World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, seeks a Senior Vice President, Durable Conservation and Finance.
The Montreal Biodiversity Agreement and Paris Climate Agreement brought the nations of the world together to solve the twin problems of biodiversity loss and climate change, and to do so in a way that honors the rights of Indigenous communities and that harnesses blended sources of financing to ensure that the impact of initiatives and investments remain durable over time.
The conservation of nature looms large in both respects. Not only does deforestation and land use contribute an estimated one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, but habitat loss and degradation is the largest driver of biodiversity loss across the world.
Over the past 10 years WWF has built an area of expertise in Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) work, and a portfolio of national-scale projects in countries including Brazil, Bhutan, Peru, and Colombia to address the loss of nature at a scale that matters. PFPs have three hallmarks:
More recently, WWF has built a core partnership known as Enduring Earth with The Nature Conservancy, Pew, and ZomaLab to advance on global conservation goals. This has brought in other partners including the Moore Foundation, Bezos Earth Foundation, Global Environment Facility, MAC Philanthropies, Wyss Foundation, and many other individual, bilateral, and multilateral institutions to create a movement and replicate this work widely. These efforts may constitute the largest single conservation initiative in the world, not just in scale of finance but also in terms of the scale of impact across protected area systems. It is an unparalleled opportunity to match country-level commitments to expanding and effectively managing conservation areas to external financing and support, and to deliver durable results at a scale that benefits biodiversity and climate goals.
The Senior Vice President manages this work, overseeing our PFP efforts across the world and serving as the WWF lead with the Enduring Earth partnership. The Senior Vice President will oversee WWF’s PFP deals and collaborate intensively with Enduring Earth partners to advance deals country by country that expand conservation areas. This will necessitate, amongst other things, bringing in coalitions of NGOs and investment partners, devising creative financing and capacity initiatives, creating local funds/special purpose vehicles to monitor and disburse funds on a performance basis, and creating tangible benefits for local and Indigenous communities.
Founded in 1961, WWF is a global non-governmental organization comprising the largest network of multinational conservations organizations in the world. With 6,500 staff globally, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than five million members worldwide. WWF acts at every level, from local to global, to ensure delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Its mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.
WWF-US is the largest legal entity of the WWF global network, managing offices in the US, parts of Latin America, and parts of Africa and Asia. Headquartered in Washington, DC, it has 1.2 million members, over 1,200 employees worldwide, and program expenditures last year of more than $330 million. The organization is led by President & CEO Carter Roberts and governed by a 24-member Board of Directors (Leadership | WWF).
WWF’s Work on Conservation Areas
WWF is pursuing work in two areas relating to conservation areas: the Enduring Earth Partnership and Protected and Conserved Areas Strategy.
Enduring Earth Partnership
Enduring Earth is an ambitious collaboration of four institutions that works alongside nations and communities to accelerate and amplify conservation for a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future for people and our planet. The initiative is built on the success of a model called Project Finance for Permanence (PFP). This approach secures long-term investment in conservation initiatives by tying full and sustained funding to measurable goals, including social and environmental gains. Projects are collaboratively designed, locally led, nationally supported, sustainably funded, and highly accountable, with the goal of inhibiting nature’s decline and producing robust conservation outcomes at a global scale.
Protected and Conserved Areas Strategy
Area-based conservation is part of WWF’s foundation and a consistent driver of our work, both past and present. The last meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of Parties (CBD COP) set new biodiversity targets, including Target 3 on conservation areas. Meeting this target will require formally recognizing more areas that conserve terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity and provide ecosystem services for people, while ensuring ecological representation and connectivity, and promoting effective and equitable management. WWF-US’s approach to supporting efforts to achieve these targets brings together our deep expertise in landscape planning and management, protected areas management, climate adaptation and mitigation, and conservation finance, and a growing capacity in OECMs. It aims to secure nature and its benefits for people through inclusive, durable, and resilient systems of conservation areas The Protected and Conserved Areas Strategy effort is led by a senior staffer supported by a small team who work collaboratively with the Senior Vice Presidents for Forests, Oceans, Wildlife, and Global Science, who collectively support area-based conservation, protected areas, and OECMs in priority landscapes and seascapes.
The Senior Vice President, Durable Conservation and Finance is responsible for establishing a vision that catalyzes long-term, sustainable financing for large-scale conservation areas aligned with the global goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The position works cross-functionally to ensure the right resources are brought to bear in delivering on WWF’s transformational initiatives, is recognized both internally and externally as a leading expert on innovative financing and area-based conservation, and is called upon to bring the latest thinking and innovation to bear in solving complex problems.
The Senior Vice President, Durable Conservation and Finance is responsible for the overall Financing for Permanence strategy and its implementation for WWF-US’s work, building and managing a cross-functional team working toward a common vision and objectives, and undertaking fundraising and communication efforts.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
WWF works with partners to create, expand, and ensure proper management of conservation areas (comprising protected areas, Indigenous Reserves, sustainable use reserves, and OECMs).
The position will be located at WWF’s US headquarters in Washington, DC, with frequent national and international travel expected.
WWF is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and requires all US-based staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. WWF will consider requests for accommodation from the vaccine requirement based on disability, medical contraindication, sincerely held religious belief, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
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.