Program Officer (WCS)

Position: Program Officer

Reports to: Wildlife Health and Conservation Team Leader

Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Country Program: WCS Viet Nam Program

Team/Division: Wildlife Health and Conservation

Employment Type: Full time

Internal liaison: WCS Viet Nam’s staff

Expected travel: Approximately 40% travel within Viet Nam as requested

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 more than 60 countries, 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, journalists, researchers and managers nation-wide 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 response 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 focus on finding and protecting Rafetus Swinhoei in the wild.

Job Summary

The Program Officer (PO) will contribute to WCS’s work in Viet Nam by assisting in the implementation of wildlife health and species conservation-related projects, including:

  • Supporting in planning and implementing project activities including wildlife disease surveillance, biosecurity risk assessment, and species conservation;
  • Supporting in sustaining partnerships with local, national, and international partners;
  • Ensuring efficient and accurate organization of documentation and finances for species conservation and wildlife health projects, in consultation with direct supervisor and other managers;
  • Supporting to establish a wildlife health surveillance system focused on SARS-CoV-2 and assessing viral spillover risk and wildlife trade and consumption as a pathway for infectious disease emergence.


A. Project activities implementation

  1. Be responsible for planning and implementation of field-based activities, including but not limited to organizing field trip schedules and travel logistics; collections of samples from wild animals, appropriate storage and handling of these samples, and acquisition of export and sample transport permits where necessary for diagnostics;
  2. Conduct biosecurity risk assessment at project sites; and provides inputs on safety issues and risks of transmission;
  3. Be in charge of field data collection, data entry associated with wildlife disease surveillance and other research studies; supports data tabulation from field surveys, DNA molecular tests, and others as relevant;
  4. Run data analysis as instructed and reporting to project partners.
  5. Assures timely preparation and report on budget and expenditures of the activities in charge.
B. Networking, Partnership, and Program Development

  1. Supports the establishment of good working relationships with locals, relevant Vietnamese government laboratories, government agencies, and research/academic institutions to secure the necessary support for project activities, including field survey, animal capture, sample collection, sample transport/storage, disease diagnostics, and dissemination of results.
  2. Communicates and coordinates with Wildlife Health and Conservation Team partners and relevant Viet Nam institutions.
  3. Contributes to ideas and development of new health and species conservation projects in collaboration with other teams in the WCS Viet Nam program.
C. Others

  1. Represents the Wildlife Health and Conservation Team in public meetings and events, as required.
  2. Performs other tasks as assigned by the direct supervisor.

Minimum requirements

  • Minimum bachelor/college degree in a related field of veterinary medicine or biology, or wildlife conservation;
  • Relevant work experience in a similar position is preferred;
  • Basic skills and awareness of bio-risk management, animal handling, biological sample collection, data recording, and sample management;
  • An interest in supporting the management and implementation of program activities;
  • Language: English and Vietnamese language is essential to effective performance in this position;
  • Computer skills mandatory, fluency in Microsoft Office Applications;
  • Concern for and understanding of wildlife conservation & environmental issues is an asset.

Application Process

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications should apply via link latest by 23:59 of June 5, 2023.

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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