Wetlands International is recruiting a European Programme Manager


Reporting to:                 The Board of Wetlands International – European Association

Full-time/Part-time:      Full-time position 36 hours per week

Location:                         Based in Brussels and/ or Ede-Wageningen, the Netherlands (presence in both  locations is required; the balance of this is negotiable)

Salary:                              € 3.858 – € 4.199 (fulltime, depending on experience and qualifications)



Established in September 2013, the Wetlands International – European Association brings together 8 European NGO[1] members, working together to raise awareness about wetland ecosystems and to advocate the sustainable use of wetlands for people and nature, in particular by linking science, policy and practice. Wetlands International – European Association is the European legal entity of Wetlands International, the only global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands such as lakes, marshes and rivers. Wetlands International – European Association focuses on EU-level advocacy because, as one of the biggest economies in the world, as well as the biggest donor of development aid, the EU can act as a driver of wetland degradation or as an agent of change, rehabilitation and sustainability, domestically and around the world. The work undertaken by Wetlands International – European Association contributes and is complementary to the global Wetlands International strategy, summarised in the Wetlands International Strategic Intent 2015-2025.

The European Association has already been successful in establishing its networks and niche in the region and in stimulating joint activities and policy influence. A draft Regional (European) Strategy has been developed. A substantial two-year programme and work plan has been prepared and is budgeted from January 2016, which includes provision for significant development of the team, including policy/advocacy, technical and support staff. We now seek to engage a Programme Manager to further develop, drive and coordinate the programme.


Working relations

INSIDE Wetlands International:

European Association member representatives, CEO, COO, policy, advocacy and communications and senior technical team of Wetlands International Head Office, associate experts


OUTSIDE Wetlands International:

EU representatives, governmental and political representatives; partner organizations and corporates; donors; consultants

For reasons of efficiency and coherence, the Association applies the same terms and conditions of employment as the Wetlands International global Foundation.


Overall purpose of job

The European Programme Manager leads and coordinates the work of the Association, acting as the principal representative of Wetlands International for the region and is responsible for the delivery of the European Strategy and Programme. The focus of the Programme Manager is on external representation and policy influence as well as programme and resource development, while ensuring high standards in finance, project management, administration and personnel management in the Association office.



The European Programme Manager is an inspirational leader who enables and supports members of the European Association and staff, to pursue the objectives of Wetlands International. He/she  combines strategic vision with organizational management and development skills. Through influencing, partnerships and other initiatives, the Programme Manager brings results and builds the profile and credibility of the organisation in the region.

Main duties

  1. As Head of Office for the European Programme, oversee the development and implementation of the Wetlands International – European Association Programme goals and strategy;
  2. Participate as a member of the Global Board of Wetlands International (includes all Heads of Office from the global network and the CEO and COO);
  3. Represent and promote the Association and Wetlands International with external partners and networks;
  4. Identify and build relationships with key decision makers;
  5. Track relevant policy and investment developments and act as a key point of contact and source of information for Wetlands International – European Association members on the development of key wetland policies and opportunities for national advocacy
  6. Carry out, commission and coordinate policy analysis and advocacy activities together with partners, according to strategic priorities;
  7. Facilitate communications and collaboration amongst the members of the Association and associated networks; helping to align advocacy and communication strategies with international stakeholders such as civil society, government and business;
  8. Coordinate programme development, communications and advocacy activities with others in Wetlands International’s network of offices;
  9. Act as executive to the Board of the Association responsible for workplans, budgeting and financial management, staff management; reporting; in accordance with the Global Network Partnership Agreement;
  10. Develop new initiatives and partnerships that contribute to the Association’s Strategy; securing resources for implementation of the programme of work together with members of the Association, other partners and the Wetlands International network ;

In carrying out the duties, the Programme Manager aims to enable the Association to:

  1. Raise awareness of European policy and decision makers regarding the values of wetland ecosystems;
  2. Promote the integration of wetland-related concerns into relevant sectoral policies of the European Union and promote synergies and policy coherence;
  3. Promote investments for the conservation and restoration of wetland ecosystems;
  4. Address the impact of EU policies on wetlands in other regions of the globe, and strive to ensure that international or third-country policies do not undermine the success of EU environmental legislation.
  5. Establish the Association as a well-known, reputable and influential organisation amongst relevant European institutions, governments and stakeholders.

Skills and experience

  1. Master level qualifications and/ or 10 years working experience in a relevant field
  2. Demonstrable working experience in undertaking international level advocacy, media and communications in a relevant field, in Brussels and in the European region;
  3. Active, relevant policy and technical networks;
  4. Experience of development and management of strategic organisational partnerships, including internationally;
  5. Demonstrable track record in strategic planning and management of programmes directly and through facilitating others. Campaign experience is also an advantage;
  6. An excellent command of written and spoken English and able to operate in one or more additional European language (preferably French);
  7. Good interpersonal, team-building, networking and capacity building skills, demonstrating awareness and respect of different cultures;
  8. Familiarity and interest in issues related to water resource management, biodiversity, environment and development;
  9. Prepared to travel frequently internationally.

To apply for this vacancy, please send us a resume and an application letter indicating your motivation to Silva Paronakian, HR Officer (silva.paronakian@wetlands.org ). Please mark in the subject: “Application European Programme Manager”. Questions about the vacancy and/or procedure can also be sent to this email address. The closing date is 10 January 2016.

 More information on the website: www.wetlands.org

[1] Centro Ibérico de Restauración Fluvial (Spain), Centro Italiano per la Riqualificazione Fluviale (CIRF), Centrum Ochrony Mokradel (Poland), EuroNatur (Germany), Tour du Valat (France), Sustainable Eel Group (UK), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (UK) and the Zoological Society of London (UK).