Associate Head – Conservation

Posted on 07 February 2024

Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai


Emirates Nature is a UAE environmental non-governmental charity, established in 2001 under the Honorary Founder and President H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision for the United Arab Emirates. HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the Ruler’s representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) Board of Directors.

We operate with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah and are governed by a local board of directors.

Emirates Nature works in association with WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. Emirates Nature-WWF has been active in the UAE for two decades and is renowned for its commitment to biodiversity conservation, habitat protection, sustainable development, and community engagement. Some of our flagship projects include marine conservation initiatives to protect coral reefs and marine species, wildlife conservation programs focusing on endangered species such as Arabian oryx and sea turtles, habitat restoration projects in critical ecosystems, and sustainable development initiatives aimed at mitigating climate change impacts and promoting eco-friendly practices across various sectors.

It is our organizational objective to ensure a high performing workforce within our offices with highly efficient, skilled members all of whom will be unilaterally focused on supporting and delivering conservation activities to our stakeholders within the UAE.

Job summary

The Associate Head (AH) for the Conservation Unit will play a critical role in supporting the Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) in overseeing project implementation as well as scaling up the conservation portfolio in line with the organizational strategy across the following areas: nature and wildlife, climate action, green economy and market transformation, and food and water security. The primary responsibilities of this position includes supporting the CCO in delivering tasks, coordinating activities and tracking activities across the unit as needed by the CCO which relate to administrative and operational tasks, project oversight, donor management and reporting, stakeholder management and engagement, monitoring and evaluation, business development and fundraising and unit-wide engagement and interaction. The position will require working closely with the project team to oversee monthly and quarterly progress review against set milestones and budget management and ensuring donor requirements are met in a timely fashion and high-quality standards.

Major duties and Key Responsibilities

Major tasks and responsibilities include but not limited to:

  • Strategy review and growth: Support the unit in delivering the conservation strategy by tracking progress and identifying strategic opportunities for growth in line with the organization strategy and UAE broader context. Support the director in charting our new opportunities and supporting in developing the suggested staffing approach, resource allocation, budget and team development as needed and agreed with CCO.
  • Administrative & operational: Oversee the delivery of the unit workplans, financial and operational requirements linked to project management tools, internal reporting, development of PowerPoint presentations and communication tools, tracking finances, updating budgets and scheduling support.
  • Project implementation oversight: Collaborate with project teams to ensure consistent progress in project tracking, budget management and financial reporting (monthly, quarterly reviews).Check in with project teams to identify upcoming areas of needed support by CCO, and gather information needed by CCO to report internally to management team. Support the Unit Director in overseeing the operations, implementation, and tracking of progress of conservation projects.
  • Donor reporting: organizing donor communication, reviewing donor reports and scheduling appropriate times for reporting needs. Prepare and/or review regular reports to donors, the board, and external stakeholders, providing updates on project status, achievements, and challenges.
  • Stakeholder management & engagement: support in facilitating, preparing for and organizing stakeholder meetings which may include: briefing CCO on stakeholders and conducting background research, developing PowerPoint presentations, facilitating and coordinating the follow up tasks from meetings, coordinating and communicating with project teams on tasks, planning for next steps and setting up subsequent meetings.
  • Impact Monitoring: Follow monitoring and evaluation processes to measure and report project success against impact, refine existing process and implement it in ways to allow strategic oversight of project implementation. This may include: setting up, coordinating and facilitating regular team engagements on monitoring and evaluation to increase communication on progress towards objectives and track areas improvement, challenges and next steps. Work with CCO to identify new opportunities to broaden / strengthen the conservation impact.
  • Business development: Work with relevant internal stakeholders to coordinate and develop proposals for donors. Ensure regular and appropriate communication with fundraising opportunities, tracking them consistently on project management platforms used by organization. Research new leads and potential funding opportunities using network or desktop research. Work with the BD and marketing teams towards individual donations, metrics, campaign messaging in liaison with technical leads.
  • Networking & Outreach: proactively identify opportunities for CCO to be present in conferences and speaking opportunities that raises awareness on the conservation and climate portfolio of work being implemented by EN-WWF. Track leads and stakeholders through project management tools to help track and identify next steps with each with CCO.
  • Miscellaneous: Stay updated on the latest trends, research, and best practices in conservation to contribute to the continuous improvement of the organization's conservation efforts. Be proactive in evaluating the trends in the UAE and globally to support the technical and business development efforts of the conservation unit, including the identification of potential funding opportunities and the development of proposals. Identify opportunities to improve internal communication and information sharing.
  • Team building: support in identifying opportunities for unit team building and support in organizing, delivering and following up on activities and needs of unit. Provide guidance and support to team members, promoting a collaborative and high-performance work environment. Collaborate with internal teams to build and maintain strong relationships, ensuring effective communication and coordination internally across projects and units.

