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Director General

Vacancy #:   5212
Unit:   Director General's Office
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
  IUCN Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
1196 Gland
Reporting to:   -
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   DG
Expected start date:   19 October 2023
Type of contract:   Max-term (60 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   17 December 2019
United for life and livelihoods

We are currently seeking an outstanding leader to join IUCN as our new Director General.
Reporting to the IUCN Council (elected by the Members’ Assembly every 4 years) and working in close collaboration with the IUCN President (Chair of the Council), this ambitious role is one of significant breadth and influence, combining effective operational coordination, strategic vision and leadership. The Director General’s most important tasks are to promote the mission of and increase its impact on nature conservation globally. The individual will lead and implement the Union’s programme as established by the Congress and Council. With the President, the Director General serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Union on major platforms, promoting the mission and programme objectives of IUCN.
The Director General will be a determined, bold and passionate individual with strong credibility in global conservation, environmental and sustainable development to build on the successes of IUCN to date, and to lead the organizational change needed for IUCN to achieve the objectives so vital at this urgent time. You will bring a track record of strategic leadership and operational management experience gained in large, global and complex organisations, with demonstrable commitment to IUCN’s values and approach. You will have significant interpersonal and relationship building skills to build and maintain strong partnerships across the broader conservation and development communities, and to engage stakeholders across the Union and facilitate the work of a diverse Membership and networks of expert Commission members. You will bring external representation skills to be a compelling ambassador on behalf of IUCN and a track record of enterpreneuralism, creating new and increasing existing revenue streams that help re-shape an organization’s revenues, as well as the ability to engage and operate effectively at the highest policy and political levels. Most importantly, you will bring a deep passion and energy towards IUCN’s vision and mission and a demonstrated commitment to nature conservation and ecologically sustainable development and be an authentic champion for IUCN’s core values.

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter, detailing how you fulfil the role description and personal specification to IUCN Portal. The deadline for applications is Sunday, 23 July at midnight CEST.

The role is based in Gland, Switzerland and the salary will be attractive and commensurate with the seniority of the role. Candidates must be fluent in English. A working knowledge in another IUCN language (French or Spanish) would be an advantage.

The Union is an equal opportunity employer with a diverse, globally distributed workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or age.

Accessibility Statement

For a conversation in confidence, please contact: Recruitment@IUCNDirectorGeneral.com

Should you require access to these documents in alternative formats, please contact Lucy Cooke via Recruitment@IUCNDirectorGeneral.com

If you have comments that would support us to improve access to documentation, or our application processes more generally, please do not hesitate to contact us via Recruitment@IUCNDirectorGeneral.com
  • Graduate degree ideally in subject areas related to conservation, environmental protection and/or sustainable development;

• Minimum of 20 years of relevant experience to undertake the role with a proven track record of leadership in international organizations, international NGOs, knowledge networks, civil service institutions and similar entities;

• A thorough and clear understanding of the major conservation, environmental and sustainable development issues at the international policy level, in particular within the context of the evolving environment/development interface and IUCN’s focus on conservation and nature-based solutions;

• A proven record in the management and implementation of conservation/sustainable development programmes in both the developed and developing parts of the world, and the ability to make short- term operational changes and long-term structural changes to strengthen the management and financial sustainability of the organization;

• A working knowledge of the science, law, policy and ethics underlying the Union’s conservation programmes;

• A demonstrable ability to engage and operate effectively at the highest policy and political levels as well as mobilization of a large Union and utilization of high-level networks and members;

• Strong communication skills to reach out to the broader conservation and development communities, and to engage stakeholders across the Union;

• Fluency in English, both spoken and written. A good knowledge of Spanish and/or French (other IUCN official languages), would be an asset;

• A demonstrable ability to enable, engage and facilitate the work of a diverse Membership and networks of expert Commission volunteers.

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.