Position:                                  Rwanda Country Director

Reports to:                              Regional Director – Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean

Location:                                 Kigali, Rwanda

Country Program/Sector:       Rwanda, Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Region

Start date:                             15 May 2020

Position Type:                      Full-Time

Application deadline:         15 March 2020

Internal liaison: WCS Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Regional Director; Africa Program Executive Director; Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Regional Business Manager; Africa Program Director of Program Operations. 

Expected travel: Approximately 30%. As required within the region, occasionally to the US if/when needed, and to donor/technical meetings as needed/possible.

Organization Background:

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.

Rwanda Program Overview:

The primary focus of the Country Program is to work in partnership with the Rwanda Government to protect globally significant biodiversity and the critical natural resource base within and outside of protected areas.  This includes a diverse set of actions that aid the Rwanda government accomplish its goal of achieving green, sustainable development by 2050, as well as the development of a major new project helping advance climate resilience and connectivity among national parks along the Congo Nile Divide with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Country Director must be able to lead and manage a team of highly motivated staff, be the primary focal point for liaison with the Government of Rwanda and other partners, as well as sustain the fundraising needed to support the program.

WCS Africa Program is now seeking a dynamic, experienced individual to lead this program.

Core Responsibilities

  • Lead the WCS Rwanda country program in consultation with the Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Regional Director.
  • Act as legal representative of WCS in Rwanda, working with the WCS Office of General Counsel.
  • Act as political representative of WCS in Rwanda with all government partners including the Rwanda government (particularly the Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of the Environment), and bilateral donors/agencies (e.g., GCF, USAID, UNDP, AFD).
  • Represent the WCS Rwanda Program to donors, the press, the Government of Rwanda, and other internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop and manage the WCS Rwanda Country Program budget.
  • Prepare and implement annual WCS Rwanda Country Program workplans and associated budgets, and approve related project workplans and budgets.
  • Fundraise from public and private sources for the Rwanda Program in collaboration with other WCS fundraising teams (e.g., Africa Program, Program Development, Global Resources).
  • Prepare annual country reports and oversee preparation of reports on projects and for donors, and evaluate on a regular basis progress against strategies and workplans.

Collaborate with other WCS initiatives including but not limited to the WCS Species Program and Conservation


Required Qualifications

  • Extensive experience leading and managing teams required.
  • Successful experience developing, managing, and overseeing the implementation of conservation programs, preferably in Africa.
  • Experience in developing and implementing community development projects in Africa.
  • Proven fundraising experience for conservation from public and private sources, preferably in Africa.
  • Demonstrated capacity in financial planning and management.
  • A track-record of success in conservation strategy, implementation, and fundraising.
  • Graduate degree in conservation, ecology, or related discipline preferred.
  • Commitment to WCS’s mission.
  • English language proficiency required, French language preferred.                            

ns team.