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Regional Conservation Director - Africa

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Colorado - America North
Town/City Denver
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 25/10/2022
Company Name Denver Zoo
Contact Name Tony Salvino
Telephone 7203371400
Email tsalvino@denverzoo.org
Website Further Details / Applications
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Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, and education. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission: Inspiring Communities to Save Wildlife for Future Generations. 

Denver Zoo honors our animals, staff, and guests by conducting ourselves at the highest level of integrity through our Core Actions -- Inspire Awe: Safety, Care, Connect and by embracing our Core Values of: Welcoming, United, Curious, Courageous and Transformative in all that we do.

The Regional Conservation Director – Africa will lead Denver Zoo's mission and goals through strong program-level leadership in the management and development of a comprehensive portfolio of field conservation projects based in Africa. With the Director of International Field Conservation, they will develop, implement and oversee Denver Zoo’s engagement in Africa and play a vital role in expanding and diversifying Denver Zoo’s presence on the continent. The Regional Director – Africa will identify and recommend new initiatives in Africa (in addition to any existing projects) that align with the new International Field Conservation strategy and conservation action campaigns. With the ultimate goal of project sustainability, the Regional Conservation Director will work at the community level to co-create effective, long-term plans that leverage local knowledge systems and values, and support capacity-strengthening to improve the status of ecological and human well-being. In addition to managing operations in-situ, this position will also work to represent the efforts happening in the field to our staff and volunteers and our on-campus and virtual experiences for our guests.

Our staff is a dedicated and diverse group of individuals committed to providing quality care to our animals while creating moments of awe for guests.  If you are a like-minded individual and thrive in a dynamic, fast paced and innovative culture, Denver Zoo is the place for you! 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Priority 1 - Field Conservation Program Management

  • Develop, implement (where applicable) and manage Africa-based field programs with local African partner organizations to support holistic conservation strategies and maximize conservation impact.
  • Identify new conservation opportunities, and collaborate across departments, with focus on lion conservation initially and expanding to sites and species that align with the Field Conservation strategy. 
  • Develop and operationalize robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks for future field conservation efforts, including research, protection/restoration, community engagement and education.

Priority 2 – Research & Eco-health

  • With African partners, conduct and guide ecological research and engages other disciplines to advise on initiatives that support and promote the human dimensions of conservation strategies.
  • Translate results of scientific research into practical conservation action and disseminate to appropriate audiences. 
  • With African partners, support a strong and collaborative in-situ team, with the goal of strengthening and sustaining a regional network of expertise. 
  • Coordinate partners from relevant in situ and ex situ organizations in research and conservation interventions to ensure that collective actions are properly evaluated, scheduled, implemented and reported.

Priority 3 – Conservation Leadership

  • Actively contribute wildlife conservation expertise in the planning and design of new and existing exhibits at the zoo, serving as a champion for innovative and inspiring educational experiences on campus that reflect field conservation projects.
  • Work collaboratively with the Conservation Engagement, Conservation Learning, and Community Engagement teams to ensure alignment of field conservation projects, outreach and educational programs, on- and off-campus.
  • Work with relevant IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups to build alignment and optimize conservation actions between zoos/aquariums/botanic gardens and national species experts.
  • Participate in the planning and implementation of Field Conservation Department strategic initiatives and help create a strategic vision for the future of Denver Zoo’s Field Conservation Department, particularly as it integrates work within Africa, the overall field conservation mission, and the Institutional Collection Plan. 

Other Responsibilities and Duties

  • Other assistance, as designated by the Regional Conservation Director – Africa to support the overall goals of the department and organization.  Denver Zoo retains the right to add or change duties and/or responsibilities at any time
  • Oversee hiring, training, management, coaching, development, and performance reviews for Field team members, and Zoo staff 
  • Work with Denver Zoo’s Field Conservation team to develop, track, and manage the annual Africa-based conservation project budgets. Acts as a good steward of Denver Zoo’s resources.
  • The nature of this position requires safeguarding against the release of confidential and proprietary information of Denver Zoo.
  • This position will interact with managers at all levels and staff members across the organization, in addition to members of external organizations and the public. This position has a high level of contact with researchers, ranchers, tribes, universities, NGOs, national government agencies, and local governments.

Technical / Professional Requirements & Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in a conservation-related discipline or in a related field, or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience. 
  • Requires minimum of 5 years of experience in leading or supporting projects in Africa, with a preference for candidates who were based in one or more African countries; experience with working within conservation partnerships, for alliances with local conservation organizations is strongly preferred, or any equivalent combination of experience, lived experience, and/or special skills.
  • Proven computer skills including statistical software and GIS preferred. Familiarity with relevant global databases relevant to prioritizing DZ conservation efforts in Africa.
  • Requires exemplary collaboration, organizational skills, written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize work and tasks.
  • Requires adaptability to produce and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, multi-task and changing environment, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Must have superior negotiation skills and the ability to handle sensitive information with diplomacy.
  • Must be a strong communicator and a coach, and mentor who is comfortable working with a broad cross-section of people in direct and matrixed relationships.
  • Experience developing and executing strategic goals preferred.
  • Must have proficient skills in managing large and complex teams and/or programs.
  • Diplomacy at confronting personal, individual, and internal discrimination requiring sharing and discussing personal identities relative to the work environment strongly preferred.

Position Conditions

  • Ability to pass a background check and pre-employment drug and alcohol screen.
  • Work Location: On campus, Abroad, & Some hybrid
  • Schedule Availability: Ability to work, at times, irregular hours
  • Licenses/Certifications: Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certifications preferred.
  • Clear Driving record.


Range for this position is $5,206 - $6,508 (monthly).


This is a full-time position with excellent benefits including medical, dental and vision benefits; life insurance; short term and long-term disability; 403(b) retirement plan; and vacation and sick leave. 

Application Process and Timelines

Resumes / Completed applications must be submitted by October 25th, 2022. Review of applications will begin immediately.  Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to this date. 

Denver Zoo is following all CDC guidelines. CDC states that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against the spread of, and severe illness due to, COVID-19.  Denver Zoo highly encourages our employees to be vaccinated.  We do ask for employees to upload their vaccination card into our HRIS for documentation.  This information is kept confidential. 

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with lived experience with racism and/or misogynoir are encouraged to apply for this role. 

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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