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Director - Mediterranean Cooperation Center

Vacancy #:   6258
Unit:   Director's Office
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain
Reporting to:   Director – IUCN European Regional Office
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M2
Expected start date:   01 May 2023
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   15 February 2023
This senior leadership position provides an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the implementation of the IUCN Vision of a just world that values and conserves nature. In the achievement of IUCN’s Mission and “Nature 2030” Programme, the Director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation oversees the involvement of IUCN Members, commission members, as well as private sector, international cooperation and development actors, amongst other key stakeholders working in the European and North African countries of the Mediterranean region. The Director is part of the senior management team of IUCN and contributes to global targets of conservation.
The Director leads the strategic development and effective implementation of the Mediterranean component of the integrated IUCN “Nature 2030” Programme, including the IUCN sub-regional programme for North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt). This position requires competencies across a broad range of subjects ranging from biodiversity and ecosystem-based resource management strategies, projects and policies, to organisational and human resource management and financial planning. The Director will implement the Mediterranean component of the integrated IUCN “Nature 2030” Programme in collaboration with IUCN Members and partners in the region.

The Director is responsible for maintaining a high and professional corporate profile for IUCN, particularly with IUCN Members, partners and donors. The incumbent is accountable for the viability of the Programme and all financial, personnel and administrative matters, and is also responsible for ensuring the financial sustainability of the Centre.

In order to implement the IUCN Mediterranean programme, the Director will work closely with the IUCN Regional Office for Europe (EURO), and coordinate with the IUCN Regional Offices for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO), West Asia (ROWA), Central and West Africa (PACO) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO), as well as with IUCN’s Centres.


Leadership, Policy Influencing, and Representation

• Represent and promote the mission of IUCN in the Mediterranean, including both Europe and North Africa, in a manner that enhances the status of the Union and influences decision-making bodies, intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector.
• Act as the IUCN focal point for the Mediterranean Action Plan of the Barcelona Convention, as well as for the main International Organisations working in the Mediterranean Region, to promote IUCN’s mission and ensure that IUCN’s policies and programmes are reflected in the decisions of those institutions.
• Provide strategic leadership and guidance in delivering IUCN’s “Nature 2030” Programme in the region.
• Develop and maintain regular contact with governments, partner organisations, existing and potential IUCN Members, IUCN Regional and National Committees, as well as IUCN Councillors and Commissions.
• Serve as a member of IUCN’s senior management team to contribute to global IUCN leadership and implement strategic decisions in the organisation.
• In coordination with the Regional Director for Europe and the Strategic Partnerships Unit, maintain 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 programmatic priorities aligned with the IUCN “Nature 2030” Programme and remain accountable for the implementation of work plans.
• Provide strategic direction on regional and country-specific knowledge products and reports.
• Oversee and ensure the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between IUCN and Spain.

Membership and Engagement

• Oversee the preparation, implementation, evaluation and reporting of multi-year and annual programmes for IUCN’s work in the Mediterranean.
• In collaboration with the IUCN Membership and Commission Support Unit and membership focal points at the regional level, implement the IUCN Membership Strategy and develop and implement membership recruitment, engagement and retention plans.
• Engage current and potential Members, governments and other partners at the sub-national, national and regional levels within the framework of the IUCN mission, and actively work to expand membership in the region.
• In collaboration with the different components of IUCN – government, sub-national and NGO Members, National and Regional Committees, Commission experts, and the Secretariat – work together to develop, implement and advance the IUCN “Nature 2030” Programme within the Mediterranean.
• Initiate, promote and facilitate initiatives and dialogues on key issues relevant for conservation policy in Mediterranean, based on IUCN's regional and global priorities.
• Partner with IUCN National and Regional Committees in preparing IUCN’s quadrennial Programme and influencing decisions of national, regional and international policy making bodies.
• Establish and maintain exceptional relations with the donor community in the region to obtain long-term engagement and support for IUCN’s Programme and for the activities of IUCN Members in the Mediterranean.
• Identify strategic partnerships with public and private institutions with which IUCN can establish collaborative relationships.
• Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team and coordinate with other IUCN Regional Offices worldwide to develop deeper collaboration opportunities that strengthen IUCN’s mission.

Resources, Operational and Change Management

• Actively cooperate with the IUCN Regional Director for Europe and other Regional Offices in implementing the Hubbing Arrangement for Europe.
• Assume operational management of all IUCN activities in the European and North African Mediterranean and ensure the effective operation of financial, human resource and other relevant policies and procedures, including control mechanisms.
• Develop and implement a diversified fundraising strategy for IUCN’s work in close collaboration with different components of IUCN (Secretariat, Commissions and Members).
• Maintain a positive work environment that facilitates collaboration and information sharing, and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent.
• In collaboration with diverse components of IUCN, produce and exchange knowledge.
• Oversee recruitment and administration of IUCN staff in the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, including performance assessments, annual work plans, and evolving employment conditions consistent with IUCN policies.

• 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: The above TOR contains the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However, in an ever evolving organisation 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 TOR. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TOR should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • Advanced University Degree in a development or science-related area, including environmental or natural resource management, public administration, nature conservation and sustainable development, or relevant social sciences.

• A minimum of 15 years’ progressively greater experience in strategic and managerial leadership, including the governance of a complex multinational organisation or programme in an area related to conservation and/or sustainable development, of which at least 10 years is in the European and North African countries of the Mediterranean.

• 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.

• Proven experience in working with institutions and organisations based in the Mediterranean region.

• 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 Europe, and a sound understanding of how these fit into the global context.

• Fluency in English, French and Spanish (verbal and written) is essential. Knowledge of Arabic is a valued advantage.

• Excellent communication and presentation skills.

• Ability to travel within the region and globally, as required.
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is EUR 86'398. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

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.