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Head, IUCN Knowledge Management and IUCN Publishing House

Vacancy #:   6063
Unit:   Knowledge management and library
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Director, IUCN Centre for Science and Data
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M1
Expected start date:   01 October 2022
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   11 September 2022 (extended)
1. The Head of the IUCN Knowledge Management and IUCN Publishing House is responsible for developing and delivering the IUCN Programme with respect to knowledge management, encompassing, outreach, monitoring, learning, publishing and the Library.

2. S/he is also responsible for developing, establishing and marketing of a viable revenue-generating business model for IUCN publications in order to establish an IUCN Publishing House that will provide a sustainable revenue stream, implemented according to a credible business plan and staffed with qualified staff.

As the leader of a Team in the Centre for Science and Data, the Head is expected to cooperate with the other global teams in the Centre to contribute to and deliver the Centre’s Business Plan, and with all other global teams in the other three Centres to deliver a coherent and aligned thematic programme of activities.

The Head will maintain leadership and oversight of IUCN’s global work on the Knowledge Management, developing and maintaining a well-defined strategic focus supported by a sustainable project portfolio that draws on the capacities of the other Centres, and is executed globally together with the Regions, Commissions and Members. The Head is responsible for securing the resources to maintain staff capacity, and for efficient and effective management of projects and partnerships led by the team in accordance with the relevant contracts and agreements, including technical and financial reporting.

The Head is responsible for planning, budgeting and financial management that achieves full cost recovery, and generates surplus revenues that supports the overall management of the Centre. In particular, the Head will develop a new business model for an IUCN Publishing House that will raise revenues for IUCN while establishing IUCN as a leader in open access publishing.

The Head is responsible for the recruitment, management and supervision of all staff to carry out their assigned duties, and to development the team and the individual staff to reach their potential through mentorship and support.

The Head is also responsible for upholding IUCN policies, maintaining a current awareness of relevant policies for Knowledge Management and the Library at the international and regional level, contributing towards IUCN’s policy positions on relevant subjects. S/he will also ensure that the project portfolio is instrumental in making the case for relevant policies and translating public policy into public funding and conservation outcomes. The Head coordinates communications on Knowledge Management and the Library for the Union, supporting and representing the Director General, IUCN Members and liaising with the relevant IUCN Commissions. In particular, the Head is one of the focal points for the IUCN Commissions on Education and Communication.

The duties and responsibilities of the Head, Knowledge Management and IUCN Publishing House are framed by the following areas of accountability:

Programme development, coordination and reporting;
Acting as IUCN’s senior thematic focal point on knowledge management;
IUCN Publishing House business development and project management;
Resource mobilisation and portfolio development;
Planning, budgeting and financial management;
Supervision and development of staff;
Policy and communication.

The specific thematic functions of this position are as follows:

1. Develop and implement a knowledge management strategy for IUCN

• Lead on the development and implementation of a IUCN Strategy on knowledge management, encompassing outreach, monitoring and learning (incorporating the Library and the IUCN Publishing House and including mechanisms for meaningful engagement of Members and Commissions);
• In close collaboration with the Head of Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) and the Head of Global Communications Unit, ensure that implementation of this Strategy is integrated and coherent with agreed IUCN MEL systems, practices and processes as well as the Global Communication Strategy;
• Ensure that IUCN knowledge management and learning contributes to implementation and monitoring mechanisms of the IUCN Programme “Nature 2030”.

2. IUCN Publishing House Business development and project management

2.a IUCN Publications

• Oversee the publishing process led by the Library Team.

2.b Business development

• Conduct market analysis of IUCN’s whole constituency (and potentially beyond) in relation to the production, coordination, publication, preservation, and dissemination of conservation publications (monographs and journals) and compare it with IUCN’s current Publishing offer;
• Develop a Publishing House Business Plan through scoping of potential business models in open access publishing that would increase access to conservation knowledge while raising generating self-sustainable income for library and publishing operations;
• Outline the next steps and business requirements for the continued development of a publishing/information management operation at IUCN compatible with open access and which is capable of generating revenue while ensuring alignment with donor requirements.

2.c. Implementation of Publishing House Business Plan

• Implement pilot project(s) to test the revenue models of the Publishing House business plan;
• Lead on the implementation and management of the selected business model for a revenue-generating IUCN Publishing House;
• Ensure appropriate reporting and analysis to measure success and identify areas of improvement;
• Design training strategies for IUCN staff on incorporating new publishing models.

3. Management and resource mobilization

• Manage the Knowledge Management and Publishing House Team, directing and deploying staff on a day-to-day basis, and working closely with the Centre Director with respect to mobilization and allocation of financial resources in accordance with the IUCN system;
• Working with the other Science and Data Thematic Heads, identify and promote opportunities to market IUCN’s knowledge effectively with, inter alia, an explicit goal to ensure IUCN knowledge generation is self-sustaining, including resources for re-investment;
• Ensure that all Knowledge Management & Publishing House Team staff members have a clear understanding of operational plans, their own role in delivering these plans, how this relates to the role of others colleagues and the necessary accountability and risk management procedures they must adhere to;
• Spot, encourage and nurture talent while at the same time proactively addressing any behaviours that diminish the effectiveness and well-being of the team;
• Working under the guidance of the Centre Director, develop and maintain a high-quality, programmatically aligned portfolio of income streams that is sufficient to deliver IUCN’s programme of work on Knowledge Management and Library Services;
• Proactively contribute to and participate in the Centre for Science & Data with particular emphasis on contributing to and reinforcing an institution-wide commitment to transparent and accountable management, innovative cooperation and team-based delivery.


