GCBR Position : Chief Executive

Reporting to the Board of Directors, responsible for overall leadership, coordination and integration of project efforts/results, public and peer-group representation, operational accountability.

R720 000 per annum based in Riversdale/Mossel Bay

Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve requires the services of an individual who is passionate for this field of work, inspiring others to realize GCBR’s guiding mission and practical goals.  The person’s leadership style should align with the organization’s relationship-sensitive, inclusive approach that values the efforts of volunteers alongside professionals, where facilitating integration of their multiple disciplines will be important.  She/He will actively promote innovation in project practices as well as deepening the knowledge of field programs and on-the-ground operations.  This role player will be comfortable in guiding the organization’s evolution without templates to rely on.

The successful candidate will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the GCBR staff, programs, expansion and execution of its mission.

The leadership function will involve:

  • Explaining and contextualising the UNESCO philosophy of biosphere reserves.
  • Sustaining an inclusive, reflective organisational culture.
  • Supporting a strong Board of Directors while building board involvement with field operations.
  • Dialogues with and proposals to Directors about strategy and retaining relevance as conditions change and lessons are learned.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with Gouritz Enterprises towards financial self-reliance.
  • Energizing GCBR volunteers, partnering organizations and funders.
  • Coaching, developing and retaining GCBR's high-performance senior management team.
  • Representing the GCBR in forums, conferences and similar gatherings.
  • Active engagement with peers, networks and stakeholders where relational trust is the basis to promote its collaborative work.

Typical management responsibilities will include:

  • Maintaining compliance with UNESCO principles, strategy and planning as a biosphere management unit.
  • Ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence.
  • Overseeing rigorous programme/project learning and evaluation.
  • Ensuring consistent quality of finance, administration, fundraising and communications.
  • Overseeing effective systems to track progress.
  • Mobilizing resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • With the project development specialist, expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing and future programme operations.
  • With the learning and evaluation specialist, use lessons to refine communications — from web presence to external relations - to create and maintain a strong brand.


  1. These tasks need to combine into a reputation as a trusted partner, built on relationships that produce effective improvements in the biosphere’s ecology, its social-economy and its institutional capabilities.
  2. Detailed information about the GCBR can be found at www.gouritz.com with additional background at http://gouritz.com/file/repository/GCBR_recruitment_background.pdf
  3. Employment conditions to be negotiated.
  4. It would be expected of candidates to be subjected to thorough evaluations. Previous and current employers and references will be contacted. Verification will be done on his/her qualifications, criminal- and credit record. The candidate will be required to disclose all financial interests. Original qualification certificates must be produced at any resultant interviews.
  5. Applications should be based on a written motivation of maximum 2 pages. Concentrating on achievements, this document should set out a compelling case for interview accompanied by supporting documents, such as a curriculum vitae, independent references (including their e-mail addresses), samples of written work, links to video clips and whatever else helps demonstrates suitability for the post.  Of particular interest is information that communicates the sort of outcomes of relevance to the GCBR’s goals that qualifications and experience have generated. 
  6. All applications and materials must be submitted electronically to recruit@gouritz.com

CLOSING DATE:  Friday 19th January 2018.

Please note: Short-listed applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process on completion thereof.  The Board reserves the right not to make an appointment.


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