Position: Country Director, Chad
Reports to: Sudano-Sahel Regional Director
Location: N’Djamena, Chad
Country Program: WCS Chad
Start date: September 2021
Position Type: Fulltime
Application deadline: 15 August 2021
Expected travel: Regular travel throughout the country and Sudano Sahel Region, and to the Sudano-Sahel Office in Nairobi, occasionally to the US or Europe if/when needed, and to donor/technical meetings as needed/possible.
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 the security of people and wildlife. The savannas, forests, and wetlands of the region support key populations of endangered elephant, northern giraffe, lion, eland, chimpanzee, 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 to implement our policy and scientific programs.
Chad Program Overview:
WCS has a long history of involvement in conservation in Chad dating back to 2005. This has included aerial surveys of semi-arid areas, aerial surveys and support to elephant protection in Zakouma Park 2006-2012, technical expertise contributions to the development of the Chad National Elephant Action Plan in 2014, aerial surveys of Sena-Oura National Park and other areas in 2015, engagement in providing support to Government of Chad for management of Sena-Oura National Park as part of a transboundary initiative with neighboring Bouba-Njidda National Park in Cameroon (in cooperation with German Government KfW and COMIFAC) from 2016 through present. More recently in May 2021 WCS, in partnership with the EU and other partners, has launched the Central Chari Basin landscape conservation program (Southeastern Chad-Northern CAR (WCS is engaged in a long term PPP protected area management program in northern CAR). Over the past years WCS has worked with the government and partners of Chad, CAR, and Cameroon to put in place transboundary anti-poaching coordination systems (particularly to address well organized elephant poaching) and we are developing a new program with the EU to engage in transboundary transhumant pastoralism.
Given the increased conservation program activities in Chad and commitments to transboundary protected area management and conservation cooperation between Chad, and linkages with major WCS landscape conservation programs in neighboring northern CAR and northern Cameroon, WCS has formally established a WCS Chad program as of May 2021. The WCS Chad program will have responsibility for the representation, management, and administration of all WCS activities in Chad and ensuring sound coordination of the transboundary initiatives. A country office is being established in N’djamena, Chad with an administration and representation team.
WCS is now seeking a dynamic and highly motivated professional for the Chad Country Director position. The position will be based at N’Djamena with frequent travel throughout the landscapes and Chad.
The WCS Country Director will be responsible for managing all WCS program activities in CHAD in alignment with the landscapes and Sudano-Sahel regional strategies. The CHAD 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 overall WCS program in CHAD with a focus on the BSB and BC-Chari transboundary landscapes, transhumance program management, and other strategic priority programs to be developed in Chad.
Specific responsibilities include the following:
WCS CHAD Program Strategic Development
• Act as legal representative of WCS in CHAD.
• Ensure WCS’s day to day protected area management and conservation activities.
• Develop and update the CHAD Country Program Strategic Plan in a manner that addresses WCS Sudano-Sahel Region objectives, while adapting to the social, political, and ecological context within CHAD.
• Provide input to the ongoing evolution of the Sudano-Sahel regional strategic plan and ensure alignment of the CHAD 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 CHAD protected areas program development.
• Ensure appropriate and effective communications reflecting WCS Sudano-Sahel Region positions, including representing WCS in meetings with the government of CHAD and other partners and ensure continued development of conservation initiatives and partnerships.
WCS CHAD Program Technical Planning and Management
• Ensure that the WCS CHAD BSB and BC Chari 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 of WCS CHAD Human Resources and Financial administration.
• Develop and manage the WCS CHAD Country Program budgets.
• Prepare and implement annual WCS CHAD Country Program work plans and associated budgets, and approve related project work plans and budgets.
• Hire, coordinate, and mentor CHAD-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.
● 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 of 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 KfW, EU, France, and US Government).
● 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.
● French and English language fluency required, familiarity with languages and culture of CHAD and neighbouring countries 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 in Africa, Central Africa region, knowledge of Central Africa and Sudano-Sahel region environmental and political issues.
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 [email protected] and cc to [email protected] 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.