Job Opportunity: SMART Partnership Program Manager

The SMART Partnership is a coalition of global conservation organizations, government partners, and individuals committed to conserving biodiversity, reducing the impacts of the illegal trade in natural resources, strengthening conservation law enforcement, and enhancing the management of conservation areas. The SMART Partnership is recruiting Program Manager to play a leading role in future development of SMART, support of Partnership activities, and ensuring the effectiveness SMART-based conservation initiatives. 

Date published: 2019/11/21

Bronx Zoo

Global Conservation Full-Time


Job Description

Country Program/Sector: Office of Strategic Technology, GCP

Position Type: Full-time

Expected travel: As required to field and to donor/technical meetings as needed/possible

Organization Background:

The Wildlife Conservation Society (“WCS”) is a New York not-for-profit corporation founded by statute in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through research, science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. That mission is achieved through our global conservation programs (WCS currently oversees a portfolio of more than 500 conservation projects in 65 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America, and the oceans between them) and through the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks–the Bronx Zoo; the New York Aquarium; and the Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park Zoos (the City Zoos)

Program Overview: SMART

The SMART Partnership is a coalition of global conservation organizations, government partners, and individuals committed to conserving biodiversity, reducing the impacts of the illegal trade in natural resources, strengthening conservation law enforcement, and enhancing the management of conservation areas. Central to the Partnership is the SMART software platform, which has become the global leader in protected area management solutions (more than 800 sites in 60+ countries), offering an integrated suite of powerful tools and services to help conservation practitioners improve management effectiveness and better protect wildlife.

The SMART Partnership’s mission is to protect wildlife by empowering protected areas practitioners with the technology, services, and skills necessary to make better use of existing resources. The Partnership develops and maintains the SMART software application, promotes the use of SMART software and associated best practices for protected area management, provides tools to secure adoption of SMART by implementing agencies, collaborates with other related and complementary initiatives, develops standards for protected area operation, and facilitates outreach and coordination between existing and potential SMART users. The role of the SMART Partnership is to support the implementation, sustainability and effective use of SMART at site and national levels. While all SMART Partnership members are engaged in implementing SMART at various sites around the world, Partnership activities typically do not include site-level SMART implementation, other than facilitation and support of SMART training(s). A Strategic Plan is in place which outlines the core activities to be undertaken by the Partnership.        

Job Summary:

The SMART Partnership Program Manager is integral to the success of the SMART Partnership and the implementation of SMART globally. This position plays a leading role in future development of SMART, support of Partnership activities, and ensuring the effectiveness SMART-based conservation initiatives. The Program Manager reports directly to the SMART Partnership Steering Committee, a group composed of representatives from each of the SMART Partnership members. While the Program Manager reports to the Steering Committee, the position is based at the headquarters of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York and is a WCS employee.

The SMART Partnership Program Manager position will have four main objectives:

  1. Support and contribute to the future development of SMARTsoftware;
  2. Facilitate adoption of SMART by implementing agencies and organizations through the development of supporting tools, materials and training;
  3. Identify and secure funding for Partnership activities as outlined in the SMART Strategic Plan;
  4. Coordinate and support implementation of SMART Partnership activities as outlined in the SMART Strategic Plan.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Development and implementation of SMART

  • In collaboration with SMART User Council and SMART Chief Technology Officer, contribute to ongoing and future development of SMART software.

  • Support internal and field testing of new software functionality.

  • Lead development of materials and processes designed to facilitate SMART adoption (e.g., implementation guides, training manual).

  • Conduct SMART “Training of Trainers” classes for SMART Partnership members and partners.

  • In liaison with SMART Chief Technology Officer, develop and manage contracts with developers.

Coordinating the global SMART community

  • Manage support structures for SMART users, including: providing remote support for SMART users; monitoring SMART community forum and email address; providing answers/technical support; guiding SMART Support services

  • Serve as the initial point of contact for potential SMART users and organizations that are not current SMART Partners.

  • Track user engagement and uptake and manage the SMART User survey.

  • Initiate, test, and expand engagement mechanisms for the global SMART user community.

  • Develop approaches that enable appropriate SMART training can be delivered to all SMART users.

  • Create incentive mechanisms for SMART users to continue to grow their competencies.

  • Develop mechanisms to track user and implementation quality.

Management and administration

  • Ensure strong and transparent governance of the SMART Partnership through scheduling and minuting regular meetings, maintaining partnership documentation and reporting on progress against goals.

  • Maintain and update the SMART Partnership Membership Agreement.

  • Maintain and update the SMART Partnership’s Strategic Plan, budget and expenditures.

  • Organize and help facilitate an annual in-person Steering Committee meeting.

  • Support the SMART Councils (e.g., User Council, Technology Council), including serving ex-officio on each Council and ensuring all Councils have the resources and capacity to deliver on agreed quarterly outcomes.

  • Supporting the monitoring and evaluation of SMART.

  • Support and maintain active dialogue among Partnership Members and between SMART Partnership Members and donors concerning implementation of Strategic Plan activities and other SMART-related activities.

  • Actively engage new SMART Partners and coordinate incoming enquiries from prospective partners and other parties interested in SMART.

Marketing, communications and outreach

  • Chair and manage the Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Council.

  • Manage marketing and communication activities, including materials development, visibility opportunities, and outreach and information sharing activities.

  • Develop content for and produce marketing pieces (e.g. annual report, PowerPoints, brochures).

  • Manage and keep current the SMART Partnership website.

  • Respond to and/or coordinate communications and media opportunities that arise.

Fundraising and grants management

  • Identify new funding sources for implementation of Partnership activities as outlined in the SMART Strategic Plan and as agreed by the SMART Steering Committee.

  • Raise necessary funds to implement Partnership activities defined in the SMART Strategic Plan, including the coordination of proposals and reports in collaboration with the relevant SMART Partners and Councils.
  • Manage all grants and activities of the SMART Partnership according to budget, timelines and deliverables/agreed outcomes.

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Qualification Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

  • An understanding of, and commitment to, conservation of wildlife and wildlands.
  • 3+ years experience with applied wildlife conservation or conservation-relevant research; Master's degree in a relevant field (PhD an advantage) or equivalent combination of experience and education.
  • Strong computer skills; desktop publishing, GIS and/or database experience an advantage.
  • Technical knowledge of SMART, site-based law enforcement, other relevant technology, and/or related field activities.
  • Fluent spoken and written English. Other languages an advantage.
  • Excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in grant writing and reporting.
  • Experience working in multicultural environments.
  • Ability to manage large multi-partner projects. 
  • Candidate must have permission to work in the United States.

Application Process:

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by sending an application letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references. 

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 supporting 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 age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations

Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted for interview.