Regional Director - Asia

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 10110 Bangkok, Thailand
Noel Keogh, Consultant
Role managed by
Noel Keogh Consultant

About the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.
IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous people’s organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.
Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.
IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Regional Director, Asia 

This senior leadership position provides an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the implementation of the IUCN Vision of a just world that values and conserves nature. In the achievement of IUCN’s Mission and Programme, the Regional Director, Asia, encourages the involvement of IUCN Member organizations, Commission members, governments, international cooperation and social actors. Scope under the Asia region includes country and programme offices in, among others, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Under the Regional Office Hubbing arrangement for IUCN offices, the Regional Director, Asia also serves as the Director – Regional Hub for Asia-Oceania and provides oversight to the Oceania Region for the purpose of improving efficiency, ensuring quality control and supporting growth and programmatic development.

Delegated Authority
The Regional Director, Asia, has delegated authority from the Director General as per the IUCN Delegation of Authority (DoA) Policy, current at any particular time. The incumbent is expected to exercise such authority with due diligence in full compliance with the letter, spirit and purpose of the DoA.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Regional Director, Asia, leads and directs the strategic development, positioning and effective implementation of conservation programmes in Asia, and engages on high-level dialogues with IUCN Member organizations, Commission members, governments, institutions, and civil society groups to advance the mission and mandate of the organization. In coordination with the Regional Director for Oceania, the Regional Director, Asia similarly leads the Asia-Oceania hub that provides support functions to the Oceania Regional Office based in Fiji. With a firm understanding of Asia, and international challenges and opportunities, the Regional Director, Asia drives the portfolio of the IUCN Secretariat in the region, in line with IUCN’s strategic plans and programmes. As the official representative in the region, she/he is responsible for maintaining a high and professional corporate profile for IUCN, particularly with IUCN Members, partners and stakeholder groups at different levels. This position requires an accomplished, credible and reliable senior leader with strong experience and a good understanding of environmental policy issues in the regional context. Fully supported by a range of local, regional and global experts, the Regional Director, Asia, has an institutional responsibility for oversight of a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from biodiversity and ecosystem-based resource management strategies and policies, to organisational management and financial planning, ensuring close coordination and communication with the Global Programmes, Regional Offices and Units of the IUCN Secretariat. As the senior leader of the Regional Office for Asia, she/he is equally accountable for financial, people and administrative resources and ensures the financial viability of the regional programme in line with IUCN policies and procedures. The Regional Director, Asia, ensures that all organisational activities are consistently performed under the principles of equity, fairness, inclusiveness and respect for the diversity of people.  


Leadership, Programme Management and Representation

  • Represent and promote the mission of IUCN in Asia in a manner that promotes IUCN’s mission, enhances the status of the Union and influences decision-making bodies, intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector

  • Provide strategic leadership and guidance in delivering programmes of the IUCN Secretariat in Asia and in supporting the Oceania region as per the Asia-Oceania hub structure

  • Oversee the preparation, implementation, evaluation and reporting of multi-year programmes for IUCN's work in Asia in line with IUCN's global programme and management priorities to ensure technical effectiveness, value and sustainability of the IUCN Programme of Work

  • Serve as a member of IUCN’s Leadership Team to establish and implement strategic decisions for the IUCN Secretariat

  • Establish programme and portfolio targets derived from IUCN’s quadrennial strategic programme

  • Establish diplomatic relations with governments and formalize such relationships by forging agreements that enhance active cooperation and collaboration between parties in conserving the integrity and diversity of nature

  • Establish priorities and remain accountable for the implementation of work plans to manage and mitigate strategic and operational risks associated with various programmatic engagements

  • Provide intellectual direction on regional and country-specific knowledge products and reports

  • Ensure programmes and projects within the region are delivered within time, quality, scope, specification, and budget as well as compliance with all appropriate stakeholder and donor requirements and reporting

Membership and Engagement

  • In collaboration with the IUCN Membership Unit and focal persons, implement the IUCN Membership Strategy and develop membership recruitment, engagement and retention plans

  • Engage current and potential members, governments and other partners at the national and regional levels within the framework of the IUCN mission and actively work to expand membership in the region

  • In collaboration with the different parts of IUCN – government and NGO Members, Council, National and Regional Committees of Members, Commission experts, and the Secretariat – work together to develop, implement and advance IUCN’s Programme of Work

  • Initiate, promote and facilitate initiatives and dialogues on key issues of conservation policy based on IUCN's regional and global priorities

  • Partner with national and regional IUCN Member Committees in preparing IUCN’s quadrennial programme

