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Uganda Conservation Foundation

Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) is a UK-registered charity with a Ugandan non-profit branch registered as Uganda Conservation (U) Ltd. We were formed in 2001 and is governed in the UK by a volunteer Board of Trustees, and in Uganda by a volunteer Board of Directors, supported by the General Manager and a team of permanent and project employees, the majority of whom are Ugandan.

The organisation is dedicated to its mission of contributing to the enabling and developing of regional economies, in and around Uganda. We do so by supporting and implementing practical conservation and community interventions, influencing policy-makers and engaging with the public.

Over the past seventeen years, UCF has worked closely with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), primarily across Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls conservation areas, the two biggest such areas in the country. Over the last two years, our portfolio of projects has expanded rapidly to include new geographical areas, as well as involvement in major interventions at the national level. UCF has grown its project funding more than fourfold since 2015, introduced new partners and beneficiaries, has implemented new systems, attracted new staff and developed new strategies to support this growth. We are now at a key point in our evolution and in search of a dynamic general manager (GM) to continue to grow the organisation, inspire and lead our team, as well as to consolidate our systems and practices to enable maximum efficiency and to optimise our impact.

The Trustees and Directors are looking for a mission-focused, strategic and process-driven leader with a proven track record of scaling an organisation, inspiring and guiding staff and working with a diverse group of Board members to deliver good governance aligned to successful projects. The GM must be someone who is able to nurture a performance-based culture and deliver measurable results against the organisational strategy. The successful candidate will have the management and diplomacy skills to harness every member of the team – subordinate and superior – to their full potential. The GM will continue to increase productivity by improving upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s systems and tools, but without losing the agility and practical “can do” attitude for which UCF is so well known.

The position of GM is a Board level position. The successful candidate will join the Board of Directors of Uganda Conservation (U) Ltd. for the duration of his/her contract.


The successful candidate will be an outstanding eader and manager who can design and implement the most efficient ways to run the business and help take its work and impact to scale. Reporting to the Chair of the Board of Directors of Uganda Conservation (U) Ltd, the GM will lead all internal operations and will have the following key responsibilities:

General management

  • Play an active role in the leadership of the organisation, advising and supporting the Board of Directors (BoD) and, when required, the Board of Trustees (BoT), and participating in Board meetings at Director level;
  • Serve as the internal leader of the organisation, with decision-making authority over day-to-day operations, and providing mentorship and guidance to all staff;
  • Design, implement, and regularly evaluate the efficiency of administrative systems, including finance, human resource and monitoring and evaluation, according to organisational objectives and thereafter apply improvements where required;
  • Lead on the organisation’s recruitment and staff development strategies, implementing the process that measures and evaluates progress against goals for individual staff members;
  • In collaboration with both Boards, contribute to the design of the business strategy and implement new processes and approaches to execute against major organisational goals;
  • Oversee the Projects Coordinator, who leads UCF’s service delivery to projects and partners, and support their responsibilities and development, including:
    • Developing an annual operations plan and accompanying budget
    • Introducing a monitoring and evaluation framework to increase productivity, track outputs and measure impact
    • Ensuring the highest quality of service delivery and reporting to project leads, donors, Trustees and Directors.

Marketing and fundraising

  • Directly manage the Marketing and Fundraising Manager and support him/her as needed to implement his/her duties and meet targets;
  • Guide the development of the marketing and fundraising strategies in conjunction with the Marketing and Fundraising Manager, in line with the organisational vision and objectives, to increase unrestricted funding and address gaps;
  • Foster an entrepreneurial spirit in UCF’s approach to fundraising to encourage increased independence and sustainability for our projects and core team over time;
  • Identify grant and funding opportunities amongst our existing core donor groups and with new donors, and manage the grant-writing process by identifying and assigning internal or external grant-writing resources;
  • Promote UCF via personal and professional networks.

Financial management

  • Directly manage the Finance & Admin Officer and support him/her as needed to implement his/her duties and meet targets;
  • Work with the Finance & Admin Officer to optimise the financial management systems to enable quick access to information, efficient and accurate reporting and strategic budgeting;
  • Ensure sufficient and quality financial and management reporting to the Boards, donors and statutory bodies, including quarterly financial and project management reports;
  • Design and execute an organisational annual budget.

