World Wildlife Fund - US

Senior Vice President, Durable Conservation and Finance - 23131

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 6 months ago(5/31/2023 10:28 AM)
# of Openings


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:  

  • Working with governments, civil society, and local communities on nationwide efforts to expand and sustain conservation areas (comprising protected areas, Indigenous reserves, sustainable use lands, and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures [OECMs]) using inclusive conservation approaches. This initiative supports Target 3 under the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Target 3 seeks to ensure that 30% of the world’s terrestrial, inland water, and marine areas are under effective protection and management by the year 2030. 
  • Harnessing blended financing needed to underwrite these efforts ranging from philanthropy, bilateral and multilateral support, market-based financing, and other mechanisms unique to each country. 
  • Making sure that the goals, commitments, and measures that underpin these efforts ensure accountability, and are monitored and adapted to make progress over time. All of this will be brought to a head through multi-party single closings, with closing conditions, and disbursement conditions designed to expand conservation toward Target 3. 

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). 

  • Enduring Earth. Using the PFP financial approach that addresses an issue often seen in the conservation community: piecemeal, insufficient, and short-term funding for the management of conservation areas, often because conservation budgets are the first to be cut in the face of legitimate and difficult tradeoffs. The PFP approach relies on a single closing, which is the moment in time when funding commitments are made and all of the other closing conditions (such as having performance monitoring systems in place) have been met.  
    • Responsible for the overall execution and implementation of Enduring Earth’s Global PFP strategy; oversight of the Collaboration Hub; and engagement of the Enduring Earth CEO Board. Including but not limited to: 
      • Working closely with the CEO of WWF-US (co-founder of the Enduring Earth initiative and initial Chair of the CEO Board) on overall deal strategy as well as high-level engagement with governments, funders, and partners, as well as governance matters related to the partnership.  
      • Managing the WWF Global Portfolio. Foster and co-lead a partnership that works across many institutions to map out a global portfolio across countries over every continent, make strategic investments to test feasibility, develop projects, and execute on projects over time.  
      • Monitoring adherence of each deal to a set of PFP core principles to maintain integrity of the approach and of the collaboration. 
      • Serving as a member of the Enduring Earth Management Team as WWF’s representative. The incumbent will strategically support PFP initiatives led by other Enduring Earth partners with a spirit of deep collaboration.    
  • Deal Brokerage. Negotiates and closes deals for WWF’s PFP portfolio and, where appropriate, collaborates closely with or supports the CEO and CCO in doing the same in a small number of countries. This includes managing relationships with potential partners and funders for future PFP deals and successfully developing, negotiating, and closing these deals. 
  • Innovative and Durable Financing for Conservation. The incumbent will work closely with the Executive Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships, who leads efforts to finance WWF’s PFP deals and helps scope and structure a pipeline of initiatives. Specifically, the incumbent provides thought leadership on an array of financial instruments and approaches that can be organized to help WWF and the broader conservation community achieve its long-term financing needs. The incumbent leads on WWF’s efforts around debt conversion and aligns with WWF’s existing initiatives on blended financing, impact investing, and deal origination for nature-based solutions. The incumbent will work closely with those leading WWF Impact and WWF’s Nature-Based Solutions Origination Platform, as well as the WWF Accredited Entity for the GEF and GCF. 
  • Protected and Conserved Areas Strategy. Manages the leadership of this initiative and ensures that these efforts are not only aligned with but are a central pillar of WWF’s broader area-based conservation strategy. The Senior Vice President will oversee and support the team working on the Protected and Conserved Areas Strategy. This team works closely with the Senior Vice Presidents for Wildlife, Forests, and Oceans who manage WWF US’s area-based conservation work on a day-to-day basis. 


  • A graduate degree and 15 years of experience in area-based conservation and durable financing for conservation.  
  • Track record of initiating and delivering large-scale conservation initiatives with public and private partners. 
  • Superb skills in fostering partnerships with NGOs, foundations, government entities, communities, and private sector entities. 
  • A strong network of contacts and experience negotiating complex national or international agreements with multiple public and private partners. 
  • Ability to work with a vast range of people from community leaders to NGO colleagues, funders, senior- level government officials, heads of state and finance ministers, and public and private investors to build a compelling vision and partnership for protected area finance. 
  • A dynamic, creative, and outgoing personality with the ability to influence the thinking of others. 
  • Comfort in working closely with the CEO and CCO and a complex team crossing institutions in moving big initiatives forward. 
  • Fast-twitch responsiveness and ability to see the whole.  
  • Flexibility, nimbleness, and patience to lead effectively within a matrixed, dispersed organization with the ability to learn and course-correct along the way. Self-confidence without rigidity. 
  • Dogged determination and humility in driving initiatives that support the commitments of governments and the rights of communities. 
  • Gifted at inspiring and uniting diverse technical staff pursuing independent work.  
  • Willingness to take risks and be in different locations around the world as needed in building coalitions, navigating openings, global events and initiatives, driving negotiations with governments, and ensuring long-term fidelity and delivering against the goals for this work. 
  • High integrity and respect. 
  • Management and mentorship skills. 
  • Record of successful fundraising and willingness to be actively engaged in public representation and fund development. 
  • Exceptional written and oral skills and the ability to communicate complex technical and scientific information to all audiences. 
  • Devotion to learning. Smart, curious, and kind with a strong sense of humor.  


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.  


To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #23131
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone


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.


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