Climate & Conservation Director

Position Title : Climate & Conservation Director
Unit : Conservation
Directly reports to: Director General
Location: Dubai
Direct reports: Programme Leaders and Manager & Scientific Advisor
Type of contract: Full time
Date: November 2018


Emirates Nature-WWF (EN-WWF) is a UAE environmental non-governmental organisation, established under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s representative in the Western Region and Chairman of Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).

Emireates Nature works in association with WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. EN-WWF has been active in the UAE since 2001 and has successfully initiated and implemented several conservation and education projects and initiatives in the region.

EN-WWF works federally and in the region with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah and is governed by a local board of directors.

Job Summary

The Conservation and Climate Director (CCD) provides effective leadership ensuring impactful and professional conservation delivery in the UAE and region. He/she will continue the implementation of the EN-WWF Strategic Plan 2015-2020 which contributes effectively to biodiversity conservation and reduction of carbon footprint in the UAE, and is aligned with WWF Practices and global conservation priorities. 

The CCD will lead all conservation programmes, from identifying priority projects to implement the strategy to assessing new opportunities to enhance the conservation goals. The CCD will be responsible for developing and empowering the conservation team, for outcome delivery. The CCD will manage key relationships for EN-WWF as specified in the partnership strategy, and will have substantial responsibility, oversight and support of stakeholder relationships related to the Conservation Unit. The CCD is responsible for ensuring EN-WWF is constantly aware and learning from international best practice in biodiversity conservation and climate change. As such, he/she will be involved in the selection of the heads of programmes and other staff and is expected to hire, develop, coach, and mentor the programme staff to be experts in their areas of work including mastering project management. The CCD is a member of the EN-WWF Management Team and as such responsible for the overall direction of EN-WWF. The CCD also oversees the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) components of the Conservation Unit. He/she will be the main contact person with other Unit Directors, while encouraging multiple and collaborative relationships between Units through project teams.

Members perform their responsibilities through regular meetings and related tasks.

Key Responsibilities Key performance Indicators
1. Leads the implementation of the Conservation Programme strategy, by overseeing the execution of the conservation programmes and projects in the Conservation Unit. a. Have all projects of the conservation unit be science based, have solid technical baking, sound stakeholder participation and meaningful capacity building components;
2. Develops a high-performance conservation team, in particular Programme Leaders and direct reports. Encourages team empowerment and autonomy while keeping oversight and accountability for the team. b. Supervise the implementation of the conservation Unit projects and programmes according to approved yearly plan. Encourages functional project team meetings and nurtures their empowerment;
3. Manage the relationship with WWF in conservation related topics, including the Global Conservation Director, oversees EN-WWF’s representation in the Global WWF Practices and encourages team members to reach out and interact with their WWF colleagues on relevant topics. c. Implement the EN-WWF Partnership strategy for the relevant stakeholders and facilitate its implementation across the Unit;
4. Is the main partnership manager with the stakeholders determined in the EN-WWF Partnership Strategy, and oversees and councils stakeholder relationships across the Conservation Unit. d. Work in close collaboration with the M&E specialist and Operations Director to implement EN-WWF PGS and M&E for the Conservation Unit, across all programs and projects;
5. Is an active member of the EN-WWF Management Team (MT), and emphasizes the conservation angle of decisions and discussions within the MT. e. Report quarterly on milestones of the projects as specified by the M&E framework;
6. Keeps abreast of international best practices in conservation and climate change relevant for EN-WWF f. Yearly reporting on the progress of the EN-WWF Conservation Strategy as determined by the M&E framework;
7. Ensures Programme management standards are followed according to WWF guidance and makes sure the EN-WWF team has the capacity. Oversees the implementation of the M&E framework for the Conservation Unit including the Strategic Plan Monitoring System and the Annual Plan Monitoring System, seeking consistent measurement of conservation impact. g. Coordinate and manage the interaction with the WWF global practices, be a focal point for the appropriate practices, provide feedback to relevant to relevant documents and prepare the critical contributions as requested by WWF;
8. Actively develops new stakeholder partnerships and identifies opportunities to enhance conservation impact through these partnerships h. Oversee the development of yearly workplans if applicable following the process decided by the MT.
9. Is externally oriented to the evolving political landscape in the country and is able to adapt the conservation strategy when necessary; i. Actively participates in MT meetings following the MT terms of reference and EN-WWF values;
10. Identifies areas of collaboration with other NGOs in the country and opportunities to work closely with local communities j. Have regular meetings with relevant MT colleagues to advance common goals in fundraising, communications and operations;
11. Collaborates closely with the EN-WWF fundraising and communications units to ensure conservation project portfolio can be easily communicated externally and has a strong value proposition for funders k. Be the main conservation voice at the MT;
12. Support with fundraising efforts and identify opportunities of sponsorship from key government partners working closely on the conservation projects l. Facilitate the participation of subject experts or Programme leaders in the MT as required;
13. Ensures a balanced conservation portfolio adding to the value proposition of EN-WWF with science based field projects and policy driven projects to achieve conservation impact m. Informs the wider team and the MT of critical information affecting the reputation and conservation targets of EN-WWF on a regular basis;
14. Acts as a leader for EN-WWF both internally and representing the organization externally. n. Set up stretch targets for direct reports through the EN-WWF performance system, facilitate development opportunities for the team and conduct by yearly performance reviews;
o. Oversee the recruitment of qualified scientist and technical experts, as required to implement the conservation projects;
p. Promote EN-WWF values within the Conservation Unit through various mechanisms including fostering desired behaviours, and providing and encouraging productive feedback and unstring a culture where these values thrive;
q. Ensure there is solid succession planning across critical roles for the Unit;
r. Participate in relevant local, regional and global forums related to EN-WWF conservation priorities;
s. Keeps abreast on conservation issues core to EN-WWF strategic priorities and encourages conservation team members to do so.
t. Ensure regular stakeholder management following the EN-WWF partnership strategy
u. Play a key external role forming new strategic partnerships with NGOs, government and private sector identifying new opportunities to enhance the conservation strategy and ensuring EN-WWF is aware of external developments and can adapt to them;
v. Represent the organization externally in the media;
w. Play a key role in EN-WWF annual planning along with other unit Directors to ensure conservation projects are science based, have strong fundraising and communication strategies;
x. Participate in key fundraising meetings and identify opportunities of sponsorship from key conservation government partners on the projects;
y. Review of conservation strategy to ensure portfolio is balanced and includes both field based projects and policy, in line with the EN-WWF 5-year conservation strategy.

