Deputy Director General

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Gland, Switzerland
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Deputy Director General position supports the Director General in key management aspects of the organisation including but not limited to ensuring the development and timely implementation of an integrated IUCN programme; that the Secretariat works with and supports the membership and Commissions; that the sources of financial support for the activities of the Union are expanded; that the visibility of the Union is promoted and broadened worldwide; and that the conservation and sustainable development agenda is represented in global public policy arenas.


The Deputy Director General has a key leadership role in IUCN, working closely with the Director General to implement the strategy of the Union, while having particular responsibility for leading a cohesive and integrated Programme of work for all of IUCN’s components (Members, Commissions and Secretariat). He/she supports the work of the Director General to maintain the viability, reputation and standing of IUCN and ensure the effective performance of its global distributed Secretariat.

Complementing the Director General’s duties as the principal external voice for IUCN, the Deputy Director General works with senior management to establish mechanisms for accountability and responsibility, ensuring the appropriate delegation of authority, effective communication and a work environment that is rewarding, transparent, innovative and empowering.


In close collaboration with the Director General in the shaping of the overall strategic direction of the work of the Secretariat, the specific responsibilities of the Deputy Director General are to:


• Oversee the day-to-day management of the Secretariat including the establishment and global enforcement of standards, processes, and policies;

• Administer everyday functions for the organisation and coordinate with the Director General to prepare all long-term strategies to achieve all goals;

• Monitor the overall performance management, quality assurance and change management across the organisation and provide regular inputs and recommendations to ensure its effective implementation and continuous improvement;

• Ensure effective collaboration and strategic partnership for resource mobilisation with relevant partners in the area of strategic planning, programme development and management, funding and partnership arrangements, as well as communications with partners;

• Lead the development of IUCN’s intersessional Programme and coordinate the process for the development of component programme plans;

• Ensure that standards for programme performance are put in place and used as an integral part of the management of the Programme;

• Oversee the discharge of IUCN’s mandate in GEF and GCF;

• Ensure IUCN’s scientific and economic analytical leadership is strengthened;

• Oversee effective global policy system and standards for the Union;

• Promote cooperation between all of the units within the Secretariat and with Members and Commissions to strengthen IUCN’s global impact;

• Ensure that IUCN responds to external challenges, risks and opportunities;

• Liaise with external partners, as required;

• Provide other strategic support and perform other duties as assigned by the Director General.



• Advanced University Degree (Master’s) in a development or science-related area including natural resources management, business management, public administration, project management, economics, conservation and sustainable development or relevant social sciences;

• A minimum of 20 years’ progressively responsible experience in strategic and managerial leadership, including governance of a complex multilateral organizsation or programme preferably in an area related to conservation and/or sustainable development, of which at least 10 years at executive management level;

• Solid knowledge of conservation and sustainable development policy issues as well as the geopolitical, development and multi-stakeholder contexts and a sound understanding of how this fits into the global context;

• Demonstrated experience in partnership, government relations, and operations management;

• Experience in developing projects and programmes and ability to lead fund raising strategies and activities with the donor community, both public and private;

• Leadership experience in managing the performance of diverse and multi-cultural teams;


• Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity and trust, transparency, professionalism and accountability, equality, inclusiveness and respect for diversity;

• Unimpeachable integrity as evidenced by behaviour, communication style and way of handling ambiguous or difficult situations;

• Demonstrated ability to manage and lead the work of the Secretariat with diverse skills, personalities, and backgrounds;

• Clear commitment to fostering a culture of high performance and accountability, demonstrated in the ability to manage by results, differentiate performance and assertively give feedback and take decisive action when necessary;

• Demonstrated experience building teams diverse in gender, nationality and background to achieve business results. This commitment to diversity and inclusion should be exemplified through staffing decisions and the ability to model behaviours that promote a more inclusive organisational culture;

• Proven experience in maintaining and nurturing expert networks with demonstrated ability to handle politically and culturally sensitive issues;

• Experience in identifying key issues in a complex situation, and consulting, gathering, and analysing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations;

• Enthusiastic commitment and vision characterised by a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use and the ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction;

• Proven experience of global affairs and experience with the workings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions;

• Maturity, knowledge and experience in management and leadership abilities with a deep sense of self-awareness as evidenced by the ability to articulate one’s own strengths, weaknesses and impact on others;

• Proven ability to effectively delegate, empower and motivate staff and others, and the ability to both plan and take action, keeping staff focused on priorities;

• Experience developing teams and individuals and effectively leading improvement and change.


The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 219'039 to CHF 273'799, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organizations hosted by IUCN.


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.

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