Regional Director (South America)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Quito, , EC

This senior leadership position provides an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the implementation of the regional programme for the IUCN South America Region, in line with IUCN’s global programme framework for 2017-2020 and beyond. The regional programme for South America is implemented in collaboration with IUCN members, IUCN Commissions and partners, such as the agencies from the UN system, bi-and multilateral donors, and foundations.

The Regional Director leads the development and effective implementation of the IUCN Programme in South America. This position requires an accomplished and credible manager with good understanding of environmental policy issues in the regional context. The Regional Director is supported by a range of experts but has the institutional responsibility to authoritatively handle a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from biodiversity and ecosystem based resource management strategies and policies to organizational management and financial planning.

As the official representative of IUCN in the region, the Regional Director is responsible for maintaining a high and professional corporate profile for IUCN, particularly with IUCN members and partners.

As the senior leader of the Regional Office, the Regional Director is accountable for financial, personnel and administrative matters and is also responsible for ensuring the financial viability of the regional programme. The Regional Director ensures that all organizational activities are consistently performed under the principles of equity, fairness, inclusiveness and respect for the diversity of people.


•Represent IUCN in the region in a manner that promotes IUCN’s mission and enhances the status of the Union among decision-making bodies, intergovernmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.
•Initiate and facilitate initiatives and dialogues on key issues of conservation policy based on IUCN’s regional and global priorities.
•Develop and maintain long-term fund generation strategies and nurture relations with the donor community in the region in coordination with the Strategic Partnerships Unit in Headquarters.
•Oversee preparation, implementation, evaluation and reporting of multi-year programmes for IUCN’s work in South America, in line with IUCN’s global programme and business model.
•Support the operational management of all IUCN Hubs activities in the region and ensure the efficient management of financial and human resources including development and maintenance of relevant policies, procedures and control systems.
•Develop and maintain regular contact with governments, regional and national committees of Members, existing and potential IUCN Members, partner organizations, Councillors, and Commission members.
•In collaboration with Membership focal points and the IUCN Constituency Unit, implement the IUCN Membership Strategy,
•Implement the IUCN Membership Strategy and develop a membership recruitment and retention plan.
•Maintain regular contacts and coordination with the Senior Regional Director to ensure operational and programmatic alignment.
•Work to develop a joint programme of work with the Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
•Contribute to the management of the IUCN Secretariat and Programme.
•Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team within the South America Region and develop deeper collaboration opportunities that strengthen IUCN presence in Latin America.

    Enthusiastic commitment and vision, characterized by:
    • A commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use.
    • Ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction.
    • Post graduate or advanced degree in either business management or a subject related to conservation and sustainable development, with relevant experience in the other.
    • Solid knowledge of conservation and sustainable development policy issues as well as the geopolitical, development and multi-stakeholder contexts in South America. Sound understanding of how this fits into the global context.
    • At least 10 years’ professional experience in senior management and governance of a complex multinational organization or programme in an area related to conservation and/or sustainable development, of which at least 5 years in South America.
    Leadership abilities and experience, maturity and management skills, characterized by:
    • A deep sense of self-awareness as evidenced by the ability to articulate one’s own strengths, weaknesses and one’s impact on others.
    • Unimpeachable integrity as evidenced by behavior, 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.
    • Proven ability to effectively delegate, empower and motivate staff and others.
    • Experience developing teams and individuals and effectively leading improvement and change.
    • 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 ability to both plan and take action, keeping the staff focused on priorities.
    • Demonstrated experience in the selection, coaching and appraisal of staff.
    • 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 (recruitment, promotion, recognition, etc.) and the ability to model behaviors that promote a more inclusive organizational culture.
    Senior management experience, characterized by:
    • Demonstrated experience and achievements in organizational, financial and personnel management, and in decision-making.
    • Proven experience in maintaining and nurturing expert networks with demonstrated ability to handle politically and culturally sensitive issues.
    • Maintain a positive work environment that facilitates collaboration and information sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent;
    Professional competencies, characterized by:
    • Good understanding of world affairs and experience with the workings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions.
    • Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity, respect for diversity and professionalism as spelled out in IUCN’s Code of Conduct and Professional Ethics.

    Sound judgment and decision making, characterized by:
    • Experience in identifying key issues in a complex situation, and consulting, gathering, and analyzing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations.
    • Well-organized and logical in thought and action.
    • Ability to foresee and manage risk.


    Fluent in Spanish and English. Knowledge of Portuguese would be an asset.

  • Ability to travel frequently within the region and globally

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).

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About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.