Wildlife Conservation Society Job Vacancy: Park Director - Bomassa, Congo

Position:  Park Director, Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo
Location: Bomassa, Republic of Congo
Reports To: WCS Congo Country Director
Direct Reports: NNNP Conservateur, NNNP Conservation Director, NNNP Research Director, NNNP Finance and Administration Director
Overseen By: Ndoki Foundation Board

  • The purpose of this position is to ensure the effective protection and conservation of NNNP and its wildlife while helping to develop world-class tourism and to deliver benefits to and maintain good relations with the surrounding community and the Republic of Congo.
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society is seeking an experienced protected area manager to fill the position of Park Director of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) in the Republic of Congo.
  • Nouabalé-Ndoki is the most intact, best-managed protected area in the Congo Basin, with thousands of forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees, critical rainforest habitat, good park facilities, and extraordinary tourism potential.  The management of NNNP is securely funded for the next five years by USAID, USFWS, the Sangha Trinational Foundation, and other private and public donors.
  • WCS and the Government of Congo have established a Congolese public entity to manage Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, the “Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation,” comprised of a multi-stakeholder board of directors and a Park Management Unit (PMU).  The Park Director is in charge of the PMU including the operation of all departments and management of all park staff.
  • The Park Director will provide strategic and operational leadership and be responsible for all aspects of park management including ranger deployment and wildlife protection, community liaision, research, tourism development, fundraising and reporting, communications, and capacity building of national staff.  The job includes managing senior staff, developing strong relationships with government partners, partner agencies and organizations, as well as managing a significant budget and ensuring program runs smoothly day-to-day.
  • The Park Director is based in the field, living permanently on-site at the park headquarters, Bomassa.  NNNP is more than 4,000 km2, with an expected staff of between 100 - 200 people and an annual budget of more than $3 million.  
  • Elaboration and implementation of the park’s management plan
  • Preparation and implementation of annual work plans and budgets
  • Recruitment and management of all personnel
  • Assuring that all contracts, accords and conventions related to the park are followed.
  • Implementing the directives of the park’s board of directors
  • Financial and operational responsibility of the park, including preparation of a 5-year business plan and annual budget
  • Managing a team that includes a Conservation and Biodiversity Service department, Research and Monitoring department, Community Development department, Logistics Service, and Administration and Finance Unit.
  • Overseeing a local staff complement of 100 to 200 full-time employees, including anti-poaching rangers
  • Liaise with a Board of Directors of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation
  • Building and maintaining relationships with Government and Community partners, and other key stakeholders of the park
  • Monthly, quarterly and annual reporting to WCS, donors and the Board of Directors of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation
  • Oversight of all financial management and reporting
  • Oversight of all logistical operations
  • Oversight of all research and conservation activities in the Park
  • Oversight of all community activities, including environmental education initiatives with local schools
  • Work with the Ndoki Foundation Board, WCS, and other partners to identify tourism development partners and help to develop NNNP into a world-class ecotourism destination 
Person Specification:
We are looking for and outstanding leader with proven managerial experience, strong communication skills, and a full understanding of African conservation, development and socio-economic issues.  A relevant degree (e.g. biology, political science, law, economics, management, or international relations) is essential, along with a thorough knowledge of multilateral environmental agreements and the issues around wildlife trade management and sustainable development.  Fluency in English is essential, ideally combined with fluent French.

Qualifications and Experience:
  • 10-15 years park management experience, ideally in at least two African countries (preferred)
  • For candidates with a conservation background, at least 5 years senior management experience (required)
  • For candidates with a financial or management background, at least 5 years senior conservation experience (required)
  • Proven track record in personnel management (required)
  • Proven track record in wildlife management (required)
  • Hands-on management of a remote and large protected area in Africa including developing, improving and overseeing protected area management systems, HR, finance, infrastructure and workshop maintenance, and law enforcement (required)
  • Experience working with government agencies, boards, and other stakeholders on park management support (preferred)
  • Hands-on management of law enforcement operations, ideally with military training and experience (preferred)
  • Implementing a community or natural resource management project (preferred)
  • Experience working with tourism operators (preferred)
  • Developing infrastructure within a remote protected area (preferred)
  • Excellent spoken and written English (required)
  • French language fluency (preferred)
  • If not fluent in French, demonstrated ability to master a foreign language (required) 
To apply:
Please send a copy of your CV and a cover letter to: the WCS Africa Program at africaapplications@wcs.org , and cc apokempner@wcs.org .  Please explain in the cover letter how your experience will contribute to addressing the threats to Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and how it will allow you to help put in place long-term systems for the conservation and management of the Park.  Include contact information for three references and specify whether we may contact each of these or whether this should await your approval.

Closing Date: 4 Jun 2016