Senior Manager (Freshwater)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
South Africa
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Introduction WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.


WWF is looking for a leader to drive vibrant engagement in the water sector to deliver WWF’s intended conservation impact. The Senior Manager Freshwater will be responsible for designing, leading and/ or forming part of teams who work in pursuit of WWF South Africa’s environmental outcomes. The freshwater team is composed of highly competent and dynamic individuals working across multiple themes; water and risk, water and tools, water and finance, water and dairy, water and forestry, nature based solutions like alien clearing, water stewardship, water and agriculture, groundwater, community engagement. The successful candidate needs to be able to build productive and lasting partnerships, lead a diverse and dispersed team and co-develop innovative approaches at the interface of water availability and access to water. The Senior Manager Freshwater will function within the organisation’s broader Environmental Programme and will be based either at the WWF South Africa office in Newlands or Braamfontein.

Specification 1.Establish wide recognition for WWF South Africa as a thought leader across the broad range of issues in the water sector.
2.Lead and manage the freshwater thematic team to integrate and collaborate with other content experts who contribute to shared environmental outcomes.
3.Constitute or participate in multi-disciplinary teams.
4.Contribute to and influence policy formulation in support of securing South Africa’s strategic water source areas (SWSAs).
5.In addition to demonstrating deep freshwater expertise, understand the interplay between water access and the economic development, particularly as it pertains to infrastructure and the necessary investments for water security and climate-resilience.
6.Mobilise established networks of partners and experts to pursue outcomes around regenerative supply chains, particularly in terms of stimulating stewardship actions within the private sector.
7.Deepen WWF’s work and strategic partnerships in relation to issues of improved access to water.
8.Lead or participate in transformative approaches with different sectors or corporates for freshwater conservation.
9.Build sustainable funding streams to support implementation of the Freshwater Programme objectives and contribute to the WWF Global Freshwater Practice.
10.Serve as a WWF spokesperson on freshwater-related issues.

Requirements •At least a Masters level qualification in water sciences or related discipline.
•A demonstrated understanding based on 10 years+ experience in the water sector, with the ability to network and build strong partnerships.
•Ability to inspire people (in government, business and civil society) to act on the challenges that we face together in the water sector and to demonstrate thought-leadership.
•A sound understanding of the freshwater policy landscape, with high level strategic relationships in government.
•A highly versatile and adaptable water sector professional who can grasp and communicate concepts quickly and well.
•A clear understanding of the contemporary political backdrop/ imperatives to South Africa’s environmental challenges.
•Exceptional leadership skills, including the ability to contribute to teams lead by others
•A willingness to innovate and drive interdisciplinary approaches.
•A good understanding of the broad range of projects undertaken by WWF and knowledge of the relevant institutional landscape in South Africa.
•Experience with budget planning, project monitoring and evaluation, and reporting to donors.
•Experience with development of funding proposals would be an added advantage.
•Demonstrated writing, media communication and presentation skills.
•An ability to convey complex environmental issues in a powerful way to diverse audiences.
•A strong command of English as a working language is essential.