Consultant (Executive Officer)

Hawaii, HI, United States 🇺🇸


As one of the six Commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) is an international network of environmental law and policy experts. WCEL functions as an integral part of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme (ELP), which includes the World Commission on Environmental Law and the Environmental Law Centre. WCEL initiates and manages its own projects and provides a source of environmental law expertise for the IUCN members and its collaborating institutions. It supports action by international governmental organisations, governments, and non-governmental organisations to improve or develop legal and institutional infrastructure to support natural resources conservation in the context of sustainable development and the development of the environmental rule of law. More information on the WCEL website.

Oversight of the position will be provided by the WCEL Chair based in Brasilia, Brazil, the Deputy Chair based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the IUCN Commission Support Unit at IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.


The IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) is seeking a qualified consultant to work under the direction of and in collaboration with the WCEL Chair and Deputy Chair, and manage the daily work of the WCEL, consistent with its mandate and mission and in accordance with IUCN Policies and Procedures on a retainer basis.

The terms of reference for this consultancy are: 

  • Communicate, coordinate and implement priorities in a timely manner as indicated by the WCEL Chair and Deputy Chair, in collaboration with the Steering Committee, Specialist Groups, and WCEL members, and with other components of the IUCN, including the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, the Environmental Law Centre (ELC), the Commission Support Unit, and other IUCN Commissions and headquarters/regional offices.
  • Organize and provide logistical support for WCEL meetings and events, including missions of the Chair and Deputy Chair and meetings of the WCEL Steering Committee, Specialist Groups, partners, and WCEL members as prioritized by the Commission.
  • Promote WCEL initiatives, events, news and material to the WCEL members by listserv, social media or email and coordinate input to the WCEL website.
  • Manage WCEL budget, financial and reporting responsibilities, under the supervision of the WCEL Chair and Deputy Chair.
  • Conduct work related to WCEL with excellent proficiency in writing and speaking in one or more of the IUCN languages (English, French, and Spanish) as well as German and Portuguese (desirable).
  • Maintain high level of diplomacy, tact, and discretion in all WCEL communications and work product.
  • Develop funding proposals, concept papers, and project ideas for furthering WCEL’s mission and objectives based on priorities identified by the Chair and Deputy Chair.
  • Perform other work that advances the above terms, as indicated by the WCEL Chair and Deputy Chair.

In collaboration with the IUCN Commission Support Unit (CSU), according to IUCN Procedures and Policies, and under the direction of the WCEL Chair and Deputy Chair:


  • Propose to CSU amendments to the structure of the WCEL sections of the Union Portal
  • Upload documentation to the relevant sections of the Union Portal
  • Prepare the Commission Newsletter in Dotmailer
  • Write updates, articles and materials for the website
  • Prepare and send information at the request of the Chair or Deputy Chair for all Commission members

Commission Operating Fund (COF)

  • Submit monthly supporting documentation for WCEL credit cards to IUCN Finance Department
  • Submit all payments and reimbursements approved by the Chair or Deputy Chair in the correct format with supporting documentation to CSU
  • Liaise with CSU on any COF-related contracts and ensure relevant documentation is available
  • On receipt of the monthly COF report, review and monitor COF budget and expenditures
  • Ensure that the COF annual approved budget is submitted correctly and timely

Commission Membership

  • Inform CSU on appointment of and changes to Membership approvers, Steering Committee Members and other leaders of the Commission
  • Ensure membership applications are reviewed in a timely manner
  • Liaise with CSU Membership on Commission Membership documentation

Overview of deliverables

  1. Web submissions and Union Portal postings, reports, papers, newsletters, and briefs on WCEL projects and events, as requested by the WCEL Chair, Deputy Chair, and Steering Committee, for publication or dissemination to Commission members, IUCN entities, and other, including:
    • Within 7 working days of completion of the mission or event, draft reports of Chair and Deputy Chair missions, Steering Committee meetings, and identified projects and priorities; and, within 15 days, finalization and posting to the Union Portal and submitting to the web site;
    • Post to the Union Portal and submit weekly updates to the website with news stories on relevant environmental law subjects, including events and initiatives of WCEL, Steering Committee, Specialist Groups, and/or partner organizations to CSU;
    • Draft regular WCEL reports for publication or dissemination to WCEL members, IUCN entities, and others including: (1) WCEL Highlights Reports, due to the Chair and Deputy Chair on 15 June (as a partial report for the first six months) and 15 December (as the final Annual Report) every year; and (2) Steering Committee Minutes, within 30 days of the meeting;
    • Coordinate the posting and dissemination of videos for the WCEL video library;
    • Work with Specialist Groups in order to keep updated information on each one on the website, including bios and relevant publications. On the first day of each month, a Specialist Group will be featured with a short article by the chair or another person selected by the chair, addressing a topic relevant to the Specialist Group;
    • Timely posting of news and materials prepared by close partners, including UN Environment, OAS, INECE, ADB, UNDP, WWC, etc;
  2. Preparation of agenda items, background documents, and other supporting materials, and/or giving presentations, in coordination with the WCEL Chair or Deputy Chair, for WCEL-sponsored events, WCEL meetings, and/or meetings within the IUCN, including:
    • WCEL Steering Committee
    • Global Judicial Institute on the Environment
    • Global Institute of Prosecutors for the Environment
    • 2nd IUCN World Congress on Environmental Law and preparatory meetings
    • other events as agreed by the WCEL Chair, Deputy Chair, and the Consultant
  3. Regular Internal Reports
    • On the 1st and the 15th of each month, submission of 3-5 pages maximum Summary Report on Executive Officer implementation of WCEL projects and priorities identified by the Chair and Deputy Chair;
    • Every 3 months, submission to the Chair and Deputy Chair of Work Reports that include:
      • project status chart; and
      • time logs (in increments of .25 hours) connected to the projects and priorities.

Selection criteria

  • Legal background and experience that fits the TOR requirements;
  • Graduate degree in environmental law or policy desirable;
  • Strong ability to prioritize, focus on key projects such as website and membership, and timely implement WCEL priorities;
  • Ability to manage frequent and timely communication in diverse time zones, including periodic work on weekends and evenings;
  • Good understanding of the dynamics, conduct, and procedures of past meetings of WCEL and subsidiary related groups;
  • Knowledge of WCEL and IUCN’s Rules and Procedures and processes desirable;
  • Ability to explain complex matters, verbally and in writing, in a simple and accurate way;
  • Results orientation: seeks positive efficient solutions to procedural matters that advance the business of the meetings, with respect for the rules and without taking sides in controversial matters;
  • Ability to stay calm and courteous while working under pressure;
  • Demonstrate self-confidence and respect for all parties engaged in what may be sensitive or controversial matters;
  • Professional proficiency in English, including excellent writing skills.

Terms of engagement

The contract would cover a period of 1 year, which could be extended to 2 years. The services will be provided upon request from WCEL and all the deliverables described above may not be utilized during the duration of the contract. WCEL will inform the consultant about its needs and will pay only for services provided.

Location: Hawaii or Brazil preferred; other locations will be considered.

Starting date: July 1, 2018

Expression of Interest

All interested and qualified consultants are encouraged to submit their credentials and a supporting letter of motivation in English. The letter should specifically address the selection criteria presented above, and provide the names/contact details of three referees, including one recent employer. The amount of the fee and any other anticipated fees or costs should also be detailed.

All expressions of interest should be submitted by email, before June 10, 2018 5pm Swiss Time, to: [email protected]

Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered unless the position remains open. Proposals may be amended or withdrawn at any point prior to the submission deadline, but cannot be revoked or changed thereafter