Managing Director, US-Arctic Program - 21052

WWF Washington, DC
Anchorage, Alaska, US
Jun 04, 2021
Aug 29, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world's leading conservation organizations, seeks a passionate and experienced Managing Director to lead its US Arctic Programs.

The WWF-US Arctic program is at a pivotal moment. Few places in the world demonstrate more clearly the intersection between people, ecological decline, current and future natural resources competition, and politics. Sitting within the broader Oceans portfolio, and reporting to the SVP of Oceans, the Managing Director leads the WWF-US Arctic team with the support of additional new hires and the likely opportunity to grow the team further. In partnership with the SVP, the Managing Director will lead strategy development for the Arctic, as well as contribute to the broader WWF-US Oceans vision. They will also partner with the WWF Global Arctic Program by contributing to the oceans conservation agenda of the Global Arctic Program. The Managing Director is a member of the WWF-US Oceans management team.

It is also an exciting time to join the broader WWF-US Oceans team. Oceans represent a largely untapped opportunity to bring about peace and prosperity for local and global communities. Oceans feed us, shelter us, protect us, inspire us, and connect us, but as demand for food, water, and energy rises, and climate impacts on oceans worsens, so does the risk of conflict and societal instability. WWF's efforts to protect ocean and coastal places and resources are a vital part of building resiliency for people and the planet, as well as ensuring healthy ecosystems and robust biodiversity.

Area-based Conservation Design and Execution

The Managing Director develops and implements Arctic conservation priorities and programs.

Major duties include:
  • Integrate climate science and monitor emerging science into conservation strategies
  • Identify science and traditional ecological knowledge that can inform and strengthen conservation implementation
  • Partner with colleagues to evaluate conservation finance opportunities
  • Support team members in preparing responses, background material to respond to major threats to Arctic biodiversity
  • Manage project oversight to ensure the timely completion of projects and the availability of resources (human and financial) to facilitate a smooth and efficient implementation
  • Maintain close ties to and communication with WWF Global Arctic Program and ensure alignment between global Arctic and WWF US Arctic priorities.
  • Ensure strong integration among quality improvement, monitoring & evaluation and program learning efforts
  • Ensure the effective implementation of WWF's Environmental and Social Safeguards
  • Develop program budgets and ensure compliance with WWF policies and procedures

Leadership and Management

The Managing Director will lead a growing team of 3-6 staff, set transparent goals and ensure effective implementation. They will foster staff engagement through frequent communication in a manner that's consistent with WWF's values of courage, respect, integrity and collaboration. The Managing Director will uphold and support WWF's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the planning, implementation and monitoring of conservation efforts. WWF is committed to strong management and seeks an inspiring, inclusive and supportive manager who ensures their team not only performs but thrives.

Major duties include:
  • Identify, develop & support new and current staff, provide coaching to improve individual and team performance
  • Engage with staff to identify clear goals and objectives, group strengths and needs to achieve goals and ensure success
  • Encourage and facilitate a collaborative work environment that builds acceptance and commitment through engagement and open dialogue
  • Communicate and solicit input when managing and promoting change and sharing in efforts that involve staff embracing change

Partnership Development

The Managing Director develops a strategy to build partnerships with stakeholders and Alaska Natives in our priority landscapes and coaches staff to implement. Partners include other NGOs, Alaska Native organizations, local, state and federal agencies, universities, businesses, elected officials and tribes.

Major duties include:
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with Alaska Natives and key stakeholders, partners and donors
  • Represent WWF-US Arctic externally to strengthen existing relationships and generate new partnership opportunities


The Managing Director persuasively conveys the mission of WWF to solicit program support from diverse groups, in coordination with WWF Development staff.

Major duties include:
  • Raise funds to support the US-Arctic work
  • Oversee development and conceptual framework for multi-year proposals
  • Edit staff drafts and/or directly prepares proposals
  • Communicate with individual donors, attending events or field site visits as needed

  • Master's degree and at least eight years work experience, with a minimum of three years in environmental conservation program design, management, and implementation. Relevant conservation experience could include work in policy, natural resource management, advocacy, conservation biology, or a related science field (e.g. marine science)
  • Three+ years of management experience, including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage the performance of an experienced multi-disciplinary team, in accordance with best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Extensive experience with and commitment to working in Alaska and in partnership with community leaders and tribal representatives. Enrolled members of an Alaska Native tribe are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results through the development and management of large-scale programs
  • Knowledge of and experience with conservation finance models
  • Ability to assess and develop emerging opportunities, and set staff on a course that delivers results
  • Success packaging big ideas for individual donors, government grants and foundations
  • Excellent creative and critical thinking skills
  • Compelling written and oral communication, including grant writing, technical writing and public speaking
  • Track record of forging partnerships with a wide variety of players - local communities, government, NGO, tribal communities
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Willingness to travel as necessary (post COVID-19 restrictions). Must be able to travel for approximately 7-10 trips/year with a duration of 3-4 days or more as needed; travel is primarily within Alaska but includes trips to Washington DC and possible international travel.
  • Fluency in or familiarity with at least one Alaska Native language desired
  • Identifies and aligns with the core values of the WWF organization: Courage, Integrity, Respect, and Collaboration

Diversity and Inclusion

WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds and communities to apply. As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status.

WWF has long understood that the people who live in the places we work are critical leaders in conservation. Over time, WWF's work with people has supported community efforts and led to transformative social and environmental results. This is a socially inclusive conservation approach. Together, WWF finds practical and beneficial ways for both people and nature to thrive.

Read more about WWF's approach to collaborative conservation here.

Compensation and Location

WWF offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The salary range for this position starts at $133,000. For more information, please visit WWF's benefits page.

This position will be based in Alaska, ideally in the Anchorage office.

To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting WWF with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates should click the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA's job portal.

Please direct all inquiries to Tamara Evans, Senior Search Lead |

CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies.

As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply.