Regional Head, Safeguards Europe, North Africa and South Asia

Posted on 21 September 2022


Want to make a positive difference to the future of people and our one shared home, the Earth?

Working at WWF could be your opportunity of a lifetime. All around the world, people are waking up to the deepening crisis of nature loss. A growing realization that nature is our life-support system. And that nobody will be spared from the impacts of its loss. Here at WWF, we are helping to tackle this enormous global challenge.

Our people come from hugely diverse backgrounds and we welcome applications from anyone who believes they can help us create a better future for people and wildlife.

What we do

We are an independent conservation organization, striving to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife. From individuals and communities to business and government, we are part of a growing coalition calling on world leaders to set nature on the path to recovery by 2030. Together, we seek to protect and restore natural habitats, stop the mass extinction of wildlife, and make the way we produce and consume sustainable.


Location: Woking, UK

Contract: Open ended

Work percentage: 100%




WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

To support our commitment to inclusive approaches to conservation, including working in collaboration with indigenous peoples, local communities and respect of human rights, WWF International established a Safeguards and Social Policies Team in 2019. The responsibilities of the team and an overview of the E&S safeguards framework can be found here and hereafter is referred to as the ESSF. The team is part of the Global Conservation Division.

WWF International is currently recruiting for a Regional Head, Safeguards for Europe, North Africa and South Asia (and Canada). Joining an existing team of six (including three other Regional Heads), this is a key role, providing foundational support for the implementation of the ESSF in the geographies covered by this position.


Major Functions:


The Regional Head, Safeguards supports project teams, regional management and office/regional quality assurance functions on implementation aspects of the ESSF. This occurs primarily at landscape level (and covers all of the WWF activities within that landscape) but can also occur at the individual activity level, particularly when linked to funding proposals. The Regional Head function also supports the Director of Safeguards and Human Rights and regional senior management in activities related to outreach, policy development and advocacy, which also includes the application of the social policies.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:


  • An oversight role for ESSF and social policy implementation in the geographies covered by this position.
  • Provide strategic direction and build capacity and understanding on ESSF and social policy implementation with landscape leads, project team members, regional management, WWF staff and consultants.
  • Provide expert guidance and support for the ESSF screening and subsequent mitigation plan for WWF landscapes and/or projects. Confirm specific roles and responsibilities for those engaged (e.g. author, mentor, reviewer, approver) and manage the process to ensure no conflicts of interest and a successful outcome.
  • Work as part of the Accredited Safeguards Expert community in the WWF network, taking on the responsibilities delegated to ASEs (which are dependent on accreditation level). Build ASE capacity at regional level and contribute to the network/global effort. All Regional Heads are expected to attain Tier 1 accreditation (the highest level of delegated authority).
  • Help build and strengthen the ESSF and social policy practitioner community across the network, with particular focus on geographies assigned to this position. Delivery of training and other forms of capacity building, dissemination of lessons learned and good practices, research and process improvement suggestions.
  • Track the landscape portfolio relevant to the geographies assigned to this position. Take an oversight role on implementation of ESSF related mitigation plans at landscape level.
  • As part of the regional and/or Secretariat level quality assurance process, act as an ESSF reviewer of project proposals, contracts and similar that meet QA escalation criteria. Brief the Director of Safeguards and Human Rights and the relevant Regional Director on review outcomes for projects that escalate to the Quality Assurance Committee.
  • Brief the Director of Safeguards and Human Rights and the relevant Regional Director on screening and mitigation plan outcomes for landscapes that escalate to the Conservation Quality Committee.
  • Join or advise regional management or leadership teams (as requested)
  • When nominated to do so, provide perspectives and thought-leadership into working groups, task forces, roundtables.




Required Qualifications and Professional Experience:


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in social sciences and management, law, environmental management, economics and policies, social development, sociology, social development, anthropology, indigenous people’s studies, or other relevant fields
  • Considerable proven relevant international experience in the areas of E&S safeguard systems or similar
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conservation issues and their inter-relationship with Indigenous Peoples rights, local communities and other stakeholders (including government and the private sector)
  • Experience of the development and implementation of E&S policies and/or standards and supporting tools such as guidance notes, training packs and good practice guides.


Required Skills and Competencies:


  • Experience of working in an international organization, including INGOs, multilateral or bilateral development agencies that operate with safeguard systems or similar
  • High degree of cultural sensitivity and ability to navigate complexity
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including in virtual or in person presentations and preparing official/publicly available documents
  • Clear understanding of risk-based approaches to managing projects and programmes
  • Strong organizational skills, results-driven
  • Creativity, dynamism and diplomacy
  • Identify and align with the core values of the WWF organization: Courage, Integrity, Respect & Collaboration.


Working Relationships:


Internal – Interacts regularly with other Regional Heads, Safeguards; Regional Directors and/or Conservation Directors; Country Directors, Landscape Leads; CEOs and/or Conservation Directors of National Organizations, QA and Risk functions; ASE and safeguard practitioner communities


External – consultants under contract; WWF partners; peer organizations; civil society organizations.


How to apply

***Read carefully ***


Only one single document can be uploaded through LinkedIn. Upload your covering letter and CV as one file. We will not accept applications without CV and Covering Letter.


Deadline for applications: by October 11th 2022


Kindly note work permit restrictions may apply and that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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