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 organization 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 in Europe. Established in 2008 with support from four of the world’s leading funders of nature conservation, today we are a dynamic, independent foundation managing almost EUR 60 million in assets to provide support to the national parks and nature reserves of the South Caucasus biodiversity hotspot (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). Through our innovative sustainable financing mechanism, we aim to conserve the unique flora and fauna of this region, while improving the day-to-day lives of the local people.
Our model emphasizes long-term commitment, transparency and accountability. Working in partnership with the governments, we 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
We are looking for a new Executive Director to lead and continue the growth of CNF from our base in Tbilisi, Georgia. With the guidance of an experienced and engaged Board of Directors, you will lead a small and focused team of five people in three countries, managing the organization across its programs, finances, communications and operations. You will inspire and motivate the whole foundation. You will also work with two partner conservation trust funds in co-managing the Nature Trust Alliance, a small (4-person) organization based in Frankfurt that provides back-office support to all three trust funds.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Work with the Board to further develop the strategic direction of CNF, representing the foundation’s interests in dealings with the governments and other partners.
- Manage and support CNF staff in implementing the strategy through the grant program and allocate the annual budget of more than EUR 2.5 million.
- Oversee a program of direct assistance to approximately 20 protected areas in Georgia and Armenia, supporting their operations, as well as a program 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-program areas of the foundation including the budget, financial planning and reporting.
- 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
- The successful candidate should meet the following criteria:
- A track record of managing, motivating and mentoring small teams.
- Experience developing and delivering programs
- Strong financial oversight, including budget management
- Hands-on 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
- Diplomacy and representation skills and the ability to represent the foundation with high-level decision-makers.
- An energetic, self-starting individual who can express ideas, recognize opportunities and communicate goals and objectives clearly, and act with discipline and integrity that drives the organization.
- Experience in nature conservation or international development is beneficial
- Fluency in English oral and written
- Knowledge of German and/or Russian would be an advantage
- Willingness to travel