Global Wildlife Conservation Lead Scientist

Global Wildlife Conservation Lead Scientist
World Wildlife Fund
Location: Flexible

WWF’s half-century of conservation success is rooted firmly in science; it informs and underpins everything we do. The scientific rigor we bring to our work is unmatched in the nonprofit conservation sector. Building on this legacy, WWF is recruiting a team of Global Science Leaders to advance the organization’s mission to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.

We are hiring scientists to shape an interdisciplinary research agenda and apply it to accelerate WWF’s goals in Climate & Energy, Food, Forests, Freshwater, Oceans, and Wildlife. The Global Science Team works closely with experts in finance, markets, policy and practice to advance a coordinated effort that will deliver science and technology for tangible conservation results at a speed and scale commensurate with the trends that undermine them. The Global Science Leads report directly to the WWF Chief Scientist and are key members of WWF’s Network Science and Practice Team.

The Global Wildlife Conservation Lead Scientist (Lead Scientist) will provide the scientific leadership for WWF’s Global Wildlife Conservation Practice. The Lead Scientist will be a key partner to the Chief Scientist and the Wildlife Practice Lead, providing thought leadership, science direction for goal setting, scientific analysis in support of strategy development and the management of internal and external science talent to support the Global Wildlife Conservation team in advancing their ambitious agenda. The Lead Scientist will serve as a member of the WWF Global Science Leadership Team to provide expertise and support for interdisciplinary analyses to advance cross-functional strategies. This is an unparalleled opportunity for a dynamic, strategic thinker who is passionate about WWF’s mission and has had demonstrated success in leading rigorous scientific research to support wildlife conservation.

Position Context

Never has the planet faced environmental threats of the scale and urgency we see today. But we also find ourselves in a unique time of extraordinary opportunity for change. Following the establishment of the new Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agreement reached in Paris, humanity has committed to accelerate a transition toward a more sustainable, ecologically sound and habitable future. The pace and scale of this transition will dictate success or failure. As the largest conservation organization in the world, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is determined to capitalize on this momentum. We are re-inventing our practice of conservation, pursuing measurable results and thought partnerships that help shift humanity to a more sustainable footing.

Success will require a team that energetically embraces the opportunity and risks to produce solutions to the world’s largest environmental problems at the intersection of science and practice.

Qualified candidates will possess critical competencies that include:

  • Graduate degree with commensurate experience required; doctorate strongly preferred
  • A broad knowledge of conservation, and expertise in ecological and/or socioeconomic aspects of wildlife conservation including landscape ecology, biogeography, statistical ecology (e.g., population estimation, M&E, demographic modeling) and conservation planning
  • Sophisticated understanding of large-scale trends in wildlife conservation, and of the major opportunities and threats that must be addressed
  • At least 10 years’ experience leading collaborative conservation research projects and integrating science into large-scale strategies and outcomes
  • Demonstrated experience leading and fundraising for major initiatives and projects
    Demonstrated ability to convene and direct high-level scientific capacity to inform wildlife conservation issues
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals across cultures and time zones
  • Excellent written, oral, strategic communication skills; experience leveraging the full range of modern media to realize programmatic goals
  • Vision—the ability to think and act on a global scale
  • Proven ability in the development and management of strategic partnerships and alliances

Position responsibilities include:

  • Works with leadership and colleagues to ensure that goals, strategies, and assessments of impacts are grounded in, and informed by, the best available science
  • Conducts and supports colleagues in conducting research in a conservation-relevant science discipline and publishes in high-profile journals for impact and stays abreast of the scientific literature and shares important findings with team staff
  • Reviews, synthesizes and disseminates most relevant scientific knowledge across the WWF network and externally, and in coordination with knowledge management leads
  • Builds and maintains an extensive network of science professionals and partnerships – with key conservation NGOs, government agencies, academics, and other groups – for the purposes of science collaboration, research and to advance WWF’s priorities
  • Travels internationally on a frequent basis to represent WWF at meetings, workshops, conferences, and for the purposes of site visits and/or field-based research
  • Represents WWF and promotes our conservation goals, activities and scientific thought leadership
  • Leads and supports science and fundraising efforts, in collaboration with science and practice staff, to support the network’s Wildlife Practice
  • Manages and coordinates science staff and external collaborators for implementation of goal priorities
  • Develops, analyzes and manages operating plans and grant budgets

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