Netherlands, other locations will be considered
Salary: €49,200 – €73,200 EUR
Candidate Level: Management
Contract Type: Fixed-Term
Working Hours: Full Time
Sector: Conservation / Environment / Climate
Link to Website
Country: Netherlands
Closing date: 11/06/2023
Wetlands International
The Programme Head River and Lakes

Wetlands International is the only global NGO dedicated to safeguarding and restoring wetlands. At the heart of our vision is a plan to demonstrate whole landscape recovery in large wetland landscapes including mangroves, peatlands, and freshwater wetlands across the world. These landscapes, which are among the top global biodiversity treasures, are also sources of much of the world’s land-based climate emissions and where people are poorest and most vulnerable. To make a global difference we seek to inspire and mobilize society to act and to influence levers of change.

Specific to rivers and lakes, Wetlands International aims to safeguard and restore healthy and resilient freshwater ecosystems to help meet global goals for food, water, energy, and climate. This demands large scale responses to wetland loss and degradation so that society and nature can build resilience to the challenges posed by a changing climate and increasing human pressure. Our work seeks to inspire new thinking and mobilize influential actors and impactful partnerships in order to upscale impact for wetland landscapes. We have a growing portfolio of initiatives around the world in East and West Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Mediterranean, and South and South-East Asia.


Purpose of role

The Programme Head River and Lakes develops and leads Wetlands International’s influence and impact on freshwater wetlands, with a focus on developing programme action within the Rivers and Lakes ‘stream’, as described in Wetlands International’s Strategic Intent. The Programme Head is responsible for developing cutting-edge programmes and partnerships, fundraising for priorities, and steering effective implementation of projects. This includes representing the organisation in relevant fora, engaging policy networks and motivating Wetlands International staff in all regions to deliver results and upscale our impact. The Programme Head is a member of the Programme Leadership Team of the Global Office with a mandate to work across the Wetlands International global network of offices. This role involves line management and coaching of technical and project staff in the global office, building capacity in the network, and working with associate experts.

We are looking for a visionary and facilitative leader, with professional insights and a relevant network, who has experience in programme/project development, management, and fundraising. The incumbent will have the competencies needed to motivate and capacitate a network-wide team and partners to deliver innovative and tangible results relevant to the Rivers and Lakes stream.

Primary responsibilities

The job holder will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership for Wetlands International’s work to promote the conservation and restoration of wetlands in relation to a specific stream or theme, as laid out in our Strategic Intent 2020-2030.
  • As a senior member of the programme leadership with a global role, develop strategic initiatives, partnerships and programmes, drive fundraising for these with relevant donors, and mobilize resources (financial, technical, and human) toward the goals.
  • Contribute to the development of organizational strategies, positions and policies, reviewing programmatic achievements, as well as prioritization of strategic initiatives and partnerships to deliver the Strategic Intent.
  • Supervise and manage staff, consultants, projects, associate experts, contracts and budgets according to Wetlands International policies and standards.
  • Evaluate and report on implementation progress towards our strategic goals for a specific stream or theme and contribute to institutional reporting and learning processes in the organization.
  • Nurture and maintain specialist expert networks relevant to specific stream or theme.
  • Represent and promote Wetlands International towards external partners, donors, members, and networks on various levels and in a multitude of international settings, towards fora such as the UNFCCC, CBD, or Ramsar Convention, in collaboration with the communications and advocacy team.
  • Carry out other tasks according to the organizational needs, as agreed with the Director of Programme Impact.

The Programme Head will be a visionary and facilitative leader, with professional insights and a relevant network, who has experience in programme and project development, management and fundraising. He/She will proactively recognize opportunities and act upon them. The Programme Head will have the competencies needed to motivate and capacitate a network-wide team and partners to deliver innovative and tangible results relevant to the specific stream or theme. He/She will be a team-builder, facilitator, coach, and diplomat.

Education and experience

  • At least 10 years of professional experience in policy and programmes relating to wetland ecosystems, climate change, and the corresponding social dimension.
  • At least 5 years of experience on programme/project development and implementation with a track record of successful results, working with dispersed teams and diverse partners.
  • Proven ability to inspire, empower and motivate colleagues in and outside of Wetlands International, so as to build a high-performance team.
  • A track record of successful collaboration with relevant private sector actors, driving towards results in terms of improved performance.
  • Knowledge of key issues, debates, trends and key global processes related to wetland landscapes and nature-based solutions as an integrated approach for safeguarding and restoring wetlands.
  • Has an international network with relevant (international) NGOs, academics, knowledge institutes, governments, and other regional and global institutions.
  • A diplomatic, good listener, with strong interpersonal skills and comfortable working across different cultures and levels of society; confident communicator and advocate for different target audiences at all levels.
  • Strong willingness and ability to learn, share and innovate; proven ability to mobilise ideas through developing and coordinating teams.
  • A master’s degree in a relevant discipline.
  • Excellent communication skills in English is essential (written and spoken); other languages are an advantage, especially French or Spanish.
  • Commitment to Wetlands International’s mission, values, and ways of working.
  • Willingness and ability to travel regularly.

Core competencies

  • Leadership: develops and uses effective strategies, change management, and interpersonal skills to influence others toward the accomplishment of objectives. Creates an environment that promotes and encourages change or innovation.
  • Planning and organizing: defining tasks and milestones to achieve objectives, while ensuring the optimal use of resources to meet those objectives. Develops strategic plans considering short-term requirements as well as long-term direction.
  • Networking/relationship building: builds and actively maintains working relationships And/or networks of contacts to further the goals of the organization. Brings informal teams of experts together to address issues/needs, share information, and resolve differences, as required.
  • Entrepreneurship: transforms innovative ideas into actions that achieve business or people results. Acts proactively in contact with (potential) partners and donors when opportunities arise.

Reporting to:  Director of Programme Impact and CEO

Manages: Team of 4 to 5 at global office  

Contract type: Fixed term contract two years, with expectation of extension




Please send a letter of application stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the post with your CV/resume (no photos) in strict confidence by email only to Ruth Gardner (see email below) 

Please ensure they are sent as Word or PDF documents with the titles “your name cover letter” and “your name CV”. Please put “Wetlands- Director of Programme Impact” in the email subject line. 

The deadline for application is Sunday 11th June 2023

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Daryl Upsall International actively promotes equality, diversity and inclusion. In recruiting candidates, we seek candidates with the proven skills required; irrespective of race, gender, religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation.


Contact person: Ruth Gardner
Preferred method of response: Email
Response Email:
More info: Link to PDF File
Closing date: 11/06/2023