Conservation SA: Executive Director

Conservation South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Tuesday, 15 January, 2019
Opportunity type: 

Conservation South Africa (CSA) is a local affiliate of Conservation International and committed to helping societies adopt a more sustainable approach to development, one that improves human well-being through the conservation of healthy ecosystems and the goods and services they provide.

Job Description

The Executive Director of Conservation International South Africa provides the strategic and programmatic direction of the country program, proactively identifying opportunities and trends for the achievement of the institutional goals. S/he is responsible for senior-level program management and ensuring that program strategies, initiatives and outcomes advance CI’s human development and conservation priorities. Duties are complex and include leading the design, implementation and integration of program strategies throughout the country program and integrated across CI.

The Executive Director provides broad programmatic, project, monitoring and technical oversight and continuously engages key internal and external partners critical to program success. He/she represents CI in the country and has a key role in building alliances, a central focus for CI strategy. The Executive Director ensures that CI’s work is presented effectively to donors and key stakeholders to ensure strategic and sustainable partnerships.

The Executive Director ensures compliance with CI policies, program and funding agreements and local requirements. Additionally, s/he is responsible for managing the country program and all its component projects, leading the team, raising funds and managing financial and other resources. S/he will also ensure that the program is integrated with CI’s strategic fundraising and partnership goals and works in collaboration with CI headquarters-based technical and operations units to support the needs of the field programs.

The Executive Director directly manages staff, interdisciplinary teams, and/or outside partners. S/he works with a high degree of independence and serves as a technical expert in CI’s multidisciplinary approach of conservation. S/he exercises a high level of creativity and strategic thinking to efficiently manage the country program and build the local capacity within environments that are complex and full of challenges.

Key responsibilities

Fundraising (30%)

  • With a strong focus on private fundraising, ensure program financial sustainability by entrenching a robust fundraising strategy, securing program funding and managing financial resources, from both the public and private sectors, within and out of South Africa, by regularly partnering with CI AfFD and HQ staff on funding proposals including coordinating and finalizing the writing of funding documents (proposals & budgets), and regional/global fundraising efforts

Strategy Development and Impact Reporting (20%)

  • Develop Country Program strategies, objectives, work plans and metrics aligned to both the Global and Africa Field Division Strategies
  • Through the Annual Strategic Planning,process monitor and report to both the CSA Executive Board, and the leadership of the Africa Field Division on the achievement and impact of the same on a quarterly basis

Representation (20%)

  • Represent CI in South Africa and build alliances with governmental and non-governmental organizations to support CI outcomes, serving as a trusted and visible point of contact for CI
  • Enable CI to promote national institutional and policy frameworks for development, that favor biodiversity conservation, and to support national capacity for conservation in CI field programs
  • Continuously cultivate and engage stakeholders including donors, government and NGOs, technical colleagues and other partners critical to program success

Leadership and Governance (20%)

  • With the Country Programme’s Senior Management Team, and by engaging CI Africa Field Division leadership, the CSA Board of Directors, and other senior staff, provide strategic oversight and team leadership to effectively implement program activities and ensure high-impact outputs, ensuring program alignment and integration with division and CI-wide conservation priorities 
  • Lead and inspire a multidisciplinary team ensuring effective communication, instilling organizational values and behaviors and creating a work environment that attracts, develops and retains talent

Institutional Compliance and Risk Management

  • Ensure program compliance with CI policies, funding agreements and local requirements

People and Resource Management

  • Directly supervise program and project staff, including overseeing the work of external partners
  • Manage the program’s budget and finances
  • Manage public or private funds; ensure compliance with donor requirements and CI policies


  • Bachelor’s degree in biological and/or environmental, social sciences, international development, business Advanced university, Master’s, MBA, or doctorate degree preferred with at least 10 years of working experience with senior management responsibility
  • Demonstrated senior-level program or project development and management experience, preferably in the global conservation, NGO, advocacy and/or related for-profit arena(s)
  • Minimum of three to five years’ experience supervising senior staff in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Working with a Board of Directors will be an added advantage
  • Demonstrated record of success in fundraising, particularly from the private sector, engaging, partnering with, and influencing key stakeholders • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects or initiatives involving multiple internal and external stakeholders – donors, government agencies, NGOs and local communities
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English. Fluency in any of South Africa’s other official languages is an added advantage.

 Working Conditions

  • Local and international travel of 30% or more, often in difficult travel conditions
  • Ability to work in remote locations or under difficult working conditions
  • This position will be based in either Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa. Applicants will need to have the ability to live and work there without employer sponsorship

CI Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization

Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms.

Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.

Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.

Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.

Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.

Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.

To apply: For a more detailed job description and application requirements go to the Careers tab on our website .

The deadline for application for all positions is January 15, 2019.

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