Eastern Africa and Madagascar Program Manager

Bronx, New York
Oct 18, 2017
Dec 17, 2017
Job Level
Mid level
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

Reports to:

Executive Director of the Africa Program

The Wildlife Conservation Society seeks a dynamic, experienced individual to ensure central management and coordination for a large and effective conservation program in Eastern Africa and Madagascar.

WCS has a significant presence in Africa with a strong conservation, protected area management, livelihoods, policy and scientific program. Spanning diverse habitats including vast savannahs and dense forests, productive coastlines and montane forests, WCS landscapes include some of the most biodiverse landscapes on earth, as well as some of the world’s most critically endangered and threatened species. Africa as a continent presents a set of complex and expanding conservation challenges and threats, including poaching, rapid expansion of mineral and timber extraction, conflict, low technical capacity and governance, and high levels of corruption. At the same time, there are unparalleled opportunities for WCS to play a direct role in saving some of the most iconic wildlife on the planet. The WCS Africa program is taking on these challenges with a regional approach: the WCS Central Africa region ranges from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon across the Congo basin, to eastern DRC; the East and Southern Africa region reaches from Uganda down to Mozambique; the Sudano-Sahel region stretches from Nigeria across to Ethiopia; and the Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean region covers the range of smaller islands (Seychelles, Reunion, Comoros) along with Madagascar and the East African coastline. Each of these regions is managed by a Regional Director based in the field, all under the overarching leadership of the Executive Director of the Africa Program.

WCS's Africa Program is led, managed, and administered by a small team in New York consisting of the Executive Director, the Deputy Director of Finance & Administration, two Program Managers, the Budget Officer, and the Administrative Officer, working closely with field staff and with other WCS departments. This team's key roles include supporting Regional and Country Directors and field programs, fundraising and managing grants from private and public sources, guiding program strategy and implementation, representing the program internally and externally, and facilitating communication with and support from WCS departments such as Finance, Development, Public Affairs, HR, etc.

The primary objective of the Eastern Africa and Madagascar Program Manager position is to ensure central management, coordination and support in the sound administration and development of these region's programs and initiatives, as well as providing support to other regions and stand-alone projects, as assigned. This position is responsible for ensuring excellent coordination with the rest of the Africa program, at Headquarter level and with the other regional field programs, and particularly taking the lead in grants management for WCS's Eastern Africa and Madagascar programs, providing facilitation and support to WCS's mission in the region.

The East and Southern Africa and the Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Regional Directors are leading the development and implementation of new regional strategies, building strong management support to country programs and enhanced collaboration and coordination of technical support among existing WCS programs; the corresponding Program Manager will be responsible for facilitation and coordination for the effective implementation and communications necessary for the success of these initiatives. As these regions develop, the Program Manager will take the lead supporting new regional communications and fundraising strategies to target regional and international stakeholders and capitalize upon WCSs strong legacy, ensuring coordinated contributions and effective follow-up.  

Position Objectives

  • Successfully manage growing portfolio of grants, related processes and workflow for East Africa region and other countries/projects as assigned;  
  • Build collaborative relationships as focal point for Eastern Africa and Madagascar programs at Headquarters: representing the interests and priorities of these programs with the wider Africa program and partner departments: ensuring excellent coordination, management and support; 
  • Ensure effective liaison with donors and partners, as appropriate, for both regional programs;
  • Support cross-regional strategic prioritization work: facilitating with effective communications the establishment of program priorities, strategy, approaches: supporting project development and ensuring implementation is monitored;
  • Working closely with the Executive Director of the Africa Program and Regional Directors to ensure program objectives are communicated and implemented within the East Africa programs; 
  • Assist East Africa programs' effective coordination with the Africa Program’s Senior Scientist,  to coordinate and support implementation of an effective cross-cutting technical support program to assist country programs in building capacity.

Roles and Responsibilities 

The Eastern Africa and Madagascar Program Manager will be the HQ representative of the East and Southern Africa Region and the Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Region. The Program Manager will be responsible for ensuring all 'HQ-heavy lifting' necessary to the sound functioning of the following country programs: Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. The position will also support WCS activities in Kenya, where WCS is active but which does not currently have a terrestrial country program, and Marine-based projects associated with country programs in the East Africa region.

Principal Responsibilities

Grants management and program administration

  • Provide grant writing and report preparation; drive processes for the two Africa Regions grant proposals, ensuring coordination of different pertinent expertise from across Africa Program, and Global Conservation, as well as shepherding and negotiating throughout the extent of the review processes, at proposal and contracting stages; improve systems for timely and effective reporting to donors;
  • Manage HQ coordination for relevant country programs with HQ-based departments, representing interests and priorities of regional programs towards the other departments with central finances supporting field programs’ work and communications, with Global Resources to identify new funding opportunities and convey regional priorities, with HR; ensuring sound operational support to country programs;
  • Support implementation of a system of accountability for WCS programs with which to share results, evaluate progress and encourage critical peer review;

Coordination and Communication

  • Facilitate cross-program learning and sharing of information through effective coordination and management of internal communications, information sharing across country programs and with Africa program and central management. Organize regular meetings with Regional Directors, Country Program management, project management as appropriate, ensuring that ongoing developments and issues are known, supported, followed-up with as appropriate;
  • Develop communications, and materials as relevant for improved sharing of experience among field programs, for the wider Africa program, and in support of larger communications with the relevant partner departments at HQ;
  • Provide liaison on behalf of field programs with donors, including in preparation of new partnership possibilities, proposal development, negotiating agreements and subcontracts, including with government agencies (e.g. USAID, USFWS), international organizations (e.g. IUCN, UNDP), partner NGO's (e.g., TNC, FZS, WWF) and other donors and foundations as relevant.


A degree in a related field, or equivalent experience, plus at least 5 years working experience with international networks. An understanding of and commitment to conservation of wildlife and wild lands. Proven effective networking and coordination skills, with excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills, with demonstrated success in working with diverse partners to achieve common objectives. Proven successful grants management skills, including proposal and report writing, but also workflow management and negotiation skills. Fluent professional English speaker; French proficiency requried. Willingness to travel in Africa. Commitment to conservation and to the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

Application Process

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by emailing an application letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references to: africaapplications@wcs.org. Please include “Eastern Africa and Madagascar Program Manager” in the subject line of your email. Candidates must also apply online via the WCS career portal by searching job title at: http://www.wcs.org/about-us/careers. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.