Freshwater Manager (Rivers and Lakes)

Wetlands International

Brussels, , BE

The overall purpose of the job

Develop, coordinate and implement the freshwater policy and technical programme of Wetlands International Europe including the coordination and implementation of relevant activities under different projects.

Responsibilities and tasks

Programme development

  • Develops annual programme work plans and budgets with clear priorities; including identifying opportunities for programme improvement; and ensuring synergies and integration of freshwater work in other working areas like peatlands, coasts and deltas, biodiversity and external development.
  • Manages Wetlands International Europe’s projects on the conservation and protection of rivers and lakes.
  • Fosters effective partnerships with key government, business and civil society organisations to meet fundraising targets (e.g. through development of joint project proposals).
  • Strengthens the strategic engagement of members of Wetlands International Europe, including through joint initiatives, sharing on best practices, policy updates and funding opportunities.
  • In coordination with the Programme Manager and other senior management staff from Wetlands International, reviews all project proposals/budgets prior to submission to donors to ensure that they are designed/planned in accordance with Wetlands International’s standards.

Policy and advocacy

  • Leads the development of Wetlands International Europe’s strategy in relation to EU water policies and secures its implementation.
  • Engages with and lobbies politicians, key decision makers, business and other important stakeholders based in Brussels for stronger provisions on river habitat restoration and removal of barriers for migratory fish.
  • Assembles and develops joint key policy and practical assessments with members and partners (e.g. policy briefings, position papers, reports and information materials).
  • Actively participates in the Common Implementation Strategy working groups for the Water Framework Directive, Nature Directives and Eel regulation, providing input on the knowledge and experience of Wetlands International Europe’s network, and feeding back information to the members.
  • When needed, represents Wetlands international Europe at key conferences, high level events and meetings with the European institutions and EU Member States.
  • When necessary, organises and manages events.
  • Actively supports the development of communication activities.

Working relations

INSIDE Wetlands International Europe:

Head of office and Programme Manager, Policy officer on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, Biodiversity Manager, Wetlands International Europe’s colleagues, Members of Wetlands International Europe, Programme Head Water Resources.

OUTSIDE Wetlands International Europe:

Staff (up to head of directorate, senior technical levels and junior political levels) in EC DGs, Business representatives at EU level related to freshwater, EU environmental NGOs, other civil society organisations and platforms, think tanks, media, foundations, etc.


We are seeking a dynamic and passionate individual to coordinate Wetlands International Europe’s freshwater activities under the supervision of the European Programme Manager in line with Wetlands International Europe’s strategy 2020 – 2030 (to be published this Spring). S/He will possess strong collaborative skills to foster our work with members on freshwater related topics besides policy and programme management experience to facilitate resource development and promote joint initiatives to protecting and restoring our rivers and lakes.

Essential education and experience

  • A university degree in the field of water, EU policy or related disciplines.
  • Advanced technical or university degree with over five year experience or post-graduate degree with at least three year experience in programme and project management and professional policy experience in freshwater policy, conservation, environment and development work.
  • In depth knowledge of European institutions and understanding of the complexities of EU legislation and its implementation at EU and/or national level.
  • Demonstrable experience and achievements working with governments, corporate sector, aid agencies, civil society, and NGOs.

Core competencies

  • An excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • Ability to act when needed as an organizational spokesperson and interact effectively with government representatives; experience interacting with businesses would be a strong advantage;
  • Strong leadership skills in order to motivate members, co-workers, partners, and stakeholders towards common goals.
  • Strong networking and team building skills appropriate for a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment.

Other Aspects

This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the sort of tasks that are anticipated proactively from staff. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.

The Association applies the same terms and conditions of employment as the Wetlands International’s Foundation.

Job Offer

  • Full-time job, 36 hours per week.
  • Salary Gross/ Month Euro 3.874 bases on a full time contract.
  • Contract duration: 8 months. If funds are available, an additional two-year contract may be offered.
  • Location: based in Brussels, (with possible travel to Ede-Wageningen, The Netherlands).
  • Start date: a.s.a.p.

How to apply

To apply for this vacancy, please send us a resume and an application letter indicating your motivation to Jozefa van der Veen, HR Officer ([email protected]). Please mark in the subject: “Application – Freshwater Manager (Rivers and Lakes)”. Questions about the vacancy and/or procedure can also be sent to this email address.

Deadline for the application is 26 March 2021.

Interviews will take place in the week commencing 12 April 2021.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development