METI Job Vacancy: Project Director - Amman, Jordan

Management and Engineering Technologies International, Inc. (METI) , in collaboration with the US Forest Service and as a part of the US ... thumbnail 1 summary
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Management and Engineering Technologies International, Inc. (METI), in collaboration with the US Forest Service and as a part of the US Agency for International Development’s bilateral programs in Jordan (USAID), seeks the services of one full-time project director to manage the Sustainable Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) project from its offices in Amman. The project director will help to establish the program, develop a team of professionals, and execute the SEED project for three years.

Background
Jordan is endowed with tremendous natural beauty and incredible biodiversity given its relatively small size and location in the Eastern Mediterranean. Population growth, prolonged years of drought, extensive agricultural development in the Jordan Valley, excessive grazing and deforestation in the uplands have all contributed to Jordan’s current state of tenuous water security. Global climate change models largely predict that the eastern Mediterranean will experience hotter temperatures and longer periods without rain in coming years, a phenomenon that will exacerbate the challenges to managing Jordan’s water resources. The Government of Jordan is seeking to address its water security concerns by lobbying for international support for the construction of the Red Sea – Dead Sea Canal/Desalination project and support to the new Disi Aquifer pipeline and associated distribution networks. However, despite numerous donors and international entities providing assistance on water security in recent years, Jordan’s water resources are diminishing and water scarcity is a growing concern.

Jordan’s eastern desert (Badia) comprises over 80% of the country’s land mass. In recent years, international and local efforts have been initiated to revitalize the Badia ecosystem and communities that rely on this land. Through the UN Compensation Fund, Jordan was awarded over $100 million for post-Gulf War reparations. These funds have been invested in a broad-scale Badia Restoration Program (BRP) that aims to partner with a number of Ministries and international entities in Jordan. Restoring the Badia, using shrub planting and other water catchment systems, has largely failed to date due to poor seedling quality, poor planting strategies, and the complex ecosystem and operating environment of the Badia.

The US Forest Service (USFS) is a domestic government agency that manages 77 million hectares of national forests and grasslands on behalf of the American people. USFS supports forest management on state and private lands and conducts scientific research on forest ecosystems. The agency manages a wide array of landscapes, including high elevation alpine forests, Mediterranean forests and scrublands, and extremely arid deserts. It has a multiple use mandate, which requires the agency to balance conservation with human and economic interests.  Forest Service lands were set aside over a hundred years ago to safeguard the nation’s water and timber resources at a time of rapid industrialization and widespread logging which was associated with widespread flooding and sedimentation. Today, about 80 percent of freshwater resources in the United States originate on Forest Service lands. These lands absorb rain, refill underground aquifers, cool and cleanse water, slow storm run-off, reduce flooding, sustain watershed stability and resilience and provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife.

The US Forest Service has been working in the Middle East for 25 years and in Jordan for over a decade to help organizations improve capacity of the management of Jordan’s natural and protected areas.  In its 13 year history working in Jordan, the US Forest Service has successfully forged relationships with numerous conservation organizations, allowing for a wide range of programming and a breadth of technical exchange.

The joint USAID/USFS Sustainable Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) project is designed to complement current and future USAID and local organizational efforts in plant seedling production, landscape restoration, water conservation, and community development.  The US Forest Service, under the SEED project, will establish plant nurseries and work with rangeland cooperatives, local NGOs, women’s cooperatives, and the Ministry of Agriculture in targeted sites across Jordan, to produce high quality seedlings that will service the BRP’s restoration efforts and USAID’s broader Water Conservation Activity.

Requirements
Experience managing USAID projects overseas; experience in Jordan or the Middle East preferred
  • Experience managing a team of staff 
    • Experience in natural resources and forestry desired 
    • Excellent communication and representation skills 
    • Proven ability to work well with multi-level stakeholders; strong interpersonal skills 
    • Familiarity with USFS and USAID policies and procedures 
    • Demonstrated leadership and management skills 
    • English fluency required.
Duties 
The Project Director will manage SEED duties in the Amman office in coordination with Washington, DC. As such, the Project Director will oversee implementation of activities with SEED including: project set-up and establishment; community relationship and program development; staff management and oversight; and technical activities including nursery/seed establishment, and restoration protocols.

The Project Director will report to the US Forest Service Africa and Middle East Region Program Coordinator and will plan, direct, coordinate, and control the financial and logistical management of the initiative in Amman. The Project Director will advise and manage up to seven staff members in Amman and partner with the Washington office, USAID, Jordanian governmental and non-governmental institutions, and local communities. The ability to efficiently plan, track, monitor, report, and communicate progress to all interested parties is essential.

The Project Director will travel to Washington, DC to meet with the USFS/IP Africa and Middle East team to consult on the initiative as necessary.

Responsibilities
Responsibilities of the Project Director include, but are not limited to:
  • Provide strategic direction for project start-up, implementation, and long-term sustainability including community engagement, multi-stakeholder involvement, rangeland nursery development, rangeland restoration, conservation, and sustainable financing
  • Provide reporting and program implementation information on a regular basis to USFS/IP Washington, USAID Jordan, and local partners
  • Finalize work plans, budgets, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks
  • Hire and supervise personnel, both local hires, visitors, and short-term consultants as needed to implement program activities within Jordan
  • Organize technical assistance missions for USFS/IP and USAID experts in support of program goals
  • Provide technical and logistical support to short-term USFS/IP detailers on technical assistance missions to Jordan
  • Collaborate on nursery activities with relevant international and local NGOs, BRP, GoJ institutions, and donors
Location of Work: Amman, Jordan

To apply please send resume and cover letter by April 15th to: IPJobs@meticorp.com
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