Programme Officer (Governance and Rights)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Washington, DC, US

Since its creation in 1948, IUCN has been committed to influencing, encouraging and assisting societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity of nature while advancing human well-being. IUCN’s vision of “A just world that values and conserves nature” is echoed in its policies and procedures which ensure that programme managers are accountable to uphold and proactively advance social justice values of IUCN—including respect for human rights, gender equality, social inclusion, transparency, public participation. The IUCN Programme 2017-2020 builds on this commitment through a major component of work focused on the promotion of effective and equitable governance of natural resources. This component lies at the heart of IUCN’s contribution to sustainable development and seeks to ensure that decisions concerning natural resources at all levels are; consistent with the recognition of and respect for human rights, gender responsive, well-informed and implemented equitably.

IUCN believes that natural resource governance and the adoption of rights-based approaches at all levels enables delivery of effective conservation and equitable social outcomes. In this context, IUCN is committed to the integration of the various dimensions of social science, including equity considerations, into its work at policy, programme and project levels as an institutional priority.


The Programme Officer (Governance and Rights) is responsible for the following tasks:
• Under the guidance of the Director-GESSP, support the establishment and maintenance of a coherent project portfolio that advances IUCN’s programmatic mandate with respect to governance, rights and social justice in conservation and natural resource management.
• Manage an assigned project portfolio and its associated budget to ensure effective, timely and high quality delivery that meets institutional requirements in terms of financial management and project accountability to donors;
• Support the Director- GESSP with the integration of social science within the IUCN Programme.
• As requested, contribute inputs to analytical and policy work on issues such as: indigenous peoples; human rights and rights-based approaches; bio-cultural diversity; poverty and conservation; people and protected areas; food security; social equity and socio-cultural aspects of climate change impacts and policy.
• Provide technical input and advice with respect to the implementation of IUCN Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS);
• Ensure a close integration between the social science-related programmatic work of the Secretariat and that of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP);
• Undertake any other relevant tasks as assigned by the supervisor.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organization such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee’s responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.

– Gross salary ranging from USD 77’000 to USD 95’000 per year
– Comprehensive health, dental, vision, life and long term disability insurance plan
– Retirement benefit of 5% of gross salary from the 4th month of employment
– 7.65% of gross salary FICA contribution (this benefit is only applicable to US nationals and green card holders)

 • Demonstrated project (technical and financial) management skills; particularly of large multi-institutional projects.

• Proven ability to operate within a results-based management framework and excellent analytical skills to deal with complex planning and implementation issues.

• 8-10 years of experience in the area of sustainable development and / or nature conservation.

• A degree qualification in social sciences and development studies and/or environmental management.

• An excellent command of written and spoken English is essential; understanding of Spanish, French and additional languages are also desirable.

• Excellent writing skills to prepare clear and comprehensive reports on project implementation.

• Demonstrated coordination, organizational and networking skills.

• Excellent team player and demonstrated ability to work in multi-institutional and multi-cultural environments.

• Ability to work under stress including producing and delivering high-quality products under tight deadlines.

• Good knowledge of IUCN, its work and that of its Commissions, partners and networks is required.

• Willingness to travel as required for project management and monitoring.


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).

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website:

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.