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Head, Human Rights in Conservation Team

Vacancy #:   5991
Unit:   Human Rights in conservation
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   North America Regional Office, Washington D.C., United States of America
Reporting to:   Director, IUCN Centre for Society and Governance
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M1
Expected start date:   01 June 2022
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   30 May 2022
The Head of the IUCN Human Rights in Conservation Team is responsible for developing and delivering the IUCN Programme in respect of governance and rights issues, globally. As the leader of a team in the Centre for Society and Governance, the Head is expected to cooperate with the other global teams in the Centre to contribute to and deliver the Centre’s Business Plan, and with all other global teams in the other three Centers to deliver a coherent and aligned thematic programme of activities.

The Head is the coordinator of IUCN’s global work on governance and rights, which includes natural resource governance, human rights, gender equity, as well as indigenous peoples’ rights and engagement. In this regard, the Head is responsible for developing and maintaining a well-defined strategic focus supported by a sustainable project portfolio that draws on the capacities of the other Centers, and is executed globally together with the regions, IUCN Commissions and Members. The Head is responsible for the project pipeline that secures the resources to maintain staff capacity, and for efficient and effective management of projects and partnerships led by the team in accordance with the relevant contracts and agreements, including technical and financial reporting.

The Head is responsible for planning, budgeting and financial management that achieves full cost recovery, and generates surplus revenues that supports the overall management of the Centre, and allows for innovative investment in portfolio growth and income.

The Head is responsible for the recruitment, management and supervision of all staff to carry out their assigned duties, and to development the team and the individual staff to reach their potential through mentorship and support.

The Head is also responsible for upholding IUCN policies, maintaining a current awareness of relevant policies for specify theme at the international and regional level, contributing towards IUCN’s policy positions on relevant subjects, and ensuring that the project portfolio is instrumental in making the case for relevant policies and translating public policy into public funding and conservation outcomes. The Head coordinates communications on specify theme for the Union, supporting and representing the Director General, IUCN Members and liaising with the relevant IUCN Commissions.

1.Programme development, coordination and reporting

•Act as IUCN’s senior thematic focal point on all human rights and environmental governance related issues and coordinate with all other programme units and regions to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to applying IUCN norms and standards across the organisation, and to providing authoritative advice to the Union, its Members and external audiences.

•Contribute to the Centre’s leadership and business plan.

•Develop the overall programme strategy for the team to deliver the IUCN Programme and Vision 2030.

•Liaise with other programme units to integrate functions for programme delivery.

•Coordinate the main flagship programmes of the programme unit.

•Report on progress according to the IUCN Programme Results Framework for relevant programme areas.

•Will be assigned to coordinate a specific thematic hub, specific or strategic initiative, as required.

2.Resource mobilisation and portfolio development

•Develop a project pipeline based on concepts that match with the objectives and interests of donors and partners.

•Ensure the application of IUCN Project Guidelines and Standards (PGS) and Project Appraisal and Approval (PAAS) procedures.

•Involve all relevant programme units in the Programme Group and regions in the preparation of project proposals.

•Liaise with relevant Commission Groups and with IUCN members and partners, to involve them in programme and project development and implementation.

•Identify innovative approaches to programme delivery, investment and revenue generation for the use of unrestricted funds.

3.Planning, budgeting and financial management

•Prepare annual work plans and budgets.

•Undertake procurement in accordance with IUCN Delegation of Authority.

•Monitor programme implementation and expenditure for all projects in the programme unit portfolio.

•Ensure that all technical and financial reports are prepared in accordance with contracts.

•Ensure the complementarity and efficiency of projects in the portfolio, meeting the timelines for delivery of technical and financial reports.

•Allocate staff capacity to deliver the projects and programme objectives and ensure strategic growth of the staff complement and its sustainability.

4.Supervision and development of staff

•Plan and recruit staff capacity to deliver the programme and projects.

•Supervise and coordinate the leads for each thematic programme area in the team.

•Support and develop the relevant staff to perform their functions individually and collectively.

•Build capacity of staff to develop fundable projects that support and expand their work.

•Ensure application of Conditions of Service and other HR policies.

5.Policy and communications

•Maintain a current awareness of relevant international, regional and national policies for the theme.

•Support the development of IUCN’s policy engagement in relevant arenas, in coordination with the International Policy Unit, and with the input of relevant Commission experts.

•Coordinate the monitoring of implementation and reporting on the resolutions and recommendations of the World Conservation Congress that are the responsibility of the unit.

•Represent IUCN and the Director General on thematic policy and communications functions.

•Prepare and implement a communication strategy through relevant media, including publications

•Ensure that knowledge and learning across the programme portfolio are communicated internally across programme units and externally.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organization such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.


1.Enthusiastic commitment and vision, characterized by:

•A commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use.

•Ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction.

2.Leadership abilities and experience, maturity and management skills, characterized by:

•Unimpeachable integrity as evidenced by behaviour, communication style and way of handling ambiguous or difficult situations.

•Demonstrated ability to manage and lead the work of the Secretariat with diverse skills, personalities, and backgrounds.

•Proven ability to effectively delegate, empower and motivate staff and others.

•Experience developing teams and individuals and effectively leading improvement and change.

•Clear commitment to fostering a culture of high performance and accountability, demonstrated in the ability to manage by results, differentiate performance and assertively give feedback and take decisive action when necessary.

•Demonstrated ability to both plan and act, keeping the staff focused on priorities.

•Demonstrated experience in the selection, coaching and appraisal of staff.

•Demonstrated experience building teams diverse in gender, nationality and background to achieve business results.

3.Senior management experience, characterized by:

•A well-developed sense of managerial self-awareness with an ability to proactively manage individual strengths and weaknesses (including one’s own) and understand how these influence the team’s performance.

•Demonstrated experience and achievements in organizational, financial and personnel management, and in decision-making.

•A commitment to embrace and co-own institutional change processes

•Proven experience in maintaining and nurturing expert networks with demonstrated ability to handle politically and culturally sensitive issues.

•Maintain a positive work environment that facilitates collaboration and information sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent.

4.Professional competencies, characterized by:

•Good understanding of world affairs and experience with the workings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions.

•Recognition among peers in terms of leadership and understanding of social science related issues

•Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity, respect for diversity and professionalism as spelled out in IUCN’s Code of Conduct and Professional Ethics.

5. Sound judgment and decision making, characterized by:

•Experience in identifying key issues in a complex situation, and consulting, gathering, and analyzing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations.

•Well-organized and logical in thought and action.

•Ability to anticipate, assess and manage risk.
  • At least 10 years of experience of proven capacity and skills in leading and managing diverse, multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks involving e.g. government agencies, NGOs, international organizations, development agencies, and scientific and technical bodies.

• At least 10 years of proven experience in managing a large team of professionals, including through a decentralized global network.

• Demonstrated capacity to represent the organisation in global policy discourses. This includes informing and shaping institutional policy positions that are anchored on sound technical understanding of the issues and leveraging new opportunities to expand the organisation’s policy outreach and engagement.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. A second language (French, Spanish) is highly desirable.

• Ability to travel frequently

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.