Position Available

Executive Director

Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment is a non-profit organisation, specialising in human rights and environmental law, operating on the African continent and at the regional (African Commission) and international (UN) levels. We are a team of progressive legal practitioners who conduct comprehensive research on environmental and human rights law, support communities and local organisations, provide technical advice to governments and intergovernmental organisations, and engage in key international processes in pursuit of social and environmental justice. Natural Justice is headquartered in Cape Town, works in a range of African countries, and has staff in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Benin, Zimbabwe and Guinea.

Natural Justice has recently undergone a full programmatic and governance review process that led, among others, to the formation of five programmatic areas, namely: Governance of Land and Natural Resources; Climate Change; Extractives and Infrastructure; Customary Use and Conservation; and Traditional Knowledge and Benefit Sharing. It also led to the creation of a new Executive Director position that for the last two years was held by an internal candidate during a transition phase. We are now looking for a new Executive Director who has the capacity, vision and dedication to lead a passionate team of lawyers and legal experts in their quest for social and environmental justice at a time when bold action in both are desperately needed. The new Executive Director will begin work in April 2018, be based in Cape Town and travel internationally on a frequent basis.

Responsibilities and Skill Requirements

Natural Justice seeks an experienced, full-time professional, familiar with and passionate about the field of environmental justice and with proven management and not-for-profit leadership experience in Africa. The successful candidate will be a visionary – who has the capacity to think big and bold to lead the organization into its next phase, as well as a skilled manager – who has the capacity to provide oversight on the way Natural Justice’s strategy is implemented on the ground. He/she is expected to provide guidance on and oversee all of Natural Justice’s key functions (programmatic, financial and operations) to both scale its impact and ensure the organization’s sustainability. He/she will have the following personal and professional attributes: 

  • A postgraduate degree in law or other relevant social science discipline;
  • Expertise in both environmental law (including natural resource and/or land law) and human rights law, especially with an African focus;
  • 10 years of management expertise with at least 5 years in a leadership position; experience in managing organisations through start-up phases is a bonus;
  • Experience with a broad spectrum of stakeholder engagement and management, ranging from partner communities to donors and government officials. In particular, a track record of working with indigenous peoples and/or local communities;
  • Experience in government and international organisation advocacy;
  • Familiarity with budgetary processes, monitoring and evaluation frameworks and the development of internal policies and strategic plans;
  • Experience with managing and communicating with a board of trustees;
  • Ability to manage a diverse and geographically dispersed team and build consensus;
  • Experience in fundraising, and ability to demonstrate fundraising success in previous professional setting;
  • A track record in developing networks and setting up new collaborations and partnerships;
  • Confident public speaking and excellent writing skills;
  • A sense of humour;
  • Fluency in English required, French or Portuguese an advantage; and
  • Willingness to travel and work at the international level as well as with local organisations and communities in remote areas.

Natural Justice will offer a competitive compensation package in line with the successful candidate’s experience and qualifications.

Application Process

Deadline: 31 January 18, 17.00 GMT

Please email your application for the attention of Johanna von Braun with the job title in the subject line by 31 January 2018 (17:00 GMT) to: johanna(at)naturaljustice.org.

Please, include a motivation letter that indicates why you feel you are the best candidate for this position, and a detailed CV with three contactable references.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.