1. Enthusiastic commitment and vision, characterised by:

• A commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use;
• Ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction;

2. Experience of development of commercial publishing operations

• Experience in developing business models and business planning for commercial publishing ventures;
• Experience of developing and managing commercial publishing operations.

3. Leadership abilities and experience, maturity and management skills, characterised 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 global Teams with diverse skills, personalities, and backgrounds;
• Proven ability to effectively delegate, empower and motivate staff and others;
• Experience developing teams and individuals and effectively leading improvement and change;
• 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 ability to both plan and act, keeping the staff focused on priorities;
• Demonstrated experience in the selection, coaching and appraisal of staff;
• Demonstrated experience building teams diverse in gender, nationality and background to achieve business results.

4. Senior management experience, characterised by:

• A well-developed sense of managerial self-awareness with an ability to proactively manage individual strengths and weaknesses (including one’s own) and understand how these influence the team’s performance;
• Demonstrated experience and achievements in organisational, financial and personnel management, and in decision-making;
• A commitment to embrace and co-own institutional change processes;
• 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.

5. Professional competencies, characterised by:

• Good understanding of world affairs and experience with the workings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions;
• Recognition among peers in terms of leadership and understanding of social science related issues;
• 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;
• Knowledge of publishing processes in commercial and research systems.

6. Sound judgment and decision-making, characterised by:

• Experience in identifying key issues in complex situations; consulting, gathering, and analysing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations;
• Well-organised and logical in thought and action;
• Ability to anticipate, assess and manage risk.


The general areas of accountability of a Thematic Head – as outlined in the Terms of Reference – are as follows:

1. Programme development, coordination and reporting

• Act as IUCN’s senior thematic focal point on Knowledge Management and Library and coordinate with all other programme units and regions to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to applying IUCN norms and standards across the organisation, and to providing authoritative advice to the Union, its Members and external audiences;
• Contribute to the Centre’s leadership and business plan;
• Develop the overall programme strategy for the team to deliver the IUCN Programme and Vision 2030;
• Liaise with other programme units to integrate functions for programme delivery;
• Coordinate the main flagship programmes of the programme unit;
• Report on progress according to the IUCN Programme Results Framework for relevant programme areas;
• Coordinate a specific hub (needs its own TORs);
• Coordinate a specific initiative (needs its own TORs);
• Contribute to IUCN Strategic Initiatives as required.

2. Resource mobilisation and portfolio development

• Develop a project pipeline based on concepts that match with the objectives and interests of donors and partners;
• Ensure the application of IUCN Project Guidelines and Standards (PGS) and Project Appraisal and Approval (PAAS) procedures;
• Involve all relevant programme units in the Programme Group and regions in the preparation of project proposals;
• Liaise with relevant Commission Groups and with IUCN members and partners, to involve them in programme and project development and implementation;
• Identify innovative approaches to programme delivery, investment and revenue generation for the use of unrestricted funds.

3. Planning, budgeting and financial management

• Prepare annual work plans and budgets;
• Undertake procurement in accordance with IUCN Delegation of Authority;
• Monitor programme implementation and expenditure for all projects in the programme unit portfolio;
• Ensure that all technical and financial reports are prepared in accordance with contracts;
• Ensure the complementarity and efficiency of projects in the portfolio, meeting the timelines for delivery of technical and financial reports;
• Allocate staff capacity to deliver the projects and programme objectives and ensure strategic growth of the staff complement and its sustainability.

4. Supervision and development of staff

• Plan and recruit staff capacity to deliver the programme and projects;
• Supervise and coordinate the leads for each thematic programme area in the team;
• Support and develop the relevant staff to perform their functions individually and collectively;
• Build capacity of staff to develop fundable projects that support and expand their work;
• Ensure application of Conditions of Service and other HR policies.

5. Policy and communications

• Maintain a current awareness of relevant international, regional and national policies for the theme;
• Support the development of IUCN’s policy engagement in relevant arenas, in coordination with the International Policy Unit, and with the input of relevant Commission experts;
• Coordinate the monitoring of implementation and reporting on the resolutions and recommendations of the World Conservation Congress that are the responsibility of the Team;
• Represent IUCN and the Director General on thematic policy and communications functions;
• Prepare and implement a communication strategy through relevant media, including publications;
• Ensure that knowledge and learning across the programme portfolio are communicated internally across programme units and externally.
  • At least 10 years of experience of designing, leading and managing initiatives, programmes and projects aimed at the application of knowledge management, outreach, learning and library services relevant to conservation and sustainable development.

• Proven experience of establishing a successful commercially–based publications operation.

• At least 10 years of experience of proven capacity and skills in leading and managing diverse, multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks involving e.g. government agencies, NGOs, international organisations, development agencies, and scientific and technical bodies.

• A strong and established track record in the design and incorporation of knowledge outreach and learning strategies into a science-led organisation.

• A track record in successfully developing viable business models for and marketing sustainable development related knowledge.

• A strong network with, and recognized standing among, a knowledge management and learning community of practice, preferably with a focus on sustainable development issues.

• Experience and a demonstrable track record in staff management and development.

• Experience in working across a range of geographic and cultural settings.

• Demonstrated capacity to successfully design projects according to the latest project appraisal standards. Previous working experience of the GEF or other multilateral funding mechanism would be an additional asset.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of audiences. A second language (French, Spanish) is highly desirable.

• Ability to travel when required.
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is CHF 134'355, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. 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: 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.