Associate Director, Sharks and Rays Program
Associate Director, Sharks and Rays Program
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. In addition to its global conservation programs across 60 countries, WCS manages five zoos, including the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Aquarium. WCS’s Marine Conservation Program works in over 20 countries and all five oceans to protect key marine habitats and marine wildlife, to end overfishing, and to protect key species groups, including marine mammals, sharks and rays, and corals, as well as to inspire an ocean constituency.
WCS has made an institutional commitment to the conservation of sharks and rays globally, and to raise awareness on need to protect these species. WCS includes sharks and rays as one of six priority species groups in the WCS: 2020 Strategic Plan. WCS has also convened a partnership – the Global Sharks and Rays Initiative (GSRI) – to develop and implement a 10-year global
strategy for the conservation of these species. In addition, WCS is poised to open the new Ocean Wonders exhibit as part of the New York Aquarium, a $120 million investment that features sharks and rays.
WCS has significantly expanded its Sharks and Rays Program to support scaling-up of shark and ray conservation efforts around the world. Goals of this effort are to: save shark and ray species from extinction; transition fisheries to sustainability; effectively control international trade; and reduce demand for shark and ray products from unsustainable sources. The WCS Sharks and Rays Program consists of scientific research and monitoring; conservation programs; policy reform at local, national and multinational levels; and outreach and education. WCS seeks an Associate Director to manage the Sharks and Rays Program.
The Associate Director manages the global WCS Sharks and Rays Program. Based in WCS’s Global Conservation Program headquarters located in the Bronx Zoo, NY, the Associate Director reports to the Executive Director of WCS Marine Conservation Program, coordinates with the Vice President of Species Conservation, leads the WCS Sharks and Rays Program Team, and plays a central role with the WCS Marine Conservation Team. This is a full-time position with benefits.
The Associate Director of the Sharks and Rays Program develops and oversees the program’s strategic direction, manages the program activities in science, conservation and policy, and coordinates shark and ray activities throughout WCS, including with the New York Aquarium. In addition to program management, overall responsibilities include development and fundraising, and communications and marketing, relating to the Sharks and Rays Program, in conjunction with relevant WCS departments. The Associate Director supervises the Marine Policy Advisor/Sharks and Rays Coordinator and will shape additional staffing needs. With oversight and coordination by the Associate Director, administration and support for the Sharks and Rays Program are provided by the Marine Program Manager (finances), Marine Program Officer, and Marine Program Assistant.
Specific responsibilities include:
Program development and management
● Advancing the strategic development and implementation of WCS's global Sharks and
Rays Program (working with the Marine Policy Advisor/Sharks and Rays Coordinator);
● Developing and overseeing workplans, activities, and outputs to ensure timely completion of deliverables and achievement of Program goals;
● Overseeing Program responsibilities relating to data collection, analysis, publication, and sharing, which support delivery of the WCS sharks and rays strategy and GSRI global strategy;
● Guiding and coordinating with field programs to achieve goals of the Sharks and Rays Program in conjunction with regional and country conservation goals, through regular engagement, communication with regional and country directors, and HQ staff;
● Coordinating between the global conservation work of the WCS Sharks and Rays Program and the exhibits and outreach through the New York Aquarium;
● Facilitating consultancies, partnerships and relationships globally, regionally and locally in support of the Program and the GSRI (working with the Marine Policy Advisor/Sharks and Rays Coordinator);
● Developing the annual budget and managing the finances of the Sharks and Rays
● In coordination with the Marine Policy Advisor/Sharks and Rays Coordinator, representing the Sharks and Rays Program at meetings, conferences, donor events, etc.
Development and Fundraising
● Overseeing fundraising to ensure necessary funds exist for the implementation of the
WCS Sharks and Rays Program and related projects and activities;
● In conjunction with WCS Global Resources, developing and maintaining relationships with funders and donors, including international and domestic public agencies, private donors, foundations and corporations;
● Preparing and reviewing funding proposals and related reports, including narratives and budgets, in support of the Program.
● Representing the WCS Sharks and Rays Program to external audiences;
● Developing and coordinating programmatic communications between and among WCS staff, including Public Affairs and Global Resources, as well as external partners, donors and the general public, regarding program research, results and accomplishments;
● Writing, editing, and designing programmatic reports, outreach materials and other communications;
● Facilitating and maintaining constant coordination, collaboration and active dialogue between WCS staff and external partners, and supporting the strong and transparent governance of the GSRI partnership.
Experience and Qualifications
● PhD, Master’s Degree or similar graduate degree in a relevant discipline, such as marine/fisheries biology, natural sciences, or conservation policy;
● 7-10 years of relevant work experience, including project management and
administration, fundraising and development, field research and conservation, finance and operations;
● Relevant subject-matter expertise and experience, including understanding of general conservation issues, experience in species and/or marine conservation, and familiarity with shark and ray conservation issues and institutions;
● Excellent leadership and management skills, with an ability to inspire a team and oversee/manage multiple projects simultaneously;
● Excellent communication skills in writing, editing, and oral presentations;
● Excellent interpersonal skills and a strong team player;
● Effective at both collaborative and independent work;
● Ability to both take initiative and work as part of a geographically scattered team;
● Foreign language fluency (e.g., French, Spanish) highly desirable;
● Familiarity with relevant software and technologies, including the Open Standards for the
Practice of Conservation, and Miradi, highly desirable; and
● Willingness to travel internationally essential.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary commensurate with experience. WCS offers a competitive compensation package including medical/dental insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, pension plan, life insurance, disability insurance, paid sick leave and generous vacation.
Work Environment and Physical Demands
The physical demands and work environment described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from diverse candidates.
Please apply online at http://www.wcs.org/about-us/careers and send a cover letter and CV with the subject line “Associate Director, Sharks and Rays - [your name]” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received prior to April 25 will receive priority, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.