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WWF Adria

Chief Executive Officer

WWF Adria is searching for a Chief Executive Officer to lead the vision, strategic planning and institutional development of the work in the Western Balkan region. As the CEO, you will lead the senior management team and drive a high-performing organisation that is influential in shaping the conservation agenda of the Adria region. You are an empowering, strategic, and internationally-minded leader committed to the conservation of forests, marine and freshwater ecosystems.

About WWF Adria

WWF has been a leading voice for nature for more than 60 years. WWF’s mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. To deliver this mission, WWF works to conserve biodiversity, the web that supports all life on Earth; reduce humanity’s ecological footprint; and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources to support current and future generations.

WWF Adria was officially established in 2015 although WWF has been active in the Western Balkan region for more than 15 years. WWF Adria works in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

WWF Adria works to protect and restore the outstanding natural wealth of the region for the benefit of its people. WWF Adria pursues change on the ground: well managed protected areas on land and sea, connected to local communities, promoting ecotourism; free flowing rivers providing water resources and protected from unsustainable hydropower development; healthy marine ecosystems supporting sustainable fisheries; governance, policies and investment that enhance natural capital; people and societies that are aware of nature contribution to their wellbeing. 

About the Role

The Chief Executive Officer provides strong leadership to drive vision, results, and impact, to guarantee the continuous development of WWF Adria, as a robust and high performing regional organisation across the region. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for ensuring that WWF Adria is relevant and influential in shaping the conservation agenda of the Adria region. The CEO will position WWF Adria as a strong member of the global WWF network, uphold the organisation’s values and contribute to achieving the global goals of WWF by delivering impact at the national, regional and global level.

Major Functions

  • Drive WWF Adria to be a high performing, results-driven organisation well embedded in the fabric of the Western Balkan societies, delivering significant positive impact for both the Adria region and WWF globally.
  • Provide and lead the vision, strategic planning and institutional development of WWF Adria in close consultation with the Global Country Offices Leadership Team, aligned both with regional conservation priorities and WWF’s global priorities.
  • Promote the vision and objectives of WWF Adria to internal and external WWF stakeholders, and participate in strategic partnership-building and fundraising approaches in coordination with all stakeholders as appropriate.
  • Provide effective leadership and line management for all members of the Senior Management Team of WWF Adria, making it a cohesive, competent, accountable, responsive management and enabling team for the WWF Adria organisation.
  • Ensure that WWF Adria is well embedded in civil society and is viewed as a champion for the Adria region on conservation, environmental democracy and sustainable development issues, and as a trusted partner by all actors in Adria societies and international actors.
  • Champion and ensure robust oversight to safeguards and social policies, adhering to Network Standards and risk-based approaches to managing operations of WWF Adria in the region.
  • Actively affirm and role models the behaviours, values and culture of WWF.

Duties and Responsibilities

In this role, you will:

  • Provide overall direction and leadership in developing and executing the strategic objectives and institutional vision of WWF Adria.
  • Continuously strengthen the reputation and credibility of WWF at the national and regional level to influence policies and processes in line with the global priorities programme of WWF.
  • Develop a long-term strategy to meet fundraising targets across all sectors (Corporate, Individual, Major donors and Public Sector Partnerships) to deliver the conservation agenda of Adria.
  • Initiate and lead strategic partnerships relevant for the strategic plan and institutional vision of WWF Adria such as the WWF Network, governments, international organisations, other NGOs, businesses and the general public.
  • Ensure effective communications and partnerships to position WWF Adria and the key global initiatives of the WWF Network among governments, international organisations, other NGOs, businesses and the general public, to leverage opportunities at national, regional and global levels.
  • Represent WWF Adria in key internal network and external forums, including high-level donors, partners and prospects to solicit support and funding. 
  • Ensure that WWF Adria complies with all relevant legal requirements or local laws, and maintain the highest ethical standards, implementing robust social policies, safeguarding and the Network standards.
  • Establish and implement the internal set-up to ensure that WWF Adria is effective and efficient across all aspects of the organisational work – conservation, operations, finance, people & culture, communication, marketing, fundraising and policy and partnerships.
  • Liaise effectively with the WWF Adria Assembly at a regional level and actively contribute to regular meetings, ensure timely and effective inputs, and relevant decisions and recommendations are implemented.
  • Build a culture of performance, feedback, positivity, engagement, creativity and work ethic in WWF Adria.
  • Perform other duties as requested by the Regional Director, Europe.

Skills and Experience

Required Qualifications

  • At least 10 years relevant professional experience in a leadership role preferably within an International Development institution or complex matrix environment. 
  • Knowledge of the environmental and socio-economic challenges across the Western Balkans / Adria region.
  • Demonstrable successes in managing multi-disciplinary, multicultural, multi-country teams.
  • Advanced University degree in Business Management, International Relations, International Development, or any advanced degree with a proven track record in leadership and managerial skills. Additional academic training (MBA) or a degree in an environmental / conservation field would be a strong asset.
  • Proven track record in successfully developing, leading, and managing large-scale programmes and/or institutions in the field of conservation, natural resource management, international development, and/or other related fields.
  • Excellent understanding of risk-based approaches to managing projects and programmes and proven knowledge and experience of working with local communities and applying relevant social policies and safeguards.
  • Successful track record in fundraising.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and any other language of the region. 
  • Identify closely with the core values of the WWF organization: Courage, Collaboration, Respect & Integrity.
  • Clearly demonstrate behaviors aligned to the culture of WWF: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly and Innovate Fearlessly;
  • Adhere to WWF’s brand values: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.

Equality Statement

As an organisation, WWF encourages fair employment practices worldwide and offers equal opportunities to all qualified individuals regardless of gender, colour, race, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, political or religious belief.