WCS South Sudan Country Director at Wildlife Conservation Society

Reports to: Sudano-Sahel Regional Director

Location: Juba and Boma National Park, with frequent travel throughout the Boma-Jonglei-Equatoria landscape

Country Program: South Sudan

Start date: July 2021

Position Type: Full-time

Application deadline: 28 June 2021

Organization Background:
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.

The Sudano-Sahel Region presents unparalleled opportunities for WCS to play a direct role in saving some of the last remaining intact wildernesses on the planet and to contribute significantly to improving the security of people and wildlife. The savannas, forests, and wetlands of the region support key populations of endangered elephant, northern giraffe, lion, common and giant eland, chimpanzee, Cross River gorilla, bongo, and the second largest antelope migration on the planet. Hundreds of bird species occur in the area, including the shoebill and the crowned crane. Communities also depend on the land for their livelihoods through pastoralism, agriculture, fishing, and hunting. WCS has a significant presence in the Sudano-Sahel region, with a strong conservation history and proven success in protected area management. WCS currently has conservation initiatives in Nigeria, Cameroon, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Chad, with new program activities developing in Ethiopia. We work actively to support protected area management and wildlife law enforcement, local livelihoods, develop conservation-security partnerships, enhance anti-trafficking activities, and to implement our policy and scientific programs.

WCS South Sudan Program Overview:

WCS is a leading international conservation organization working in South Sudan, with more than 13 years’ conservation history and proven success in protected area and natural resource management in the country. WCS is working partnership with Government of South Sudan, local communities, and other concerned stakeholders for the effective conservation and management of the Boma-Jonglei-Equatoria Landscape. The landscape supports the vast intact savannas, woodlands of Boma and Badingilo National Parks, migration corridors, and the Sudd wetlands, which is home to the great antelope migrations (white-eared kob, tian, Mongalla gazelle) and critical populations of elephant, Nubian and Kordofan giraffe, lion, wild dog, and other key and endangered wildlife species. WCS has long term field operations in Boma and Badingilo National Parks and is re-establishing operations in the Sudd, working with local stakeholders to ensure effective conservation of wildlife and habitat, improve security and mitigate conflicts, enhance sustainable and resilient livelihoods for local communities and build partnerships with other programs and initiatives to multiply positive impacts for people and wildlife. Funding partners include USAID, GEF, USFWS, Elephant Crisis Fund, the Lion Recovery Fund, Segre Foundation, and private donors. The Boma-Badingilo landscape program is developing transboundary conservation with neighbouring Ethiopia.

Job Summary:

The WCS Country Director will be responsible for managing all WCS program activities in South Sudan in alignment with the South Sudan and Sudano-Sahel Region strategies. The South Sudan Country Director will be responsible for planning and supporting implementation of conservation projects and activities; managing and overseeing staff and program finances; fundraising and grant oversight; coordination with government and non-government partners; and providing vision and leadership for the WCS Program in South Sudan overall with a focus on other strategic priority programs to be developed in South Sudan.

The position will be based out of Juba and Boma National Park with frequent travel throughout the Boma-Jonglei-Equatoria landscape.

Specific responsibilities include the following:

WCS South Sudan Program Strategic Development

  • Act as legal representative of WCS in South Sudan.
  • Ensure WCS’s day to day protected area management and conservation activities.
  • Develop and update the South Sudan Country Program Strategic Plan in a manner that addresses WCS Sudano-Sahel Region objectives, while adapting to the social, political and ecological context within South Sudan.
  • Provide input to the ongoing evolution of the Sudano-Sahel regional strategic plan and ensure alignment of the South Sudan initiative with the Sudano-Sahel region strategy.
  • Foster and maintain an ongoing dialogue and partnership with donors, Government development agencies, foundations and private individuals to mobilize financial resources for WCS South Sudan Protected Areas program development.
  • Ensure appropriate and effective communications reflecting WCS positions, including representing WCS in meetings with Government of South Sudan and other partners and ensure continued development of conservation initiatives and partnerships.

WCS South Sudan Program Technical Planning and Management

  • Ensure that the WCS South Sudan programs are developed and implemented to address the Sudano-Sahel regional and country strategic orientations. Ensure that they are in harmony with stated Sudano-Sahel Region conservation goals, donor policies and requirements for financial and administrative management WCS South Sudan Human Resources and Financial administration.
  • Develop and manage the WCS South Sudan Country Program budgets.
  • Prepare and implement annual WCS South Sudan Country Program work plans and associated budgets, and approve related project work plans and budgets.
  • Hire, coordinate and mentor South Sudan -based WCS technical, management, financial and administrative staff to ensure the development and functioning of a high-performing interdisciplinary team.
  • Provide oversight on project security, logistics and operations.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree or higher (or equivalent in training and experience) in a discipline related to protected area management, natural resources management, law enforcement and security, or wildlife / conservation biology.
  • Minimum of ten years progressively increasing responsibility for protected areas or natural resources management, in developing countries in Africa; proven ability to build capacity and direct initiatives in Park management natural resources management, wildlife law enforcement, conservation biology, conservation advocacy and project management.
  • Proven knowledge and experience with government agencies and management of large agency grants (in particular US Government and EU).
  • Substantial experience in partner Government relations and knowledge of international conservation policy issues; proven ability to develop and maintain a network of high-level
    contacts with government officials, multilateral and bilateral technical and financial partners.
  • English language fluency required, familiarity with languages and culture of South Sudan and neighbouring countries in the Region will be an advantage.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as strong analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated experience effectively managing staff and team building.
  • Proven ability and comfortable with living and working in a multicultural environment in isolated areas, under difficult field conditions.
  • Significant work experience and knowledge of environment and management issues in Sudano-Sahel Region and Africa more broadly.

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications should apply by emailing an application letter and CV and the names and contact information of three references to jbetsch@wcs.org with copy to pelkan@wcs.org by 28 June 2021 deadline. Please include “South Sudan Country Director” in the subject line of your email.

In addition, please note that all candidates must also apply online via the WCS career portal at: http://www.wcs.org/about-us/careers

WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value

The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.

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