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Program Officer: Training

Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG)
United States
US$75,000 plus health and retirement benefits.
Closing date
Oct 8, 2023

The Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG), of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC), is seeking a USA-based Program Officer for a three-year, full-time position.

CPSG delivers species conservation planning expertise to governments, other SSC Specialist Groups, zoos and aquariums, and other wildlife organizations. Using expert facilitation and the application of science-based planning tools, CPSG conducts multi-stakeholder conservation planning workshops for endangered species, risk assessments using population modeling tools, and strategic planning for conservation organizations. CPSG has an active training and mentoring program, designed to equip others with the competence and confidence they need to design and facilitate collaborative species conservation planning processes.

CPSG has been awarded a three-year grant to support our capacity building initiative. The project focuses on training and mentoring select program-related staff in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conservation program, Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). This initiative will enable staff, both in US zoos/aquariums and their in-situ partners, to build their confidence and competence in collaborative species conservation planning. This position will support the Director of Training in implementing the grant obligations.

The successful applicant will join a global team of nine professionals and will report to the Director of Training.

Job Purpose

To support the CPSG’s Director of Training in the successful implementation, evaluation, and reporting on CPSG’s IMLS grant obligations.

Duties will include:

  • Supporting the development of CPSG’s strategic approach to increasing capacity for conservation planning across the SSC Specialist Groups, IUCN members (in particular governments), and the wider conservation community.
  • Contributing to the implementation of CPSG’s project to build capacity AZA SAFE Program participants and in situ partners through training course and mentorship management and delivery.
  • Overseeing the development of materials (e.g., in the form of handbooks, course marketing, case study analyses, etc.) that provide support for participants in the program.
  •  In collaboration with CPSG staff, managing the development of a monitoring and evaluation program to measure the impacts of the project.
  • Representing CPSG at relevant AZA conferences and other forums.
  • Producing progress reports as required by the granting agency, including financial reports (in collaboration with CPSG’s Financial Officer).

Requirements include:

  • Prior experience of designing and implementing training courses, ideally within the online environment;
  • Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in the biological sciences, or an equivalent combination of academic training (e.g., M.Sc.) and practical relevant training and mentoring experience;
  • Exceptional social and listening skills;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English, including proven ability in writing of reports and scientific papers, grant proposal preparation, and delivery of oral presentations;
  • Proven grant reporting experience;
  • A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups and across cultures;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and prioritize tasks as necessary;
  • Excellent attention to detail;
  • Although not a pre-requisite, additional language skills (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, French) would be desirable.

Job Location

The successful applicant will ideally be based in the USA and will work remotely. It is anticipated that the job will involve up to 15% travel time each year.


The 2023 base salary for this position is US$75,000 plus health and retirement benefits.

Position Duration

This position is for the three-year duration of the IMLS grant that supports it with possible extension beyond that if circumstances allow.

Interested in applying?

Please send the following materials to

  • A cover letter;
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV); and
  • A document, in English, of which you are sole author that best demonstrates your writing skills.

The application deadline is 15 October 2023.

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