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Country Lead – Japan, Tara

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European Climate Foundation

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Career level

Company Description

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to help Europe foster the development of a low-carbon society and play an even stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change. The foundation works through several sectoral, cross-cutting and regional initiatives and collaborates with a wide network of partners to advance progress towards this shared goal. The ECF also hosts a number of initiatives with a global outreach.


About Tara

Bringing together two successful European Climate Foundation programmes, Tara is a new philanthropic initiative which aims to achieve prosperity, clean air and a safe climate in Asia by supporting a diverse group of partners to accelerate the transition to sustainable, clean energy.

Tara is a regranting initiative working in South, Southeast and East Asia - excluding India and China – which focuses on supporting think tanks and civil society actors to achieve a rapid transformation in the energy sector in order to meet global climate targets and ensure clean air for all citizens.

Tara is a platform currently hosted at the European Climate Foundation, but with a mandate to localise in the future. ECF is committed to both backing it throughout the transition and to the objective of localising.

About the role

We are looking for a senior Japan Country Lead to lead our Japan electricity transformation programme and support the growth of a strong ecosystem of civil society actors working in the climate and energy space to raise Japan’s climate ambition. Tara’s work in Japan includes a domestic energy transition programme and an international finance effort working with a global coalition of organisations to shift Japanese international finance towards clean, renewable energy.

We are looking for an advocate and strategist with a strong knowledge of how to build a diverse coalition to drive systemic change. The program is in a period of rapid growth and we are currently working to expand philanthropic support for Japanese civil society. If you want to be involved in working with a diverse array of groups, developing grant-making strategy and advising on grant-making, with a strong potential for growth in team and opportunity, this is the position for you!

Key responsibilities


  • Lead the development of the country strategy for Japan in consultation with the Tara programme directors and partners. This includes assisting with the development of a plan for rapidly scaling international philanthropic funding in order to build a larger network of organisations capable of impacting Japanese climate and energy policy.
  • Develop resources requirements, budget plans, forecasts and reviews for the country.
  • Proactively scan the country’s political, energy and economic environment for emerging threats and opportunities for Tara’s work. This may include developments in the public, private and people sector including but not limited to political developments, changes in regulatory framework and legislation, corporate investments etc.

Partnerships and Coordination

  • Network and build relationships with various stakeholders including existing grantees/ partners in-country and within the region.
  • Identify new partners in-country to achieve program goals, and help incubate new organisations where needed to achieve impact
  • Develop a program for assisting with recruitment and skills development of civil society partners together with education of Japanese foundations in order to build out the field of partners and giving ability within Japan
  • Support partners to access coaching and organizational development resources to help them maximize their potential, if needed.
  • Lead coordination among partners within the country to ensure Tara achieves outcomes that are larger than the sum of the individual partners’ efforts.
  • Coordinate with other Tara counterparts in the region to ensure coordination of efforts within the region.

Grant management

  • Guidance and advice to grantees, partners and prospective partners in the field to ensure activities achieve their intended objectives and results.
  • Monitor deliverables and submissions from grantees/ partners and provide general oversight to their timeliness and quality,
  • Advise programme directors/ senior management on any potential risks and recommend mitigation measures when needed.


  • Regularly update international foundations on progress in Japan and help to build a case with foundations for the expansion of funding to support Japanese civil society working on climate change and energy transition.
  • Perform other related responsibilities including but not limited to supporting Tara programme or management teams in preparing action memoranda and reports, expenditure and grants forecasting, responding to audits, evaluations requests and other related activities.


Experience and competencies

The successful candidate will have a strong track record of developing, managing and implementing successful and innovative strategies with visible results in terms of policy and practice change. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a majority of the following:

Knowledge and experience:

  • At least 7+ years of relevant work experience, gained in either local or international foundations, NGOs, or donor agencies.
  • An understanding of how advocacy campaigns can create systemic change, and demonstrable ability to develop strong strategic plans to achieve visible, real-world outcomes
  • Experience working with philanthropic funders or donors and an understanding of how to build and sustain successful partner network
  • Understanding of energy policy and energy system transformation or related issues strongly preferred


  • Intrinsic motivation, excellent organisational and self-management skills.
  • Strong networking skills and political acumen.
  • Sharp written and verbal skills, fluent English language skills.


  • A deep commitment to solving the climate crisis and enabling systemic change.
  • Flexibility over working hours to accommodate global time zones.
  • Willingness to travel both regionally and internationally.
  • Impeccable ethics, and experience working confidentially and operating with high security.

Other information

What we can offer you

  • The unique opportunity to work as part of a highly dynamic, international team who combine their passion to make a difference with a rigorous and results-oriented approach to work.
  • A flexible work environment and a space to develop and challenge yourself.
  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience and country benchmarks.
  • Initial one-year contract with possibility for renewal.


The candidate must be based in Japan, ideally in Tokyo or Kansai region and have a legal permit to reside and work in the country.

Application Deadline

3 April 2020

Please upload:

Cover Letter ( Both in English)

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