SANCCOB, a leading marine conservation non-profit organisation, seeks to employ a Chief Executive Officer to provide overall accountability for the governance, strategic direction, promotion and performance of the organisation. The Chief Executive Officer will also ensure the financial health and sustainability of SANCCOB and will report to the Board of Directors.

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Brief history of SANCCOB

Ms. Althea Westphal established the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in 1968 as a result of a series of oil spills, which had occurred along the South African coastline. Since its establishment, SANCCOB has responded to every major oil spill off the South African coast, a spill on Tristan da Cunha and one in Namibia.

During the first few decades of SANCCOB’s existence, the focus was largely on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds. This focus has remained unchanged but SANCCOB has dramatically increased its scope of work over the last 10 years, with emphasis on the last five years with conservation, research, preparedness, education and seabird colony work showing an exponential growth. SANCCOB has evolved from an organisation responding to threats and disasters affecting seabirds to a leading organisation in proactive conservation to save and protect southern Africa’s seabirds.

SANCCOB also operates two state-of-the-art rehabilitation facilities in South Africa, one in Cape Town and one in Gqeberha.


SANCCOB’s strategy for the next five years will focus on delivering five key outcomes.

  1. Seabird populations bolstered through successful rehabilitation.
  2. Seabird population bolstered through the release of hand-reared wild origin chicks.
  3. Seabird colonies protected by reducing mortality, increasing breeding success and survival by addressing colony threats such as disease, predation and extreme weather events.
  4. The effects of oil on wildlife mitigated through oil spill prevention, preparedness and response.
  5. Food availability for seabirds increased, contributing towards conservation benefits.

To achieve these outcomes, SANCCOB will need to develop and pursue additional, alternative and creative solutions to address the challenges the seabird species we work with face.

Job description

The Chief Executive Officer reports directly to the SANCCOB Board of Directors and is an ex officio member of the Board. The Chief Executive Officer will provide overall strategic leadership, development and oversight of the implementation of conservation initiatives and funding partnerships that will advance SANCCOB’s mission. The Chief Executive Officer will ensure the financial health and sustainability of SANCCOB, together with the Board of Directors. The Chief Executive Officer will be evaluated by the Board of Directors, or such Director/s as are nominated by the Board, against the following key deliverables:

  • Provide overall strategic leadership and management of the organisation including its various programmes and initiatives.
  • Implement the current strategy to address the vision and mandate of the organisation to achieve maximum impact.
  • Review the strategy at the end of the implementation cycle or when requested by the Board of Directors. The strategy should differentiate SANCCOB from other relevant organisations with similar objectives.
  • Establish wide recognition for SANCCOB as a thought leader in the relevant sectors.
  • Develop new and existing strategic linkages with other relevant organisations locally and internationally, to ensure a strong partner-based approach to addressing relevant marine conservation issues.
  • Ensure that regular communication strategies with key partners are in place.
  • Provide oversight and leadership in the design, contracting and construction of new SANCCOB facilities.
  • Ensure efficient and effective management systems to enable delivery of conservation targets such as clear organisational policies, procedures, performance management and delegated authority.
  • Lead and develop SANCCOB’s senior management team and ensure effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate programme components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the Board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Overall responsibility for financial sustainability of SANCCOB through effective development and management of budgets, and relevant approvals for expenditure (within delegated authority policy).
  • Manage reporting and alignment of projects, programmes and initiatives. Ensure that these feed effectively into the organisational reporting structures.
  • Ensure the implementation of appropriate monitoring and evaluation process to enable full accountability against pre-identified targets.
  • Development and mentorship of the staff.
  • Oversee performance appraisal process of all staff.
  • Identify new and upcoming talent to accelerate transformation.
  • Support and mentor key staff.
  • Act as lead spokesperson for the organisation.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors.
  • Convene quarterly board meetings as well as such special Board and committee meetings as may be requested by the Chairperson of the Board from time to time.
  • Prepare and timeously circulate board and committee information packs.
  • Serve as Ex-officio on the Board and each committee thereof.
  • Seek and build Board involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing programmes as well as for future programmes.
  • Ensure the welfare of staff, volunteers, interns and visitors
  • Protect the living collection.
  • Ensure the assets are maintained appropriately
  • The list of tasks and/or duties and responsibilities is not exhaustive.


 Education and Experience

  • A veterinary degree or a minimum of a post graduate qualification (or equivalent) in conservation or business management.
  • A demonstrated understanding and work-experience in the relevant NGO and environmental sector in South Africa.
  • At least 8 years of senior management experience, interacting with a Board of Directors, managing a diverse staff component, and monitoring and evaluating programmes and budgets with a similar level of complexity as SANCCOB.
  • Sound knowledge and success with fundraising in the NGO sector.
  • Proven track record of engaging, supporting and motivating organisations and people, to embed change, encourage forward-thinking and deliver results over the short, medium, and long term.
  • Experience in marketing, public relations, and in working with development staff to unlock funding.
  • Passion for seabirds and marine conservation, with a mission-driven work ethic and a positive attitude.
  • Strong coordination and administrative management capabilities.
  • A good understanding of the broad range of conservation projects undertaken by SANCCOB and knowledge of the relevant institutional landscape in South Africa.
  • Ability to inspire people (in government, business and civil society) to act on the challenges that we face together.


  • Demonstrated writing and editing skills.
  • Capacity to act as a spokesperson on SANCCOB’s initiatives and ability to convey complex environmental issues in a powerful way to diverse audiences.
  • A strong command of English as a working language is essential: written and spoken capability in at least one other official South African language will be an advantage.

How to Apply

  • Please send your CV (max. 3 pages) and a letter of motivation for attention: the Chief Executive Officer to
  • Closing date for applications: Friday, 2 July 2021 by 17h00

Please note that we do not accept telephonic applications and will only correspond with applicants chosen for interviews.