Program Manager, Rights & Communities

Wildlife Conservation Society
🌎 Location
💵 Salary

$58,000 - $75,000

🗓️ Posted

July 3, 2024

New York, NY

Program Overview

WCS recognizes that nature and people are intrinsically linked, and that biological and cultural diversity are interdependent, mutually reinforcing and often co-evolved. Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities frequently represent the most active defenders of nature. WCS participated in the development of a global report on the State of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Lands and Territories  which highlights the crucial role played by them and concludes that global biodiversity goals are not attainable without their involvement. We believe that respecting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities reflects our global commitment to equity and justice and is our best pathway to achieving durable conservation.

The Rights + Communities (R + C) program supports communities in over 50 countries to Secure Rights, Exercise Rights, and Benefit from Rights. In doing so it is guided by the United Nation (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted by the UN General Assembly and other international human rights instruments.  UNDRIP outlines rights to self-determination; free, prior, and informed consent; lands, territories, and natural resources; as well as cultural rights. WCS has developed a suite of human rights and safeguarding policies to further these instruments for the purpose of both donor compliance and the human rights-based approach to program implementation.  R + C is a dynamic and growing team that undertakes global initiatives and supports our field teams, country and regional teams, and thematic programs through a Human Rights Based Approach to Conservation and the application of Conservation Social Sciences to deliver equitable and just conservation outcomes.

Job Summary

This position provides program management and administrative support to the Global Rights + Communities Program. The position will implement and oversee knowledge management processes to enhance program efficiency and impact, facilitate effective internal communication within the program team and coordinate an overall approach for external communications with relevant WCS colleagues and external stakeholders. They will also assist the Global Rights + Communities Team as it builds capacity across the field programs to address environmental and social safeguards.

Major Responsibilities

Program Management:

  • Work with other departments to develop budgets and plans for the R+C program, including close liaison with the Budget Manager.
  • Monitor R+C Work plan, keep track of programmatic deliverables, liaise with the R+C Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Point, and coordinate meetings to ensure the R+C program is on track.
  • Prepare relevant analytical and programmatic reports for the Executive Director, R+C.
  • Draft and edit program-related documents, reports, proposals, and communication materials.
  • Gather team inputs on requests from various departments for final review and sign off by Executive Director or R+C Directors
  • Coordinate with other program managers in WCS in developing common products and support the development of R+C case studies and communication narratives.
  • Coordinate and support the Executive Director in international multilateral engagements and conferences.

Administrative Leadership:

  • Maintain the R+C team meeting agenda/calendar, draft meeting notes, track follow ups, and schedule meetings with other teams, brown bags, and externals as needed.
  • Coordinate logistical aspects of program activities, including meetings, workshops, and events.
  • Manage travel arrangements, accommodation, and other logistical details for program staff.
  • Track and manage budget spending, including receipts processing for reimbursement.
  • Provide to support the R + C Executive Director and Directors as needed.

Knowledge Management:

  • Curate knowledge management for key programmatic activities including the organizing and management of training materials, support for the Social Safeguards Management Team and Working Groups, administration of Practitioner Forums, and tracking applications to the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Establish and maintain a centralized repository for program-related documents, resources, and data.
  • Develop and implement knowledge-sharing mechanisms to enhance collaboration and learning within the program.
  • Coordinate participation and learning from the global Communities of Practice Forum.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of knowledge management processes and make recommendations for improvement.


  • Develop and implement a communication strategy to ensure effective internal and external communication.
  • Facilitate regular team meetings and ensure timely dissemination of information within the program.

Qualification Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as non-profit management, communications, international relations, human rights, development studies or other.
  • A minimum of 4 years of proven experience in program management, administration, or related roles.
  • Familiarity with knowledge management tools and platforms, especially SharePoint and Teams.
  • Some experience working with multicultural teams.
  • Effective interpersonal and communications skills, including writing, and editing.
  • Ability to organize multiple priorities and tasks including organizational and time-management skills.
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, and ability to adjust to changing program priorities and respond to opportunities.
  • Strength in working both independently and collaboratively as a member of a team.
  • Strong commitment to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s mission.

Additional Requirements:

  • Familiarity with the Asana system is desirable.
  • Some prior experience of working with communities on environmental and/or human rights issues is desirable.


$58,000 - $75,000


New York City area with occasional office visits to the Bronx Zoo. Flexible work arrangements are possible.

WCS is an equal opportunity employer, and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and engaging a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information or any other covered status or characteristic protected by applicable laws and regulations.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s membership in one of these protected categories in areas such as recruitment, selection, job assignment, supervision, training, promotions, job grading, transfers, termination, compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, WCS sponsored recreational activities and facilities.

Note that the salary offer will reflect the selected candidate’s individual experiences, skills and qualifications and internal equity.

Wildlife Conservation Society

Program Manager, Rights & Communities

$58,000 - $75,000


New York, NY





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