TOR - Masai Steppe Heartland Director

4 August 2011

Position Title:

Masai Steppe Heartland Director



Salary Range:



Makuyuni and Arusha, Tanzania





Regional Director, Eastern Africa




HL Program/FA staff

Position Summary:

This senior position will be responsible for providing overall leadership, management and accountability for performance of AWF’s conservation programs in Masai Steppe Heartland, Northern Tanzania. The Heartland is an important biodiversity area and forms part of the northern tourism circuit of Tanzania with parks such as Tarangire and Lake Manyara. It is inhabited predominantly by Maasai pastoralists whose main livelihood is livestock keeping. This position will report to the Regional Director, Eastern Africa and Vice President, Program Operations through AWF’s established performance reporting mechanisms


The successful candidate will be expected to a highly visible individual in the conservation sector able to manage programs with ecological, social, political, cultural and economic complexities. He/she will also be principally responsible for managing the Scaling up Conservation and Livelihood Efforts in northern Tanzania (SCALE) program funded by USAID Tanzania that seeks to deliver transformational conservation and economic impacts in the wider Tarangire-Manyara-Kilimanjaro-Natron ecosystem (TMKNE) through innovation, the replication of lessons learned, and a strong emphasis on building the capacity of local actors. He/she should have good understanding of Maasai and other cultures within the Heartland and their linkages to conservation as well as in-depth understanding of the following major issues in the landscape: pastoralism, land tenure, gender integration and empowerment, integration of population, health and environment, climate change and agricultural value chains among others.  He/she should have demonstrated experience in the establishment process of wildlife management areas which is the national policy for managing wildlife outside national parks in Tanzania. He/she is expected to be results oriented and able to provide leadership to a team of highly qualified professionals to achieve results and meet program targets and goals. He/she will be expected to exercise a high degree of decision making and sound judgment.



essential Duties: 


Work with Vice President Program Operations, Thematic Directors and Regional Director to design heartland strategies, define conservation actions that will deliver sustainable conservation, improved livelihoods and other program level goals;


Provide leadership to implement field-based conservation actions in the Heartland, focused on strengthening the management of conservation areas and related species; increasing livelihood opportunities in community areas with increased productivity in agro-pastoral zones; building capacity of stakeholders; advocating for policy reforms; and adapting/mitigating impacts of climate change.


Provide leadership for heartland–wide programs especially donor funded projects like USAID-SCALES to deliver program goals, objectives and results;


Represent AWF at national, district and provincial government levels and with donors to ensure effective collaboration;


Develop excellent working relationships with major stakeholder groups, national governments, protected area authorities, local government, community and private sector, in the region;


Manage day-to-day operations of the Heartland program, which includes: effective team management, effective administration and tracking of project finances, program monitoring and evaluation, timely donor reporting, and effective coordination and cooperation between project partners among others;


Build and manage a team of professional staff; ensure roles & responsibilities are clearly defined and performance is managed with the required focus and discipline;


Work with AWF’s Finance Department to develop and track working annual budgets;


Participate in the development and design of proposals for submission to key donors for support of the program; 


Any other duties as assigned by supervisor 




  • Education


Post graduate qualification (MSc or PhD) in natural sciences, social science, economics or any other field directly related to conservation;


  • Experience


Minimum 7+ years of proven managerial, administrative and field experience in conservation and development;

  • Skills & Knowledge


Knowledge, skills, proven experience in leading implementation of large and complex USAID funded projects as well as other donor funded projects in  Tanzania or East Africa or across Africa;


Results focused orientation with proven track record of delivery


Posses sound judgment and strong decision making skills


Proven ability in managing and motivate a highly qualified team of professionals in different fields


Good understanding of financial management and budgeting


Required proficiency in both English and Swahili (spoken and written);


Proven experience leading and managing large complex projects budgets, delivering and reporting results, and ensuring compliance with donor requirements e.g. USAID for implementation;


Demonstrated ability to build capacity of multiple stakeholders to engage in landscape planning and management;


Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to build coalitions, negotiate, and manage conflict situations;


Outstanding communication skills with ability to clarify vision and strategy


Experience working with different levels of government (especially senior levels) and partners in Tanzania;


Genuine respect for the skills and perspectives of communities, partner organizations and the private sector;


Sound understanding of and experience implementing the science of landscape-level conservation approaches; familiarity with innovative methods, including community conservation and conservation enterprises; as well as integration of conservation with health, population, agriculture and gender dimensions.


Good report writing skills and working knowledge of computers and MS Office software package;


Sound understanding and motivational fit in conservation


Commitment to AWF and its mission including readiness to relocate to other heartlands, as may be required, throughout the continent.



How to Apply: 

If your background, experience and competencies match the above specifications please send a cover letter, statement of motivation and a detailed CV indicating your daytime telephone numbers, address and names of three referees to Senior Human Resources Officer at Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.