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Executive Officer – World Parks Congress Switzerland

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Global Protected Areas Programme
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Location: Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to: Director - Global Protected Areas Programme
Expected start date: 01 March 2013  (until 28 February 2015) 

Closing date: 21 January 2013 


The IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) is a once in 10 year event with several thousand participants that brings together the global constituency of governments and non-governmental organisations, professionals and managers to define the agenda and to achieve breakthroughs for funding and implementation of protected area mandates globally. The 2014 WPC will take place in Sydney, Australia in November 2014.

Reporting to the Director, Global Protected Areas Programme, the Executive Officer manages IUCN’s Secretariat involvement in the WPC, is principal point of liaison with the Host Country, and with the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and oversees the day-to-day planning and development of the WPC. S/he ensures that the contributions from the different Secretariat Units are coordinated.

The Executive Officer supports the International Steering Committee and supports the Director of the Global Protected Areas Programme in giving effect to IUCN’s roles and responsibilities in terms of the MoU between IUCN and the Host Country.

The Executive Officer oversees and guides the design, planning, and development of the World Parks Congress to achieve the outcomes agreed. The WPC Executive Officer is responsible for:

1. Coordinating IUCN’s Secretariat involvement in the WPC, including liaison between HQ and regions, and with global thematic programmes;

2. Acting as IUCN’s principal point of contact with the Host Country and the relevant agencies, ensuring regular communication, the provision of advice and information and support to the Host Country’s planning;

3. Acting as the IUCN’s principal point of contact with the WCPA and other Commissions regarding the preparation for the World Parks Congress themes and activities;

4. Ensuring the close coordination of IUCN’s IT and CRM systems in relation to the customized use of IUCN’s registration and event management systems being employed by the PCO;

5. Undertaking financial planning and managing and monitoring WPC-related projects and expenditures;

6. Coordinating the recruitment of additional consultants or staff required for WPC preparations, supervising their work and monitoring the performance of contracted services;

7. Acting as Executive Officer to the International Steering Committee;

8. Supervising the Fundraising Officer and playing a role in developing and executing the funding strategy;

9. Supporting the Director, Global Protected Areas Programme in managing relations with the Host Country and donors;

10. Contributing towards designing, implementing and coordinating communication systems pertaining to the Congress, with particular focus on Secretariat offices and programmes, partners and suppliers;

11. Managing the WPC Greening Programme;

12. Providing regular reports to IUCN Management on progress with preparations and identifying and resolving key issues that arise;

13. Other tasks, mutually agreed with the Director, Global Protected Areas Programme pertaining to the planning, development, management and follow-up to the WPC.


• 5-7 years work experience in event planning, preferably with international associations or organizations. 

• Post graduate degree in a relevant field including environmental disciplines, public policy. 

• Fluency in spoken English; knowledge of Spanish and/or French would be an asset. 

• Excellent written communication skills in English. 

• Good knowledge of Word, Excel and database interface. 

• Experience in organizing green events desirable. 

• Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills; ability to work independently as well as part of a team. 

• Proven experience of budget management of major projects or events. 

• Ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders to lead and drive the planning and delivery of a major event. 

• Attention to detail and ability to work under pressure. 

• Availability to work flexible hours (nights and weekends) if required (particularly as the Congress dates approach). 

• High degree of flexibility and ability to travel regularly. 

• Availability for being on site in Sydney at least 4-6 weeks prior to the World Parks Congress. 

The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 96'160 to CHF 120'200, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST).

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