This role is an exciting opportunity to serve on the leadership team of one of the newest independent offices of the WWF network, in a country rich with iconic species, forests and coastal resources. As Conservation Director, you will lead a dynamic program team and coordinate WWF Kenya’s conservation efforts by defining priorities, linking to global conservation outcomes, monitoring progress and assessing impact. You are a holistic thinker and strong communicator, passionate and committed to conservation and sustainable development.
About WWF Kenya
The World Wildlife Fund in Kenya is part of the largest environmental conservation organization on the planet, striving to improve the lives of communities and wildlife that call Kenya home. WWF’s first active conservation work in Kenya started in 1962, with efforts to protect the black rhino. This marked the start of an extensive engagement, including the purchase of private land which was donated to the Kenyan government, which is now Lake Nakuru National Park.
Today, WWF Kenya supports conservation and development by working with people, business and governments in sustainable development programmes including water resources management, forest conservation and management, integrated marine conservation and management, and wildlife conservation. It focuses on water management in the Mara river and Naivasha basins, and targets resources to some of the most biodiverse forests in Kenya, including forests that also act as water towers for important downstream water users, and some forests that are critical cultural sites to indigenous communities. The management of coastal resources and fisheries is also an important growing area of work. WWF Kenya further seeks to influence and improve policies and legislation as well as governance and accountability for natural resource management.
About the role
Under the supervision of the CEO, the Conservation Director will ensure that WWF Kenya delivers conservation impact at scale and meets key performance indicators. The CD oversees and gives strategic direction to the conservation division, streamlines business processes and procedures, and ensures effective implementation of all adopted conservation policies and standards, as well as the application of best practices, and the meeting of programme reporting requirements.
Purpose of the role
- To lead, oversee and coordinate WWF Kenya’s conservation efforts in Kenya by defining WWF Kenya’s conservation priorities, linking it with global practice strategies and conservation outcomes, and monitoring progress and assessing impact.
- To help the WWF Kenya Office grow in strength and influence by supporting the development and implementation of strongly defined and engaging campaign strategies.
Duties and responsibilities
- Work with the CEO and the Senior Management Team to develop and implement a consistent approach to strategy development and funding strategies to support WWF Kenya’s conservation programmes and drive WWF Kenya forward.
- Define the strategic direction of the conservation department and oversee implementation of the conservation activities working with government, civil society, business and partners as well as within WWF Kenya’s community of partners, staff, Board and supporters.
- Establish, implement and oversee the monitoring of conservation programmes and priorities in line with strategic plans which demonstrate their conservation targets.
- Inspire, motivate, empower, develop and provide training for the conservation team.
- Direct conservation activities, and monitor effectiveness of the Conservation Team who in turn coordinate priorities and activities. Oversee all Conservation Team processes and ensure that projects, plans and procedures are in place to support them.
- Maintain and deliver a plan and budget for the delivery of the conservation programmes in line with strategic plans, and deliver impact at scale that are effectively contributing to relevant priorities. Set annual conservation division budgets and ensure effective management of agreed budgets in line with WWF Kenya’s procedures.
- Participates and takes up conservation policy level engagement as necessary to influence change at all levels. Establish a network of influence with key organisations and individuals in the country to influence and inform national policy and decision-making.
- Support proposal development in attracting funding opportunities for conservation initiatives to ensure that the development of their most promising initiatives benefits from the latest thinking on conservation strategy development.
- Ensure that WWF Kenya has established solid baselines and SMART indicators for their biodiversity targets and footprint objectives at programme and project levels. Lead conservation audits and evaluations as required and ensuring timely and effective implementation of all recommendations.
- Experience working in an international or inter-cultural environment in a non-profit or an environmental organization. Knowledge of the WWF Network is an advantage.
- Passion and commitment for conservation and sustainable development.
- Demonstrated evidence of a strong strategic and analytical mind-set.
- Solutions-oriented with effective problem-solving abilities. Ability to think flexibly and creatively while driving change and high performance.
- Excellent practical and theoretical knowledge of conservation planning at the field and programme level, monitoring and evaluations as well as all essential tools and best practices required.
- Effective working in teams to achieve a common objective. Ability to manage multiple projects and remote teams against tight deadlines. Ability to interact with and influence the senior management team, WWF Kenya Board and relevant staff in different functional areas in a positive manner.
- Strong interpersonal skills, a networker who is good at building relationships. Strong people management and leadership skills with a high degree of accountability. Decisive, proactive, collaborative and an excellent communicator.
- Excellent communication skills, including fluent spoken and written English.
- Experience of securing funding for projects and conservation activities.
- Advanced degree (Master’s or higher) in Biology, Natural Resources, Environment, Ecology, Social Science or related discipline. Seven years post-graduate professional direct experience in relation to environment, development, conservation or sustainability.
- At least 10 years of experience in conservation planning and programme design, M&E, audits and evaluations both at the conceptual and practical level. At least 5-years in a senior conservation leadership role.