Director of the Biodiversity Programme – IDDRI

Background information on IDDRI

At the interface between research and decision-making, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) is an independent, non for profit policy research institute based at Sciences Po (Institute for Political Studies) in Paris. Its objective is to determine and share the keys for analyzing and understanding strategic issues linked to sustainable development from a global perspective. IDDRI helps stakeholders in deliberating on global governance of the major issues of common  interest:  action  to  attenuate  climate  change,  to  protect  biodiversity,  to  enhance  food security and to manage urbanisation. IDDRI also takes part in efforts to reframe development pathways.

For more effective action, IDDRI operates with a network of partners from the private sector, academia, civil society and the public sector, not only in France and Europe but also internationally.

As  an  independent  institute,  IDDRI  mobilises  resources  and  expertise  to  disseminate  the  most relevant scientific ideas and research ahead of negotiations and decision-making processes. Thanks to its partnership with Sciences Po, IDDRI’s experts are highly involved in teaching and in developing research programs. (for more information on the programme, see

IDDRI  currently  has  about  40  staff  including  an  interdisciplinary  team  of  20  social  scientists
(economists, political scientists, lawyers, etc.).

Background information on the Biodiversity programme

The Biodiversity programme is a key component of IDDRI’s strategy and visibility since its creation. IDDRI’s interventions in research and policy influence have been particularly centred on the main stakes of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in terms of international cooperation and instruments for domestic policies : analysis and contributions to the Strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020 and the 2020 Aïchi Objectives; analysis and recommendations for the implementation of the   Nagoya   Protocol;   analysis   and   recommendations   concerning   economic   instruments   for biodiversity conservation (use of economic valuation, reduction of harmful subsidies, role of innovative market based instruments,…); negotiation and installation of the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; assessment of the conditions for the extension of areas under effective protection; analysis and advice on ODA donors’ strategies for biodiversity; links between the protection of traditional knowledge and biodiversity conservation. The programme has been particularly active in a diversity of fields like forests, agriculture, oceans.

Capitalizing on the notoriety and legitimacy of IDDRI, the Biodiversity programme is in a position to develop a renewed strategy in order to address the challenge of stopping biodiversity degradation in the perspective of the 2020 objectives. This encompasses the following questions: How to influence
the main drivers of biodiversity degradation, and particularly the main economic sectors and commodity chains at the global level impacting biodiversity? How could, for instance, the trends in the food and agriculture sector be influenced in order to reverse their negative impacts on biodiversity? Given the specificity of each national political, socio-economic and ecological situation causing the degradation of biodiversity, what type of domestic arrangements of public policies, political and scientific mobilization, economic incentives, agreements between stakeholders could be in a capacity to influence the drivers of degradation ? What are the needs for cooperation at a regional  or  global  level?  What  can  be  learnt  from  national,  regional  or  global  experiences  or initiatives put in place to tackle biodiversity and ecosystems degradation? The answers to these questions should guide the definition of the strategy in terms of both research production and influence on policies and negotiations, which IDDRI defines as an “intervention strategy”, and also in terms of resources mobilization (financial and human resources, expertise, networks, partnerships…).

Position advertised

The director of the Biodiversity programme will be in charge of designing, organizing and implementing this renewed “intervention strategy” and of managing the Biodiversity programme team. She/He  will work under the supervision of the the Director of Programmes and in close cooperation with the Scientific Director and the Communication and Development Director. She/He will be part of the programmes coordination committee along with other IDDRI directors.

Moreover, she/he will also develop, whenever possible, transversal initiatives and interfaces with other programmes and teams (on issues like: oceans, climate, SDGs, the funding of sustainable development, food and agriculture, prosperity and growth…).

More specifically, the director will have the following management responsibilities:

  • Define  the  mid-long  term  biodiversity  programme  and  intervention  strategy  with  the management team, developing partnerships with the scientific community as well as the private and public sector at the national and international level;
  • ensure  the  scientific  coordination  and  coherence  of  the  programme’s  various  research
  • projects;
  • ensure the implementation of the “intervention strategy” and regularly assess its relevance;
  • manage the team and guide the researchers’ research and think tank activities;
  • prepare  the  programme’s  yearly  budget  and  follow  up  on  its  implementation  with  the support of the secretary general and the financial team;
  • assess with the IDDRI directors the human resources needs, participate in the hiring process, supervise the researchers’ work and hold yearly evaluations;
  • define and write a yearly work programme and activity report;
  • In  addition,  the  programme  director  will,  as  much  as  possible,  carry  out  his/her  own research, developing partnerships with other research centers, administrations, the private sector, NGOs, etc.

The director of the biodiversity programme will also:

  • contribute to the discussions on IDDRI’s strategic orientations;
  • develop institutional and academic partnerships;
  • raise funds for IDDRI and for the research projects;
  • represent IDDRI in various national and international, formal and informal forums;


The successful candidate should ideally:

  • Hold preferentially a PhD in a field related to biodiversity and ecosystem management.
  • Have experience with and knowledge of :
    • the international negotiation process
    • national biodiversity conservation frameworks
    •  major sectors impacting biodiversity (eg. Agriculture, mining, other commodities)
  • Good knowledge of the context of both developed and developing countries is an asset
  • Have at least 10 years of professional experience in research and policy oriented institutions (public administration, NGO, private sector); a professional network at the international level would be an advantage.
  • Have experience in staff management.
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to synthesize and present technical analysis for a non-technical audience
  • Be fluent in English and in French.
  • Have the willingness to travel both nationally and internationally.

Location and type of contract

The position is based at IDDRI in Paris. A long term position will be offered.
Salary  will  be  commensurate  with qualifications  and experience,  according  to  IDDRI’s rules  and regulations.

IDDRI is an equal opportunity employer

How to apply?

Interested candidates should send a CV and a statement of interest, as well as the names of three referees by 5 July 2014; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The applications should be sent by email to: and

More information here.