Required qualifications

  • Minimum of twelve (12) years of proven track record in environmental management, corporate sustainability, nature conservation or relevant coordination and leadership roles relevant to the sector.
  • Master’s degree in environmental management/science, or conservation biology
  • Fluent in English (written/spoken), Arabic is preferable.
  • High level of cultural sensitivity and awareness with ability to work in a multi-cultural setting.
  • High emotional intelligence when working with team and cross functionally and the ability to perform and communicate effectively in challenging situations.
  • Proven experience in leading teams and fostering a collaborative working environment.
  • Proven knowledge and or experience in the non-for-profit sector, preferably of environmental non-government organizations.


Emirates Nature-WWF Focus: Acts as a member of Emirates Nature-WWF, placing higher priority on Emirates Nature-WWF goals than own goals and anticipating the effects of own area’s actions on others to ensure holistic Emirates Nature-WWF outcomes.

External Orientation: Looks outwards ensuring WWF stays relevant, continues to anticipate and adapt to external environmental and global trends.

Delivering Quality Outcomes: Establishes stretch goals, plans, using best judgment and takes responsibility for planning to and delivering on outcomes.

Building Working Relationships: Builds collaborative relationships through the understanding and development of other’s and own ideas.

Communicating Effectively: Uses appropriate means of communication to convey messages, seeks input from others and ensures understanding.

Leading Teams: Develops direction and shared purpose, builds a team through coaching to ensure the accomplishment of goals and high level team performance.

Leading Change: Encourages and seeks out innovative solutions and brings people on a journey constructively and empathetically.

Managing Resources: Makes the right judgments based on financial and resource availability.

Establishing Strategic Direction: Generates options to achieve long-range goals, selects the best strategies for success and delivers on strategic goals.

Building Organizational Capability: Diagnoses individual and team capability and development needs and champions talent management.

Skills required

  • Analytical skills; able to write detailed technical reports
  • Synthesize technical concepts into non-technical summaries
  • Impact driven and with high attention to details
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to adapt quickly to project management tools
  • Good knowledge of MS Office
  • Adaptable, flexible, able to take initiative and prioritize among competing demands

Working relationships

Internal: Work closely with the Conservation Unit - project teams, technical leads (programme heads) – and across multiple units (Operations, BD, Marketing)

External: Works closely with Stakeholders, Consultants and Suppliers

*The final detailed project governance will be shared upon commencement.


Value Behaviors
  • Impact driven
  • Balance between proactivity and reactivity
  • Plan but not over-plan
  • Implement innovatively with a future driven mindset.
  • Being courageous
  • Embedding MTP with impact at scale
Experiment & Solution Driven
  • Embrace decision making process based on adaptive management
  • Ensure all changes in decisions do not move away from original goal and MTP
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Keeping to the ambition/vision/goal and MTP
  • Ensure we are meeting the plan to achieve goals whilst adapting tactical plans along the way
Together We’re Stronger
  • Working together as matrix organization to implement strongly
Integrity & Trust
  • Be confident
  • Believe in success
  • Retain high level of ethics

Additional information

Emirates Nature-WWF is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity in the workplace and offer a flexible and diverse place of employment.

Emirates Nature-WWF staff participate wholeheartedly in general activities and events that require the full support and participation of all staff members, whether the focus of any particular event or activity has any bearing on the job description and assigned project objectives and activities.

How to apply

Please send your application consisting of a cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate to work with EN-WWF and your CV with the subject ‘Application for Associate Head - Conservation’ to the attention of Ms Magdalena Tayoun on before 29th February 2024.

Emirates Nature reserves the right to appoint a candidate prior this date.