Executive Director - WASCAL

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Executive Director - WASCAL

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The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), as an intergovernmental organization, is looking for an EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to provide intellectual leadership in the West Africa region for its integrated research and capacity building on social, economic and environmental themes in addressing sustainable development and climate change issues.

WASCAL is a leading academic and trans-disciplinary research organization serving policymakers in West Africa with science-based advice on adaptation to climate change of land use and management. It cooperates nearly with all ECOWAS countries and with many agencies and universities in the region, providing a knowledge platform of excellence for its partners. WASCAL is also closely linked with other international organizations in its mandate zone.

Job Purpose

The Executive Director of WASCAL shall provide intellectual leadership to integrated research on social, economic, biological, agricultural and physical themes in addressing climate change issues of central importance in the development of West Africa. He/She will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Governing Board and the Funders.



Key duties and responsibilities


  • Implement the vision and mission of WASCAL
  • Implement the Governing Board’s decisions on all aspects of the organization’s activities.
  • Develop, under the guidance of the Governing Board, the necessary strategic plan of WASCAL
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Governing Board of internal and external issues that affect the organization
  • Foster effective teamwork between the Governing Board and the office of the Executive Director and between the Executive Director, management and other staff
  • Represent the organization at all official functions, conferences, seminars, etc.
  • Provide strategic direction for the management of the organization
  • Develop and execute a strategic plan for fund-raising and resource mobilization
  • Provide strategic direction in the management and dissemination of research output for the benefit of member countries.
  • Ensure that WASCAL plays a transformative role in a changing environment

Operational planning and management

  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization in the longer, medium and short term
  • Ensure that the operations of the organization meet the expectations of the Governing Board and Funders and all stakeholders
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day management and operation of the organization
  • Draft policies for the approval of the governing board and prepare procedures to implement the organizational policies; review existing policies and recommend changes to the Board as appropriate
  • Enter into contractual relations on behalf of the organization for the purpose of executing its programmes.
  • Ensure the timely preparation and submission of all financial and management reports to the governing board and funders

Program planning and management

  • Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services
  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities of the Governing Board and funders
  • Monitor the day-to-day delivery of the programs and services of the organization to maintain or improve quality
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of special projects



Human resources planning and management

  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery
  • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices including the development of job description for all staff
  • Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations
  • Recruit, interview and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization’s mission
  • Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting annual performance reviews
  • Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance
  • Discipline or release staff in accordance with the provisions in the staff policy or the labour law of the member country as it may apply.

Financial planning and management

  • Work with staff and the Governing Board (Finance and Audit Committee) to prepare comprehensive annual budgets
  • Work with the Governing Board to secure adequate funding for the operation of the organization
  • Research funding sources, oversee the development of fund raising plans and write funding proposals to increase the funds of the organization
  • Secure funds for WASCAL through both international and local fundraising activities
  • Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Governing Board
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization
  • Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditures of the organization
  • Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments

Desired Personal Characteristics

The Executive Director should demonstrate competence in the following:

  • Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices, and ensure that his/her own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve operations of the organization and to create new opportunities
  • Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Plan: Determine strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create and implement action plans, and evaluate the processes and results.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Think Strategically: Assess options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the organization.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French



Qualification Required & Experience

  • PhD or its equivalent and a strong academic record in social, economic and environmental sciences of sustainable development and climate change including areas like geography, geosciences, economics, agriculture and natural resources management, law, engineering or closely related fields,
  • Ten (10) or more years work experience of which at least Five (5) years in a regional or international organization in a related field,
  • Broad experience in interdisciplinary development research and strong strategic and analytical capacities,
  • Experience in providing technical support, advisory services and input to policy development processes,
  • Proven active role in building and maintaining regional and international interdisciplinary research networks,
  • Proven competence and expertise in successful fundraising and mobilization of resources

Terms and Conditions

The Executive Director will be appointed for a term of up to four years starting from 1st of January 2024, with the possibility of renewal. WASCAL offers an attractive remuneration package for the Executive Director position and a challenging working environment.

Location: Accra

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