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World Wildlife Fund, Mediterranean

Director, WWF Mediterranean / Mediterranean Marine Initiative

About WWF Mediterranean

WWF Mediterranean is creating change “in the water” for the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and support of vital coastal communities through ecosystem-based resource management practices and policy actions that drive biodiversity protection and sustainable development across the Mediterranean region.

WWF Mediterranean works for inclusive and equitable access to healthy marine ecosystems and the social and economic benefits they generate; mobilizes science and policy for conservation and sustainable resource management; supports coastal communities in the conservation of marine ecosystems through capacity building, peer-to-peer exchanges, engagement in marine co-management; raise awareness and mobilizes wider societies and decision-makers at all levels; push the private sector to invest in the conservation of the marine natural capital. WWF Mediterranean puts communities at the centre of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable resource use and ensures the decisions that impact local communities are genuinely shared and foster a greater awareness of environmental issues.

About the Role

The next Director for WWF Mediterranean will provide strong strategic leadership to drive vision, results, and impact to ensure the continuous development of the Mediterranean Marine Initiative (MMI). They will be working closely with the WWF partner offices in the Mediterranean, as well as donors, partners, and the MMI regional team. They will ensure that WWF Mediterranean is a strong WWF International-managed office which acts primarily as the legal and operational host for the MMI, performing essential operational and administrative functions to enable broader MMI success. In addition, the Director enables and empowers a strong regional MMI team who collaborates with the wider Mediterranean marine teams in each of the offices and relevant colleagues in the Oceans Practice or other initiatives. The director will provide Marine and Conservation thought leadership while building strong partnerships, collaboration and influence with regional and international institutions, donors, scientific organisations, economic sectors, and civil society.

Purpose of the Role

  • Leads and manages the MMI Strategy development, fundraising, and implementation in close collaboration with leaders and relevant staff in all Med National Offices (NOs) and Country Offices (COs), supervising and developing the regional MMI Team and ensuring the MMI Board is appropriately engaged and involved in decision-making 
  • Leads the strategic development and day-to-day management of WWF Mediterranean, which includes the MMI regional team and operational/administrative functions
  • Ensures delivery of the WWF Mediterranean Foundation’s statutory obligations, reporting to the Foundation Board
  • Provides effective leadership and performance management for all staff of WWF Mediterranean
  • Provides thought leadership on key Marine and Conservation issues and manages key partnerships, including the Mediterranean regional institutions, donors and stakeholders, to ensure optimal communications and mutually beneficial relationships are established and maintained.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director’s main focus is to lead the Mediterranean Marine Initiative in close conjunction with the Mediterranean offices (70-80% of the time) while also ensuring a well-run WWF Mediterranean office (20-30% of the time). They will provide efficient operational and administrative support to the MMI in compliance with WWF International and Network Standards and local legislation. 

Leading the Mediterranean Marine Initiative: 

  • Leads advocacy to promote the profile, influence and impact of WWF/MMI, representing the MMI and WWF Mediterranean in the key internal networks and external forums, including with high-level donors, partners and prospects to solicit support and funding
  • Provides and leads the vision, strategic planning and institutional development of the WWF MMI Regional Marine Portfolio in consultation with the WWF Mediterranean Offices and the Oceans Practice
  • Liaises with the WWF Mediterranean Offices to engage them in the MMI development and implementation, to agree on their contribution to the MMI, to meet their expectations for delivery and to ensure that consistent and integrated approaches are developed across WWF offices. They will also need to ensure each of the WWF Mediterranean Offices delivers on the goals of the MMI, with the appropriate leadership and capacity in place
  • Liaises effectively with the MMI Board, supports the Chair in convening regular meetings, reports on the status (strategy progress, budget, income pipeline, conservation delivery, challenges, etc.) of the MMI, ensures timely and effective inputs, and relevant decisions and recommendations are implemented
  • In line with the MMI Strategy, makes day-to-day decisions on Conservation, policy, fundraising, and project development and implementation issues
  • Ensures effective communications and partnerships with WWF Network, regional and international institutions, donors, governments, other non-governmental organisations, maritime sector stakeholders, and the public to ensure a strong profile of MMI and its activities, as well as leveraging support, funding and opportunities between national, regional and global levels
  • Ensures fundraising and communication strategies are developed and implemented to support overall Conservation objectives and donor requirements. Oversee the development and implementation of regional communication campaigns
  • Brings the broader MMI Offices’ teams together, ensuring information sharing, assignment of responsibilities and tasks, coordinating work plans, and contributing to internal learning and knowledge management by routinely and consistently sharing lessons learned and models of change
  • Ensures appropriate monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the conservation impact and progress against the strategic outcomes 
  • Represents the WWF’s Mediterranean marine community in the Oceans Practice Leadership Team
  • Supervises the Coastal Communities Initiative of the Ocean Practice, hosted at WWF Mediterranean

 Leadership of WWF Mediterranean Foundation:

  • Ensures that WWF Mediterranean is set up to provide appropriate and streamlined legal, operational and administrative support to enable sustainable and successful delivery of the MMI and complies with all relevant legal requirements or local laws, maintaining the highest ethical standards, implementing robust social policies, safeguarding and all relevant WWF International and Network policies and standards
  • Leads staff effectively by creating a shared vision providing clarity that ensures all staff understand their contribution, including establishing appropriate organisational structures, policies, processes, and office responsibilities
  • Effectively leads, coordinates, manages, and develops the WWF Mediterranean senior management team and supports them in executing the strategies and managing talent and resources in line with the strategic priorities
  • Liaises effectively with the WWF Mediterranean Foundation Board of Directors, supports the President in convening regular meetings and reports on the state of the Foundation ensures compliance with all statutory and legal obligations, and ensures timely and effective inputs and relevant decisions and recommendations are implemented
  • Assists in the management and administration of hosted WWF International positions  
  • Builds a culture of performance, positivity, engagement, creativity, professionalism, and work ethic
  • Embraces the WWF mission and core values: Courage, Integrity, Respect & Collaboration
  • Clearly demonstrates behaviours aligned to the culture of WWF: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly and Innovate Fearlessly 
  • Performs other duties as requested by the Europe & North Africa Regional Director/President of the Foundation’s Board

Skills and Experience

  • At least ten years of professional experience in Marine Conservation, deep knowledge of the ocean conservation sector, and demonstrated experience in strategy and project design, programme implementation, and advocacy with stakeholders, from governments to science, marine resource agencies, fisheries and coastal communities
  • Knowledge of the Mediterraneans’ cultural and socio-economic context, trends and challenges across the Mediterranean Sea and broader Europe and North Africa region.
  • At least ten years’ relevant professional experience in a leadership role, preferably within a Conservation or International Development institution or complex matrix environment
  • Advanced University degree in ocean/ecology/environmental sciences, International Relations, and International Development, additional training or equivalent professional experience in organisational leadership and business administration, and academic training (MBA) is 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/quality assurance approaches to managing projects and programs and proven knowledge and experience in working with local communities and applying relevant social policies and safeguards.
  • Successful track record in large-scale fundraising and institutional development.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, with additional languages such as Italian, Spanish, French and Arabic, an advantage.