IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government agencies and civil society organisations.
It provides public, private, and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development, and nature conservation to take place together. Headquartered in Switzerland, IUCN Secretariat comprises around 950 staff in more than 50 countries. Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,500 Member organisations and some 18,000 experts.

It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments, and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools, and international standards. IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous people’s organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems, and improve people’s well-being.

The IUCN Ocean Team is made up of staff passionate, dynamic and committed to effectively addressing key global challenges in the marine and polar environment. The Ocean Team works closely with other IUCN thematic and regional programmes and IUCN Commission experts to ensure that marine and polar ecosystems are maintained and restored in their biodiversity and productivity, and that any use of the resources is sustainable and equitable.


This position will provide management and leadership to deliver the IUCN Ocean Ambition on biodiversity, climate change, sustainable blue economy, ocean governance and blue natural capital financing. This role will also support and/or lead global ocean policy work, in particular related to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and High Seas (BBNJ). The Senior Programme Officer, Ocean will report to the Head, Ocean Team, and work closely with other team members and across Centres and regional offices to deliver the IUCN Ocean Ambition. The successful candidate will enhance IUCN’s engagement with the North American Ocean community and other stakeholders in collaboration with IUCN US based colleagues.

Specific Tasks

1. Project portfolio management, development and resource mobilisation

i. Project management delivery – Lead initiative/ large-sized project or portfolio – which blends both project management and technical knowledge and/or experience – including budget control and reporting for projects managed.
ii. Project portfolio development to support implementation of priority IUCN ocean-related resolutions.
iii. Seek synergies and establish links to the IUCN standards including the IUCN Nature-based Solutions Standard, the IUCN Red Lists of Threatened Species and Ecosystems, the Key Biodiversity Area Standard, the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Standard and the Species Threat Abatement and Recovery (STAR) Metric, and other IUCN tools and products.
iv. Support programme development through IUCN representation, networking, and fundraising in collaboration with the fundraising team focusing foundations and high net worth individuals.
v. Support a collaborative approach to programme delivery that utilizes and capitalizes on the Union’s expertise.
vi. In the implementation of the project portfolio, work collaboratively with other IUCN Centres and Regions, IUCN Commissions and Members.
vii. Maintain and establish high quality relationships with donors ensuring that donor expectations and requirements, including all aspects of reporting and communications, are fully met.

2. Policy engagement

i. Lead ocean policy integration across MEAs and engagement with global and regional institutions related to ocean management and governance. This includes the drafting of text and quality-control on policy-related submissions (in consultation with the relevant Policy Unit colleagues and/or Head Ocean Team as necessary).
ii. Lead thematic focus area such as Sustainable Blue Economy and global ocean governance, and develop new initiatives (incl. High Seas).
iii. In conjunction and alignment with the IUCN International Policy Centre, ensure that links are made to relevant policy mechanisms such as the SDGs, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the CBD Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in both the development and implementation of the portfolio and ensure that such links are leveraged, explained and supported in all ocean conservation activities.

3. Communication and outreach

iv. Represent IUCN, where appropriate, at high-level international fora and global networks in an advisory role on ocean conservation issues in line with key knowledge areas.
v. Contribute to IUCN international engagements with partners and institutions on ocean matters.
vi. Contribute to the implementation of the Ocean Team communications strategy for the IUCN Ocean programme, as guided by the Head, Ocean Team, and with the support of the Knowledge Management and Library Team, and Global Communications Unit.
vii. Contribute to the promotion and implementation of outreach activities to publicise the work carried out through relevant media and in collaboration with the Global Communication Unit.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organization such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee’s responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.


  • Master’s degree in a relevant field
  • At least 7 years of relevant experience covering:
  • Project management and delivery for projects of over USD 1 million in size and in managing implementing partners
  • Fundraising for complex projects
  • Global policy and knowledge of multilateral organisations, UN processes, and in particular the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Developing policy positions and policy influence
  • Extensive network, ability to work with different stakeholder groups, and excellent communication skills
  • Possess analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of Multilateral Environmental Agreements – and/or ability to perform research in this space in a quick and efficient manner
  • Competence in working in a multicultural and demand-driven settings.
  • Professionalism and diplomacy in communicating cross-culturally and with diverse audiences
  • Ability to rapidly research, analyse and integrate diverse information from varied sources
  • Capacity to work well under pressure, prioritize and successfully manage competing demands and deadlines
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills; strong copy-editing skills, with meticulous attention to detail
  • Ensure that all projects undertaken are delivered according to established procedures and protocols and following IUCN guidelines (legal, procurement, etc).
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required; knowledge of French and/or Spanish is desirable


Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the “Apply” button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

For further information about this opportunity, click here.

via IUCN
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