Director, CONNECT Program – 23012

World Wildlife Fund Published: September 22, 2022
Washington, D.C.
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Program Management
(Number of Job Posting Views: 70)

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World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, seeks a Director, CONNECT Program.

Major Function

The Director will oversee the “Connecting Opportunities for Native Nations & Empowering Collaboration Together” (CONNECT) team in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) with the goal of supporting Native nation efforts to conserve and restore grasslands ecosystems and wildlife and contribute to improved food security and economic development related to conservation of their natural resources. This entails developing and maintaining relationships with Native nations, as well as engaging with other public and private sector partners, to support the realization of our shared visions. The role will lead a team of 5 employees; develop and prioritize strategies to meet the program’s objectives; measure progress toward program goals; oversee the team in designing and implementing a variety of programs focused on supporting local visions and strategies that aim to bolster ecological, economic, and community benefits such as: restoration planning, capacity building, community engagement and outreach, supporting financing through grants and fundraising, wildlife management efforts, and implementation of on-the ground wildlife conservation activities. Our current collaborative work with Native communities focuses on black-footed ferret and plains bison restoration, a communal lands project at Pine Ridge Reservation, and supporting the goals of the Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance (BGNA) across the NGP region.


  • Management./Strategy development and implementation. Manages a high performing, strong and united team, facilitating good communication, collaboration and sharing of lessons learned. Supports the team in developing, implementing and regularly evaluating strategies, work plans, budgets, and timelines. Ensures results are delivered on time and within budgetary guidelines.
  • Partnership Development: Develops strategy to build and maintains partnerships with leaders in government, non-profits and the private sector to support the goals of Native nations. Identifies new partners to broaden the reach and enhance the durability of programs. Partners include Native nations, other NGOs, state and federal agencies, private entities, and elected officials. Maintains relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders and partners.
  • Policy. Works closely with government agencies and initiatives (e.g., Tribal Homelands Initiative, Department of the Interior Bison Group, etc.) to meet conservation objectives and resource needs of Native nations in the NGP. Coordinates with WWF Policy & Government Affairs, Freshwater & Food Policy Director and NGP Vice President (VP) as well as external partners such as Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, First Nations Development Institute, BNGA, etc.
  • Leadership Team. Works closely with the WWF’s NGP VP and Sustainable Ranching Initiative Manager to drive integration of programs within the NGP, including identifying emerging opportunities, improving existing conservation projects and troubleshooting and resolving conservation challenges. Serves as part of NGP leadership team including VP and Operations Manager to address regular field office issues, team cohesiveness and operations issues.
  • Fundraising. In coordination with WWF Development staff and CONNECT team, leads development and conceptual framework for proposals. Works closely with the Operations team to clarify priorities and develop budgets. Leads drafting of proposals and/or oversees staff drafts and/or directly prepares proposals and reports. Engages with the WWF NGP VP to communicate with individual donors, attending events or field site visits as needed.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience and a minimum of 10 years' experience in a related field is required. Excellent knowledge of national and regional conservation arena, key players, and policies. Deep familiarity of ecological/conservation principles at ecoregional scale, history, and trends.
  • Proven experience working with Native nations to achieve conservation and social outcomes.
  • Demonstrated ability in development, management, and delivery of large-scale and complex projects, and many projects at once, in particular, effective management of large budgets, workplans, metrics, and timelines.
  • Experience working on federal policies and initiatives that benefit Native nations.
  • Experience supervising staff, including developing work plans, providing feedback and managing performance, and providing leadership and cohesion to a team.
  • Demonstrated success synthesizing and packaging big ideas for individual donors, government grants, foundation, and corporate support.
  • Strong fundraising skills, including excellent skills in writing/editing proposals and reports, setting goals and objectives, and developing budgets and timelines.
  • Experience developing and maintaining partnerships with a variety of partners, including Native nations, non-profits, government agencies, and funders.
  • Facilitation skills, experience leading consultative processes
  • Ability to engage in active listening, open to feedback, self-aware
  • Willingness to travel as necessary, which may be up to 25-50%.
  • Willingness to be innovative, take calculated risks, and be a creative problem solver working closely with partners as needed.
  • Ability to think strategically and incorporate input from a variety of stakeholders, collaborators, and fellow staff members.
  • Excellent communication skills, both one-on-one and in a group setting.
  • Ability to take initiative, facilitate and inspire the work of others.
  • Experience managing external consultants/contractors.
  • Committed to building and strengthening a culture of inclusion within and across teams.
  • Identifies and aligns with WWF’s core values: Courage, Integrity, Respect, and Collaboration:
    • Demonstrates courage by speaking up even when it is difficult, or unpopular.
    • Builds trust with colleagues by acting with integrity, owning mistakes, and holding oneself accountable.
    • Welcomes other points of view and ideas, recognizing and embracing different and contrary perspectives with kindness, curiosity, and encouragement.
    • Makes conscious efforts to promote cooperative practices, behaviors, and ways of working across many groups and individuals.

Covid: WWF is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and requires all US-based staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. WWF will consider requests for accommodation from the vaccine requirement based on disability, medical contraindication, sincerely held religious belief, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

To Apply

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page, Requisition #23012
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone

As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status. WWF values diversity and inclusion and welcomes diverse candidates to apply.

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