As Executive Director for the Caucasus Nature Fund, you will lead vital funding support for nature conservation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. You will manage the organisation across its programs, finances, communications and operations, supporting stunningly beautiful protected areas in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. By maintaining and developing relationships with national governments, the region’s national parks and other local implementing partners, as well as with donors, you will shape CNF’s development in the Caucasus region.
About The Caucasus Nature Fund
The Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) is one of the leading conservation trust funds. Established in 2008 with support from four of the world’s leading funders of nature conservation, today they are a dynamic, independent foundation managing almost EUR 90 million in assets to provide support to the national parks and nature reserves of the South Caucasus biodiversity hotspot (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). They aim to conserve the unique flora and fauna through innovative sustainable financing mechanisms while improving the local people’s daily lives.
CNF’s model emphasises long-term commitment, transparency and accountability. Working in partnership with the governments, they provide support through matching grants, which cover protected area (PA) operating costs such as salaries, equipment, vehicles and renewal and maintenance of park facilities.
About the Role
CNF is looking for a new Executive Director to lead and continue the growth of CNF from its base in Tbilisi, Georgia. With the guidance of an experienced and engaged Board of Directors, you will lead a small and focused team of ten people in three countries, managing the organisation’s programmes, finances, communications and operations. You will inspire and motivate the whole foundation. You will also work with three partner conservation trust funds in co-managing the Nature Trust Alliance, a small (4-person) organisation based in Frankfurt that provides back-office support to all three trust funds.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Represent the foundation’s interests in dealings with the governments, donors (including the German Government and its development bank KfW) and other partners.
- Manage and support CNF staff in implementing the strategy through the grant programme and allocate an annual budget of more than EUR 3 million.
- Oversee a programme of direct assistance to approximately 20 protected areas in Georgia and Armenia, supporting their operations, as well as a programme of technical assistance to develop increased local capacity.
- Ensure results in measurable improvement in protected area management efficiency and sustainability in planning, budgeting, protection, monitoring of biodiversity and revenue generation.
- Manage all non-programme areas of the foundation, including the budget, financial planning and reporting.
Work with the Board to further develop the strategic direction of CNF.
- Support the foundation’s investment processes.
- Ensure effective communication about CNF’s work, build its reputation and, with the support of the Board, continue CNF’s work to acquire new funds to support its mission.
Skills and Experience
- A track record of managing, motivating and mentoring small teams.
- Experience developing, delivering and reporting on programmes.
- Strong financial oversight, including budget management.
- Hands-on mentality with the ability to work within a small structure.
- Resilience and flexibility to adapt to changing contexts.
- Excellent communication skills, with experience influencing key stakeholders both internally and externally.
- Diplomatic and representation skills and the ability to represent the foundation before high-level decision-makers.
- An energetic, self-starting individual who can express ideas, recognise opportunities, communicate goals and objectives clearly, and act with discipline and integrity that drives the organisation.
- Experience in nature conservation or international development is beneficial.
- Fluency in English.
- Knowledge of Russian is an advantage; German could also be helpful.
- Willingness to travel.