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Executive Director, Conservation Planning job in New York at Wildlife Conservation Society

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Executive Director, Conservation Planning at Wildlife Conservation Society

Executive Director, Conservation Planning

Wildlife Conservation Society New York, NY Full-Time
Job Description

Location: Flexible

Department, Division: Global Conservation Program

Reports to: Executive Vice President, Global Conservation

Salary Range: Salary referenced below is for the United States. Actual salary offer will be based on the currency and market in which the candidate resides.

About Conservation Planning:

Conservation Planning is a central, cross-cutting initiative across WCS's Global Conservation Program. Conservation Planning applies world-class science to enable effective, practical conservation solutions and allocation of resources at globally important sites for biodiversity and to advance impactful policy solutions at multiple scales. The Conservation Planning team currently consists of full-time conservation planners, a significant number of embedded experts across our 60 global field programs, as well as external project-based contractors.

Position Objectives:

The Executive Director of Conservation Planning at WCS is a key position within the Global Conservation Program, responsible for leading spatial planning initiatives and promoting best practice in the field of conservation decision making across WCS programs around the world. The ideal candidate will be well versed in the principles of systematic conservation planning and other means of planning, monitoring and managing, and evaluating tradeoffs between conservation and competing values. They will also have extensive practical experience applying those principles in a range of real world contexts, collaborating with decision makers to enable better choices and have greater conservation impact in terms of protected area planning and management, land- and sea-use planning, and adaptation and mitigation planning.

The Program seeks to enhance the conservation impact of WCS programs by working to:

* Inform and influence the overall direction of WCS's conservation planning and other strategies through the application of world-class science, planning and analysis
* Work directly with WCS's field programs to provide technical, analytical, project, and programmatic support to WCS country programs, including training and capacity building
* Lead and support large global initiatives and collaborate with global programs (e.g., Intact Forests, Nature's Strongholds, Key Biodiversity Areas, Markets, Species, etc.) and external partners to enhance conservation planning strength and increase organizational impact
* Test and pilot "Big Ideas" with conservation planning applications - develop proof-of-concept methods and paradigm-shifting ideas that are derived from and benefit WCS and the larger conservation community
* Conduct innovative and cutting-edge science - publish novel science in high profile peer reviewed journals to push the boundaries of this emerging scientific discipline, often on topics of immediate and far-reaching conservation and development concern
* Perform targeted technical tasks for staff throughout the Global Conservation Program
* Provide defined technical input to individual projects - as requested by field and thematic program leadership

Principal Responsibilities:

A) Thought leadership, science and analysis to inform WCS programs

* Lead ground-breaking science that advances WCS's mission, supporting and building on WCS's programs' work, focused on conservation planning using innovative analytical, statistical, and modelling techniques
* Support project teams by conducting advanced spatial analysis, designing data collection and monitoring protocols, prioritizing geographic areas for conservation action, and providing practical conservation recommendations related to management and policy
* Develop, organize, and maintain large spatial databases
* Consult and collaborate with GCP staff on best practices in conservation planning and spatial analysis, including delivering custom spatial data products, synthesizing the latest scientific research, and providing thought leadership on science-based projects

B) Project development and fundraising

* Lead overall fundraising for Conservation Planning annual budget and strategy
* Identify and design new projects and assist program staff with grant/proposal writing and other fundraising activities to support the continued growth of the program
* Engage with WCS's global programs, and particularly the thematic and regional programs, on a regular basis to identify collaborative funding opportunities and provide support
* Work with external partners to identify new collaborative funding opportunities

C) Project management

* Lead, prioritize, and coordinate work across multiple projects, set realistic timelines and budgets for task completion, and develop timely progress reports for donors and external stakeholders at specified project milestones
* Maintain and build upon collaborative engagements with project partners
* Manage and mentor the Conservation Planning team to support career advancement and manage the Conservation Planning budget to ensure efficient and high standard of deliverables and project outcomes
* Coordinate with thematic, regional and country directors where appropriate

D) Planning and decision support

* Lead conservation planning processes for WCS programs and partners by guiding decision makers and stakeholders through the geo-spatial and other relevant planning process
* Work with WCS programs and external stakeholders to identify and assess current status, trends and trajectory of key drivers of change (e.g., land cover change, demographic change, economic development, climate change, etc.), and use the information to develop spatio-temporally explicit scenarios that inform robust conservation interventions
* Support decision making about the optimal and sustainable use of environmental and financial resources, and explore trade-offs between the objectives of multiple stakeholders using decision support tools (e.g., Marxan, Zonation, prioritizR) including newly developed tools, informed by the best available science
* Analyze trade-offs in design of conservation strategies and interventions, and provide robust recommendations based on a range of scenarios and likely outcomes
* Work with science and conservation staff from around the world to identify priority areas for conservation

E) Stakeholder outreach/Communication

* Compellingly communicate WCS' Conservation Planning capacity, experience and ideas to external stakeholders, funders, partners
* Build capacity within WCS on the use of spatial planning tools and objective-based planning processes
* Develop training materials and lead workshops for internal and external audiences that contribute to the mission of WCS
* Communicate science, outputs, and outcomes widely, including in peer-reviewed papers, white papers, project reports, presentations for WCS staff and project managers, and through online maps, data viewers, and websites, as well as to non-technical audiences
* Promote data and tool sharing through partnerships with government agencies and other organizations

Recommended Skills

  • Consulting
  • Data Collection
  • Decision Making
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Finance
  • Financial Management
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