Application Deadline: February 27, 2023
Position Title: Director for Public Policy, Forests & Climate Change
Reports to: Executive Director, Forests & Climate Change
Coordinates with: Vice-President, International Policy; Executive Directors, Markets, Rights and Communities, Health
- Position Objective: The Forests & Climate Change (FCC) Director for Public Policy is responsible for leading on public policy initiatives within FCC in all relevant intergovernmental venues and in support of WCS field programs from a forests and climate change policy perspective, with the objective of delivering policy reform and implementation that results in large-scale impact of forest conservation on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Priorities include large-scale REDD+ Programs, protection of intact forests, trade-related legislation and agreements, relevant financial regulations, and forest governance.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (“WCS”) is a New York not-for-profit corporation founded by statute in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through research, science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. That mission is achieved through our global conservation programs (WCS currently oversees a portfolio of more than 500 conservation projects in 65 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America, and the oceans between them) and through the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks–the Bronx Zoo; the New York Aquarium; and the Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park Zoos (the City Zoos)
The overarching goal of WCS’s Forest & Climate Change Program is to help realize the full potential of forests, to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation, along with national, global and regional biodiversity conservation, through a linked set of programmatic priorities: (1) Protecting Intact forests; (2) Preventing the expansion of deforestation and forest degradation; (3) Reforesting in and around WCS priority landscapes; and (4) Building resilience to the impacts of climate change.
We work both globally and in support of WCS field programs to achieve results at scale, using a varied, adaptive set of tools for impact:
- Using science, including spatial planning and monitoring, to identify priorities for action and measure our impact from a global scale down to specific landscapes, enabling more effective, adaptive implementation;
- Supporting policy reforms to accelerate implementation of each priority at national and regional levels, including through governmental, intergovernmental, and private sector initiatives;
- Catalyzing financial investment and innovation to enable effective and durable progress on each priority, and to help key geographies connect with favorable investment opportunities;
- Fostering economic alternatives at local and national levels to support green economic development for each priority in ways that both protect forests and promote human well-being;
- Building capacity within government and local community partners to effectively lead on implementation and delivery of each priority;
- Employing savvy strategic communications to support and amplify all of the above to inform key decisionmakers and the constituencies that influence them
Working with the FCC Executive Director and the FCC Program, the Director for Public Policy will:
- Identify, prioritize, and pursue promising public policy objectives and initiatives in support of FCC program goals and strategy, including but not limited to increasing ambition in setting and delivering forest-related targets within NDCs.
- Lead WCS engagement in intergovernmental policy fora that deal specifically with climate change (e.g. UNFCCC, UNGA climate meetings, other global “climate summits) including development, dissemination, and advocacy of FCC policy briefings and positions leading up to and during those intergovernmental meetings and events;
- Participate in a supporting capacity in WCS engagement in biodiversity and other intergovernmental policy for a with relevance to FCC goals (e.g., CBD) in close collaboration with the WCS International Policy team, particularly on strategy development and implementation:
- Collaborate with the WCS International Policy Team, other WCS thematic programs (e.g. Rights & Communities, Health), the Markets Program, and Regional and Country Directors to help deliver FCC public policy objectives.
- Assist Regional and Country Directors to help develop and deliver in-country FCC public policy objectives.
- Lead in developing and maintaining public policy related content for the FCC program for both internal and external audiences, including WCS-branded and unbranded communications.
- Develop and maintain productive working relationships with government counterparts in key forest countries, their major trade partners, and relevant “donor” governments, in coordination with WCS regional and country programs, and the International Policy team.
- Liaise with NGOs and other partners working on Forests and Climate Change policy issues
- Participate and as appropriate lead in development of successful proposals to fund FCC public policy priorities.
- Manage, organize and convene events and meetings as required.
- Participate fully as part of a collaborative FCC leadership team, and in other WCS teams as assigned.
- Other tasks as determined and agreed with FCC Executive Director.
- Master’s degree or higher in a field relevant to Forests & Climate Change
- Superior knowledge of forests and climate change public policy issues
- Minimum ten-years’ experience working on forests and climate change agendas
- Effective management and leadership skills and experience
- Multi-cultural skills and experience working virtually across cultures and time zones
- Proven ability to collaborate effectively in a complex, global, matrixed organization
- Government experience is a significant advantage
- Experience with intergovernmental organizations and fora a particular asset
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Fluency in English required; facility with French or Spanish an asset
- Commitment to delivering results for large-scale impact
- Successful project and proposal development experience an asset
- Willingness to work flexible hours and travel internationally as needed
WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.