB Group involvement.
Implement and strengthen portfolio management tools using tools such as Salesforce;
Strive for innovation and efficiency in the identification, monitoring and deployment of resources;
Monitor new technologies and innovative methodologies and translate trends into tangible opportunities:
Identify new groundbreaking opportunities and trends in IDB Lab's three thematic focus areas (Climate Smart Agriculture, Inclusive Cites, and Knowledge Economy), and address cross-cutting strategic priorities of gender and inclusion, natural resources and climate change;
Identify opportunities for new markets for inclusion in collaboration with other areas of the IDB Group;
In coordination with the Knowledge Unit, ensure that lessons from projects are incorporated through a continuous learning process and monitor the 'anti-portfolio' as well as disseminate lessons from failed projects to promote a culture of risk-taking and fail-fast/learn-fast.
Education: A Master's degree or equivalent post-graduate degree in one of the following fields: Economics, Development Studies, Finance, Business Administration, or related field.
Experience: A minimum of ten (10) years of relevant experience in project design and implementation of operations, be it grants, loans, investments, or other financing instruments. 3 years in managerial positions desired.
Experience with innovation finance, challenges and disruptive technologies desired. Understanding of client needs and challenges, of different country/regional areas, market idiosyncrasies, and drivers of change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Significant experience in a similar role in a development bank, a foundation, investment firm, private equity firm, accelerators, venture arms of a corporation, a bank or other multi-lateral organization would be desirable.
Languages: Fluent (written and oral) in both English and Spanish. Knowledge of Portuguese and/or French is a plus.
Link to Core & Technical Competences ( please Ctrl Click)
Type of Contract: Staff
Length of Contract: three (3) years.
Location: IDB headquarters in Washington, DC, USA
Supervisor: IDB Lab General Manager
You are a citizen of one of the IDB's 48 membercountries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.
Our culture: Working with us you will be surrounded by a diverse group of people who have years of experience in all types of development fields, including venture capital, innovation finance, entrepreneurship, agrotech, fintech, disruptive technologies, and much more.
About us: We're committed to improving lives. Since 1959, we've been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48-member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve on the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills, but also are passionate about improving lives.
The IDB offers a competitive benefits and compensation package.
We welcome women, afro-descendants, people of indigenous origins, and persons with disabilities to apply.
Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.
Inter-American Development Bank