"Positioning You for Success" ©

JRS Biodiversity Foundation announced on Dec 18th that Don Doering would be its new Executive Director. and
Program Officer Position Suspended as of 9 October 2012
Client: JRS Biodiversity Foundation ( )
Location of position: East Africa, TBD
The Program Officer is the primary grantmaker for the Foundation in Africa and around the world.S/he is responsible for relations with prospective grant-seekers, current grantees, and the broader biodiversity community.  This person helps implement the grant program consistent with the Foundation's mission and initiatives and act as a catalyst for new projects, ideas, and approaches to biodiversity. The position is supervised by the Executive Director and makes grant recommendations to the Foundation Trustees. 
Scope of Responsibilities:
  • Oversees an ongoing portfolio of 10 to 20 projects a year
  • Travels the African continent  and annually visits each funded project around the world
  • Advances projects, or parts of biodiversity projects that focus on: (1) collecting data, (2) aggregating, synthesizing, publishing data, and making it more widely available to potential end users, and (3) interpreting and gaining insight from data to inform policy-makers
  • Recommends to the Board of Trustees an average of 5 to 10 grants a year worth $1 to $2 million US dollars annually
  • Encourages interdisciplinary biodiversity activities primarily carried out via collaborations in developing countries and economies in transition.
  • Provides proactive and innovative leadership in developing initiatives which will include actively participating in policy work and enhancing knowledge and promoting the understanding of biological diversity for the benefit and sustainability of life on earth.
Key Responsibilities:
  • Maintain contact with current Foundation grantees to be continually aware of progress of funded projects, to identify potential problem areas, to help workout solutions, and/or bring to the Board’s attention as may be required.
  • Oversee monitoring, implementation, and evaluation of the Foundations priorities through site visits, project reviews, meetings with partners, review of reports, and regular communications with consultants, colleagues, and others.
  • Set clear expectations with grantees regarding process and timing of proposal and report submissions; review all reports, provide feedback to grantee partners and ensure that knowledge associated with these reports is disseminated appropriately.
  • Review all final grantee reports to determine fulfillment of original goals of funded projects
  • Consolidate the Foundation’s substantive biodiversity knowledge, and prepare overview reports, presentations, and JRS website entries for the Trustees and the general public about the significance of biodiversity.
  • Annually visit each funded project and assess performance to determine conformity with original goals and continuing relationship to JRS grantmaking strategies prior to authorization of subsequent payments.
  • Present proposals to the Grants Committee and ultimately the Foundation board, with initial recommendations for funding.
  • Ensure timely development of proposals and preparation of meaningful indicators and grant outcomes for inclusion in Board material.
  • Develop and manage grant and administrative budgets for the Foundation and contribute to the Foundation’s grant budget development.
  • Manage periodic grant meta-evaluations of all initial JRS grants to assure match with the Foundation’s mission.
  • With the Grants Committee, prepare call for pre-proposals, RFP, and procedures for developing funding recommendations.
  • Develop and maintain a global contact list of biodiversity organizations and individuals that might be potential JRS grant recipients.
  • Where necessary help grantees increase human capacity by providing training or arranging training in biology, informatics, management or other project needs.
  • Stay abreast of relevant developments in the field, through the review of professional literature and articles, and participation in relevant conferences and learning events.
  • Represent the Foundation at designated international biodiversity conferences, regional meetings and local community events.
  • Develop and maintain contact with a broad cross section of biodiversity agencies and leaders in the countries where the Foundation funds projects to determine opportunities, and if appropriate, for implementing applications or policies that may evolve from JRS.
  • Work with prospective applicants to help improve the soundness and quality of grant requests. Including but not limited to biodiversity informatics and international data sharing.
  • Manage relationships and coordination with other donors in support of strategic biodiversity goals and other foundation initiatives.
  • Work with grantees, and where relevant with other funders to support the Foundation in the development of grant proposals.
  • Identify potential unique special grant opportunities and as they are identified, develop and manage funding these initiatives (e.g. eBiosphere09).
  • Provide advice to Executive Director and Board for special programs or initiatives within the context of the Foundation’s goals.
  • Work collaboratively with other Foundations and funders on special assignments that serve to enhance JRS’ organizational effectiveness.
  • Determine and arrange Trustee site visits.

Qualifications: Knowledge, skills, and competencies must include:

  • A commitment to the values of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, a clear understanding of and commitment to the vision and strategy of utilizing biodiversity informatics as a mechanism for conservation.
  • Interpersonal skills to work effectively with colleagues, government officials, private sector, international institutions, public policy organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and communities.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to anticipate, prioritize, and manage tasks while simultaneously demonstrating genuine respect for diversity and inclusiveness
  • Capacity to communicate persuasively, orally and in writing, in a range of settings.
  • Demonstrated skills working in multicultural contexts.
  • Broad exposure to biodiversity and ecological issues relevant to informatics at an international level.
  • Previous work in Africa.
  • Able to process complex information and present ideas in a compelling manner.
  • Ability to support executive leadership in a multi-faceted global program.

Education: Master’s degree or comparable experience

Compensation: An attractive compensation and benefit package will be provided to the successful candidate.

How to Apply:
To apply please e-mail a cover letter addressing how your skills and experiences meet the needs of the position and the organization along with an updated résumé/CV to:
Patrick Shields, Search Manager
501 Westport Avenue, Suite 285, Norwalk, Connecticut (CT) 06851 USA
Tel / Fax: +1- 203-899-0499