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Programme Director – Southeast Asia


Wetlands International is seeking an enthusiastic and qualified individual with passion and commitment to nature conservation to join our team as Programme Director – Southeast Asia. Her/his role will be to spearhead the development of its programme in Southeast Asia, a region of great ecological, cultural, economic and social diversity.

Wetlands International ( is an independent, not-for-profit, global organisation supported by government membership from around the world. We work through 20 offices in Africa, South America, South, East and North Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Oceania, with a head office in the Netherlands. Our work is supported by extensive Specialist Expert Network and tens of thousands of volunteers.

Wetlands international’s work ranges from research and community-based field projects to advocacy and engagement with governments, corporate and international policy fora and conventions.  Wetlands International principally works through partnerships. The organisation is a source of “best-informed” opinion on key issues affecting wetlands and priority actions for their conservation and wise use, drawing on scientific analyses and our own experience in global and national conservation and natural resource management programmes. In doing this work, we are responsive to the needs expressed by governments, industry sectors, local communities and other stakeholders.

Our long-term vision is that wetlands and water resources are conserved and managed for their full range of values and services, benefiting biodiversity and human well-being.

The organisation has adopted a Strategic Intent for 2005-2014 and an associated Implementation Plan that unites the network of offices around common priorities. There are many opportunities for Wetlands International to develop national, regional and global initiatives and strategic partnerships with other organisations, to achieve its wetland conservation and wise use goals.


Wetlands International is seeking an enthusiastic and qualified individual with passion and commitment to nature conservation to join our team. Her/his role will be to spearhead the development of its programme in Southeast Asia, a region of great ecological, cultural, economic and social diversity.


In close coordination with the heads of offices (Malaysia and Thailand), the Programme Director will be responsible for the strategic planning and development of the Wetlands International programme in Southeast Asia (current focal countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand), including the coordination of programme and project design and management; the facilitation of institutional partnerships; the mobilisation and management of human and financial resources.


  1. Draw up quarterly and annual work plans (separating institutional development and programmatic development tasks) for this TOR under supervision of the CEO
  2. Guide and support the WI Thailand and Malaysia offices in all aspects of decision-making and measures necessary to successfully establish and implement the major projects.
  3. Oversee the implementation of projects by WI Malaysia (in Malaysia, Brunei and Cambodia), through coordination of the staff team and engagement and management of consultants, and timely submission of reports.
  4. Oversee project finances and reporting from all Wetlands International operations from the two offices (Malaysia and Thailand), to ensure high standards.
  5. Review the setup (institutional and financial) of the current WI operations in the Southeast Asian operations and to present a strategic proposal to the Board on the measures needed to make the offices/ operations more visible, viable and sustainable, including a realistic budget.
  6. Assist the Board of WI Malaysia in recruiting additional board members.
  7. Represent WI as appropriate with donors and partners in the interests of programme development and implementation, in support of current staff.
  8. Resource development: Identify and further explore emerging project opportunities in the region in line with WI’s global Strategy and global programmes, including the Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme, the Shell partnership and our flyways initiatives, in particular. Collaborative engagement with other WI offices and headquarters in the development and submission of significant project proposals. Additional general resource development.
  9. Additionally identify and develop strategic partnerships/ alliances with relevant institutions whilst managing existing partnerships.
  10. Analyse and recommend options for further enhancing WI’s institutional presence and niche in mainland SE Asia as part of the Strategy review process and OD plan development process.



Interested applicants should possess the following:

  • A higher University degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Development studies, Management, Conservation biology, landscape ecology, marine sciences, natural resource management etc.) or a Bachelors degree with equivalent experience.
  • At least 10 years of experience in environmental and/or community development work (including at least 3 years in a senior management capacity), with a working knowledge and understanding of issues related to wetlands. Specific experience on issues related to peatlands and mangroves would be an asset.
  • Must have demonstrated capacity to conceptualize and carry through complex and innovative projects from beginning to end, preferably including innovative forms of communications and convening.
  • Proven leadership and management skills, with experience in supervising staff, working with consultants, including a proven ability to work on a variety of tasks simultaneously, and to perform under pressure
  • Have a demonstrated ability to make sound decisions based on analysis, consultation with others, experience, and judgement
  • Desire to work in a collegial fashion as part of a team, along with ability to motivate staff and teams

·         Have a good knowledge of Southeast Asian wetland issues a good understanding and respect of the diverse cultures.

·         Have experience in and knowledge of regional processes and institutions in environmental management in the region;

  • Demonstrated successful experience in project development, fund raising and donor liaison  
  • Excellent inter-personal and communications skills and fluent in English (both oral and written). Knowledge of additional languages spoken in Southeast Asia would be an asset.
  • Prepared to travel extensively within and outside the region.



Interested applicants are required to submit the following documents when making the application.

1. A one-page cover note indicating your motivation for this position

2. An updated CV along with contact details (email, address and telephone number) of two people who we can contact for a reference check.

All applications should be made via email and submitted to in MSWord (97-2003 compatible formats). Please ensure that all applications are submitted by 18 June 2010. The vacancy closes at midnight (GMT +8) and applications will not be accepted after the closing date. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Jobs of Wetlands International globally

Squirrel, Kpg Linting, Johor

Working for Wetlands

Wetlands International currently has about 150 members of staff working worldwide at our offices. A photo of our staff would reflect that we are indeed a global organisation. At our regional and national offices, almost all the staff are local residents. We are proud to be an organisation where people from various parts of the world, despite their wide variation in lingual, religious and cultural backgrounds, are working together in such good harmony.

Many of our staff members are experts in technical and social issues related to wetlands. We employ hydrologists, biologists, economists and social science and communication experts. Being an organisation that mainly works on projects, we also employ project managers with the necessary experience needed in our line of work and last but not least the crucial finance and operations staff.

Besides paid staff, we also offer job opportunities within our offices for interns and volunteers who wish to support our work and at the same time get on the job experience. Positions for volunteers and interns are not always advertised, so we welcome anyone interested to contact us directly if they wish to support our projects.