Director, International Policy

International Fund for Animal Welfare Published: December 23, 2022
Washington, D.C.
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director / Policy
(Number of Job Posting Views: 1)

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IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans, and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. 

Position Overview

The Director, International Policy leads the development and implementation of IFAW’s strategy for engagement with prioritized Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and other international treaties, conventions, agreements, and institutions.

These include the UN biodiversity and Rio conventions (CBD, CITES, CMS, UNFCCC, UNCCD) and the International Whaling Commission (IWC), as well as UN institutions such as UN Environment, UN Division on Oceans and Law of the Sea (DOALOS), and the UN General Assembly and High-Level Political Forum as necessary, and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Other relevant agreements and institutions may also be included under the Director, International Policy’s management remit (for example, UNESCO/World Heritage Convention and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

By identifying opportunities for policy change at MEAs and other relevant agreements and institutions that align with IFAW’s Institutional Strategic Plan, the Director, International Policy, works in close collaboration with the Executive Management Team, Deputy Vice Presidents, Program Directors and Country/Regional Directors, to guide and oversee the delivery of priority IFAW campaigns and projects directly related to these MEAs, international agreements and institutions.

The Director, International Policy leads IFAW’s direct engagement with Secretariats, governing and advisory bodies to relevant MEAs, international agreements and institutions and provides leadership and direction to Program teams, country/regional campaigners, and other relevant staff in their engagement with Parties to relevant agreements and institutions, including mentoring, supporting, and training staff as required.

Location: This position can be based in any IFAW office.  Staff work a hybrid schedule with 2 days/week in the office

Role and Responsibilities

  • Work in close collaboration with relevant members of the Executive Management Team, Deputy Vice-Presidents, Country/Regional Directors, Program Directors, and their relevant staff to develop effective strategies for the achievement of international policy change in line with IFAW’s Institutional priority objectives and Program goals, guided by IFAW’s Institutional Strategic Plan.
  • Develop and implement IFAW’s international policy strategy and related project plans and be responsible for achievement of short- and medium-term outcomes as outlined in these, and for overseeing the development of related long-term Institutional and Program outcomes and continuous progression towards them.
  • Provide leadership to global Program staff in implementation of strategies/campaigns/projects to influence and change perceptions, policies, and practices of major stakeholders at relevant international agreements and institutions. Provide regular constructive feedback and mentorship to team members and staff, and support and training as required.
  • Under the direction of the Deputy Vice-President for Conservation and in conjunction with relevant EMT members, Vice Presidents, and Directors, identify and develop strategic relationships with key global institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, to advance Institutional and Programmatic strategies in the conservation and protection of wildlife.
  • Responsible for effective administration of Campaigns and Projects under the International Policy Program portfolio globally, including the development and management of budgets, staff, contractors, and regular reporting to the Supervisor and other IFAW audiences.
  • Work closely to support IFAW programs and staff to achieve institutional goals through initiatives in MEAs and other international forums.

Qualifications and Education Requirements

  • BA or equivalent preferred. Advanced degree in public policy, conservation, biological or environmental science ideal.
  • A minimum of 8 years relevant combined experience in management, global campaigns, and international conservation and/or closely related NGO field and proven history in successful and innovative strategy development and implementation.
  • Experience and background of working in Multi-Environmental Agreements or other wildlife conservation and animal welfare related international conventions or treaties, and/or demonstrable experience in equivalent international politics and political decision-making mechanisms.
  • Dedication to wildlife conservation and animal welfare.
  • Excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing, including briefing documents, fundraising proposals, etc.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, communication skills with the ability to interact harmoniously, communicate effectively, and demonstrate diplomacy, discretion, and sensitivity with people from varying educational, social, and cultural backgrounds, especially government delegates to international agreements.
  • Experience of representing an organization at a senior level, to a range of diverse audiences, including government ministers, bureaucrats, and to media.
  • International leadership experience preferred, collaborating with diverse global teams to achieve common goals.
  • Fluency in English required. Fluency in another common language used in international institutions is preferred, while multiple languages are beneficial.

At IFAW, we aim to create and foster a workforce that reflects and contributes to the diverse, global community in which we work to improve the lives of both animals and people. We are dedicated to fostering justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion so we actively encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds.

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