Required qualifications

  • Minimum ten years of relevant professional experience, including 5 years of leadership experience in project management, particularly in delivering and execution.  
  • Advanced university degree in an appropriate field. 
  • Additional academic training or a degree in a business administration or management would be an advantage. 
  • Proven track-record of successfully managing individuals and teams to be or become high performers.
  • Demonstrated success in managing multi-cultural teams.
  • Proven track-record in successfully developing, leading, and managing projects in the field of conservation, natural resource management or other related fields.
  • Proven experience in managing budgets
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a must. Fluency in Arabic would be preferred. 
  • High level of cultural sensitivity and awareness with ability to work in a multi-cultural setting.
  • Proven knowledge and or experience in the non for-profit sector, preferably of environmental nongovernment organizations.


Leadership in Conservation: Excellent knowledge in the field of conservation. Ability to develop, implement and evaluate strategic plans. Ability to inspire and motivate staff and external partners.

EN-WWF Focus: Acts as a member of EN-WWF, placing higher priority on EN-WWF goals than own goals and anticipating the effects of own area’s actions on others to ensure holistic EN-WWF outcomes.

External Orientation: Looks outwards ensuring EN-WWF stays relevant, continues to anticipate and adapt to external environmental and global trends.

Delivering Quality Outcomes: Establishes stretch goals, plans, using best judgment and takes responsibility for planning to and delivering on outcomes.

Building Working Relationships: Builds collaborative relationships through the understanding and development of other’s and own ideas.

Communicating Effectively: Uses appropriate means of communication to convey messages seeks input from others and ensures understanding.

Leading Teams: Develops direction and shared purpose, builds a team through coaching to ensure the accomplishment of goals and high-level team performance.

Leading Change: Encourages and seeks out innovative solutions and brings people on a journey constructively and empathetically.

Managing Resources: Makes the right judgments based on financial and resource availability.

Establishing Strategic Direction: Generates options to achieve long-range goals, selects the best strategies for success and delivers on strategic goals.

Building Organizational Capability: Diagnoses individual and team capability and development needs and champions talent management.

Flexible & Adaptive Orientation: People demonstrating this competency are not rigid - intellectually, emotionally, or interpersonally.  Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and copes with complexity.

Skills required

  • Adaptable, flexible, able to take initiative and prioritize among competing demands
  • Strong communication skills including presentation and public speaking 
  • Strategic thinking and decision making 
  • Good knowledge of MS Office 
  • High level negotiation as well as interpersonal and influencing skills and the capacity to develop and maintain strong relationships. 
  • Good knowledge of WWF Programme management and operation standards 
  • Excellent technical and analytical skills 
  • Ability to develop and coordinate programmes and projects, including planning of manpower and financial resources.

Working relationships

Internal – Works with Programme and project teams on a daily-basis, and interacts with everyone in the organization. Works in close collaboration with MT members.

External – Plays a critical role in stakeholder management and partnership management. Works with local governments and research institutions to seek their buy in of EN-WWF conservation agenda. Works in close collaboration with colleagues in the WWF network when appropriate.

Additional information

EN-WWF is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity in the workplace and offer a flexible and diverse place of employment.

EN-WWF staff participate wholeheartedly in general activities and events which promotes the overall mission of EN-WWF, whether or not the particular event or activity has any bearing on the job description and assigned project objectives and activities.

How to apply

Please send your application to the attention of Human Resource Manager Ms Magdalena Tayoun on [email protected] .