Practice Leader, Oceans

Posted on 30 August 2021

LOCATION: Globally Flexible
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 with a variety of expertise, ranging from HR and finance to advocacy and conservation science. We welcome applications from anyone who believes they can help us create a better future for people and wildlife.

Mission of the Department:

To drive even greater impact in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the WWF network has committed itself to help the world accomplish those goals toward which the nations of the world have committed – those found in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity and more.   
The strength of our network lies in the talent in our country programmes, and the partnerships through which we work. To maximize impact, WWF’s Global Conservation Practices convene country programmes first to increase learning and dissemination of ideas, innovations and initiatives across individual countries all over the world, and second to bring together the network around a number of big ideas and priority initiatives to deliver impact at scale. There are nine Practices: six Goal Practices (Wildlife, Forests, Oceans, Freshwater, Food and Energy & Climate) and three crosscutting Driver Practices (Markets, Finance, and Governance). 
WWF’s global goal for Oceans 2030 is to achieve productive and resilient ocean ecosystems, sustaining human well-being and conserving biodiversity. The Oceans Practice seeks to achieve this through a number of avenues including two major outcomes.
Conserving and effectively managing at least 30% of coastal and marine ecosystems.
Reducing the number of unsustainable fisheries by 50%.

Major Functions:

The Practice Leader for Oceans is a senior member of WWF International’s leadership. She/he provides Strategic Direction and refines the Practice goals and objectives that help shape the strategy of the whole WWF network.

The Practice Leader:

Provides inspiring leadership to the Oceans Practice team and members across the WWF network.
Is strongly collaborative and able to work closely with Country Office leaders, fellow Practice Leaders and the Global Conservation Impact Division.
Understands the complexity of Ocean conservation and constantly evaluates the changing landscape, trends, and developments to keep WWF on track and in pursuit of our goals.
Delivers thought leadership and secures high quality science so that WWF benefits from the latest knowledge to shape its decisions and leverage change. 
Identifies and builds a community of experts and strategic partners, reaching out to key Stakeholder Communities to engage the broadest possible community to drive impact.
Is an effective ambassador, representing WWF at external events, sharing information and feedback with WWF Network.  
Is an effective advocate, influencing Key Actors and working to change key behaviours and policies. 
Is a skilled communicator - experienced and credible with her/his peers, the private and public sector and civil society so that WWF can build commitment and action toward Ocean conservation.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Co-create and drive the Oceans Practice vision and strategy to achieve WWF’s Global goals and outcomes, demonstrating expertise and sharing accomplishments with the network. 
Co-create and support initiatives, and work with National Offices and Country Offices to support the delivery of a set of effective Initiatives in priority seascapes.
Lead Oceans Practice strategy development, bringing expertise and skills from within and beyond the Practice, and from across the WWF network. 
Ensure integration and collaboration with other Practices.
Support the brand and profile of WWF as an organization that respects human rights, has inclusive conservation as a central tenet and ensures ethical approaches across all our work.
Develop and promote strong collaborative approaches with key external stakeholders.
Promote an emphasis on innovation, science and impact at scale. 
Develop and support horizon scanning functions to ensure that WWF is an agenda setting thought-leader in the area of ocean conservation.
Identify and manage risk and the WWF brand as it applies within the wider Oceans Practice.
Build a culture of accountability, alignment and conservation impact, based on transparent monitoring, evaluation and the learning processes that drive accountability across the network.


Required Qualifications:

Advanced University degree in a relevant subject.
A minimum of 15 years’ experience in a relevant aspect of Ocean conservation and sustainable development.
An excellent understanding of the environment/development interface.
Demonstrated expertise and leadership in the field of Oceans, preferably spanning academia, field programmes, policy development, advocacy and campaigns. 
Clear evidence of driving strategic thinking and target delivery at executive level.
Experience and understanding of working in a complex international, matrix organization.
A track record of managing multi-cultural stakeholders to influence and drive impact.
Significant experience with community-based approaches in conservation and development.
Evidence of championing integration and innovation.
Desirable – experience of the working within or closely with the business sector or relevant strategic partners;
Desirable - significant experience of dealing with business and of the working of key markets.
Perfect command of English language is essential and the command of any other language/s would be an asset.

Required Skills and Competencies:

Technical expertise

Conservation approaches as well as experience with delivering social policies and safeguards.
Ocean policy expertise and ability to drive results at scale through advocacy.
A sound understanding of the ocean – climate nexus and the nature of nature-based solutions, with knowledge of the priority seascapes and places where biodiversity and human wellbeing and most in need of active intervention.
Proactive towards major emerging issues and trends impacting on ocean health and the implications for people (horizon scanning). 
Experience of Sustainable Blue Economy financing mechanisms and levers for sustainable ocean use and Markets-based approaches for ocean conservation.
Comprehensive understanding of social policies, safeguards and quality assurance.


Experience in bringing together senior teams and working in geographically distributed and non-hierarchical structures.
Superb interpersonal skills; with a track record of internal/external relationship management.
Excellent diplomatic and communication skills with an ability to communicate with impact, and exert influence across a broad spectrum of audiences; 
Professional maturity; wise in responding to difficult and challenging circumstances and recommending the right course of action. Grace under pressure and ability to navigate ambiguity and shifting situations.
Displays polish, diplomacy and poise.  Aptitude for building relationships – Demonstrates a personal touch; sophisticated and wise in working with array of partners and individuals ranging from board members to partners to individual staff.
Experience with the media/external fora and brand risk awareness. 

Strategic Leadership

Shapes organizational strategy and creates high impact strategy in a complex environment; with ability to sell the vision.
Passionately sells an organizational strategy, creates a clear view of the future state.
Ability to develop a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively towards a shared vision and goal
Continuously seeks different and innovative approaches to addressing problems and opportunities; embeds change culture.
Sound decision-making skills with strong business acumen.
A drive for results with the capacity to innovate and adapt for maximum scale and impact.
Track record of building organizational talent by nurturing performance culture and encouraging empowerment and delegation.
Strong management and people development skills in direct line reporting and matrix relationship; 
Identifies with the values of the WWF organization, Courage, Integrity, Respect & Collaboration
Demonstrates WWF behaviours in ways of working: Strive for impact, Listen deeply, Collaborate openly and Innovate fearlessly.
Adheres to WWF’s brand characteristics, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.

Working Relationships:

Internal – Leads and works closely with all relevant Practice team members within core, country and interested members. Maintains close liaison with Country Heads, office Focal Points, and collaborates with other members of the Global Conservation Division, including the other Practices, on a regular basis and any other parts of the network as and when required.

External – Creates and fosters close collaboration with all external partners including leaders in governments, intergovernmental institutions, business and industry, NGOs and local communities in shaping the evolution and impact of the Practice and hence enabling WWF to achieve its mission in the most effective way.


By clicking "Apply here!" you will be redirected to the LinkedIn advert. Please make sure to upload a single PDF document with your updated CV and Cover Letter.
Applications deadline: Sunday 26th September 2021.

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.

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