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Regional Director – IUCN Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Vacancy #:   6121
Unit:   IUCN Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Belgrade, Serbia
Reporting to:   Director – IUCN European Regional Office
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M2
Expected start date:   15 January 2024
Type of contract:   Max-term (27 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   17 October 2022 (extended)
This senior leadership position provides an exciting opportunity in the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) to lead the implementation of IUCN’s Vision: A just world that values and conserves nature.

As the most senior IUCN Secretariat leader in the region, the Director is part of the global senior management team that contributes to the organisation’s performance and global targets of conservation. The Director will facilitate the implementation of the IUCN Programme in the region in coordination with IUCN Members, including governments, civil society organisations, and Commission experts, ultimately contributing to IUCN’s voice as the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
This position requires an accomplished, credible, and reliable senior leader with strong experience and a good understanding of environmental policy issues in the regional and global context. The Director represents the IUCN Secretariat and provides leadership and guidance for all activities undertaken by the Secretariat in the region.

With a firm understanding of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region and international challenges and opportunities, the Regional Director is responsible for fundraising efforts to achieve the IUCN Programme as approved by its Members. Fully supported by a range of local, regional, and global experts, the Regional Director is accountable for financial, human, and administrative resources, and ensures the regional financial viability of the IUCN Programme in line with IUCN policies, rules, and procedures.

The Regional Director ensures that all organisational activities are consistently performed under the principles of equity, fairness, inclusiveness, and respect for the diversity of people.


Leadership, Policy Influencing, and Representation

• Represent and promote the mission of IUCN in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a manner that enhances the status of the Union and influences decision-making bodies, intergovernmental agencies, governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and the private sector.
• Represent, or arrange for, appropriate representation of IUCN in relevant regional events.
• Promote IUCN’s mission and ensure that IUCN’s policy positions and Programme are known and considered in the decisions of countries and institutions in the region.
• Provide strategic leadership and guidance in delivering IUCN’s Programme in the region.
• Serve as a member of IUCN’s senior management team to establish and implement strategic decisions for the IUCN Secretariat.
• Establish diplomatic relations with governments, and formalise such relationships by forging agreements that enhance active cooperation and collaboration to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature.
• Establish priorities and remain accountable for the implementation of work plans to manage and mitigate strategic and operational risks associated with various programmatic engagements.
• Actively promote IUCN knowledge and standards and provide strategic direction on regional and country-specific outputs and reports.

Membership and Engagement

• In collaboration with the IUCN Membership Unit and focal points at the regional level, implement the IUCN Membership Strategy and develop and implement membership recruitment, engagement, and retention plans.
• Develop and maintain regular contact with governments, regional and national committees of Members, existing and potential IUCN Members, partner organisations, and Commission members.
• In collaboration with the different parts of IUCN – states and governments, indigenous peoples, and NGO Members, National and Regional Committees of Members, Commission experts, and the Secretariat – work together to develop, implement, and advance IUCN’s Programme in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
• Initiate, promote, and facilitate initiatives and dialogues on key issues of conservation policy, based on IUCN's standards and regional and global priorities.
• Partner with IUCN Members and National Committees in preparing IUCN’s quadrennial Programme.
• Identify institutions – both public and private – with which IUCN can establish strategic partnerships and collaborative relationships in programmatic work.

Resources, Operational and Change Management

• Develop and maintain long-term fund generation strategies and nurture relations with the donor community in the region to ensure lasting engagement and support for IUCN’s Programme.
• Oversee preparation, implementation, evaluation and reporting of multi-year programmes for IUCN's work in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in line with IUCN's Programme and business model.
• Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team within the Region and develop deeper collaboration opportunities that strengthen IUCN’s presence in the region.
• Maintain a positive work environment that facilitates collaboration and information-sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent.
• Develop and retain close coordination and knowledge exchange links across the IUCN Secretariat and IUCN constituencies.
• Direct the effective operation of the IUCN Secretariat’s activities in the region, including workforce resource and financial management, as well as the implementation of IUCN policies, procedures, and control mechanisms.
• Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team and coordinate with other IUCN offices, to develop deeper collaboration and enable the greater achievement of IUCN’s mission.


• Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity and trust, transparency, professionalism and accountability, equality, inclusiveness, and respect for diversity.

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

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

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

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

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

• Enthusiastic commitment and vision characterised by a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use, and the ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction.

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

• Maturity, knowledge, and experience in management and leadership abilities with a deep sense of self-awareness, as evidenced by the ability to articulate one’s own strengths, weaknesses, and impact on others.

Please note that this position can qualify for expatriate benefit package. This will be discussed if you are selected to attend an interview.
  • Advanced university degree in a development or science-related area, including natural resource management, business management, public administration, economics, conservation and sustainable development, or relevant social sciences.

• A minimum of 10 years’ progressively greater experience in strategic and managerial leadership, including governance of a complex multinational organisation or programme in an area related to conservation and/or sustainable development, of which at least 5 years is in the region administered by ECARO.

• Proven experience in developing, managing, implementing, and monitoring large programmes related to conservation, biodiversity, natural resources, and sustainable development.

• Demonstrated experience in resource mobilisation, partnerships, government relations, and operations management.

• Leadership experience in managing the performance of diverse and multi-cultural teams.

• Solid knowledge of conservation and sustainable development policy issues as well as the geopolitical, development, and multi-stakeholder contexts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and a sound understanding of how this fits into the global context.

• Fluency in English (verbal and written) is essential. Knowledge of other languages in the region is an advantage.

• Excellent communication and presentation skills.

• Ability to travel within the region and globally, as required.

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: https://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 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 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.