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Highlands Program Manager

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Papua New Guinea - Australasia
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Company Name Wildlife Conservation Society
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Wildlife Conservation Society logo
Directory Entry : The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe.
Also Listing:

Highlands Program Manager

Papua New Guinea

Global Conservation Full-Time


Job Description

Reports to: WCS Papua New Guinea Country Program Director
Location: Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Country Program/Sector: Global Conservation Program – Melanesia region
Position Type: Full-time
Expected travel: As and when required within/outside the country/region

Organization Background:

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 and based in New York, 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. 

WCS is the longest established international non-government conservation organisation within Papua New Guinea (PNG). At key and representative landscapes and seascapes, from the country’s coral islands to its forested highlands. WCS works with local communities and provincial, national and international partners, to sustainably manage and conserve the biodiversity and cultural values of Papua New Guinea’s wildlife and wild places. WCS PNG vision is “Gutpela sindaun, gutpela bus, gutpela solwara” (“Empowered people with healthy forests and seas”).

WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization 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 identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations

Position Summary: 

WCS is now seeking a dynamic, experienced individual with knowledge of terrestrial conservation issues in tropical developing countries to provide technical oversight of and support for its terrestrial conservation program in Papua New Guinea. The position requires strong conservation biology expertise and rural livelihoods experience in tropical countries, extensive management and program development experience, strong writing and communication skills, and a genuine commitment to the mission of WCS. 

This position is responsible for the technical oversight of and support for the WCS PNG Terrestrial Program in project management and implementation, project development and reporting, local staff capacity building, and data analysis and publication. Current program priorities: establishment of community conservation areas;  community sustainable natural resources management; development of conservation-friendly rural livelihoods; promoting sustainable wildlife use; endangered species research and conservation; influencing national conservation and sustainable development policies. The position reports to the PNG Country Program Director and works closely with the PNG senior management team, PNG terrestrial conservation team, WCS Melanesia Regional Director and other WCS Asia staff. The position maintains appropriate communication with WCS project leads, key donors, funding agencies, local government institutions and NGO partners.

Primary Responsibilities: 
  • Contributing to the development of an updated strategy for WCS' terrestrial conservation work in PNG. 
  • Technical oversight of WCS PNG’s terrestrial conservation including species specific projects.
  • Supporting rural community economies that enhance conservation (e.g. green agribusiness, payments for ecosystem services and environmental offsets, etc.)
  • Improving conservation activities through the analysis of program and project outcomes
  • Managing a portfolio of terrestrial conservation projects including work plans, budgets, staff, and deliverables in line with administrative and financial policies of the WCS PNG Program. 
  • Leading WCS PNG’s terrestrial conservation scientific research and publications.
  • Writing technical reports to donors, government agencies, and other WCS offices.
  • Proactively supporting the development of high quality communication pieces for increasing the profile of WCS PNG terrestrial program and its technical activities.
  • Influencing policy development by sharing program results and lessons learned with government partners and other key stakeholders.
  • Contributing to the identification of fundraising opportunities, drafting proposals, and developing and maintaining good working relationships and/or partnerships with donors, government, NGOs, private sector, universities, and other key stakeholders.
  • Supporting the design of protocols for field data collection, data management, and analysis.
  • Capacity building of WCS PNG terrestrial conservation technical staff and local partners.
  • Contributing to performance reviews of WCS PNG terrestrial conservation team and the recruitment of new staff and short-term specialists.

    Qualification Requirements:
  • Masters degree and experience in a field related to in situ conservation.
  • Ability to write fundraising proposals and manage grants and donor reports.
  • Ability to deliver conservation interventions within the context of a tropical developing country.
  • Experience in project management (EU and/or USAID funded projects desirable)
  • Experience in collaborative community-based conservation and rural livelihood initiatives
  • Knowledge of natural resource management in Melanesia is advantageous.
  • Strong scientific analytical skills and data management.
  • Ability to communicate scientific information through peer-reviewed journals and to a general audience.
  • Ability to work sensitively and effectively with people of diverse cultures, value systems, perspectives and levels of education, and to manage and work with staff and partners in these contexts. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills in English at international standards. 
  • Ability and dedication to mentor and train staff and partners in community-driven natural resource management, field research, conservation biology, conservation advocacy, and project management.
  • Dedicated “roll up the sleeves” work ethic, with attention to detail.
  • Willingness to travel within PNG and internationally.
  • Genuine commitment to the mission of WCS.Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interview.

Salary Range

Competitive salary commensurate with experience.

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