WWF launches open recruitment for the post of Ombudsperson

Posted on 03 October 2023


Announcement made as foundational phase of WWF’s Office of the Ombudsperson nears completion


Gland, Switzerland; 03/10/2023 - 15:00pm CET

WWF has initiated an open recruitment exercise and will be considering applications for a suitable professional to lead the Office of the Ombudsperson as it moves into its new operational phase. 

WWF has created the Office of the Ombudsperson (Office) as a critical component of WWF’s efforts to: 

  • Strengthen its programmatic work through compliance with Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework (ESSF) commitments;
  • Further strengthen WWF’s relationships with communities through stakeholder engagement;
  • Strengthen its institutional accountability in terms of the ESSF; and
  • Improve the environmental and social outcomes of its work.

Human rights lawyer and international mediator, Gina Barbieri, has served as the inaugural Ombudsperson for the WWF Network—in the first role of such a kind for the nature conservation sector. She transitions to the role of Special Advisor, for a period of time, after leading the formation and establishment of its Office of the Ombudsperson. This included the foundational design phase of the Office, with a particular focus on deep and targeted consultation with a range of experts and partners including grassroots communities, WWF staff and senior leadership, and civil society organizations, as well as the wider public. From this consultative process, critical insights and recommendations were surfaced to inform the Office’s operating framework.

Gina Barbieri said: “I am extremely proud to have led the formation and strategic development of this new, critically important function and its mandate from the outset. And I am deeply grateful to all those with whom we have collaborated and consulted toward achieving an appropriate operational framework for the WWF Network.”  

 Adil Najam, President of the International Board of Trustees, said: “On behalf of the WWF International Board, I would like to offer our deepest gratitude to Gina for her dedication in developing this mediation and accountability mechanism in its intensive early stages, which is an unprecedented undertaking in the nature conservation sector. We hope now to attract a new leader for the Office who can build upon these strong foundations. As we enter into a new stage for the Office, we will endeavour to retain and embrace continuous learning and evolution as required for our ambitions and commitments to remain both effective and relevant.”

Applications should be submitted here.