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Head, Species Conservation Action - Global Species Programme

Vacancy #:   2653
Unit:   Global Species & Key Biodiversity Areas Programme
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Global Director - Biodiversity Conservation Group
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   SP/M1
Expected start date:   03 January 2018
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   10 December 2017 (extended)
The Species Conservation Action Programme (SCAP) is part of the Global Species Programme and KBA Programme (GSP). The GSP (including The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species), together with the Global Protected Areas Programme and the World Heritage Programme comprise IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group (BCG). The SCAP facilitates species conservation action through the provision of resources, and advice based on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and other knowledge products such as Key Biodiversity Areas. The Programme engages closely with the Species Survival Commission in all aspects of the work. The position works closely with and in support of the Director, Global Species Programme and Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group.
Please note that we are re-posting this position as we have made some changes to the Terms of Reference.

If you are still interested you do not need to re-apply your application will be reviewed.


The Species Conservation Action Programme brings together an expanding group of large projects (annual budget currently c. 7 million Euros) that provide grants (mostly to IUCN Members) to catalyze action (with measurable impact) for species and habitats conservation on the ground all around the globe. These currently include SOS (Save Our Species), and the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) amongst others.

Under the overall supervision of the Director, Global Species Programme, the incumbent will seek to source additional and new sources of funding to further build the portfolio as well as direct and provide oversight management for the disbursement of funds of the Species Action Programme. The work undertaken will be underpinned by species conservation action plans and sound monitoring and evaluation, linking to relevant policy mechanisms. The position is responsible for managing and motivating a staff team of five colleagues plus two in the IUCN Regions. S/he will also help shape long-term strategic input to ensure that the various re-granting mechanisms work in harmony with the GSP, BCG other global and regional Programmes.

More specifically the responsibilities are as follows:

1. In accordance with the IUCN Programme 2017-2020, seek to extend large scale funding from existing donors and raise additional large scale resources from new donors to support conservation action ‘on the ground’ for all species groups from all realms as well as habitats.

2. Take overall responsibility for maintaining high quality relationships with donors ensuring that donor expectations and requirements, including all aspects of reporting and communications, are fully met.

3. In this way, further build a wide project portfolio to support IUCN’s work on actions to improve the status of species and habitats (including key biodiversity areas) ‘on the ground’.

4. Build, manage and motivate the staff team responsible for the management, disbursement and monitoring of funds working to ensure a cohesive and collegial approach both in relation to the species conservation action work and in relation to the GSP as a whole.

5. Responsibility of marketing and communications for the SCAP, ensuring strategic messaging alignment with others from the GSP and BCG according to an agreed strategy.

6. Working with communications colleagues in the GSP and Global Communications, promote and implement outreach activity to publicize the work carried out through all relevant media

7. Oversee, in close collaboration and partnership with the IUCN Regions, the development off staff (teams) to both raise resources and carry out SCAP operations.

8. Establish a sound monitoring and evaluation framework for the species action work both from the perspective of conservation impact and programmatic implementation.

9. Finalize, working with relevant stakeholders (especially the SOS Coordinator), the Operational manual for IUCN’s species conservation action re-granting work to ensure that this becomes the ‘industry standard’ for IUCN’s work in this sphere.

10. Working with the Species Survival Commission, notably with the Conservation Planning Specialist Group, support the development and implementation of species and habitat action plans /strategic plans, and build capacity within the Members and SSC Specialist Groups to carry them out.

11. Working with the Species Survival Commission to ensure technical excellence in the development and provision of technical support to the design and implementation of various funding streams

12. Build capacity within the Programme on species strategic planning / action planning – by linking re-granting efforts to the development and implementation of robust species and habitat action plans

13. Work to align the operations of the Programme with other conservation re-granting mechanisms in other Programmes and Regions of IUCN where possible and feasible.

14. In developing and implementing the work of the SCAP make operational links to the IUCN work on the implementation of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the newly adopted Key Biodiversity Area standard, the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas and the emerging Green List of Species.

15. Ensure that links are made to relevant policy mechanisms such as the SDGs and Aichi Targets in both the development and implementation of the portfolio and ensure that such links are leveraged, explained and supported in all species conservation action operations.

16. Ensure that the operations of the Programme work in support of IUCN policy positions (e.g. in support of the implementation of the Aichi target and SDGs).

17. Carry delegated authority as the representative of the Director, Global Species Programme and / or Director General in engagement with international, regional and national conferences and meetings (especially where these involve species conservation action).

18. Deputize for the Director, Global Species Programme as needed in her absence.

19. Represent the Union at a high-level in professional discussions and negotiations relating to species conservation action issues.

20. Oversee the management of the finances (including budgeting, overseeing production of accounts, audits) of the SCAP in association with GPOU.


1. Enthusiastic commitment and vision, characterized by a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use and the 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.
• Demonstrated ability to both plan and take action, keeping the staff focused on priorities.

3. Senior management experience, characterized by:

• Demonstrated experience and achievements in organizational, financial and personnel management, and in decision-making.
• 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.
• 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 analysing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations.
• Well-organized and logical in thought and action.
• Ability to foresee and manage risk.
  • Twelve years (minimum) of experience in wildlife conservation with excellent understanding of species and habitat conservation, including hands-on engagement in regions (experience in Africa and/or Asia an advantage).

• Twelve years (minimum) of proven experience in grant management, proposal writing, fundraising and financial management.

• Twelve years of proven experience leading an active programme of work, team management, financial planning and the execution of work programmes and projects.

• Masters (or equivalent) in ecology, biology, natural history, natural resource management, political science, socio-economics, or one of the related sciences.

• Fluent in English (essential) with good French, (Spanish be as asset).

• Ability to cope with varied workload and flexible working hours, and to work independently.

• Proven interpersonal and team-building skills in a multicultural environment.

• Previous experience with an international NGO/multi-lateral or inter-governmental agency is an advantage.

• Willingness to travel.

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.