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Country Director, Republic of Congo
Job Type: full-time permanent position
Posting Date: 7 Jan 14
Closing Date: 8 Apr 14
WCS is the premiere conservation NGO in Congo and has worked there continuously for 30 years. WCS-Congo currently employs approximately 300 staff, most Congolese, with an annual budget of $5.4 million including major support from USAID-CARPE III, USFWS, FTNS, and private donors. The country office is in Brazzaville but most staff are based in northern Congo (Nouabalé-Ndoki, Lac Télé, Ntokou-Pikounda, and adjacent logging concessions), Conkouati, and the Batéké Plateau. The country director is WCS’s legal representative in Republic of Congo and responsible for all WCS activities in the country.
1. Direct strategic and program planning and budgeting for the Republic of Congo Country Program in order to develop and strengthen the program and plan for the effective protection of Congo’s priority wildlife and habitat
2. Develop an effective WCS-Congo staff team by attracting, retaining, and developing the talents of both Congolese and expatriates
3. Ensure the effective functioning of country program and Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation finances and administration in order manage risk, comply with policies and best practice, and deliver effective implementation of country plans
4. Engage with the Government of Congo and multilateral and bilateral agencies, as well as private individuals and organizations, to secure political, financial, and organizational support to achieve conservation objectives
5. Guide the development of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation, including serving on its board, and build an effective management unit for the park under WCS’s new Park Director.
In Congo WCS directly manages Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (under the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation) and co-manages Lac Télé, Conkouati, Ntokou-Pikounda, and wildlife in adjacent logging concessions with the Ministry of Forests and logging companies. The survival of over half of the world’s gorillas, large numbers of chimpanzees, one of the three main surviving populations of African forest elephants, and one of the most intact blocks of tropical forest in the world depends critically on the Congo Country Directors’ ability to manage the relationship with the government, maintain and empower an effective staff team, keep resources flowing from public and private donors, and effectively oversee the administration and management of a large and complex conservation operation.
Specific Responsibilities Include:
• Implement, adapt, and in due course update WCS-Congo’s national conservation strategy and specific strategies for the conservation of northern Congo, the Bateke Plateaux and Conkouati
• Prepare, gain approval of, and ensure adherence to WCS-Congo’s annual budget
• Manage WCS-Congo’s staff team (direct reports include Finance Manager, HR Manager, Deputy Country Director, Government Liaison, Lac Tele Director, Bateke Director, PROGEP-PNNN Director, PROGEP-PNOK Director, Conkouati Director, Ndoki Director), including hiring, firing, evaluation, mentoring, salary review, etc.
• Maintain strong relations with the Ministry of Forests of Congo, negotiate agreements and protocols, seek to ensure the effectiveness of park wardens (conservateurs), mitigate threats to parks and landscapes (such as roads or illegal logging concessions), etc.
• Assisted by WCS NY, fundraise for the country program, including preparing proposals and reports, liaising directly with private and public donors, hosting visitors, etc.
• Oversee a program of applied science and monitoring in order to measure WCS conservation effectiveness and illuminate threats and interventions, and ensure that results are effectively published, disseminated, and leveraged to influence policy and garner resources
• Oversee administration, financial planning, purchasing, etc., providing direction and guidance to senior administrative and finance staff
• Recruit, mentor, and seek training and advancement opportunities for promising Congolese staff
• Serve on the board of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation; steer and guide the development of the foundation including board management, administration, etc.; work with the new Nouabalé-Ndoki Park Director to implement effective park management
• Work with appropriate ministries, the Nouabale-Ndoki Foundation, Sabine Plattner Charities, Leadership for Conservation in Africa, FTNS, etc. to catalyze commercial investment into and development of sustainable, professional ecotourism in Nouabale-Ndoki and Conkouati
• Work with the Ministry of Forests, CIB, Danzer, AFD, and KfW to develop the PROGEPP II program of sustainable forest management, social development, and wildlife conservation in the forestry concessions of northern Congo
Required and preferred qualifications for candidates
• Required: Master’s degree or higher in a discipline related to natural resources management, environment or rural development studies, protected area management, or wildlife or conservation biology
• Required: Minimum of ten years of progressively increasing responsibility for protected areas or natural resources management, sustainable development, and/or other environmental assistance or related work in developing countries; proven ability to build capacity and direct initiatives in park management, natural resource management, oversee field research, conservation biology, conservation advocacy, and project management
• Required: Proven knowledge and experience with donor government agencies and management of large agency grants
• Preferred: Proven fundraising record from government/agency sources, foundations, and private individuals
• Required: Substantial experience in host government relations, and knowledge of international conservation policy issues (including environmental treaties); proven ability to develop and maintain a network of high-level contacts with government officials, multi-lateral and bilateral technical and financial partners; demonstrated tact and negotiation skills
• Preferred: Significant work experience in Central Africa, knowledge of Central African environmental and political issues, and strong reputation in the environment community of Central Africa
• Required: Demonstrated experience effectively managing staff
• Required: Superb English communications skills both written and oral
• Required: French fluency (speaking, oral comprehension, written comprehension) including the ability to participate effectively in meetings; ability to draft written French
Contact Information:Please apply on-line at www.wcs.org, scroll to ‘careers’ at the bottom of the page and follow the prompts to apply on-line (you must register online in order to be considered). IN ADDITION TO APPLYING ONLINE: Please send a cover letter, resumé and at three references (with contact information including phone numbers) by email to the Hiring Manager, Kirstin Siex (email@example.com) copied to Nina Holbrook (firstname.lastname@example.org) using the following in the ‘Subject Line’ of the email
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