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Program Director Job Vacancy in Nairobi

Title: Kenya Program Director
Position Family: Conservation
FLSA Status: Exempt, Regular
Supervisor: Africa Director of Field Programs (based in Nairobi, Kenya)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Position Description:

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends.  

The Kenya County Director will be responsible for developing and implementing a program to address critical threats to the natural systems in Kenya through science-based approaches and policy reforms. 

The Nature Conservancy’s Kenya Program is one of four large programs in Africa containing a suite of strategic objectives and a team of people to deliver outcomes. 

Our work in Kenya is focused in the Northern Rangelands and North Coast of Kenya but has substantial policy and leverage implications across the entire country.  

Kenya program vision is to build resilient human and natural communities that are better able to adapt to uncertain future of droughts, economic shocks and political change through strengthening governance and social development, diversification of economies, improving landscape resource management, and building peace and security.

The primary goals for the Kenya program include:
  1. Terrestrial resources management – To secure and maintain the biological, social and economic connections in the Northern Kenya landscape and its surrounding areas for and by stakeholders.
  2. Species management – To contribute to the restoration of targeted endangered and threatened wildlife species in order to secure their survival for future generations.
  3. Freshwater system management – To secure and manage the ecological integrity of upper Tana watershed system in order to sustainably provide economic, ecological and social services to the country.
  4. Coastal estuary and marine ecosystem – To develop a prototype for locally managed resilient marine production systems that support critical mangrove, near-shore and reef system in the North Coast of Kenya.
  5. Policy Reform - To improve the policy and legal environment for conservation in Kenya in order to facilitate effective conservation at the local and national level.
  6. Sustainable financing – To develop a sustainable financing system to enable long term protection and management of critical biological resources for people and nature.
We are searching for an accomplished conservationist who can leverage our science, capacity and networks to have more impact nationally. 

The last six years have been critical to demonstrate successes and build relationships.  

At this point, however, we need strategic leverage with Government and National actors to ensure our investments are having the largest impact possible.

Essential Functions:

The Kenya Program Director is responsible for implementing strategic activities and working with numerous partners to achieve program objectives in Kenya.

She / He works closely with the Africa Region staff, other divisions of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), government agencies, regional institutions, NGOs, multilateral and bilateral agencies, land and water managers, communities and the private sector to develop, coordinate and implement conservation strategies. 

The current program involves a large community conservation focus in northern Kenya and the north Coast region of Lamu, Tana delta, the Upper Tana and national policy engagement with numerous partners.  

The Kenya Program Director will develop and manage annual work plans with these partners to clearly define TNC’s technical and financial contribution to joint conservation and livelihood objectives. 

 Monitoring project outcomes through an adaptive management approach is a critical TNC process that will need to be managed by this position with support from the TNC Africa Conservation Director.

The Kenya Program Director is charged to grow the existing program by gaining Government support and by securing additional funding.  

This will require the Kenya Program Director to meet frequently with Government of Kenya officials, Overseas Development Agencies, and private donors.  

Both government and private fundraising will be supported and coordinated by existing TNC fundraising staff in Kenya and America. 

The Kenya Program Director represents TNC in relationships and negotiations with government agencies, regional institutions, multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, communities, and multi-stakeholder working groups in Kenya.

A key aspect of the position will be to develop and implement a sustainable conservation business model for this program.  

This may include sustainable financing, tourism development, additional partnerships and creative thinking.

Essential functions include:
  • Maintain and establish key partnerships with international, regional, national and local governmental, multilateral, bilateral, and non-governmental organizations that can help advance TNC’s conservation objectives in Kenya. Raise awareness of TNC’s mission, goals and capacity among key government, multilateral, bilateral, NGO and local authority officials.
  • Lead and coordinate the development and implementation of practical, innovative strategies by TNC and our partners to conserve priority places, species, ecosystem services and improve benefits for local people.  
  • Provide oversight for the management and coordination of principle projects and programs including: Northern Rangelands Trust, North Coast Conservation, Marsabit Conservation Project, Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund, Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association and the Laikipia Unity and Land Initiative.
  • Dialogue with and advice to policy makers on progressive evidence-based, effective and equitable policies, measures and strategies supportive of community/landowners conservation programs in Kenya.
  • Ensure technical, financial and contractual monitoring as well as the management of program staff and conduct technical or organizational support.
  • Help TNC Africa Region raise private and public funds for the program by helping write and edit grant proposals and conducting donor visits.
  • Develop policy statements and documents for conferences and coordinate TNC participation in priority conferences.
The Kenya Program Director works closely with staff of the Africa Region, as well as TNC’s Conservation Lands Program, Freshwater, Development by Design, Marine and Climate Change teams.

