Vice President of Research

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
Durham, North Carolina (US)
Nov 28, 2017
Jan 27, 2018
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is seeking a Vice President of Research to provide strategic and operational leadership for the core research activities of the Half-Earth Project.

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation's mission is to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. We believe that by enhancing our public understanding of biodiversity, we can foster a culture of stewardship in which people are inspired to conserve and protect the natural world. The Foundation is shaped by the inspiration and guidance of Edward O. Wilson, one of the leading scientists and thought leaders of our time. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author and widely renowned biologist, E.O. Wilson is recognized as a visionary environmentalist whose work speaks to the urgent need for broader research and deeper understanding of our biodiverse planet in order to protect key species and avoid unintended destruction of the ecosystems that sustain our lives.

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The Opportunity

The Half-Earth Project research programs include the Global Biodiversity Census (GBC) Initiative, the Mapping Core and Knowledge Platform, and the Half-Earth Biodiversity Chairs & Scholars Program. The Vice President of Research will build and oversee a small team of Program Managers/Scientific Leads to support the execution of these programs with Half-Earth Project Program Partner collaborators.

The Vice President of Research will:

  • Be the principle voice for the scientific activities of the Half-Earth Project
  • Be responsible for achievement of program objectives, milestones, and deliverables
  • Maintain good working relationships with program partners in support of our goals and
  • Represent the EOWBF and Half-Earth Project at scientific meetings and events

The Vice President of Research will report to the President & CEO and will partner with the Vice President of Engagement to support the overall objectives of the Half-Earth Project. S/he will have a key leadership role in contributing to the vision for Half-Earth and advancing the success of the Half-Earth Project. EOWBF offers competitive compensation, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment.

The Vice President of Research's key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting and maintaining relationships and cooperation with key scientific partners and stakeholders in support of Half-Earth Project program objectives
  • Leading and managing the research activities and strategic programs of the Half-Earth Project, including:
    • Development and maintenance of relationships with Mapping Core data partners in support of mapping objectives, including identification of biodiversity and conservation priorities, and technical execution of maps to guide planning, decision-making, policy and engagement.
    • Strategic and operational support for program partners leading GBC field research and taxonomy
    • Initiatives, and Creation and administration of the Half-Earth Biodiversity Chairs and Scholars program
  • In collaboration with the Engagement Team, creating and curating maps, white papers, literature, policy papers, video and best practices to populate an online Knowledge Platform


  • The ideal candidate for this position will offer the following professional qualifications, competencies, and qualities, including:
  • Graduate degree with commensurate experience; Doctorate strongly preferred
  • 7-10 years' experience in biodiversity conservation or equivalent
  • Keen interest in the environment, with a sophisticated understanding of large-scale trends in conservation, and of the major opportunities and threats that must be addressed
  • Experience designing, implementing and managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, work
  • streams and budgets
  • Ability to build and manage diverse multi-disciplinary teams and to work effectively with others in a
  • geographically decentralized organization


Molly Brennan and Alena Guerra of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

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