The Senior Director, Guardians envisions, develops, and implements a strategy to build leadership skills, management capabilities, and conservation capacity to support GWC’s mission to conserve biological diversity. The Senior Director will focus on building the capacity of GWCs institutional partners (non-governmental organizations, groups, and individuals) and GWC’s Associates, and developing a new conservation training and leadership program. The Senior Director will also help advance other core programs of the Guardians focal area, namely rangers, indigenous and traditional peoples, and women in conservation, although others may lead on managing these bodies of work. The Senior Director, Guardians will work closely with the leads of the other focal areas (Wildlife, Wild Lands) to ensure close synergies amongst all bodies of work.


Specific Duties and Responsibilities

Work with GWC team members and partners to develop and lead a clear strategy and structure for GWC’s Guardians focal area, with the overall aim of improving long term capacity for delivering sustainable conservation impact.


Institutional capacity building
  • Establish a standard capacity assessment tool/method for local GWC partners and track changes in their capacity over time.
  • Work with partners to assess and build their organizational capacity in collaboration with other program team members.
  • Identify and deploy third-party resources to deliver technical assistance and training to partner organizations including strategic planning, conservation assessment and planning, staff and board development, and business management and administration.
  • In partnership with the Global Conservation Campus Director, co-develop an approach to institutional capacity building for our partners through the GWC Austin Conservation Campus and partner institutions.
Individual capacity development
  • Review, lead, build and add structure to the GWC Associates Program.
  • Lead and coordinate GWC’s contribution to the National Geographic – Smithsonian Institution – GWC conservation leadership collaboration.
  • In partnership with the Global Conservation Campus Director, lead development of an innovative capacity development/education/training offering through the Global Conservation Campus in Austin.
  • Build training and capacity development skills and resources within GWC.
  • Review professional development needs of GWC team members, partners and associates and guide and assist them in meeting their needs.
  • Develop a program of work that facilitates aspiring conservationists from underprivileged backgrounds in the US to start and maintain their careers in conservation.
  • Contribute to GWC’s work in improving the professional status, rights and working conditions of rangers and other site-based conservation staff.
Indigenous and traditional peoples
  • Contribute to GWC’s work in supporting, empowering and building the capacity of indigenous and traditional peoples and local communities to be effective conservation guardians.
  • Help strengthen GWC’s internal positions and safeguards around working with and supporting indigenous peoples.
Women in conservation
  • Contribute to GWC’s work in advancing the status and role of women in conservation.
  • Support the Women in Nature Network to further develop and integrate with GWC.
  • Position GWC as a leader in capacity building for conservation.
  • Raise funds to support GWC’s Guardians work.
  • Provide advice and technical inputs as required on capacity development aspects of GWC-supported projects.
  • Represent GWC at conservation capacity development events, policy fora, and projects.
  • Work with GWC’s Data and Metrics Manager to establish a programmatic monitoring system to demonstrate the impact of the Guardians focal area.
  • Collaborate with the whole of GWC to ensure strong synergies and support amongst projects.
  • Represent the Guardians focal area on the GWC Management Team.
  • Manage GWC team members as appropriate.


  • Commitment to and passion for GWC’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Conservation expertise/qualifications and global experience working with a wide range of projects, partners and organizations in high biodiversity countries/regions.
  • Capacity development expertise with an emphasis on applied, vocational and competence-based approaches built on the principles of adult learning. This is not an academic position.
  • Advanced curriculum development, training and facilitation skills.
  • Good understanding of technologically driven and online approaches to training and learning.
  • Experience in organizational development and leadership.
  • Strong commitment to collaborative and participatory approaches. GWC is a partnership-based organisation and many team members have extensive experience in capacity development and conservation leadership.
  • Experience managing effective teams.
  • Excellent communication skills.

Location: Austin, TX preferred; other locations to be considered

Compensation: GWC offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience.

Travel required: It is expected that the Senior Director, Guardians will work closely with the GWC team in Austin, Washington DC, or elsewhere. Substantial travel expected.

Position: Full-time

Date Posted: June 2019

To Apply: Send a cover letter, résumé and salary requirements to: careers@globalwildlife.org no later than June 30, 2019.