Chief of Party – Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of Congo

Closing date: 31 Oct 2019

Location: Epulu, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Reports to: Okapi Wildlife Reserve Director

Expected travel: Regular travel to Kinshasa, DRC and to other destinations for meetings as required.

Start date: as soon as suitable candidate is found

Duration: 5 years (minimum 2 years)


The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is seeking candidates for a Chief of Party (CoP) for the anticipated 5-year USAID-funded program entitled “Building effective management and sustainable financing of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve through a Public-Private Partnership” (the ‘USAID Okapi project’).
The goal of this project is to secure and restore the unique biodiversity and forests of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, through:

  • Strengthening protected area management practises;
  • Enhancing the social well-being of its resident communities; and
  • The creation of conservation-led income generating activities that will contribute to the sustainable financing of future Reserve activities.


The CoP will deliver on the following principal responsibilities in full coordination with, and supported by, the WCS DRC and OWR management teams, and the WCS Central Africa Regional team:

a) Serve as the primary WCS point of contact and authorized representative with USAID in regard to all communications on the USAID Okapi project.

  • Maintain good working relationships with all project participants, stakeholders, beneficiaries and other relevant organizations both in the DRC and in the wider Central Africa region.
  • Maintain a strong and responsive relationship with the USAID CARPE (Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment) Director, USAID Agreements Officer and other relevant USAID staff.
  • Maintain close working relationships with the WCS DRC and OWR management teams.
  • Ensure that USAID and internal WCS stakeholders are kept regularly up to date on project activities, deliverables and events.
  • Be the point of contact for any new USAID initiatives and collaborations concerning the Okapi Wildlife Reserve

b) Coordinate the implementation, management and administration of the USAID Okapi project:

  • Coordinate with WCS DRC and OWR management teams to ensure that project objectives are achieved to a high standard and on schedule.
  • Oversee and, in some cases, carry out the delivery of the project’s technical activities in accordance with the project work plan.
  • Ensure that adequate technical assistance is provided to the OWR management team, supervising the recruitment and engagement of technical experts, partners and project staff, as appropriate, to help achieve the project objectives.
  • In liaison with the OWR Director, engage with the DRC Government, civil society and business groups, and other organisations as needed to coordinate activities and achieve the project objectives.
  • In liaison with the WCS finance team in OWR and Kinshasa, ensure financial planning and execution of approved budgets is in compliance with financial and administrative policies and procedures of USAID and WCS.
  • In liaison with the WCS Regional Grants Manager, ensure contractual and procurement procedures are executed in a timely manner in compliance with administrative policies and procedures of USAID and WCS.

c) Through the development of robust monitoring and evaluation systems, ensure that all USAID reporting requirements are met to a high standard and on schedule.

  • Preparation, submission for internal review and final submission of all contractually required technical project documentation (work plans, budgets, annual reports etc.).
  • In liaison with the WCS Finance team in Kinshasa and OWR, ensure all financial reporting is prepared and submitted in a timely manner.

d) Ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with:

  • WCS policies and procedures.
  • The requirements set out in the EPP award contractual agreement.
  • USAID and relevant U.S. Government rules and regulations.
  • The national law of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The experience and capabilities of the CoP should include:

a) Significant experience of project management.

  • Experience working in inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams and managing several major activities simultaneously.
  • Experience managing multilateral/bilateral donor-funded projects, with multiple project partners and diverse project elements. Experience of managing USAID-funded projects preferred.
  • Proven ability to achieve project targets and objectives, delivering quality work on tight deadlines.
  • Experience of designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

b) Knowledge of African conservation issues.

  • A Masters or PhD degree in conservation, natural resource management, or other relevant field experience in African conservation.
  • Experience working on conservation projects in field settings preferred.
  • Experience working in Central Africa region would be an advantage.

c) Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Demonstrated representational skills, with an ability to maintain favourable public relations.
  • Experience of developing and maintaining professional working relationships in a multi-stakeholder environment.
  • Demonstrated high-level competency in writing and editing of professional technical reports and other written products.
  • Fluency in English and professional competency in French, with Swahili a distinct advantage.
  • Highly computer and internet literate.
How to apply:

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply by emailing a detailed application/cover letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references to: Please include “Chief of Party Okapi” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you have any queries related to this position please contact:

Application Deadline: 31 October 2019

About OWR

Created in 1992, the OWR, at more than 13,000km2, is the single largest protected tract of intact lowland tropical forest remaining in the DRC. The OWR harbors one of the largest remaining population of forest elephants and the largest stronghold of okapi in the DRC and the single largest population of the eastern chimpanzee in Africa. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been active in the OWR for more than 30 years, supporting its creation, and subsequently working closely with ICCN (Institut Congolaise pour la Conservation de la Nature) – the government agency responsible for protected areas and wildlife – in its management. In December 2018, WCS and ICCN signed a 10-year management agreement that delegated management authority of the OWR to WCS. This mandate is implemented through the OWR Management Unit (RMU), led by the Reserve Director, that is the executive body in charge of all day-to-day management activities and personnel in the OWR.

OWR is situated in the larger Ituri landscape; comprising more than 40,000km2 of contiguous forests, in which WCS is actively building conservation constituencies and supporting sustainable agricultural practices amongst the local communities who depend upon the forest resources for their livelihoods, and on whom the future integrity of the OWR is inextricably linked. The Ituri forests also have a rich cultural heritage and are home to the indigenous Mbuti and Efé peoples.

About WCS

*The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City working to save wildlife and wild lands and to meet global challenges in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. The Africa Program is the largest of WCS’s field programs, with approximately 1,100 staff in 12 country programs focused across four major regions (Central Africa, Sudano-Sahel, East and Southern Africa, and Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean).**Our MISSION is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature. Our VISION is a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. Our GOAL is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity. Our VALUES are Respect, Accountability and Transparency, Innovation, Diversity and Inclusion, Collaboration, Integrity.*

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