Senior Director (Program Delivery, Africa)

Conservation International (CI)

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Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 


The Senior Director of Program Delivery is responsible for strengthening large project design, proposal development, project management and delivery across CI’s Africa Field Division, managing the technical aspects of priority programs and all their component projects, leading the team, and raising and managing funds.

The Senior Director will focus on three main areas of work: a) Project identification and design; b) Project management and implementation, and c) Close coordination with other teams and divisions for prioritized projects.  The Senior Director supervises the regional technical team and coordinates all technical functions of the program to ensure delivery of CI’s strategic outcomes.

The successful candidate must bring innovation, whole-system thinking and superior project management and delivery experience to this portfolio. This includes all stages of project management—from defining and refining tangible conservation outcomes and action plans; prioritizing and implementing; to monitoring and evaluation.

This position leads and supervises a core programmatic team of technical experts and will engage across country, regional, and global teams and programs to accomplish work. The position will ensure high-quality delivery on Global Environment Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and large private sector funded projects supporting cross-cutting programs including GDSA, Wildlife Trafficking, the Elephant Protection Initiative, and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. ​The post holder is also a core member of the Africa Field Division’s Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and represents CI’s work in the region with internal and external stakeholders.


Project Identification and Design

  • Support the implementation of the Africa Field Division Program Strategy and associated large projects, with a focus on ensuring seamless integration with country and global CI program strategies to address CI’s strategic priorities  
  • Identify key target audiences, influencers and partners to drive CI’s work in Africa forward, including key delivery, organizational, partnership and fundraising objectives
  • Identify organizational and program-related challenges, emerging issues and solutions faced by programs in the Division
  • Ensure critical monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of CI’s programmatic and project efforts in Africa that demonstrates impact and reflects CI’s initiatives and projects as appropriate to local conditions
  • Design support, including development of mature theories of change, monitoring and evaluation, work plans, risk assessments, alignment with CI’s strategic goals and objectives, project institutional arrangements, governance and delivery
  • Proposal writing and review when applicable, contract or lead the proposal writing and coordination
  • Ensure coordination within the division on large-scale, multi-country and priority projects
  • Flag and help project teams/project leads avoid pitfalls and issues experienced by other projects that could have been averted with more sound design.
  • Share best practices/processes/resources to streamline the proposal development process and increase the uptake of best practices for project implementation across the division.

Program Management and Implementation

  • Technical oversight on all Africa programs and projects, both at Division and Country levels, with a focus on ensuring program quality control, and impactful program and project delivery
  • Serve as initial lead for new large-scale and priority public-funded projects, such as GEF and GC
  • Analyze delivery risks/delays identified, and provide projects the necessary management support
  • Monitor/track success and progress for selected projects comparing against criteria that will be developed specific to that project
  • Support high-risk projects or those not meeting expectations
  • Gather and share lessons learned and other resources for project management and implementation across the division (e.g., project management tools, finance/operations processes, etc.).
  • Ensure knowledge sharing between program staff across the Division, for transfer of ideas on program development, program implementation, and strategic partnership building 

Program Coordination 

  • Represent CI’s efforts and work in Africa, with a focus on strategy delivery, cross-cutting programs, and development efforts, addressing issues and opportunities
  • Liaise with other Divisions and CI units in ensuring and pushing program excellence


  • The position can be located in Botswana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, or South Africa
  • Domestic and international travel required up to 50% time
  • Ability to work in remote locations or under difficult working conditions
  • Ability to work irregular and extended work hours, including evenings and weekends


  • A degree in conservation biology, economics, ecosystem services, sustainable development, or closely related fields with 10 years professional experience in conservation biology, economics, ecosystem services, sustainable development, or closely related fields or equivalent combination of degree and work experience.
  • Minimum of 3 years of senior program management experience
  • International/regional program and organizational experience
  • Program and project leadership experience
  • Experience working in a diverse decentralized international organization
  • Experience of all aspects of the program mix: strategy formulation, program design, communications, political and corporate strategy development, and implementation, policy formulation, research, and fundraising
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and synthetically across fields and topics related to green economies in the African context
  • Demonstrated analytical and computational skills
  • Familiarity with conservation and development issues in developing countries; work experience relevant to CI geographies, particularly in Africa
  • Demonstrated track record of visionary thinking and program design and implementation
  • Strong interpersonal skills, personal and professional confidence, and presence, and the ability to effectively build strong relationships both internally and externally with individuals across disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds to achieve shared goals.
  • Demonstrated ability in staff supervision and coaching, and building successful, motivated teams
  • Highly organized with ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously in a dynamic environment
  • Passion for conservation of nature and a commitment to CI’s vision and mission
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Program Management Certification preferred
  • Additional language skills in French or Portuguese preferred

Please submit resume and cover letter.