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Finance Officer

Vacancy #:   1428
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Secretary General
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   15 May 2017
Type of contract:   Max-term (23 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   15 January 2017
The Convention on Wetlands is recognized by the international community as an intergovernmental agreement and its Secretariat is administered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Ramsar Secretariat is under the authority of the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately of its Conference of the Parties.

Legally, Ramsar Secretariat staff, including the Secretary General, are IUCN employees and their contracts are governed by the IUCN Global Human Resources Policy, Expatriate Policy, the Conditions of Service for Switzerland, and Swiss labour law.

The Finance Officer is responsible for the financial administration of the Ramsar Convention, facilitating positive relationships with donors, providing clear financial information to the Contracting Parties to the Convention and advising the Secretary General on the financial management of the Convention. The incumbent is responsible for financial management within the Secretariat through the provision of accurate and timely information on both core and project finances. The Finance Officer will adjust to the needs of the Secretariat’s recurring triennial cycle.

The Finance Officer has a major role in the effective management of the resources of the Convention. Responsible for approximately CHF 3 million in project funds; and CHF 5 million in annual contributions to the core budget.


The Finance Officer is involved in all areas of preparation of budgets; working closely with the Secretary General for the core budget, and the regional teams for non-core projects. The Finance Officer is responsible for the following operational tasks:

• Reviewing and, if necessary, adapting the Convention’s financial and administrative processes and procedures in accordance with the processes of the host organization, IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
• Preparing budgets for the Convention for approval by the Standing Committee and the triennial Conference of the Parties.
• Calculating the annual contributions (the core funding of the Secretariat) and overseeing the invoicing and collection processes for the Secretariat.
• Presenting the yearly budget and results to the Standing Committee.
• Presenting monthly core financial reports to the Secretary General.
• Overseeing the preparation of travel and expense advances for all related meetings.
• Overseeing the preparation and input of invoices for submission to authorizing signatories.
• During the year of the Conference of the Parties, taking responsibility for the Convention’s Conference of the Parties Administrative budget and also sponsored delegates’ travel and travel costs.
• The Finance Officer is responsible for the overview and control of all contracts and monitors the register of these commitments. The Finance Officer also oversees the service arrangements between Ramsar and IUCN, and facilitates the annual external audit.
• For non-core projects, including grants programmes, the Finance Officer is responsible for providing guidance to Regional Teams, preparing budgets, controlling contracts and expenditures and reporting to donors.


This position will have direct management responsibility for 2 administrative positions that are responsible for a variety of functions and will ensure continuous delivery of these functions during any administrative staff absences.

The Finance Officer has a key role in Secretariat technology projects, both in relation to the project specification and vendor selection, and supporting the project management and delivery.


The Finance Officer is particularly responsible for:
• Ensuring that the budgeting process reflects and supports the Strategic Plan and the priorities of the Convention.
• Providing a clear picture and understanding of the financial health of the Ramsar Secretariat, including the development of a set of financial performance indicators.
• Closely liaising with IUCN to ensure provision of high quality financial information to the Secretary General and Convention bodies to support good decision making.
• Harmonizing Ramsar’s financial processes with IUCN.
• Providing support and high quality relevant information to fundraising efforts to ensure adequate income and strong interest and commitment from donors.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small secretariat such as Ramsar, 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.
  • 5-7 years' experience in a finance manager position in an international environment

• Finance or accounting qualification (such as ACA, CPA, CA)

• Experience using an ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics NAV)

• Experience presenting budgets.

• Experience supplying required information to external auditors for annual financial statement audits.

• Experience with donor reporting.

• Experience of handling a cross-cultural work force in a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary setting

• Excellent managerial, analytical, interpersonal, negotiating and team building skills

• Ability to work under pressure, deal tactfully with sensitive issues.

• Willingness to maintain a balance between the operational demands and the strategic aspects of the post

• Demonstrated skills and practice in strategic planning, policy, performance & change management

• Fluency in written & spoken English. French and/or Spanish as advantage. Computer literacy
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 100'355 to CHF 125'444, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.

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/

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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.

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