Forest Practice Leader | WWF
Forest Practice Leader

Posted on 06 June 2019

Location: Flexible
For nearly 60 years, WWF has been protecting nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than five million citizens globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Through numerous initiatives, focusing on priority areas and priority species as well as systemic change, the WWF Network focuses on six major goal areas: forests, oceans, freshwater, wildlife, food, and climate & energy – and three key drivers of nature loss as well as potential solutions – markets, finance and governance.

The Forest Practice

WWF’s global outcome for forests is to halt deforestation and degradation by 2030.
The Forest Practice seeks to achieve this through three major outcomes by 2030
  • 50% of the world’s forests are effectively protected or under improved management.
  • Deforestation has been halted.
  • 350 million hectares of forest landscapes are restored. 

The challenge

Forests are essential to life on Earth, yet they are not valued enough by society. Every year, we lose 8.8 million hectares of forest, mostly in rich tropical habitats, mainly for agriculture and infrastructure development. Even larger areas of forest are being degraded around the world. All this threatens the survival of countless species, fuels climate change, jeopardizes people’s livelihoods and undermines the vital services that forests provide. We need to halt the destruction and restore our forests.

Our ambition

Our on-the-ground expertise, combined with a global perspective, means we are well placed to address challenges across landscapes and sectors.
We will engage with indigenous people, communities, smallholders, policymakers and the private sector to combat deforestation and forest degradation, and demonstrate that
the world’s growing demand for wood can be met through sustainable forest management and well-managed plantations.
Our combined efforts with key partners on policy and practice will help countries and governments deliver on their ambitious forest restoration commitments. And we will develop innovative ways to expand protected areas, as well as Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas.
Greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation will be reduced by supporting actions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will align public and private sector efforts to address deforestation, as outlined in the UN New York Declaration on Forests and the Paris climate agreement, to tackle drivers such as agriculture and infrastructure development.
And innovative integrated approaches across landscapes will be developed and prototyped to produce greater strategic impact at scale and to promote wider understanding of landscape approaches and how to apply them.

 The Role
The Practice Leader is the head of the Practice and reports to the Global Conservation Director with accountability the NET for delivering on WWF Global Goals and to lead the Practice Core Team as well as the Practice Leadership team.

The main responsibilities of the Practice Leader are:
  • Strategic direction – Establish Practice goals and objectives by being an inspirational leader to the Practice members
  • Thought and content leadership – Provide a comprehensive view and expertise on the Practice area by leveraging the best knowledge and ideas sourced both internally and externally
  • Outreach to expert communities – Engage with the broader scientific community and represent WWF at events to build a formal community of experts and partners
  • Influence key actors – Work to change the behaviour and policies of key stakeholders and build strategic partnerships with them
  • External relationship building – Foster close relationships with key players within business, governments, international organizations, NGOs and institutions
  • Internal relationship building – Engage with the WWF Network including the Practice Leadership Team and other Practice Leaders, CEOs, Conservation Directors and Focal Points and senior leaders including functional leads at WWF International.
The responsibilities are carried out by leading the Practice Core Team, Practice Leadership Team and Network Focal Points in delivering on the long-term Practice Strategy. The strategy  aims to convene, focus and energize Network investments and resources toward the attainment of the Global Goal and Outcomes. A crucial element of the job is the promotion and emphasis on innovation in order to discover the best ideas across the Network to prototype and take to scale. Finally, the Practice Leader ensures regular and meaningful collaboration and integration with other Practices, external partners and the broader WWF organization.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the right combination of experience, competencies and personal characteristics, as described below. 
The Practice Leader must have a number of critical experiences to secure credibility as a global leader within the practice focus area. The Practice Leader of the Forest Practice is expected to have significant experience with forest ecology and management, working with the private sector on supply chain management, certification and market-based mechanism, forest carbon and financing mechanisms and restoration. Apart from sector specific expertise, he/she also needs to have an excellent understanding of the environment/development interface and a well-established network therein. It is also required that the chosen candidate has significant people as well as programme leadership experience in an international environment. The chosen candidate should have also shown excellent relationship building skills leading to strong and productive partnerships with external stakeholders.  
Thus, the Practice Leader must have the following critical qualifications / experiences:
  • Forestry management and ecology including:
    • Forest product supply chain management, zero net deforestation and certification, market-based approaches for forest conservation
    • Forest carbon mechanisms and financing mechanisms for forest protection and management.
    • Governance of forests/protected areas (co-management/user rights, benefit sharing) and land rights 
  • Engagement with the private sector to engage on deforestation commitments and build coalitions with companies on forest conservation and sustainable use
  • Working with indigenous and local communities to develop inclusive conservation initiatives as well as experience with delivering social policies and safeguards
  • External relationship management & alliance building
  • Change leadership of multi-disciplinary teams
  • A university degree within the field of Forestry management, Environmental Management, Ecology, or relevant Business or Social Sciences degrees


Qualified candidates for this position will need to demonstrate the following critical competences:  
  • Thought Leadership and Strategic orientation – Combines deep thematic knowledge with strong strategic understanding as well as analytical conceptual thinking abilities, which result in identifying and leveraging opportunities to pursue the aspired outcomes for 2025. Possess sharp eye and judgement for opportunities and leverage points. 
  • Collaboration & Influencing – Creates constructive relationships with all levels of the global community and engages others to develop and pursue a common goal. Fosters cross-cultural collaboration within the organization and passionately engages with governments, business and civil society, resulting in a network of enduring partnerships with external actors. Is able to define and communicate a pragmatic plan with global impact, leveraging the full range of (modern) media. Seen as highly credible internal or external to the organization.
  • Building Organizational Capability – Has strong orchestrating ability as demonstrated by success in galvanising and bringing together, while supporting, and developing, a diverse and talented global community. Thereby developing long-term capabilities of others and the organization. Leads by inspiring, catalysing and bringing together the organization’s strengths.
  • Results Orientation – Demonstrates an action orientation and an entrepreneurial approach to identify challenges, establish priorities, and implement viable solutions, as well as fluidity to champion evolving priorities and directions for the organization. Has demonstrated ability to achieve through mobilizing resources and tapping on talent.
  • Driving Change – Is an inspirational and mobilizing change agent with knowledge of developing a globally integrated organisation; both relating to culture/people and systems/processes. In addition, possesses strong communication skills to build on-going support for major changes. Spots, drives and promotes innovation in part of the organization to continuously evolve the organization to the next level.

Personal Characteristics

First and foremost, to be successful, the candidate must show an unwavering passion for Forest conservation matched with a focus on innovative solutions and strong collaboration. The successful candidate has an engaging personality and can motivate and energize others. The ability to inspire should come from having a palpable and contagious optimism, combined with an intrinsic gravitas and authority. In addition, the candidate should have a critical mind-set coupled with an entrepreneurial drive that allows him/her to make direct impact.   Typically, at least 15 years’ experience is required for this role, 10 of which should be within Forestry. 
The chosen candidate also has a strong sense of integrity and honesty and a set of values aligned with those of WWF.


The exact location for the Practice Leader will be determined looking for the best combination of strategically right location and the right talent.

How to apply

 ***Read carefully ***
Qualified candidates for this position will need to demonstrate the following critical competences: Innovative thought leadership and Strategic orientation - Collaboration & Influencing skills - Ability to build organizational capability - Results Orientation - and a Capacity to drive Change.

WWF has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to assist with this appointment. For further information about this position, please click on the links with this advertisement.

To apply, please send a copy of your CV and a statement of suitability to including the role title and reference number 1905-005BL in the email subject line.

Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early. Work permit restrictions may apply

WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce.


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