Working with IIED

Who are we and what do we do?

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent policy research organisation based in the UK and active in five continents through an extended network of partners. It promotes research, action and policy change linking the local to the global level to achieve sustainable development. We work with some of the world's most vulnerable people to ensure they have a say in the policy arenas that most closely affect them — from village councils to international conventions. Find out more on our about pages and latest annual report.

Where are we?

Based in Central London and a small office in Edinburgh.

How big are we?

IIED currently has 114 members of staff from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, and is continuing to grow. See our staff list for contact details. In addition, we host a number international fellows, interns and volunteers each year. In 2011-12, our income was £17.6 million.


At IIED we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

  • a competitive salary, including cost of living awards and incremental increases on an annual basis
  • the option to join our pension scheme to which IIED will contribute 7.5% of your annual salary
  • an employee protection scheme offering a flexible menu of benefits such as life assurance and critical illness cover
  • interest-free season ticket loan
  • learning and development opportunities for all staff both in-house and externally
  • tax-free childcare voucher scheme
  • a confidential employee assistance helpline which offers advice on a wide range of personal or work-related matters
  • competitive maternity and paternity policies that offer compensation above the statutory minimum
  • 25 days annual leave per year, increasing on an annual basis up to 30 days, plus the period between Christmas and New Year as paid holiday
  • enhanced sickness pay entitlements
  • support with relocation costs for staff joining us from outside London/Edinburgh
  • cycle to work scheme which offers tax savings on the cost of purchasing a bike for travel to/from work
  • in addition we have activities to support wellbeing such as yoga and massage.

What's it like to work at IIED?

We asked our staff directly. The result was a candid set of interviews mostly shot on the roof of our building in Endsleigh Street, London in early 2009.

The clips available below are useful to anyone interested in IIED and in working in sustainable development, particularly prospective job candidates and students. Clips are divided by questions, based on the most frequent enquiries that we receive. Many people wish to know what's like to work at IIED from the inside of the organisation and how to get there. Colleagues have told us about their own journey and shared some tips to find your feet at IIED in the early days and to work in our sector.

Click on each question, videos will roll on giving you the full range of responses from different staff. You can also jump straight to your favourite question or people.

Let us know what you think. We aim to build more information on these pages and your feedback on what would be useful and valuable will help us a great deal.

1. Tell us your impressions of IIED, before and after you joined?

2. What is IIED like?

3. Can you describe an IIED metaphor?

4. What's it like day to day?

5. What are the challenges?

6. What are the most rewarding things?

7. Do you have any tips for new staff?

8. How did you enter into this field?

9. Any tips on getting into this sector (for students)?

10. Why IIED?


Steve re-joined IIED as Senior Fellow in 2005 and has been Group Head of Sustainable Markets since 2011. Read his biography and see his publications.

Tom joined IIED in 2001 and is currently Head of Partnerships. Read his biography and see his publications.

Alastair joined IIED in 2008 to fill the newly created post of Business Development Director. Read Alastair's biography.

Charlotte joined IIED in 2009 and is currently Directorate Coordinator. Learn more about Charlotte.

Nick, the Head of HR, joined IIED in 2002. Read his biography.

Rosheen worked at IIED between mid-2008 and March 2009 to support our monitoring and evaluation efforts.

James joined IIED in 2006 as Senior Researcher in the Natural Resources Group working mainly on agriculture in China and Africa-China relationships. He left in 2009 but continues to collaborate with IIED from his current location, Ethiopia. See James's publications.

Vanessa joined IIED in 2003 and was Publications and Marketing Manager until June 2012.

Hannah was Senior Researcher in the Climate Change Group from 2002 until 2011. She continues to collaborate with IIED from her current location, Argentina. See her publications.

Dilys has worked with the Natural Resources Group as Senior Researcher since 1992. Read Dilys's biography and see her publications

Mike, our Press Officer, has been working for IIED since 2006. Learn more about Mike on his biography

Su Fei was Researcher in the Natural Resources Group from 2003 to 2008 focusing on land issues and decentralisation, particularly in the Sahel region in West Africa. She continues to collaborate with IIED.

Khanh is the Senior Coordinator for the Natural Resources Group. She joined IIED in 2006. Read more about Khanh.

Emma has been Senior Researcher in the Sustainable Markets Group since 2006. To know
more about Emma's work read her biography and see her publications.