Program Officer (WCS Viet Nam Program)

  • Position: Program Officer (Policy and Legal)
  • Reports to: Policy Influencing Team Leader
  • Supervisor to: N/A
  • Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam
  • Country Program: WCS Viet Nam Program
  • Team/Division: Policy Influencing
  • Position Type: Full time
  • Internal liaison: WCS Viet Nam’s staff
  • Expected travel: Approximately 35% (As required within the region if/when needed)

 Organization Background

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in nearly 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. 

WCS Viet Nam Program Overview

WCS has been working in Viet Nam since 2006, focusing on strengthening the commitment, capacity and actions of the government of Vietnam to combat wildlife trafficking. Through support and cooperation to executive and judiciary sectors, including Ministry of Public Security, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuracy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the National Assembly, it has provided and shared intelligence on criminal wildlife networks which help generate well-informed decisions in enforcement operations. WCS Viet Nam have generated a wide range of reliable data on a number of related issues on illegal wildlife trade, trained and briefed about 4,000 law enforcement officers, policy makers, journalist, researcher and managers at nation-wide in investigation and enforcement techniques, legal barriers and distributed a number of technical handbooks and guides. It has assisted central agencies to review and propose necessary changes to national legislation, criminal intelligence analysis systems, inter-agency cooperation. WCS has also facilitated Government to Government dialogue through multilateral and bi-lateral collaboration efforts, between Viet Nam and Asian, African and Latin American countries, to detect and respond to illegal wildlife trade networks. Its wildlife health expertise has been leveraged to address unregulated wildlife trade and mitigation of pandemic threats, through collaborative research, training, and policy development. Recently, WCS Viet Nam has also expanded to species conservation, with a focus on finding and protecting Rafetus Swinhoei in the wild. 

Job Summary

Under the supervision of the Policy Influencing Team Leader, the Program Officer will:

  • Lead the process of policy and legal review and analysis for legal reform, and responsible for implementation and management of policy influencing work;
  • Provide legal inputs to communication, law enforcement assistance and capacity building activities, and other relevant legal drafts/materials;
  • Participate in/or coordinate the planning, design, implementation and monitoring of all WCS activities related to influencing partners and international cooperation;
  • Build networks and maintain strong relationships with governmental and nongovernmental partners, academic and training institutions/think-tanks in order to build the required political commitment for effective control of wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam.


A.      Policy influencing and legal reform

  1. Designs strategies and implements action plan on influencing key governmental and nongovernmental partners, academic and training institutions/think-tanks to be more engaged in ending illegal trade and consumption of wildlife;
  2. Conducts and provides inputs to the institutional, policy and legal reviews and analysis to identify gaps and challenges, and provide recommendations to improve legal framework on wildlife protection, countering transnational organized crimes and preventing the health risks from zoonotic diseases;
  3. Monitors regularly the national legislative development to identify opportunities for WCS to influence relevant  policy and legal documents formulation/improvement/revision, and leads the implementation of influencing process;
  4. Contributes to providing legal inputs on certain wildlife-related violation cases to maximize the effectiveness of law enforcement activities;
  5. Provides technical review to or participate in the development of training and other capacity building materials to ensure legal accuracy and consistency with current legal framework on wildlife protection, especially countering wildlife trafficking and its associated crimes;
  6. Responsible for the management of WCS’s Law Database by synthesizing and making regular update of new legislations, legal guidance and recommendations from different sources;
  7. Leads the development of relevant policy briefs and regularly update WCS’s priority issues;
  8. Provides technical inputs on legal matters arise during WCS operation in Viet Nam; and contributes to the development of WCS Viet Nam policies and strategies.

B. International Cooperation

9. Coordinates and implements/provide inputs to all activities relating to international cooperation supports including conducting institutional and legal researches and/or analysis; recommending the development of mechanisms that promote international cooperation between Viet Nam and other countries in countering wildlife trafficking; organizing events/meetings including joint-agency field missions, bilateral and trilateral meetings, Viet Nam - African range states dialogue etc...

C. Networking and Partnership

10. Builds and maintains partnerships with key government agencies at the central and provincial levels in Viet Nam, academic and training institutions/think-tanks, CSOs, NGOs and influential individuals;

11. Collaborates with other environmental and wildlife protection groups in joint efforts, including the Viet Nam Wildlife Support Network, Pandemics Prevention Task Force (PPTF) and others as relevant;

12. Contributes to the management of partner databases.

D. Grant development and implementation

13. Contributes to the execution of all grant activities related to legal reform, policy advocacy and international cooperation;

14. Contribute to the management of the team budget and M&E indicators for all policy and legal reform, and international cooperation activities;

15. Provides law and policy insights to the proposal development; and supports on other fundraising activities, as requested;

16. Contributes to develop team’s work plan, draft and provide inputs to grant reports and programmatic updates as relevant and required.

E. Others

17. Supervises and liaise with consultants as appropriate;

18. Acts as WCS’s representative at meetings and workshops as required;

19. Performs other tasks as assigned by the direct supervisor.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor or Master Degree in Laws, Police, Procuracy, Judiciary or related field;
  • Minimum 5 years of working experience related to legislative development and law enforcement in the government, legal/criminological training institutions or policy advocacy/influencing campaign in an NGO/INGO/international organization;
  • Knowledge of Viet Nam’s political, legislation and law enforcement systems;
  • Familiar with the legislative development process in Viet Nam;
  • Ability to handle multitask, prioritize, attention to details and self-management efficiently;
  • Proficient in written and verbal communication skills in Vietnamese and English;
  • Computer skills mandatory, proficient in Microsoft Office Applications;
  • Concern for wildlife conservation & environmental issues, and understanding of legal system in African countries is an asset.

Application Process

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications should apply via link latest by 23:59 of 16 February 2023 (extended deadline).

WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations.

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