Founded in 1961, WWF is a network of non-governmental environment organizations, with 6,500 staff operating in more than 100 countries, some six million members, and 22 million Facebook and 14 million Twitter followers worldwide. WWF’s efforts are grounded in its work with local communities, businesses and governments and other actors to conserve and restore nature and secure sustainable development for people in priority places around the world. We also work extensively with major private and public institutions to reduce the impacts of climate change, infrastructure projects, unsustainable food production, and consumption on nature and people. In 2016, WWF launched a new global strategy to help the nations, states, and cities of the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement, and Convention on Biological Diversity. WWF works through strong country programs, linked through global practices, to drive local innovation and large-scale solutions that seek to safeguard nature and nature’s contribution to people.
WWF-US, the largest organization within the WWF global network, works with partners across the United States and other countries to advance the WWF mission. WWF-US plays a pivotal role driving conservation and development action in the broader WWF network, collaborating closely with WWF offices around the world. It also hosts the network’s Science and Markets programs and administers field offices in Latin America, Nepal, Bhutan, and Namibia. WWF-US has just over 1,000 staff located throughout its domestic and international offices, with 2019 total revenues and support of over $325 million. President and CEO Carter Roberts leads the Senior Management Team out of the WWF-US Washington, DC headquarters.
WWF Oceans Program
It’s an exciting time to join the WWF-US Oceans program. The need to protect and restore the rich bounty of life on Earth has never been greater, or more urgent. As demand for food, water, and energy rises, more people face the specter of collapsing ecosystems and dwindling resources. WWF’s efforts to protect ocean wildlife and habitats like whales, tuna, coral reefs and mangroves—all of which play an important role in marine ecosystems— are a vital part of this work.
We conceptualize our work and achievements in two pillars: area-based conservation and whole-planet solutions. These pillars represent our commitment to secure some of the most critical places on Earth while bolstering the services they provide to local communities, and at the same time addressing the systemic global threats to these landscapes and seascapes and the planet as a whole.
Area-based conservation is our approach to working in places. It puts people and nature as co-equal and ensures our programs balance conservation with economic growth. Our efforts are locally led, so that the people who live in these places are the owners and beneficiaries. We take the long view, designing interventions to be financially sustainable, sufficiently managed, and climate smart. As a science- based organization, our approaches are rooted in discipline while also seeking to contribute to new scholarship. Examples include:
WWF has worked in the Arctic for 20+ years, with active programs across the region and offices in all eight Arctic countries working together to shape the future of this important ecosystem. WWF-US’s Alaska program is an integral part of that work with an exciting new strategy in Bristol Bay and the Bering Strait.
As co-founder of the Global Mangrove Alliance, mangroves are a critical component to WWF’s resilient coastlines work in many regions, including the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The US oceans team will leverage this experience as it implements its recent Bezos Earth Fund grant to accelerate solutions that harness the power of nature to provide for communities and stabilize our climate.
Whole planet solutions are important because our work in specific places can’t be successful if we don't address some of the bigger challenges that threaten the planet as a whole. This pillar includes our approaches to drive solutions within global systems. What we bring to the table for these whole planet solutions is our agency: our influence, our brand, our followers. In mobilizing our most valuable assets against these larger global challenges, we can be the WWF the world needs us to be. For example, WWF currently works with 30% of commercial fisheries to keep healthy populations of fish in the sea and minimize impacts on habitats and species in critical areas of the world. At the same time, WWF is partnering with communities, governments and industry to design and support a sustainable seafood sector.
The Senior Vice President, Oceans (SVP) will design, articulate and implement an inspiring five-year oceans strategy working collaboratively across WWF teams and offices. They will evaluate the changing landscape, trends, and developments to keep WWF on track to meeting its goals, while identifying new opportunities.
Leadership and Management
The SVP is a senior leader in the organization. Reporting to the Chief Conservation Officer, the SVP is a member of the 18-person leadership team for WWF-US and leads the 30-person Oceans team.
The SVP will lead a geographically dispersed team of experts, set transparent goals and priorities, and foster staff engagement through frequent communication in a manner that’s consistent with WWF’s recently adopted Network values of courage, respect, integrity and collaboration. They will manage upwards to engage senior executives and board members as well as collaborate with their peers as a member of the WWF-US leadership team. WWF is committed to strong management and seeks an inspiring, inclusive and supportive manager who ensures their staff team not only performs but thrives.
Fundraising for Large Initiatives
In partnership with the Development team and other senior WWF executives, the SVP will lead oceans-related multi-million-dollar fundraising initiatives by engaging with a diverse group of funders and building strategic partnerships with other NGOs, multi-laterals, government and corporate partners.
The SVP will coordinate across the Science, Food, Climate, Conservation Finance, Private Sector Engagement, Policy and Markets teams to codesign, develop and deliver on programs to maximize impact. The SVP will also work with global WWF programs including the Global Oceans Practice and Global Arctic Program.
Outreach and Influence on External Communities
The SVP will be an articulate, compelling spokesperson for WWF’s Oceans work. They will effectively communicate the implications of oceans issues for WWF and the sector. This includes representing WWF and its work at conferences, writing articles or op-eds, engaging diverse and opposing stakeholders in productive dialogue, and participating in innovative studies/partnerships. It also includes working with WWF partners such as the Global Mangrove Alliance.
- The successful candidate will demonstrate the following:
- 15+ years of experience leading and managing major initiatives focused on ocean conservation, ecosystem management, fisheries, or a similar conservation field
- Management experience, including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage the performance of an experienced multi-disciplinary team, in accord with best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion
- A proven ability to navigate complex systems to drive results by influencing and leveraging key players and resources
- A compelling communication style that can articulate a clear vision and build consensus around evolving issues, trends and strategies
- A successful track record of using scientific data to co-design and deliver high-impact global programs with diverse stakeholders
- A record of successful fundraising from diverse sources
Compensation and Location
WWF offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary commensurate with experience. The position will be located at WWF’s US headquarters in Washington, DC.
CEA Recruiting is assisting WWF with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates should click the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal.
Please direct all inquiries to Tamara Evans, Senior Search Lead | tamara [at] ceaconsulting.com.
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.
CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies.