Country Program Director, Fiji

WCS Fiji Program
WCS provides positive work culture and competitive salary and benefits package.
Closing date
Nov 12, 2021

Job Details

Reports to: Regional Director, Melanesia Program

Location: Suva, Fiji

Country Program/Sector: Global Conservation Program – Melanesia Region

Position Type: Full-time

Expected travel: As and when required within/outside the country/region

Organization Background:

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.

Fiji Program Overview:

WCS established a Fiji program in 2001. Since that time, WCS has worked to integrate community engagement, science-based conservation, media and outreach to support improved environmental policies and management. In Fiji, WCS takes a “boots on the ground” approach, spending building trusted relationships with local communities and government to solve the pressing conservation challenges of habitat loss and degradation, overexploitation, and climate-change adaptation. The Fiji program has had recent emphasis on: gender equity and social inclusion in small-scale fisheries management; integrated watershed management for downstream public and environmental health; marine spatial planning to support the National Ocean Policy commitments; and science-driven monitoring to inform best practices for management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems.

Job Summary:

The Country Program Director will lead the development and management of WCS’s conservation program in Fiji in line with the emerging WCS 2030 and WCS Melanesia 2025 strategies. The Fiji Country Director will be responsible for: leading on the establishment of program priorities, strategy, and approaches for terrestrial and marine conservation and climate adaptation initiatives; supporting conservation project development and implementation; managing and overseeing staff and program operations and finances; fundraising and grants oversight; coordination with government and non-government partners; and directing national and international attention to Fiji for conservation and to influence policies that promote preservation of biodiversity and sustainable development, while reducing vulnerability to future climate and environmental change.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Coordinating the implementation of Fiji Country Program projects activities, including ensuring financial and administrative support for field and office activities, as well as on time delivery of high quality program outputs.
  • Working with Finance, Operations, Melanesia and Global Conservation Program staff to ensure compliance with WCS and donor policies and procedures.
  • Establishing and maintaining excellent working relationships with partners, government and donors. Meeting regularly with project partners, relevant government agencies, and local leaders. Serving as a liaison between the Fiji Country Program and other scientific and conservation bodies in both Fiji and elsewhere.
  • Leading efforts to secure funding for the Fiji Country Program, working with staff from the Melanesia and the Global Conservation Program. Overseeing grant reporting and financial reporting. Working to diversify the funding base of the program.
  • Raising the profile of the WCS conservation effort in Fiji through the dissemination of project results widely in the peer-reviewed and popular literatures, and including through WCS Fiji’s social media channels. Writing and supporting the review and editing of technical reports, journal articles, and book chapters that feature WCS Fiji work. Maintaining active roles in professional societies. Attending relevant meetings, workshops, and strategy sessions in Fiji (when required).
  • Participating in and contributing to WCS’s cross-cutting global conservation initiatives, including in particular: Marine; Forests & Climate; Rights & Communities; and Health. 
  • Engaging as appropriate in national and regional policy dialogues, and liaising with WCS Global Conservation Program Policy staff.
  • Hiring, managing and contributing to capacity building of Fiji Country Program staff, while contributing to, enlarging and upholding the Society’s policies towards diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Acting as the legal representative of WCS in Fiji by ensuring all activities and operations are in accordance with the relevant Fiji laws and regulations.
  • Coordinate with the Melanesia Regional Director regarding shared office space, staff and facilities for the Melanesia Regional Program.
  • Liaising with other parts of WCS where appropriate, including Communications, Global Resources, Program Development, Conservation Solutions, Global Finance, Public Affairs, Education, etc.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Applicants should have a PhD, MBA, or MSc with commensurate experience managing complex institutions, with expertise from the conservation, natural resource management and/or development sectors.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience managing terrestrial and/or marine field conservation projects, project budgets, and staff, particularly in remote and/or developing country settings.
  • Experience managing projects funded by government and multilateral donors desirable.
  • Demonstrated success working with diverse partners to achieve common objectives.
  • Ability to train and build capacity in field research, community-based natural resource management, conservation advocacy, and project management.
  • Familiar with conservation issues in Fiji and the region, and committed to the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
  • Applicants should be willing to live full-time in Fiji, be willing to travel in remote locations, have excellent problem solving skills and be flexible to changing conditions. Experience working in Melanesian countries strongly preferred. Salary level commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by sending an application letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references via WCS main career site  at

Pre-screening will start on November 15 2021.

WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations

Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted for interview.


The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. Our story began in the early 1900s when we successfully helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains. Today, we protect many of the world’s iconic creatures here and abroad, including gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and ocean giants in our world’s amazing seascapes.

Since our founding, we have forged the power of our global conservation work and the management of our five parks in New York City to create the world’s most comprehensive conservation organization. We currently manage about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of visitors at our five living institutions in New York City on important issues affecting our planet. Our parks include: the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park ZooProspect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo.

With a commitment to protect 50 percent of the world’s biodiversity, we address four of the biggest issues facing wildlife and wild places: climate change; natural resource exploitation; the connection between wildlife health and human health; and the sustainable development of human livelihoods. While taking on these issues, we work across 5.8 million square kilometers (3.6 million square miles), both land and sea, protecting 40 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and 55 percent of its marine biodiversity.

The WCS parks in New York City welcome 4 million visitors each year, and educate millions of schoolchildren on science and conservation issues.

Our history, dating back to ensuring the survival of the American bison, inspires our work each day. We hope our work in turn inspires millions to take action to protect the natural resources that are so important to all life on our fragile Earth.

Our mission statement

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

Our vision

WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.

WCS Trustees & Senior Management

WCS’s staff and Board of Trustees work together as stewards of conservation around the globe and of cultural life in New York.

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