International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) seeks to enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge and regional cooperation.

ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Working in partnership with regional and international organizations, ICIMOD aims to influence policy and practices to meet environmental and livelihood challenges emerging in the HKH. ICIMOD provides a platform for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from the region and around the globe to generate and share knowledge, support evidence-based decision making, and encourage regional cooperation.

ICIMOD works through its six Regional Programmes: 1) Adaptation and Resilience Building, 2) Transboundary Landscapes, 3) River Basins and Cryosphere, 4) Atmosphere, 5) Mountain Environment Regional Information System, and 6) Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks. These regional programmes are supported by four Thematic Areas – Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, Water and Air, and Geospatial Solutions – and underpinned by the Knowledge Management and Communication (KMC) Unit. ICIMOD seeks to contribute to reducing poverty and vulnerability and improving the lives and livelihoods of mountain women, men and children, now and in the future.

Water and Air is one of ICIMOD’s four strategic thematic areas and houses competencies related to water and atmospheric issues. ICIMOD fosters regional and transboundary exchange and dialogue to promote integrated water and land management and air quality monitoring. It acts as a resource centre for information on water resources and atmosphere. These competencies are applied in ICIMOD’s six regional programmes to foster inter and transdisciplinary research and development activities, thereby delivering a positive impact in the HKH.

From physical, ecological, and social perspectives, the Water and Air Thematic Area analyses the demand and future availability of water from mountains; cryosphere dynamics; rivers, springs, groundwater, and watersheds; water-related hazards including floods and droughts; the potential impacts of climate and anthropogenic changes; hydropower development; and the role of hill and mountain irrigation in providing food security. The Thematic Area also focuses on improving quantitative understanding of atmospheric transport, chemicals and microphysical processes, emission sources within and up-wind of the region, and the impacts of atmospheric change on the health of poor communities and on the cryosphere. Water and Air focuses on developing solutions at a variety of scales, from community to national policy levels, and fostering regional cooperation. It also addresses transboundary issues, especially within the water–food–energy nexus, including benefit-sharing and building community resilience. Regional cooperation on atmospheric monitoring, data sharing, and mitigation is an important component of the thematic work.

Responsibilities and tasks

Reporting and supervising

The Theme Leader will report to the Deputy Director General on all aspects of the Thematic Area, including its leadership and coordination with ICIMOD’s regional programmes. Additionally, s/he will report to the Director General on all institutional matters. The Theme Leader is responsible for supervising and mentoring all staff working under the Thematic Area and contributing to the effective application of the thematic science and knowledge in the regional programmes, facilitating the development of credible thematic information and knowledge at national and regional levels, and strengthening capacity-building initiatives.

The Theme Leader is also responsible for generating and leading innovation initiatives in the area of his/her Thematic Area. S/he is part of the Programme Management Committee and Planning Review Committee, which direct content and interdisciplinary work in the planning and review process and oversee key elements like gender, partnership, communication and outreach, monitoring, and private-sector engagement.

Main responsibilities

Intellectual leadership and innovation

  • Provide intellectual leadership on identified research priorities for strengthening the Water and Air Thematic Area by identifying relevant sectors, formulating research questions, and leading research teams in specific action research and studies
  • Encourage and mentor team members to conduct research, document results, and write scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals and other publications
  • Propose and manage innovative research on important emerging issues in the field of water resource management
  • Ensure proper validation and dissemination of research outcomes to other ICIMOD programmes, the scientific community, policy and decision makers, and other stakeholders and partners

Human resource management

  • Take leadership and responsibility for managing human resources in the Thematic Area, including team development and capacity-building activities; mentoring staff members on thematic issues; and fostering an encouraging, positive, flexible, and professional working environment
  • Coordinate with the regional programme managers in the design of regional programmes and their activities, the allocation of budgets and human resources to the regional programmes, as well as in the performance management of staff in the Thematic Area

Quality control

  • Carry out quality control of research and knowledge products
  • Provide – from an expertise perspective – recommendations to the regional programme managers about the applicability of methodologies, frameworks, and research

Communication, collaboration, and partnership development

  • Establish and maintain partnerships and constructive dialogue with stakeholders in the region and beyond (government officials, NGOs, research institutions, donors, etc.) for strategic collaboration to contribute to ICIMOD’s work in promoting the mountain perspective and integrated mountain research and development in the HKH region
  • Maintain an active dialogue with partners and policy makers and contribute to bridging the gaps among research, policy, and practice with a strong focus on impacts at multiple levels
  • Contribute to the capacity building of partners through the organization of workshops, trainings, and collaborative research

Fundraising and resource mobilization

  • Lead and contribute to resource mobilization activities on the request of the Directorate to secure programme implementation (e.g., write concept notes and proposals; develop and maintain dialogue with donors; promote ICIMOD research, development, and capacity-building activities; explore co-funding opportunities with regional member countries).

Transdisciplinary cooperation and teamwork within ICIMOD

  • Advocate transdisciplinary cooperation and teamwork by proactively coordinating with ICIMOD’s regional programmes, supporting other thematic areas, and encouraging the integration of ideas and disciplines within ICIMOD and with its partners

Minimum Qualifications

All ICIMOD programmes are transdisciplinary, transboundary, and regional in nature. Accordingly, the Water and Air Theme Leader must have a good understanding of the Thematic Area’s transdisciplinary and regional dimensions. Additionally, knowledge regarding the role of science and its applications as well as the positioning of its work in the global context is needed. The minimum qualifications required for this position are as follows:

  • PhD in water management and/or a related field of water resources, natural sciences, or atmospheric science/air pollution
  • Ten years of work experience in the subject expertise indicated above, especially water resources management, or atmospheric science/air pollution, of which preferably part has been gained in the mountain regions of Asia
  • At least five years of experience in a leadership or management role, preferably in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment within an intergovernmental organization, university, research institute, or think tank
  • Extensive experience in applied research related to water resources or atmospheric science/air pollution, with a solid track record of peer-reviewed publications and visible impacts on policy and development practice
  • Ability to build effective teams with people from different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds, give effective feedback, and provide information and share resources with other units to make decisions collaboratively




  • Experience in the strategic planning of programmes and monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment
  • Extensive experience and skills in preparing project proposals and progress reports for submission to ICIMOD sponsors


  • Cross-cultural impact: Effectively manages the complexity of working in a multi-cultural environment by integrating best practices from different cultures in workplace relationships
  • Results oriented: Helps the organization achieve its strategic short- and long-term goals leading to increased outcome and impact
  • Team work and cooperation: Provides information to and shares resources with other units; leads teams comprising people with different skill sets at various institutional levels through collaborative decision-making processes
  • Behavioural flexibility and managing change: Leads by example, adapting to changing situations while creating an environment in which people can adapt to changing situations
  • Continuous improvement and innovation: Takes an innovative approach to implementing new technology to inform ideas and working methods, and is focused on continuous improvement
  • Market awareness: Seizes windows of opportunity to bring new service offerings to the work of ICIMOD; takes initiative to capitalize on opportunities for funding
  • Strategic thinking: Evaluates issues from a multi-functional perspectives to formulate plans and strategies to achieve long-term goals
  • Leadership: Optimizes resources around long-term plans and programmes while setting high standards; creates the conditions that enable the team to perform at its best.


Three years, with a probation period of six months, starting as early as possible, with a possibility of extension subject to performance and ICIMOD’s future funding levels.


Salaries and benefits of ICIMOD are competitive compared with other regional organizations; remuneration is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Gender and Equity Policy

Qualified and eligible women candidates and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. ICIMOD upholds a gender equity policy and is supportive of women professionals. It operates a day-care centre at the campus and is committed to the integration of gender equity at organizational and programmatic levels.

Method of application

Applicants are requested to apply online before 1 December 2019 through ICIMOD's online application system.

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Apply Now. 

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