Job posting: Director at PSF, Phillipines

Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation Inc.

Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation, Inc. (PSFMC), is a SEC registered Philippines NGO based in Cebu. This national interdisciplinary organization is committed to conservation of Philippines marine ecosystems through equitable sustainable use and is focused on the Danajon Bank.  The organization is looking to recruit a dynamic Director to lead an exciting portfolio of marine conservation projects funded by national and international grants. 

This job would suit someone with at least 8 years working in the NGO sector or a related field who has a strong history of project and operational management, including complex budgets. They must possess a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience. They will have an understanding of, and passion for, the conservation of aquatic habitats and fauna and sustainable development issues associated with coastal communities. They must possess leadership and fundraising experience, a background in project and staff management and possess outstanding organizational skills, strong written and oral communication skills and good computer skills.  

The successful candidate will be independently driven and show initiative, with good inter-personal skills (including a diverse range of stakeholders) and a commitment to the environment. Due to the international collaborations associated with PSFMC, the new director must be at ease dealing with Westerners, and ideally speak fluent Cebuano, Tagalog and English.

Salary Range P45,000 – P60,000 per month

Qualified applicants may send their resume with a covering letter to Dr Jurgenne Primavera, Chair of the PSFMC Board of Trustees, via email to by Friday 5th April 2013.  


Job description

Philippines Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation (PSF) is a national interdisciplinary organization committed to conservation of Philippines marine ecosystems through equitable sustainable use. In collaboration with stakeholders and partners in coastal communities and elsewhere, we undertake research and management initiatives for marine resources, within an ecosystem framework.  We focus on Danajon Bank because this region encompasses critical marine conservation issues of the Philippines, and we use the seahorses in this region as flagship species to inspire and engage people in finding solutions to marine conservation problems.


The Director provides the overall leadership for the Philippines Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation (PSF), based on direction and guidance from the Board of Trustees. The responsibilities include leadership, resource generation, program management, operations management, and external relations. This person will ensure that the PSF team works efficiently, in a safe and ethical manner. S/he will bear primary responsibility for the smooth and effective functioning of the PSF.



This person will supervise and support the PSF staff in a manner that secures effective conservation gains.  S/he will also maintain strong and productive relations with the Board of Trustees, to whom s/he is accountable. S/he will also maintain close ties with peers, collaborators, partners and supporters.  S/he must be able to represent the interests of PSF in national and international fora.




a. Show vision, commitment and professionalism in executing and supporting the PSF strategic plan for maximum effectiveness.

b. Develop a strong leadership team within PSF, with senior staff who can take responsibility for programmatic and operational areas, able to act in lieu of the Director in support of the strategic plan; 

c. Execute PSF staff hiring, training, performance evaluation, and discipline/dismissal in a manner that ensures smooth team functioning and development, and effective implementation of the strategic plan;

d. Inform PSF policy development and decision-making with rigorous analysis of program and operational status, local and national situations, key internal and external experiences, opportunities, and emerging trends in the conservation and environment communities;   

e. Support Board of Trustees function and implement Board decisions, as directed, to appropriate standards and timelines.

f. Generate and foster effective action by the Board of Trustees on matters of importance to PSF.



a. Secure a healthy financial base for PSF, such that it can implement the entirety of its strategic plan;

b. Use available funds in a strategic and responsible manner, achieving maximum benefits within terms of reference set by the Board of Trustees, partners and donors;  

c. Work with the Board of Trustees in generating resources (particularly from within the Philippines) to support long-term financial sustainability of PSF; 

d. Ensure that PSF financial management is comprehensive, including provision for unanticipated expenses and amortization of equipment and facilities;

e. Nurture PSF relationships with donors through reliable and productive dialogue and stewardship.



a. Ensure that the PSF strategic plan – allied with partner and donor needs - is translated into realistic detailed annual work plans, with periodic reviews as necessary for effective implementation.

b. Review the status of key PSF strategic plan performance indicators and targets in a systematic manner, and share such information with the Board of Trustees;

c. Ensure that PSF staff members have access to the technical (and collegiate) support and guidance they need in order to plan and execute PSF work plans effectively.

d. Demonstrate familiarity with national and international approaches and action with respect to conservation and environment domains, translating these into local initiatives where appropriate.



a. Ensure that PSF is compliant with all applicable government laws, rules and regulations governing NGO operations; 

b. Ensure that PSF has all appropriate policies and guidelines in place for ethical, safe and efficient operations.

c. Ensure preparation of PSF financial plans and budgets to support implementation of annual work plans and of the strategic plan; 

d. Ensure that PSF financial management and reporting meets the standards of its partners and donors;

e. Ensure that PSF offices and staff houses provide vital support systems for effective program implementation and for communicating with international, national, and local partners and collaborators    



a. Ensure that PSF plays a prominent role among Philippine NGOs working in environment and conservation, raising the PSF profile to become a leading national organization.

b. Ensure that PSF maintains vigorous and responsible interactions and linkages with local government, national line agencies, academic units and NGOs in Danajon Bank and nationally in order to advance PSF objectives.

c. Ensure that PSF plays a strong role in the Project Seahorse family internationally, engaging in joint activities, responding to conservation concerns of collective importance, and sustaining relationships with donors and partners.



As Director of a proud organization, this person’s behavior and actions will greatly influence the real and perceived health and effectiveness of the Foundation. Progress in meeting conservation priorities rests on his/her performance. S/he must, therefore, exercise excellent judgment. It is vital that the Director show integrity, pragmatism, and maturity while managing conflicting demands. Given his/her role in external affairs, much rests on the Director’s abilities to show tact and diplomacy and professionalism, even under pressure.



This position reports to the Board of Trustees and is subject to its requests and requirements. The Director must, however, be largely self-directed, setting priorities and goals within the agreed strategic plan, and working independently in consultation with the Trustees. The Chair of the Board or his/her designate will conduct performance appraisals, at least annually.



The Director directly supervises the Senior Biologist, Senior Social Development Officer, and Finance and Administrative Officer.  S/he may also supervise other staff as programmatic work and logistic circumstances dictate.  



• Education: The applicant must possess a bachelors degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience.

• Relevant Work Experience: Experience in working in non-governmental organizations is important. A suitable candidate will have leadership and fundraising experience and a background in project management (including overseeing and managing budgets). The applicant must be familiar with key concerns in sustainability and resource management.

• Special Knowledge and Skills: It is essential that the candidate possess outstanding organizational skills, strong written and oral communication skills, and good computer skills.  S/he must also have a commitment to the environment, be at ease dealing with Westerners, and ideally speak fluent Cebuano, Tagalog and English.  

• Personal Characteristics: The Board is seeking a Director with ambition and drive, who can ensure that challenging work is completed on tight schedules.  The ideal candidate will be independent and mature, quick to seize opportunity, and demonstrate personal and professional integrity at all times.  This position will require a good sense of humor, outgoing personality, considerable patience, strong interpersonal skills, effective time management and flexibility.