Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Save The Elephants

Date Published
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a non-profit umbrella organisation that supports 36 member Community Conservancies across 11 counties and 4.5 million hectares of northern Kenya. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies that transform lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources.
With NRT’s rapid growth, diversified funding base, expanding partnerships and increased national and international profile, NRT is now recruiting a highly experienced member of the senior leadership team, in a greatly expanded and restructured role of Chief Operating Officer. This represents a unique and exciting opportunity for a top calibre candidate to join an organisation that is leading the way for community-led conservation in Africa.

The role:

Reporting to the CEO, the COO will be responsible for:

·      Day-to-day execution of NRT’s 5-year Strategy

·      Leadership and mentoring of diverse technical teams (governance, peace, livelihoods, security, natural resources, wildlife and enterprise), and matrix management to ensure coordinated technical support across the 5 regional teams

·      Leadership and oversight of the annual plans, budgets and reporting of all operating units

·      Leadership and motivation of over 150 NRT staff, including staff performance management and professional development

·      Oversight of NRT’s HR, logistics, procurement, IT, administration, and fleet/aircraft management

·      Oversight of infrastructure development across 36 Conservancies

·      Coordination of working relationships with partner organisations to support Conservancies, and management of partner visits

·      Coordination of NRT’s support to improving Conservancies’ field operations, staff and board capacity, governance and technical programmes

·      Management of NRT’s Monitoring and Evaluation system, from data collection to analysis and visualization, feedback and reporting

·      Development of effective internal and external communications and media relations

The organisation:

NRT’s vision, mission and strategy are set out in Established in 2004 with a mandate from the communities it serves, NRT currently has 36 member conservancies spread over 11 Counties (grown rapidly from 17 members in 2012). With NRT’s support, these community-led institutions are having a significant impact on bringing security to people and wildlife, improving people’s livelihoods, and conserving wildlife and natural resources (see NRT State of Conservancies Report 2015 here). 

NRT’s role is to build capacity and conservancy institutions, empower community-led development and conservation, create partnerships to assist conservancies, promote businesses in and for conservancies, build peace and security with the conservancies, offer technical support for enhancing livelihoods and managing rangelands and wildlife, advocate for supportive government policies, and monitor conservancy impacts.

NRT’s HQ is at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and distances from one central HQ are too great to provide effective facilitation and mentoring of conservancy boards and managers, and high impact oversight of technical programmes across all conservancies. NRT has thus developed an operating model based on regional offices: based in Isiolo (NRT-Centre), Marsabit (NRT-Northeast), Lokichar (NRT-North Rift), Loisaba Laikipia (NRT-West), and Lamu (NRT-Coast). NRT has also established a wholly owned trading company, NRT Trading Ltd, to incubate and drive commercial developments in NRT and the conservancies.

The person:

We are looking for a special blend of deep, practical field-operational experience combined with multi-sectoral technical capacity, and an ability to operate with sensitivity and diplomacy in a remote and multi-ethnic enviroment. Based at NRT’s HQ in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the COO will have:

·      Over 15 years experience in practical operations management across a broad geography

·      A strong technical background in areas related to community-conservation

·      Proven organisational leadership skills in managing people, programmes and assets

·      Experience within large complex organisations requiring matrix management of technical and geographical teams across a broad landscape

·      Demonstrated experience in managing HR, procurement, admin and logistics teams

·      Knowledge of a working environment involving government, donors, NGOs and social enterprise

·      A personal style that inspires trust, team work, professionalism, cooperation and passion for NRT’s mission

·      Strategic thinking in a complex governance environment

·      Excellent writing and communication skills, and ability to develop effective relationships

·      Swahili langauge skills an advantage

·      A passion for community-led conservation and development in wilderness areas

Please express interest and request more information, or apply directly with a detailed CV, highlighting relevant experience, a daytime telephone contact, email address, and the names of three professional referees to reach us by close of business on Friday 30th December 2016 to:  [email protected] 

Only highly qualified candidates please.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.