  • Develop, guide and implement medium and long-term business development strategies, establish new partnerships and identify additional potential areas of engagement for IUCN to strengthen the Asia portfolio following established policies and standards

  • Establish and maintain exceptional relations with the donor community in the region to obtain long-term engagement and support for IUCN’s regional programmes and to the activities of IUCN Members in promoting the incorporation of conservation principles into development programmes

  • Identify institutions – both public and private – with which IUCN can establish collaborative relationships in programmatic work in the future

  • Facilitate the necessary donor intelligence and determine the needs of relevant governments, organizations and institutions to plan and develop partnership areas for leveraging IUCN’s knowledge base and expertise in conservation projects and programmes

  • Build and nurture a coherent IUCN team within the Asia region and coordinate with the Oceania region to develop deeper collaboration opportunities that strengthen IUCN’s presence in these regions

Resources, Operational and Change Management

  • Lead and direct Asia Regional Office (ARO) and provide support to the Oceania Regional Office (ORO) within IUCN’s hub structure, including country offices and programmes in both regions, by cultivating and developing a dynamic, effective and committed team of professionals

  • In coordination with internal corporate units, both at the IUCN Headquarters and Regional levels, evaluate resource requirements (human, financial, administrative) to ensure available capacity and financial sustainability can respond to operational requirements of the Regional and Country Offices

  • Plan, manage and develop an agile workforce with the technical skills, competencies and potential to ensure optimum performance, while at the same time addressing workforce diversity, equity and equality

  • Develop and safeguard a professional work environment, ensuring that the highest standards of conduct are observed at all times

  • Maintain a positive work environment, free from harassment, that facilitates collaboration and information sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent

  • In coordination with global thematic and practice groups, develop and implement regulatory frameworks for programme operations

  • Develop and retain close coordination and knowledge exchange links with IUCN Headquarters and collectively determine the most beneficial contribution to IUCN's work globally and regionally

  • Direct the effective operation of the activities of the IUCN Secretariat in the region, including workforce resources and financial management, as well as the development of appropriate policies, procedures and control mechanisms

  • Lead and manage Regional and Country Office budgets and ensure financial sustainability within operational and programmatic areas


Required Competencies

  1. Ability and commitment to act in accordance with the core values of integrity and trust, transparency, professionalism and accountability, equality, inclusiveness and respect for diversity

  2. Unimpeachable integrity as evidenced by behaviour, communication style and way of handling ambiguous or difficult situations

  3. Demonstrated ability to manage and lead the work of the Secretariat with diverse skills, personalities, and backgrounds

  4. Clear commitment to fostering a culture of high performance and accountability, demonstrated in the ability to manage by results, differentiate performance and assertively give feedback and take decisive action when necessary

  5. Demonstrated experience building teams diverse in gender, nationality and background to achieve business results. This commitment to diversity and inclusion should be exemplified through staffing decisions and the ability to model behaviours that promote a more inclusive organizational culture

  6. Proven experience in maintaining and nurturing expert networks with demonstrated ability to handle politically and culturally sensitive issues

  7. Experience in identifying key issues in a complex situation, and consulting, gathering, and analysing relevant information before proposing and implementing decisive actions or recommendations

  8. Enthusiastic commitment and vision characterized by a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use and the ability to provide inspiration and strategic direction

  9. Good understanding of global affairs and experience with the workings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and governmental and non-governmental institutions

  10. Maturity, knowledge and experience in management and leadership abilities with a deep sense of self-awareness as evidenced by the ability to articulate one’s own strengths, weaknesses and impact on others

  11. Proven ability to effectively delegate, empower and motivate staff and others, and the ability to both plan and take action, keeping staff focused on priorities

  12. Experience developing teams and individuals and effectively leading improvement and change

Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s) in a development or science-related area including natural resources management, business management, public administration, project management, economics, conservation and sustainable development or relevant social sciences

  • A minimum of 15 years’ progressively responsible experience in strategic and managerial leadership, including governance of a complex multinational organization or programme in an area related to conservation and/or sustainable development, of which at least 10 years in Asia and/or Oceania

  • Proven experience in developing, managing, implementing and monitoring large projects and programmes related to conservation, biodiversity, natural resources and sustainable development

  • Demonstrated experience in resource mobilization, partnership, government relations, and operations management

  • Leadership experience in managing the performance of diverse and multi-cultural teams;

  • Experience in developing projects and programmes and ability to lead fund raising strategies and activities with the donor community, both public and private

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV and a supporting letter in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to  Peeui Sangalang at [email protected] or use the Application Form below on or before 5 May 2020. All information will be in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service.  We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by the UNFPA to undertake this assignment.

Application form