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Operations Manager, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, DRC
Title: Operations Manager, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Location: Epulu, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR), Democratic Republic of Congo
Reports To: OWR Director
Direct Reports: All staff in Operations Unit
Start date: January 2020
Duration: Minimum 2 years
The purpose of this post is to oversee the smooth running of all Reserve operations and logistics.
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. The Operations Manager is one of six Heads of Department in the RMU that report directly to the Reserve Director.
The Operations Manager is based permanently on-site at the OWR headquarters in Epulu, Ituri Province. The Reserve has a large staff of around 300. He/she will be responsible for all operations in the Reserve: including procurement and logistics, fleet management (9 vehicles, 1 truck and a future aircraft purchase), stores and inventories, telecommunications, and infrastructure maintenance and construction.
The OWR presents a challenging environment and is faced with a number of threats to its biodiversity and operations, including poaching, gold mining, and sporadic insecurity from armed groups. The new management structure provides a unique opportunity and mandate with which to address these challenges.
Candidates will need to clearly demonstrate they have the necessary experience and leadership skills with which to manage such a large and complex operation.
• Ensure all purchasing and procurement for the OWR comply with Standard Operating Procedures and WCS Policies
• Establish and supervise the implementation of management and inventory systems for equipment and consumables (food and fuel)
• Prepare quarterly purchase plans
• Supervise all construction projects
• Coordinate and approve all transportation, movements and use of fleet by OWR personnel, partners and visitors, in accordance with security protocols
• Oversee maintenance and management of the air strip, roads and access points
• Ensure all internet and communications system (VSAT, HF, VHF, GPS tracking devices) are functional at all times and utilised in accordance with established procedures
• Ensure all permits, licences and authorisations for aviation and telecommunications are up to date
• Oversee any importation of OWR equipment into the DRC and, in coordination with the WCS office in Kinshasa, ensure necessary custom exemptions are obtained
• Oversee the management and maintenance of the OWR dispensary
• Supervise the OWR garage and the smooth functioning of all generators, water and electricty supplies
• Evaluate, build, mentor and manage national capacity to meet the needs of the Operations Unit
• Direct supervision of all staff in the Operations Unit
• Develop and disseminate procedures and policies as necessary, and as agreed with the Reserve Director, on the utilisation of equipment and infrastructure
• Prepare monthly and quarterly progress reports
• Participate in weekly RMU meetings with the Reserve Director
• University degreee in management, engineering or a related field
• At least 10 years of experience in Africa in construction, fleet management and logistics
• Excellent organizational skills with a practical hands-on attitude to work
• Proven experience of working with international organizations or private sector
• Good written and oral communications
• Good IT skills with experience in specific inventory systems and software an advantage
• Fluency in French and English (with Swahili preferred)
• Proven experience of working in a multicultural environment
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: [email protected]. Please include “Operations Manager 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: [email protected]
Application Deadline: 31 December 2019
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. 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.
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.
Global Conservation Full-Time