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Director – IUCN European Regional Office

Vacancy #:   5930
Unit:   European Regional Office - Director's Office - Bonn
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   European Regional Office Germany, Bonn, Germany
Reporting to:   Director General
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   D
Expected start date:   01 November 2022
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (26 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   24 April 2022
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 Programme, the Regional Director for Europe oversees the involvement of IUCN European members, commission members, private sector, international cooperation and development actors amongst other key stakeholders. The Regional Director is part of the senior management team of IUCN and contributes to global targets of conservation.

The IUCN European Regional Office provides regional and global services to the organisation. The Office provides vital linkages for IUCN to key European Union (EU) institutions and other public and private actors with regional headquarters in Brussels and Europe.

With a firm understanding of Europe and international challenges and opportunities, the Regional Director in coordination with IUCN Members drives the IUCN programme implementation in the region. The Director will lead a Regional Service Hub, providing services and programme support to the Brussels Office, Mediterranean Centre, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Offices. The Director will ensure the smooth coordination of the offices, such that they effectively deliver on IUCN’s mission.

As the official representative in the region, she/he is responsible for maintaining a high and professional corporate profile for IUCN, particularly with IUCN Members, partners and stakeholder groups at different levels. She/he will be responsible for fundraising efforts to be able to comply with IUCN programme as approved by IUCN Members.

This position requires an accomplished, credible and reliable senior leader with strong experience and a good understanding of environmental policy issues in the regional context. Fully supported by a range of local, regional and global experts, the Regional Director, is accountable for financial, people and administrative resources and ensures the financial viability of IUCN programme in line with IUCN policies 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.

The principal focus of the IUCN Regional Office for Europe:

a. Working with European IUCN Members to inform and shape European decision-making
b. Support fundraising efforts at the EU level
c. In coordination with IUCN Members and Commissions implement IUCN Programme in the region
d. Influence EU-policy to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.
e. Support IUCN’s offices in Europe, including ECARO in Belgrade (Serbia), the Mediterranean Centre in Malaga (Spain) and Brussels (Belgium) offices.

The Director of the IUCN European Regional Office represents the IUCN Secretariat and provides leadership and guidance for all activities undertaken by the Secretariat within the EU context in Brussels and the European Region .


Leadership, Policy Influencing and Representation

• Represent and promote the mission of IUCN in Europe 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;
• Represent, or arrange for appropriate representation of IUCN in relevant EU events in Brussels;
• Promote IUCN’s mission and ensure that IUCN’s policies and programmes are reflected in the decisions of the EU institutions located in Brussels because of their role in global issues and processes that are directly relevant to IUCN’s mission and programme
• Provide strategic leadership and guidance in delivering IUCN’s programme in Europe.
• Serve as a member of IUCN’s Senior management team to establish and implement strategic decisions for the IUCN Secretariat;
• In coordination with IUCN’s Strategic Partnership Unit, establish diplomatic relations with governments and formalise such relationships by forging agreements that enhance active cooperation and collaboration between parties in conserving 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;
• Provide strategic direction on regional and country-specific knowledge products 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;
• Engage current and potential members, governments and other partners at the 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 parts of IUCN – government 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 Europe.
• Initiate, promote and facilitate initiatives and dialogues on key issues of conservation policy based on IUCN's regional and global priorities;
• Partner with national and regional IUCN Member Committees in preparing IUCN’s quadrennial programme and influencing EU Policy.
• In coordination with IUCN’s Strategic Partnership Unit establish and maintain exceptional relations with the donor community in the region to obtain long-term engagement and support for IUCN’s programme and to the activities of IUCN Members in promoting the incorporation of conservation principles into development programmes;
• Identify institutions – both public and private – with which IUCN can establish collaborative relationships in programmatic work in the future;
• Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team and coordinate with other IUCN offices in Europe and worldwide to develop deeper collaboration opportunities that strengthen IUCN’s mission.

Resources, Operational and Change Management

• Develop and implement a diversified fundraising strategy from EU sources for IUCN’s work through the Secretariat, Commissions and Members in close collaboration with the Strategic Partnerships Unit in Headquarters.
• Coordinate with other IUCN Regional Offices and Programmes, relevant EU institutions, relations and fundraising efforts.
• 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 with IUCN Headquarters and other regional and outposted offices.
• Direct the effective operation of the activities of the IUCN Secretariat in the region, including workforce resources and financial management, as well as the implementation of IUCN policies, procedures and control mechanisms.
• Provide guidance and oversee the support to out-posted staff located in the European Regional Office from other components of the Secretariat in close collaboration with their respective line managers.
• Ensure that the IUCN Association in Brussels (AISBL) continues to operate within Belgian law.
  • Advanced University Degree in a development or science-related area including natural resources management, business management, public administration, project management, economics, conservation and sustainable development or relevant social sciences.

• A minimum of 15 years’ progressively responsible 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 10 years in Europe.

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

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

• Proven experience in working with EU institutions.

• 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 this fits into the global context.

• Fluency in English and French (verbal and written) is essential; knowledge of other language is an advantage.

• Excellent communication and presentation skills.

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


• 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 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 way 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.

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.