Country Director

Conservation International (CI)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 

The GCF TWENDE project falls under the GCF category: Increased resilience of ecosystem and ecosystem services. The objective of this project is to reduce the cost of climate change induced drought on Kenya’s national economy by increasing resilience of the livestock and other land use sectors in restored and effectively governed rangeland ecosystems.

The project will contribute to improved adaptation to climate change of Kenya’s national policy of “Ending Drought Emergencies”, as outlined in “Kenya Vision 2030”.  The project will strengthen climate change adaptation in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs).

The project addresses this through three components: Climate change adapted planning for drought resilience, Restoration of rangeland landscapes for ecosystem-based adaptation, and Climate change resilient ecosystem management for investments (CI led component).


The Country Director of Conservation International Kenya provides the strategic and programmatic direction of the country program, proactively identifying opportunities and trends for the achievement of the institutional goals. Responsible for senior-level program management and ensuring that program strategies, initiatives and outcomes advance CI’s human development and conservation priorities.  Duties are complex and include leading the design, implementation and integration of program strategies throughout the country program and integrated across CI. The Country Director provides broad programmatic, project, monitoring and technical oversight and continuously engages key internal and external partners critical to program success. Represents CI in the country and has a key role in building alliances, a central focus for CI strategy.  The Country Director ensures that CI’s work is presented effectively to donors and key stakeholders to ensure strategic and sustainable partnerships.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for CI’s Africa Field Division, the Country Director ensures compliance with CI policies, program and funding agreements and local requirements. Additionally, the employee is responsible for managing the country program and all its component projects, leading the team, raising funds and managing financial and other resources.  The employee will also ensure that the program is integrated with CI’s strategic fundraising and partnership goals and works in collaboration with CI headquarters-based technical and operations units to support the needs of the field programs. 

The Country Director directly manages staff, interdisciplinary teams, and/or outside partners. The employee works with a high degree of independence and serves as a technical expert in CI’s multidisciplinary approach of conservation.  The employee exercises a high level of creativity and strategic thinking to efficiently manage the country program and build the local capacity within environments that are complex and full of challenges. 


Program planning and strategy

  • Provide strategic vision and direction for the Kenya program and develop a country strategy, including alignment with the overall CI mission and vision as well as the relevant regional and global strategies.
  • Ensure efficient and effective implementation of Kenya’s country strategy, including adequate monitoring and evaluation to ensure the integrity of the national program.

Alliance development and maintenance

  • Position CI appropriately in Kenya and represent CI nationally.
  • Plan, develop and maintain a network of strategic partners and alliances that supports the successful implementation of the program’s strategy, including from the civic, public and private sectors.
  • Provide advice to key governmental and other key partners to ensure sound decision-making on themes related to conservation and CI’s Kenya strategy.

Project management and supervision

  • Ensure effective and efficient delivery of projects, supervising Kenya program’s project managers to ensure delivery of planned results, including the supervision of partners’ and sub-grantees’ project execution

Fundraising and Proposal development

  • Proactively raise funds to support Kenya’s program and projects, including identifying and cultivating new sources of funding from national and international sources and ensure efficient proposal development.
  • Participate and collaborate in regional fundraising initiatives led by the Africa regional team, and by Arlington teams

Program management

  • Build, develop and maintain a highly efficient and capacitated team that delivers the program’s strategy and ensures operational excellence.
  • Lead, supervise and mentor Kenya staff.
  • Ensure operational excellence, including managing the financial resources of the program and addressing all legal matters of the program.

Participation in Institutional Processes

  • Participate as a member of the Africa Field Division Senior Leadership Team in meetings and other mechanisms to contribute to the formulation and evaluation of regional plans and strategies and determine priorities.
  • Participate in any annual or other institutional planning meetings and processes, representing the Kenya program, and contribute to the formulation of national plans and strategies and determine priorities.
  • Participate in regional or institutional strategic groups as requested


  • Directly supervise a team of technical and administrative staff based in Kenya
  • Fully responsible for programmatic, budgetary and strategic issues in Kenya.


  • Local and international travel of not less than 25%, occasionally in difficult travel conditions.
  • Ability to work in remote locations or under difficult working conditions.
  • This position will be based in either Nairobi, Kenya. Applicants will need to have the ability to live and work in Kenya without employer sponsorship



  • Master's degree in biology, environmental studies, natural resources management, geography or a field related to conservation.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience with conservation NGO preferably in developing countries or in relation to them.
  • Minimum of 10 years experience (in excess of degree requirements stated above) of progressively responsible experience in strategic planning and programmatic evaluation as well as in information analysis, sythesis, management, monitoring and report development.
  • Specific experience in supporting programmatic planning by linking strategic plans and workplans.
  • Project management experience, including management of substantial project/program budget.
  • Demonstrable success in fundraising for conservation projects.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead and supervise a team.
  • Strong communication skills, preferably writing skills capable of peer-review publishing.
  • Self-starter, willing to take initiative on solving problems and providing follow-on assistance.
  • Ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts in collaborative teamwork and in meetings.
  • Flexibility of assumption of responsibility and strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational and financial skills required.
  • Fluency in languages relevant to Kenya, major donors and international partners: English and Swahili.


  • Degree in marine science or a field related to marine conservation such as biology, environmental studies, natural resources (especially fisheries or Marine protected Area (MPA) management).
  • Field experience in developing countries and multicultural settings.
  • Vision obtained from field experience of real-world conservation challenges and opportunities in specific cultural and political contexts.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of sustainable development and green economy concept.
  • Field experience in forestry, restoration, conservation, REDD+, policy and/or development.
  • Passion for conservation of nature and a commitment to CI’s vision and mission

The deadline for application for all positions is December 31, 2019.

Applicants must have the legal right to live and work in Kenya without employer sponsorship.

View all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

Conservation International Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.

Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms. 

Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.

Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.

Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.

Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.

Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled