Career Jobs at World Wildlife Fund: WWF


 Leader, Living with Big Cats Initiative

Want to make a positive difference to the future of people and our one shared home, the Earth?

Working at WWF could be your opportunity of a lifetime.


All around the world, people are waking up to the deepening crisis of nature loss. A growing realization that nature is our life-support system. And that nobody will be spared from the impacts of its loss. Here at WWF, we are helping to tackle this enormous global challenge.

Our people come from hugely diverse backgrounds and with a variety of expertise, ranging from HR and finance to advocacy and conservation science. We welcome applications from anyone who believes they can help us create a better future for people and wildlife.

What we do

We are an independent conservation organization, striving to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife. From individuals and communities to business and government, we are part of a growing coalition calling on world leaders to set nature on the path to recovery by 2030. Together, we seek to protect and restore natural habitats, stop the mass extinction of wildlife, and make the way we produce and consume sustainable.

To help us achieve our ambitious goals, and build a future where people live in harmony with nature, we seek to hire a competent and highly motivated “Leader for Living with Big Cats Initiative” to be based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Location: Arusha, Tanzania

Work percentage: 100%

Contract type: Fixed term – 2 years, with the possibility of extension

Background Information:

Under the guidance of Wildlife Practice leadership and WWF Tanzania, the Leader, Living with Big Cats Initiative (Big Cats) will be responsible for the design, delivery, resourcing, monitoring and evaluation of an exciting new global initiative for WWF. Also, the initiative lead will be responsible for coordinating lion conservation work in WWF priority lion landscapes across the African continent.

Big cats are amongst the most threatened species in the world due to human population expansion and macro-development leading to competition for land and food between people and big cats in Panthera range countries, inevitably resulting in conflict with local communities. There is compelling evidence of the urgency to act: lions currently occupy 10% of their historical range with their population halving in the last 25 years; snow leopards are classified as ‘vulnerable’ with a worldwide population potentially as low as 4,000 individuals; and jaguars currently occupy 51% of their historic distribution, with a 20% range reduction in just 14 years.

The proposed Living with Big Cats Initiative focuses on enabling coexistence of local communities with jaguars (Panthera onca), lions (Panthera leo), and snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in their shared landscapes. It aims to amplify the voices supporting big cat conservation, gather the highest level of international attention, and coordinate technical and policy support to range states where WWF operates. This initiative is estimated to run for five years (2020-2025) and will employ three pathways to ensure network coordination towards achieving desired impacts: reducing the risks and minimizing the costs of living with big cats, unlocking the value of big cats and their landscapes, and advocating policy change through national governments and the regional and international community. These pathways are critical to ensure benefits to communities, which in turn encourage tolerance towards big cats and promote stewardship of their conservation, with the ultimate goal for these populations to increase or stabilize throughout their range.

This initiative will be implemented in six priority landscapes including Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania (SOKNOT) and Okavango Zambezi (KAZA) in Africa, Eastern Himalaya and Mongolian Altai in Asia and Maya and Southwest Amazon in Latin America.

Global Big Cats initiative Lead (50%)

Major Responsibilities:

  • Lead timely and effective design, launch and implementation of the Big Cats Initiative in selected priority landscapes, ensuring alignment between Country Strategic Plans, the Wildlife Practice Strategy and WWF global goals
  • Partner with multi-disciplinary teams consisting of WWF staff, national partners, local and international NGOs, consultants and/or contractors to analyze and adopt innovative approaches to big cats conservation.
  • Provide oversight of initiative technical and financial management including annual work planning, budgeting and reporting.
  • Build the capacity of staff working on Big Cats Initiative in WWF’s priority landscapes and institutionalize safeguards and social policies related to big cats work.
  • Work closely with WWF communications staff on outreach activities that support initiative delivery.
  • Lead fundraising and fund tracking efforts for the Big Cats Initiative, in collaboration with the Lead Office, Wildlife Practice Leader, Wildlife Practice Proposal Development Manager, relevant WWF National Offices, and network fundraising representatives.
  • Promote lessons learning between projects and capacity building, with the aim of establishing well supported networks of experts across WWF in big cats conservation.
  • Disseminate information regarding funding opportunities, scientific developments and policy opportunities to the networks of experts, as well as to implementation and support offices.
  • Remain abreast of topical developments and scientific studies related to big cats conservation and management and shares them with the WWF networks of expert and relevant ACAIs such as Human-Wildlife Conflict, Inclusive Conservation, PCAs, Sustainable Landscapes, and Wildlife Crime.
  • Ensure the highest standards for Monitoring & Evaluation of the initiative’s impact and performance.

African Lion Coordinator (50%)

  • Lead the implementation of WWF’s African lion conservation framework including through delivery of objectives by external partners.
  • Provide technical support to the development of regional and national policy and guidance to the development of WWF regional and Country Offices conservation strategies, ensuring the integration of lion conservation issues.
  • Deliver policy outcomes for African Lion in relevant global, regional and national policy and advocacy fora.
  • Work with WWF offices in Africa and the Wildlife Practice Proposal Development Manager to develop, review, and coordinate project proposals on lion conservation, ensuring that projects meet the highest standards for alignment with institutional priorities, implementation, monitoring and sustainability.
  • Elevates the profile of African lion conservation internally and in the international conservation arena;
  • Act as a communications focal point on issues pertaining to African lion, working with the Wildlife Practice team and relevant Countries, and National Offices with local, regional and international media on controversial issues (eg., illegal wildlife trade, captive big cats trade, human-wildlife conflicts, etc.) and assists with internal and external crisis management, as pertinent.
  • Participate in field missions as appropriate, in a supportive capacity to ensure that lion conservation efforts are achieving their established objectives.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience, including at least 5 years in the field working in a senior management position on big cats and multi-country conservation programs.
  • Master’s degree or higher in natural resources management, biodiversity conservation or other relevant discipline(s).
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English, and any other languages would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated project management experience including experience successfully managing multimillion-dollar budgets with many variables, geographies and deadlines.
  • Experience working in a large, complex, global organizational network.
  • Proven experience engaging with donors, corporate and government actors at the highest levels.
  • Experience working with protected authorities, local communities and other conservation partners such as NGOs.
  • Excellent understanding of social and environmental risk-based approaches to managing projects and programs.

Required Skills and Competencies:

  • Ability to coordinate and manage processes and projects that require contributions from staff in situations where the post holder has no direct supervisory responsibility.
  • Excellent skills in writing proposals, reports, presentations, budgeting and financial management.
  • Excellent negotiation, diplomacy and lobbying skills.
  • Demonstrated passion for conservation and social issues.
  • Ability to work in multicultural settings.
  • Ability to work effectively in a virtual team located in multiple locations.
  • This position will include a significant travel schedule. The ability to travel to the various cat landscapes is essential for this position.
  • Identify and align with the core values of the WWF organization: Courage, Collaboration, Respect and Integrity.
  • Demonstrates WWF behaviours in way of working: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly, Innovate Fearlessly.
  • Adheres to WWF’s brand values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.

HOW TO APPLY: Applications must include a complete Cover Letter & CV with full contact details of three referees and should be addressed to the People & Culture Manager of WWF Tanzania, via email to: by Sunday, 7th February 2021 at 23:59. Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted. WWF is an equal opportunity organization.