Counter Wildlife Crime (CWC) Coordinator, Mesoamerica

San Jose, Costa Rica
Full Time
Conservation Science
Mid Level

Position:                            Mesoamerica Counter Wildlife Crime (CWC) Coordinator

Reports to:                    Latin America Regional Director

Panthera Division:         Conservation Action    

Geographic Scope:          Mesoamerica

Duty Station:                Costa Rica

Position Type:               Full-Time        


Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to the conservation of wild cats and their ecosystems. Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global conservation strategies for the most imperiled large cats – tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas and leopards – and small cat species.


Panthera’s CWC program is one of five thematic, cross-regional programs that sit within its Conservation Science (CS) department. The CWC program provides technical expertise and strategic input to regional teams in Asia, Africa and the Americas working within Panthera’s Conservation Action (CA) department. The Mesoamerica CWC Coordinator reports to the Latin America Regional Director in the CA Department to counter the diverse threats facing wild cats. The Coordinator will oversee CWC activities in Mesoamerica in support of Panthera’s species and regional objectives and goals, ensuring that best practices and consistent approaches in CWC are implemented across project areas. The position holder will coordinate closely with Regional Directors, Species Directors and Project Coordinators within CA, as well as their counterparts in the other CS programs.

Responsibilities & duties

  1. Integrate CWC best practices into Mesoamerica regional planning and implementation.
  • Provide the main contact point between Panthera’s CA management and staff and the global CWC team;
  • Line management of core regional CWC staff, including the Mesoamerica CWC Regional or Site Analysts;
  • Support effective development and tasking of regional CA staff involved in CWC activities including site protection teams, information support teams, information collectors, analysts and technicians;
  • Work with Mesoamerica CA staff to ensure that CWC expertise is fully integrated into project-level strategic and tactical planning, and harmonise overall CWC activity with the agreed strategy;
  • Disseminate and promote implementation of best practice, largely proactive practices, that include crime prevention;
  • Support development of CWC strategic and operational documents including, but not limited to, threat assessments, tactical assessments, training needs analyses, stakeholder assessments, problem profiles, standing instructions/standard operating procedures and case studies;
  • Identify gaps in key stakeholder relationships, and promote collaborations to fill identified gaps;
  • Cultivate and manage a network of relevant stakeholders and participate in relevant stakeholder meetings and other engagement opportunities when necessary in the region;
  • Promote effective collaboration with key stakeholders to build a strong and trusted working relationship to ultimately bring about coordinated intervention to efficiently reduce wildlife crime;
  • Promote the use of Panthera’s developed decision making model and coordinate regular formal meetings with Panthera regional staff and partners to decide on the most appropriate tactical interventions;
  • Promote sound tactical decision making, using the most timely and accurate information available, and deployment of the full range of interventions;
  • Maintain a working knowledge of legislation, national standards, good practice and innovative approaches in CWC activities;
  • Support regional staff work-planning to ensure CWC-led activities complement existing work with Government entities and non-government organizations and ensure workplan and budget alignment;
  • Promote cross-regional cooperation, staff exchanges and communication within Panthera;
  • Design and implement intra-regional communications policies and protocols relating to CWC work; and
  • Support the development and tracking of the most effective metrics to enable monitoring and evaluation of CWC interventions. 
  • Identify opportunities for the expansion of Panthera’s CWC activities in support of the organisation’s regional and species strategies
  1. Support CWC Capacity Building in the Mesoamerica Region.
  • Identify and help fill gaps in personnel and capacity through recruitment of project personnel, specialist personnel, and training and mentoring;
  • Ensure adoption of CWC best practices in risk mitigation, data collection and management, human rights and others; and
  • Support training and mentoring of regional staff and partner agencies and operational activities.
  1. Build support for CWC efforts in the Mesoamerica region and manage CWC grants and contracts.
  • Support management and delivery of CWC-led contracts including, but not limited to, a global US State Dept/ INL-funded Big Trafficking Project and demand reduction program;
  • Support CWC fundraising activities including proposal and report writing and budget development;
  • Submit accurate and timely programmatic reports on activities in the region and issues faced; and
  • Maintain and submit detailed, accurate and on-time monthly financial reports.
  1. Regional Travel.
    • Travel within the region as appropriate.

Required Traits, Skills & Experience

  • Master’s degree or at least 6 years of relevant professional experience in wildlife conservation and protection, law enforcement, or crime prevention;
  • Experience in countering wildlife crime or organized crime;
  • Flexibility of mind, prepared to adopt alternative or unfamiliar ways of working;
  • Ability to take on new skills;
  • Genuine interest in learning law enforcement and crime reduction practices;
  • Inquisitive mind;
  • Natural problem-solving ability;
  • Strong drive to frustrate wildlife crime groups;
  • Proven ability to train and mentor stakeholders including law enforcement or conservation partner NGOs;
  • Experience in international assistance projects or CWC projects, with a deep understanding of how to effectively manage multi-sector relationships;
  • Strong project management skills, with ability to multitask and work creatively and efficiently under deadlines;
  • Experience in management of small teams both remotely and in person;
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Ability to operate under minimal supervision and remain focused on operational objectives;
  • Ability to assimilate project findings into accurate and detailed reports; and
  • Experience with grant budgeting and reporting.

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