Country Manager, Democratic Republic of Congo

Leadership Kinshasa, DRC

This position will be hybrid requiring a few days per week in office. You will be based in our office in Democratic Republic of Congo. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission as WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position. 

About the Program:


WRI has been working in Africa for more than 30 years, supporting local partners and Africa governments to advance forest protection, landscape restoration and sustainable cities, formalizing as a regional office in 2019. Since then, we appointed our first Managing Director and Deputy Regional Directors for Africa, established institutional offices in Addis Ababa, Kinshasa, and Nairobi, and created a region-wide strategy. Our vision for Africa is an inclusive transformation so Africa’s people and landscapes flourish. WRI Africa delivers programs of work across four strategic pillars: vital landscapes, thriving and resilient cities, energy, and institutional and economic transformation. WRI’s Country Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo is committed to creating solutions that support an evidence-based transition towards economic development while conserving the country’s natural ecosystems. Historically guided by geospatial knowledge agenda in the service of sustainable forest management, WRI is currently expanding its portfolio in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fully align with WRI Africa’s pillars on Thriving Resilient Cities, Vital Landscapes, Energy Access and Transitions, and Climate, Economics & Finance. Working closely with the government, civil society, indigenous people & local communities, and the private sector, we aim to increase our capacity to address key cross-cutting and underlying challenges in enabling policy, political economy, institutions and knowledge to foster a people-centered and biodiversity and climate responsive development pathway. This requires strengthening the integration of our traditional geospatial offers into the country's broader development agenda.


Job Highlight:


Reporting to the Deputy Regional Director, you will manage WRI’s activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the ambition to help design and roll out country transition roadmap, expanding from current focus on land use planning, forest monitoring, and sustainability and legal compliance in the forest and Agriculture sectors. You will drive programmatic strategy in country, working with the Congo Basin Strategy and Engagement Lead and teams in Congo and across Africa. Major responsibilities will include supervision of program management, staff wellbeing, fundraising, and thought leadership.


What will you do:

Thought leadership and Strategy (30%):


  • Set the direction for WRI in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including definition of priority themes at country and sub-national levels, identification of research agendas, and development of new programs in line with country needs
  • Coordinate the collective development, and finalization and operationalization of WRI-Democratic Republic of Congo ’s Country Program and Engagement Strategy with a compelling vision, well-articulated approach and strong anchorage in national priorities, and alignment with WRI Africa’s Strategy
  • Forge effective and equity-driven partnerships with governments, funders, NGOs and Indigenous People and Local Community representatives at country level to deliver on the strategy
  • Be an external and internal thought leader on relevant issues and a champion of WRI’s Democratic Republic of Congo country portfolio of work at events, national, regional and international fora, meetings, and within WRI
  • Promote and support close collaboration with other WRI Country and Program Offices in Africa and across the world


Program and People Management (35%):


  • Coordinate with the Deputy Regional Director, other Regional Leadership, and lead a team of technical and support staff located in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a clear vision, following WRI’s values of integrity, respect, innovation, urgency and independence; working across the WRI matrix including with WRI’s other offices in Africa and the rest of the WRI sisterhood
  • Lead delivery of all WRI programmatic activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo with an initial focus on land use planning and forest monitoring
  • Develop new programs and working partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo aligned with the WRI Africa strategy and work with program teams to track and document progress against the country strategy, Africa strategy, and country-relevant impact targets
  • Oversee planning, monitoring project deliverables, and ensuring high-quality, high-impact deliverables across program interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ensuring smooth coordination and harmonization across programs
  • Oversee daily coordination and management of all activities in Democratic Republic of Congo, including support to the multi-sectoral processes underway for the development of land-use planning policies and legal frameworks
  • Monitor Budget Performance, expenses and revenues for all grants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, working with the Operations team to ensure compliance with WRI policies and procedures and support efficient program delivery
  • Work closely with HR and local operations staff to manage security, risks, ensure smooth functioning of institutional systems and country office, socializing and rolling out trainings and institutional policies to country staff
  • Participate in the WRI Regional Management meetings, and in WRI Global Senior Management meetings as requested, to ensure effective coordination of WRI Colombia with other network offices, promoting shared learning and innovation, while maximizing institutional resources and expertise
  • Lead the team in country, maintaining motivation and fostering the growth of human talent with high performance to promote a culture of excellence in all aspects and instill WRI values
  • Be involved in country-specific program recruitments and skills capacity mapping to advise on coordinated and effective use of staff capacities or hires, to attract, motivate, and retain world-class staff for the Democratic Republic of Congo team


Fundraising, Engagement and Outreach (35%):


  • Work with the Development Lead and Pillar Leads to identify and solidify strategic alliances and funding opportunities from local or international partners, seeking to maintain the financial stability of the office
  • Liaise with the Communications & Engagement team and related WRI Africa programs to closely coordinate direct engagement and regular communication with country government stakeholders and other stakeholders on WRI work and impact stories relevant to the country
  • Work with Regional Development Lead and Communications & Engagement Lead to design a country-specific donor engagement strategy, including annual WRI donor meetings, regular meeting with key cross-cutting partners, regular courtesy calls to key/core donors and more
  • Work with programs to maintain strong donor relations on behalf of WRI, ensuring sound donor stewardship through activities including timely internal communication, updates fully documented in Salesforce, and timely follow up with donors
  • Lead proposal development, and actively cultivate and manage relationships with new donors to secure funding within country, within the Congo Basin, and beyond where relevant
  • Leverage existing relationships with foundations, governments, civil society and research institutions, and individual donors to contribute to WRI program in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Serve as the spokesperson for WRI in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ensure compelling and consistent messaging for our work
  • Be the point of contact for all global WRI programs engaging stakeholders at the country level


What will you need:


  • Education: Master’s degree in geography, Forestry, social and/or environmental science, natural Resource Management
  • Experience: You have 10+ years of leadership experience working in a donor-funded development program context leading, preferably in the Congo Basin
  • Prior experience of working with international organizations, national governments and relevant experience working in Central Africa is essential
  • Experience in the forest/natural resource sector in Central Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular (e.g., land use planning law and policies, forest policies and laws, Forest Management and law enforcement practices, governance and institutional context, forest and land tenure regimes, agriculture and Biodiversity conservation)
  • Experience with fundraising, delivery and grant management success at a big scale (>USD 1 million)
  • Diverse skills and experience in program/project development and management encompassing budgets, financial management, contracts management, resource mobilization, donor relations, knowledge management, M&E, project design, risk analysis and mitigation, stakeholder reporting, quality assurance, technical advice and oversight and managing performance of program staff
  • Track record in managing multi-year programs
  • Excellent capabilities in leading teams with a transformative approach to mainstreaming Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion
  • Experience nurturing partnerships with diverse stakeholders, such as local communities, NGOs, government officials, donor representatives, and local and international staff
  • Proven knowledge of the Congo Basin landscape of actors and political instruments
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Languages: Fluent French is a must. Proficiency in English is highly valued


Potential Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.


How to Apply: Please submit a resume with a cover letter by 24 July 2024. You mustapply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.


What we offer:


  • A competitive salary 
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure 


About Us:


Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.


The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.


Our mission and values:


WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation,

Urgency, Independence and Respect.


Our culture:


WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment; we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.


Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.