World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) CEO Vacancy

Posted: 23 January 2020   |   Full-Time   |   Barcelona, Spain and worldwide | €90,000 + relocation assistance 

Application Deadline: Friday 21 February 


As the membership organisation for the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, WAZA – World Association of Zoos and Aquariums is dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world. The membership consists of nearly 400 leading international institutions and organisations.

As our attention increasingly turns to climate change and the threat of extinction facing many species, WAZA has formed partnerships with leading international conservation organisations, committing its members to tackle global issues such as the illegal wildlife trade, coral and reef restoration, marine litter, sustainable palm oil and climate change.

The new CEO will represent WAZA externally with a wide range of audiences building partnerships with national and international government, NGOs, industry, donors and corporate partners. The role will therefore require significant focus on working to build WAZA’s profile, income and influence, responding appropriately to conflicting priorities.

The CEO will work with an ambitious Council and a talented team with responsibility for leading the activities across the world and for its financial wellbeing. This is a critical time to be a figurehead and global voice to zoos and aquariums all over the world, the environment and its sustainability.

The role

  • Work directly with the Council and Committees in creating, developing and delivering WAZA’s next five-year global strategic plan.
  • Identify growth areas for WAZA, attract and retain members, build partnerships and develop a robust business plan to achieve its objectives and offer relevance and impact to its membership.
  • Lead and motivate a team of six ensuring that the business evolves, remains relevant and adds significant value to its membership.
  • Advance and protect WAZA’s public profile, be the representative and act as a global ambassador

The Candidate

  • A track record of leading and managing an organisation through strategic change successfully, with a strong passion and commitment to animal welfare, conservation and the environment.
  • Financially astute; able to understand the balance between managing members and commercial priorities.
  • A skilled political touch and an exceptional ability to develop and manage trusted and appropriate relationships and partnerships with government, institutions, and industry and not get too drawn to one area of focus.
  • A progressive leader who will be able to provide clear direction and have a ‘big picture’ global outlook. Someone with outstanding communication skills, including the ability to chair meetings, and proven media success.

A background of working in a zoological, wildlife or otherwise relevant environment is desirable, as is experience of working within a membership-based organisation. Candidates must be fluent in English and having other languages would be desirable. WAZA seeks to be a diverse organisation encouraging this multi-national identity and the CEO will need to be able to communicate effectively across international borders and cultures. Whilst the head office is based in Barcelona, the role will require extensive international travel.

How to apply

Click the button below to download the full candidate brief. For further information and details on how to apply, please visit

For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners:
Christina Hargreaves
Consultant – Not for Profit

D: +44 (0)20 7529 1122

Closing date for applications: Friday 21 February

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.