Basic Qualifications:
  • MA/MSc degree and 8 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Experience in partnership development (partners, community, government, etc.).
Required Knowledge and Skills:
  • Master’s degree in natural resources management, natural resources policy or a related field and 8 years of work experience in natural resources conservation and/or government relations.
  • Experience in conservation area management, in particular with regards to the setup and implementation of co-management agreements and public private partnerships for management of these areas.
  • Ability to lead a complex program, consisting of several subprograms, that is accountable in achieving TNC’s objectives, including the ability to define priorities, set long- and short-term goals, formulate innovative strategies, define and obtain needed personnel and fiscal resources, monitor work, and ensure its completion in pursuit of the TNC’s mission.
  • Knowledge of the institutional and policy frameworks of conservation area management, climate change management, water resources conservation, land tenure in Kenya and development strategies including Vision 2030 programs.
  • Experience working with a diverse set of stakeholders (e.g., government, private sector, NGOs, academic community); experience coordinating complex inter-disciplinary, cross-sectoral and international multi-stakeholder processes of institutional development at multiple levels (e.g. local, national, multi-national).
  • Experience in partnership development (partners, community and government) including extensive networking with high-level government and NGO contacts.  This position requires a politically acute and high energy individual to drive results with partners.  Must have knowledge of and experience interacting with operations of multilateral and bilateral institutions.
  • Proven project management skills (preferably international project management), including the ability to develop long-term goals, set clear and measurable objectives, establish and meet deadlines, and work within teams to complete deliverables on time and within budget.
  • Ability to work smoothly and simultaneously as a team member with people at various organizational levels and to work with partners to build positive relationships and build the recognition of TNC across the region.
  • Knowledge of current trends in conservation, integrated water resources management, protected areas management, and community-based conservation in Kenya and east Africa.
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and ability to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization.  The Kenya Program Manager must have demonstrated flexibility to changing situations and priorities.
  • Excellent English written and oral communications skills, with the ability to speak and write clearly and concisely to a broad range of audiences, including the general public, elected officials, public agency professionals, conservationists, scientists and attorneys.
  • Must be fluent in Kiswahili.
  • Familiarity with standard office software for e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentations.
  • Proven ability to build organizational capacity through fund-raising, partnership development, hiring and supervision.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently within Kenya, East Africa, and to the US and Europe as needed.
Complexity/Problem Solving:
  • Diagnoses complex problems and identifies creative solutions
  • Interprets guidelines, evaluates information, and modifies processes to adapt to changing circumstances
  • Manages and prioritizes tasks from multiple sources
  • Designs, implements, and directs complex and diverse projects, encompassing multiple programs and coordinating the work of other professionals, inside and outside the organization.  Incorporates cross-disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives
  • Negotiates complex agreements, sometimes in political environments
  • Develops and implements creative ideas to improve overall performance in conservation strategies
  • Formulates, evaluates, and decides broad organizational policies and long-term programs
  • Ensures program accountability and legal compliance
  • Consults peers to review own work
  • Assesses decisions’ potential impact on colleagues’ work, public image, scientific credibility, and financial and legal standings
  • Makes decisions based on incomplete or ambiguous information and accepts associated risks
  • Makes independent strategic decisions frequently based on analysis, experience, and judgment
Responsibility/Oversight – Financial and Supervisory:
  • Responsible for operating within budget guidelines to ensure sound financial performance.  Kenya Program Manager develops and administers program budget and has authority to modify budget based on changing circumstances.
  • Establish and maintain optimal standards of performance for the department or program while controlling costs and administering budgets.
  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs.
  • Develops long-term strategies and achieves strategic goals and objectives
  • Builds cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals
Communications/Interpersonal Contacts:
  • May need to gain cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals
  • Negotiates complex agreements
  • Works effectively under pressure
  • Diffuses tension among colleagues comfortably
  • Builds cooperative relationships and collaborates with diverse groups, including land owners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members, and the general public, to recruit support for TNC and publicize TNC efforts
  • Commands attention, changes tactics midstream as necessary, and manages group processes during presentations or discussions.
  • May speak with and in front of varied audiences on scientific topics and the TNC’s mission
  • Collaborates with a wide range of people
  • Produces results in a team environment
  • May develop and present proposals to achieve program goals
Working Conditions/Physical Effort:
The Kenya Program Manager may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.

These conditions may:
  • require occasional physical exertion and/or muscular strain
  • present occasional possibility of injury
  • require long hours in isolated settings
This position may also:
  • require frequent travel domestically and/or internationally
  • require evening and weekend hours
How to Apply:
To apply for this position, please submit a resume/CV and cover letter to subject line: KENYA PROGRAM DIRECTOR.  

Applications must be submitted by Friday, July 12th, 2013 to be considered.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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