Country Director, Conservation International South Africa




Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.


The Country Director of Conservation International South Africa (CSA) is the Chief Executive Officer that provides strategic and programmatic direction for the country program, proactively identifying opportunities and trends for the achievement of the institutional goals. S/he is responsible for senior-level program oversight and ensuring that program strategies, initiatives and outcomes advance CI’s human development and conservation priorities.  Duties are complex and include leading the design, implementation and integration of program strategies throughout the country program and integrated across CI. The Executive Director provides broad programmatic, project, monitoring and technical oversight and continuously engages key internal and external partners critical to program success.  He/she represents CI in the country and has a key role in building alliances, a central focus for CI strategy.  The Executive Director ensures that CI’s work is presented effectively to donors and key stakeholders to ensure strategic and sustainable partnerships.

Reporting jointly to the Chair of the Executive Board of CSA, and to the Senior Vice President for CI’s Africa Field Division, the Country Director ensures compliance with CI policies, program and funding agreements and local requirements. Additionally, s/he is responsible for managing the country program and all its component projects, leading and motivating the team, raising funds and managing financial and other resources.  S/he will also ensure that the program is integrated with CI’s strategic fundraising and partnership goals and works in collaboration with CI headquarters-based technical and operations units to support the needs of the field programs.

The Executive Director directly manages staff, interdisciplinary teams, and/or outside partners. S/he works with a high degree of independence and serves as a technical expert in CI’s multidisciplinary approach of conservation.  S/he exercises a high level of creativity and strategic thinking to efficiently manage the country program and build local staff and partner capacity, within environments that are complex and full of challenges.


Fundraising (30%)

  • With a strong focus on private fundraising, ensure program financial sustainability by entrenching a robust fundraising strategy, securing program funding and managing financial resources, from both the public and private sectors, within and out of South Africa, by regularly partnering with CI AfFD and HQ staff on funding proposals including coordinating and finalizing the writing of funding documents (proposals & budgets), and regional/global fundraising efforts.

Strategy Development and Impact Reporting (20%)

  • Develop Country Program strategies, objectives, work plans and metrics aligned to both the Global and Africa Field Division Strategies.
  • Through the Annual Strategic Planning process monitor and report to both the CSA Executive Board, and the leadership of the Africa Field Division on the achievement and impact of the same on a quarterly basis.

Representation (20%)

  • Represent CI in South Africa and build alliances with governmental and non-governmental organizations to support CI outcomes, serving as a trusted and visible point of contact for CI.
  • Enable CI to promote national institutional and policy frameworks for development, that favor biodiversity conservation, and to support national capacity for conservation in CI field programs.
  • Continuously cultivate and engage stakeholders including donors, government and NGOs, technical colleagues and other partners critical to program success.

Leadership and Governance (20%)

  • With the Country Programme’s Senior Management Team, and by engaging CI Africa Field Division leadership, the CSA Board of Directors, and other senior staff, provide strategic oversight and team leadership to effectively implement program activities and ensure high-impact outputs, ensuring program alignment and integration with division and CI-wide conservation priorities (20%).
  • Lead and inspire a multidisciplinary team ensuring effective communication, instilling organizational values and behaviors and creating a work environment that attracts, develops and retains talent.

Institutional Compliance and Risk Management

  • Ensure program compliance with CI policies, funding agreements and local requirements.


  • As delegated by Line Manager under a mutually acceptable agreement and understanding.


  • Directly supervise program and project staff, including overseeing the work of external partners.
  • Manage the program’s budget and finances.
  • Manage public or private funds; ensure compliance with donor requirements and CI policies.


  • Local and/or international travel of 30% or more, often in difficult travel conditions.
  • Ability to work sometimes in remote locations or under difficult working conditions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in biological and/or environmental, social sciences, international development, business Advanced university, Master’s, MBA, or doctorate degree preferred with at least 10 years of working experience with senior management responsibility.
  • Demonstrated senior-level program or project development and management experience, preferably in the global conservation, NGO, advocacy and/or related for-profit arena(s).
  • A minimum 3-5 years’ experience supervising senior staff in a multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Working with a Board of Directors will be an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated record of success in fundraising, particularly from the private  sector, engaging, partnering with, and influencing key stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects or initiatives involving multiple internal and external stakeholders – donors, government agencies, NGOs and local communities.
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English. Fluency in any of South Africa’s other official languages is an added advantage.


To apply please submit your resume and cover letter.

Conservation International is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer of minorities, females, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.  It is the policy of CI to afford equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment. CI offers reasonable accommodation in the employment process for individuals with disabilities.  If you need assistance in the application or hiring process to accommodate a disability, you may request an accommodation at any time.  If you require an application accommodation due to a disability, please e-mail your request to [email protected] and include “accommodation” in the subject line.


Apply here!