Director, Conservation Areas – 23062

03 Jan, 2023


Director, Conservation Areas – 23062

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Washington, D.C.


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, seeks a Director, Conservation Areas.

Major Function

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, is making a concerted effort to promote inclusive conservation in the context of the 2030 area-based conservation (ABC) targets, which are scheduled to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in December 2022. Towards this goal, WWF-US has established the Conservation Areas Initiative (CAI). The CAI is founded on a set of new principles which support scaling up our efforts to work with teams in priority places to enhance ABC for nature and nature’s services to people for current and future conditions. This important work takes a science-based approach and includes enhanced governance equity and improved management effectiveness of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs); renovation of degraded areas; redesign of both landscapes/seascapes and individual areas; and rights-based expansion to new areas. Throughout this work, WWF ensures an inclusive, equitable approach that respects the rights and aspirations of Indigenous peoples and local communities. The programs promote sound governance practices, support populations in reaping enhanced benefits from their localities while adapting to changing conditions such as climate change and withstanding unwelcome external threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Combining this area-based effort with complementary work on durable finance including Project Finance for Permanence, the CAI team is promoting long-term financing for networks of protected areas and OECMs.

WWF-US seeks to recruit a Director to lead a global project on OECM awareness raising and capacity building, as well as to support the implementation of local-to-national activities with WWF offices and other diverse partners as part of the CAI. This will include working closely with WWF-US goal and influence teams, place-based programs, and staff in other WWF offices.


  • Run OECM-related awareness raising and capacity building activities for WWF country offices and other diverse partners, including Indigenous peoples’ and local community federations and organizations.
  • Foster strategic alliances, dialogues, and synergies with strategic stakeholders and partners regarding area-based conservation approaches.
  • Participate in prioritization processes to identify key landscapes, seascapes and river-basins in WWF-US priority places with good opportunities for enhancing and advancing ABC work.
  • Advise and support area-based conservation assessments and rights holder/stakeholder analyses in specific landscapes/seascapes/river basins, including a focus in Africa and Asia.
  • Strategically apply ABC tools and provide expert advice to support rights holder and stakeholder-led planning and review processes in specific landscapes/seascapes/river-basins, with a focus on Africa and Asia, under the guidance of the Senior Director, Conservation Areas; further advise on implementation, monitoring and revising of plans.
  • Develop, plan and implement components of new and ongoing projects and grants in relation to ABC, including a focus in Africa and Asia. Work with project personnel, grantees, consultants, and other goal team staff to facilitate coordination, communication, and regular reporting for current projects.
  • Facilitate the development of reports and communication materials for team projects and provide regular updates on progress.
  • As directed by the Senior Director, Conservation Areas, conduct specific capacity building and learning activities, monitor and analyze new technical information, policies, tools, and global trends related to area-based conservation; document learning from projects and develop guidance and facilitate knowledge exchanges.
  • Co-develop fundraising proposals and manage grants to support ABC activities. Provide support to goal teams and place-based bundle teams to incorporate ABC concepts. Prepare and/or finalize scopes of work, budgets, and administrative information for contracts and to ensure compliance with donor requirements.
  • Travel to project field locations, providing relevant technical analysis, capacity-building, and workshop planning and logistical support. Assist field offices in integrating ABC approaches in WWF priority places.
  • As directed by the Senior Director, Conservation Areas, represent the Conservation Areas Initiative and WWF at workshops and conferences.
  • Interact daily with other program staff and departments to advise and coordinate project activities or to obtain and disseminate information.
  • Interact regularly with representatives of WWF-International, other WWF offices and associate organizations, grantees, and consultants. Communicates with representatives of conservation organizations, universities, NGOs, corporations, and/or government agencies.
  • Closely coordinate with the Protected and Conserved Areas ACAI lead to ensure the outreach of WWF US work throughout the network.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • At least 10 years’ professional experience with an advanced degree in natural resource management, conservation, or landscape or regional planning. Additional qualification in international development is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of biodiversity and conservation issues in Africa and/or Asia, and work experience in one or more African and/or Asian countries with conservation area planning and management essential, including knowledge of OECMs.
  • Work experience in community-based conservation required.
  • Experience implementing national and international standards and/or best-practice guidelines for identifying biodiversity value and measuring effectiveness in area-based conservation preferred.
  • Experience in aligning international standards and frameworks with national and global policies and multilateral environmental agreements preferred.
  • Preference given to candidates who are multilingual; fluent in English with additional languages preferred.
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and produce high-quality work under time constraints.
  • Excellent organizational and project leadership skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a matrixed. team environment.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills are required, including effective public speaking and the ability to communicate complex issues both verbally and in written form.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to communicate effectively with constituents at all levels using courtesy, tact and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fundraising, budgeting, and monitoring donor compliance.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access).
  • Committed to building and strengthening a culture of inclusion within and across teams.
  • Identifies and aligns with WWF’s core values: Courage, Integrity, Respect, and Collaboration:
    • Demonstrates courage by speaking up even when it is difficult, or unpopular.
    • Builds trust with colleagues by acting with integrity, owning mistakes, and holding oneself accountable.
    • Welcomes other points of view and ideas, recognizing and embracing different and contrary perspectives with kindness, curiosity, and encouragement.
    • Makes conscious efforts to promote cooperative practices, behaviors, and ways of working across many groups and individuals.

WWF is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and requires all US-based staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.  WWF will consider requests for accommodation from the vaccine requirement based on disability, medical contraindication, sincerely held religious belief, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.


To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #23062
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone


As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply.

Job posted: 2023-01-03