External relations

  • Work with the team and both Boards to identify donor opportunities and manage the evaluation and tracking of the pipeline of new grants, new projects and/or other business development opportunities;
  • In conjunction with Board members and project leads, manage key relationships with partners, beneficiaries and donors;
  • Work closely with the BoD and UWA to identify and manage growth opportunities and priorities (UWA being our biggest “client”);
  • Represent UCF externally, both nationally and internationally as needed, in line with established protocols and our Board-approved position regarding contentious issues;
  • Communicate the brand values, capabilities, mission and vision internally and externally.

Key qualifications

Candidates must hold a minimum of an undergraduate degree in any related field. An MBA or other advanced degree is desirable although not essential. The successful candidate will have at least 8 years senior management experience, with either for-profit or not-for-profit organisations.

The candidate must believe in the core values of UCF and be strongly motivated by the organisation’s mission. The candidate should demonstrate a clear desire to lead change and deliver impact in the challenging world of African conservation. We are seeking a candidate who has proven experience in scaling a small, founder-led organisation into a larger, more commercially-driven entity and who has a demonstrable ability to nurture potential in staff and bring cohesion to a diverse team.

Additional requirements are:

  • Proven track record: of meeting or exceeding goals and a focus on the “bottom-line”; high level of business acumen including successful financial management and strategic development, of driving decision-making via diverse leadership teams, of balancing service delivery against budget realities, and using creativity and initiative in problem-solving;
  • Capacity building: ability to nurture talent and build organisational and staff capacity, developing a performance-driven culture and the processes that ensure the business runs smoothly;
  • Leadership and organisation: a team builder who has the capacity and personality to enforce accountability, develop and empower talented individuals, provide effective coaching and mentoring to staff, and cultivate entrepreneurial and disruptive approaches to issues and challenges;
  • Action oriented: enjoys working hard and looks for challenges, able to act and react as necessary, not afraid to take charge of a situation, can overcome resistance to leadership and leadership change and take unpopular stands when necessary;
  • General management: a thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems (QuickBooks experience preferred), including budgeting, business analysis, management accounting, information systems, human resources and marketing;
  • Solid educational background: undergraduate degree required; MBA or similar advanced degree desirable but not essential;
  • Conservation expertise: experience pertaining to African wildlife and/or community conservation is preferable but not essential;
  • Other skills: must have robust technical computing and IT skills, strong written and verbal communication in English, and be in possession of a clean international or Ugandan driving license. Experience of driving off-road preferred but not essential as training can be given.

Terms of employment

UCF is able to offer a monthly salary package of USD $3,500 gross (exclusive of taxes) as well as local medical insurance for the individual, a laptop and moderate transport and airtime allowances. The role is full-time (40 hours a week is normal but will very often include more than this, including some weekend work in Kampala or upcountry). The position is based in Kampala, at our Uganda headquarters in Mbuya, with occasional national or international travel when required. The start date is as soon as possible.

UCF’s vision:

We have inspired the communities and authorities of Uganda to take responsibility for governing the interactions between human and natural systems.

UCF’s mission:  

We enable and develop regional economies, in and around Uganda, in order to safeguard its natural heritage of global importance. We do so by enabling and implementing practical conservation and community interventions, influencing policy-makers and engaging the public.

UCF’s values:

We are:

  • Effective: our projects produce tangible results that impact wildlife and communities positively for the long term; as per the Americanism “we get shit done”.
  • Practical: we are known for being hands-on, getting straight to the nuts and bolts of a problem and developing the solution from the bottom-up.
  • Agile: our small and efficient structure allows us to remain flexible, aligning our approach directly to the need.
  • Enabling: we offer expertise and management skills to help others implement projects with common goals, and empower local communities, the general public, conservation stakeholders and government to develop capacity and influence change. We respond to identified needs, we don’t force our opinion on our stakeholders.
  • Integrity: We inspire trust from communities, stakeholders and donors alike, from many years of working alongside them. We are committed to our vision and not afraid to challenge the status quo. We operate to the highest international standards in our governance and financial accountability.

HOW TO APPLY: Strictly a maximum two page supporting statement and two page CV including two referees who we may contact to be sent to bod@ugandacf.org by 5.00pm East African time on Friday 31st August 2018.

Full job description available at www.ugandacf.org UCF is an equal-opportunities employer.