Position: Country Director, Central African Republic
Reports to: WCS Sudano-Sahel Regional Director
Location: Bangui, Central African Republic
Country Program: WCS CAR
Start date: September 2021
Position Type: Fulltime
Application deadline: 15 August 2021
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 contributing significantly to people and wildlife’s security. The region’s savannas, forests, and wetlands support key populations of endangered elephants, northern giraffes, lions, eland, chimpanzees, 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, Chad, CAR, South Sudan, 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 implement our policy and scientific programs.
WCS has recently launched a private-public partnership program with the Central African Republic (CAR) government to manage the Northeastern CAR Protected Area Complex. This is a multi-faceted, long-term program encompassing park management, law enforcement, and community engagement within the Bamingui-Bangoran and Manovo-Gouda St. Floris National Parks in Northeastern CAR.
The WCS CAR Country Director provides the strategic and programmatic direction of the Central African Program in alignment with the Sudano-Sahel Region strategies. The CAR Country Director leads the design, planning, and implementation of conservation projects and their components. The employee is responsible for leading interdisciplinary teams, managing and overseeing financial and other resources, raising funds, and building strong partnerships with governmental and non-governmental actors.
Reporting to the Sudano Sahel Regional Director, the WCS CAR Country Director ensures compliance with WCS policies and strategies, funding and partnerships agreements, as well as national requirements.
The position is based in Bangui, with frequent travel and work throughout the Northeastern CAR Protected Area Complex (at least 50% of the time).
● Act as legal representative of WCS in CAR.
● Develop and update the CAR Country Program Strategic Plan to address WCS Sudano-Sahel Region objectives while adapting them to the social, political, and ecological context within CAR.
● Lead and supervise the financial management of the program and multi-year budgets.
● Ensure WCS’s day-to-day protected area management and conservation activities.
● Foster and maintain ongoing dialogue and partnerships with donors, government development agencies, foundations, and private individuals to mobilize financial resources for the WCS CAR program.
● Ensure appropriate and effective communications to represent the WCS CAR program in front of government representatives, institutional stakeholders, and regional and national platforms related to conservation and sustainable development.
● Ensure fluid communication channels within the country program and with WCS programs and headquarters.
● Manage all emergency and crisis responses for all staff in the program.
General management and leadership
● Provide leadership to the CAR team and collaborators, fostering an inclusive work environment, and motivating staff to achieve high-quality impact and performance.
● Regularly assess and, if needed, update the organizational structure, including positions and job descriptions, line management, performance management, merit salary increases, internal coordination policies, communication policies, etc.
● Manage and mentor staff, provide guidance in recruitment, professional development, and evaluation processes, supporting the team in their responsibilities and projects with formal and informal advice.
● Contribute to strengthen and uphold WCS’s policies towards Equal Employment Opportunities for women, minorities, the disabled, and other protected groups.
● Work with the management and institutional development departments (legal, finance, communications, global resources, etc.) to help ensure efficient and effective institutional actions and presence in the country.
● Monitor and manage the WCS CAR program’s infrastructure and equipment in the Bangui office, the Bamingui and Ndélé bases, and other operational locations within the intervention zone.
● Conduct general day-to-day oversight of all WCS staff living and working in the country.
● Working alongside the Regional Director and the WCS CAR team, lead the WCS CAR strategic vision update.
● Build, lead, and oversee the country program’s overall implementation plan, yearly work plans, projects, and initiatives and processes related to monitoring and evaluation systems.
● Lead, prepare, and submit technical and financial reports, ensuring compliance with WCS SOP, donor’s requirements, legal contracts, and budgets.
● Conduct project site visits to review progress with staff and gain insights and assess different approaches to priority conservation challenges.
● Work across programmatic divisions, departments, and portfolios (e.g., species conservation, one world one health, etc.) to help support, coordinate, and execute all activities in the country.
● Develop and implement country and regional projects and initiatives that generate conservation impact at meaningful scales.
Representation and partnerships
● Monitor compliance with the public-private partnership agreement between WCS and the Central African Republic, being the responsible manager of WCS’s compliance to its commitments.
● Represent WCS and WCS CAR in any relevant national and international forums and venues.
● Establish, maintain, and strengthen partnerships and coalitions with governmental entities, critical civil society partners, private sector, and donors.
● >10 years’ experience working on wildlife conservation, protected areas, and natural resource management issues in Africa, with expertise in the Sudano-Sahel region desired.
● >5 years’ experience working in leadership positions managing programs or projects of more than $ 3 million.
● Master’s degree or equivalent in natural resources management, environmental or conservation management, development studies, or in relevant fields.
● Demonstrated ability and experience influencing policy, with the ability to strategize, problem solve, and challenge diplomatically.
● Diverse fundraising experience with both public and private donors.
● Experience leading a program, managing staff, and overseeing budgets.
● Experience in coordination with donors and governments.
● Solid knowledge of the sociopolitical context in the Sudano-Sahel region.
● French language spoken and written fluency is mandatory. English language skills are also required.
● Highly effective leader and manager, with the ability to manage and inspire a diverse team, build capacities within the team, and mentor.
● Excellent relationship-building skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
● Ability to work in a multicultural environment in isolated areas under challenging field conditions.
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by emailing: an application letter; a CV; and the names and contact information of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc to email@example.com by the deadline of 15 August 2021. Please include « CAR 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 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 identity, 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 the interview.