Short Term Consult...

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Vietnam Climate Innovation Center

Climate Technology Program, World Bank Group

Vietnam Climate Innovation Center (VCIC)

Terms of Reference

Position: VCIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Working duration: 12 months (full time), renewable based on performance
Beginning time: June 2016 (or as soon as possible)
Business places: Hanoi (travel to other provinces as required)
Domestic Partner: Ministry of Science and Technology

Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) with the support of the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has launched the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center Project (VCIC). The Project seeks an experienced and dynamic Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to operate the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center (VCIC) and sustainably manage its activities to meet its aspirational objectives.

Project background

The VCIC will support Vietnam’s economic development, job creation and industrial competitiveness through support to clean technology businesses and industries. Through provision of financing and non-financial services, the VCIC will support local entrepreneurs that develop innovative technologies and business models in a range of climate technology-related areas. The VCIC will also provide a platform to create national and international business-to-business linkages, enhance knowledge sharing and facilitate trade. The VCIC will become the focal point of innovative commercial development of profitable climate-related business in Vietnam and potentially South East Asia. As a member of Climate Innovation Center Network, the VCIC will leverage existing practices and experience to support clean technology ventures and industries (see more information on the infoDev Climate Technology Program at

The project activities consist of three components:

  • Component I. Establishment, operation of VCIC and policy feedback: administrative activities in establishing VCIC; supporting policy improvement and public-private partnership in the climate change innovation field; and establishing a fund for technology incubation and commercialization of technology in responding to climate change.
  • Component II. Business incubation/climate innovation technology services, including sponsor for companies: support to clean tech start-up ideation (idea incubation and competition); business incubation services including training, mentorship, connectivity and boosting investment; and supporting commercialization. Additionally, it involves sponsoring select entrepreneurs and their ideas through grant competitions.
  • Component III. E-portal, database and services to support business: creation of the VCIC e-portal; setting up database on technology, market opportunities, enterprises, climate change – related experts; and dissemination, exploration and efficient use of the database.

VCIC will operate under Vietnam Government’s regulations on management and use of ODA (Decree No. 38/2013/NĐ-CP and other related documents). The project governing body is the Ministry of Science and Technology. The project management unit is the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC). Main related parties include: Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Finance.

Services to be provided by the VCIC

  • Entrepreneurship and Venture Acceleration, including advisory services; mentoring and business training; access to start-up facilities; and a women’s entrepreneurship program.
  • Access to Finance, including proposal evaluation; proof of concept grants; access to seed funding; and access to commercial investors and banks.
  • Market Growth and Access through the production of market studies and reports on climate technology markets and trends and facilitation of national and international linkages.
  • Technology and Product Development, principally by facilitating access to technical services, design, prototyping and testing and a network of national and international experts.
  • Policy & Regulatory Support through research and policy advocacy. 

Job Description

The CEO will be responsible for developing and executing the VCIC’ strategy, recruiting and managing a VCIC team, developing and managing a diverse set of partnerships, continuously adapting and refining the VCIC’s services offerings and sustainability model, overseeing planning and administration of the VCIC, and directing all activities which support the VCIC companies’ growth and mission. The CEO will be the face of the VCIC, accountable for the VCIC’s successful implementation, public relations, and for achieving and measuring progress towards development objectives to which the VCIC contributes.

To this end, the VCIC is looking for candidates with outstanding leadership and managerial capabilities, results-oriented mind-set, entrepreneurial drive and demonstrated understanding of issues relating to business and start-up support. In addition to her or his thorough understanding of the local entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, candidates should demonstrate that they can motivate and lead teams and engender trust amongst all relevant stakeholders. The CEO will be reporting directly to the National Project Director and will be selected following WB procedures.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Set and implement the overall strategic direction for the VCIC to meet its objectives and deliver on its targets;
  • Supervise the VCIC team and advise Project Management Unit on implementation and development of the VCIC project’s general strategy and activities;
  • Ensure high quality delivery of the full range of VCIC advisory, technical, policy and financing services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including as a liaison to sources of financing through syndicating commercial investors and bank financing;
  • Work together with Project Director to successfully recruit and manage VCIC staff on a day to day basis ensuring performance against agreed objectives with regular reviews and development;
  • Brand and promote the VCIC to ensure high visibility and a positive image of the VCIC and its sponsors;
  • Closely work with Project Directors in discussions with stakeholders and donors as well as in relevant forums/ conferences/media events;
  • Lead business development efforts to promote company achievement of targets and increase funding for VCIC activities and sustainability of the VCIC;
  • Maintain strong and effective relations with the Government of Vietnam, donors partners, relevant stakeholders and industry associations to ensure continuous dialogue on relevant policy areas;
  • Cooperate with domestic and international experts to build and develop resources for start-up incubation and support;
  • Work with Project Coordinator to prepare regular project progress reports, built on monitoring and evaluation data and evidences based results. 


  • A Master’s degree in Management, Business Administration, Development Economic or other related areas;
  • At least five (5) years of experience in managing projects especially at the early stages of project development (experience in international project or ODA project management is preferred);
  • Entrepreneurial experience in having successfully started and/or run a business preferably in the clean tech sector will be considered a strong advantage;
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to enterprise development. It will be an advantage to have been involved in management of a business incubator, accelerator, seed fund, or SME support organization;
  • Experience in fundraising will be considered a strong plus;
  • Demonstrated rigorous understanding of the local context including the business and investment climate in Vietnam and the South East Asia Region in the private and public sectors and ability to interact with key stakeholders, from both public and private sectors;
  • Experience in budgeting and financial management of small organizations;
  • Evidence of networking ability. It will be an advantage to have established networks with the business community in Vietnam and the South East Asia Region at large;
  • Excellent team player with management experience in leading a lean, highly motivated, expert team with evidence of past results in relation to start-up organizations;
  • Proven interpersonal and leadership skills, results-oriented mindset including ability to motivate and lead teams and engender trust amongst clients, employees and partners;
  • Demonstrated passion, interest, knowledge and understanding about the dynamics of climate change;
  • Strong mentoring, communications and personnel management skills;
  • Comfortable working with companies that operate in the climate technology space, at various levels of technological sophistication;
  • Ability to utilize appropriate software packages and technologies such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Adobe Acrobat, as per the demands of the job;
  • Ability and willingness to work under tight deadlines and on urgent tasks;
  • The job will require on-site visits to VCIC clients located across Vietnam;
  • International travel is required, including to interact with the global network of CICs;
  • Fluency in English is required; Vietnamese proficiency is preferred

Application Process

Qualified candidates should submit their Cover Letter and Curriculum Vitae to: no later than 17.00 Hanoi time on 15th April 2016. Please reference “VCIC CEO – (full name)” in the subject line. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for interviews.

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