[Taxacom] Position Announcement: Head of Participation (GBIF, Copenhagen, Denmark)

David Remsen dremsen at gbif.org
Mon Jan 19 02:34:35 CST 2009

Dear Taxacomers,

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat in  
Copenhagen, Denmark has an opening for a new Head of Participation.   
Please refer to position description below.

Kind regards,
David Remsen


Head of Participation
Position: Head of Participation
Sector: Biodiversity; biodiversity informatics and applications
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Up to five years contract, renewable
Deadline: Monday 16 February 2009

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat seeks  
an experienced and energetic coordinator for our Participation  
portfolio. The Head of Participation (HoP) post is an exciting  
opportunity to work in a multi-cultural environment on a global  
initiative playing a leading role in increasing our understanding, use  
and sustainable management of biodiversity. This strategic role  
encompasses both growing the awareness of, and participation in GBIF,  
amongst countries, organisations and others and coordinating ongoing  
Secretariat-Participant interactions, particularly needs analyses and  
provision of services to GBIF Participants as GBIF moves to a more  
distributed network model dependent on fully functional Participants.  
This is a senior-level post reporting to the Director, with an initial  
contract of up to five years and an attractive salary benefiting from  
the diplomatic status of the Secretariat. The 19-staff Secretariat is  
located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
GBIF is an international ‘public-good’ initiative (current membership  
of 49 countries and 39 international organisations) with the mandate  
of mobilising the world’s primary biodiversity data via the Internet  
in support of national and international science, conservation and  
sustainable development decision-making. Currently the GBIF data  
portal provides access to more than 2700 datasets worldwide holding  
more than 163 million records (http://data.gbif.org). Secretariat  
priorities, with the emphasis on growing participation and working  
through partners to mobilise biodiversity data, include developing  
protocols and standards to ensure scientific integrity and  
interoperability, building a global informatics and metadata  
architecture to allow the interlinking of diverse data types from  
disparate sources, providing training and promoting capacity building  
and catalyzing development of the analytical tools for improved  
decision-making. For more detailed information on GBIF and our 09-10  
Work Programme please visit www.gbif.org.

A. The Participation work area encompasses all aspects of external  
relations including broadly:
1. Developing strategic partnerships including outreach to potential  
and existing Participants, focussed on growing participation in GBIF.
2. Working directly with Participants at national, regional and  
organisational levels to understand their information needs, and, via  
constant interaction with the Secretariat Informatics team and wider  
GBIF community, providing solutions to these needs. Priorities include  
for example analyses of major ecological change due to climate change,  
impacts of invasive species and biodiversity loss.
3. Developing and implementing training and capacity building  
curricula and materials to enhance participation in GBIF and  
capacitate Participants to take advantage of the concepts, products  
and services developed by the GBIF community.
4. Overall communications and public relation approaches to the wider  
conservation, business and policy communities, including website  
content development, media releases, scientific and popular articles  
and general communications support to the Secretariat and GBIF  

B. The HoP is a new strategic post designed to fully integrate the  
Participation work area in order to better coordinate our external  
focus in addressing needs and developing services and products to  
benefit Participants and attract new Participants. The HoP will:
1. Develop strategies and identify opportunities to grow participation  
in GBIF. These activities will include both growing the awareness of,  
and participation in GBIF amongst countries, international  
organisations, research and academic institutions and private  
enterprise and negotiating and formalising strategic partnerships as  
2. Lead the interaction with the different scientific, conservation  
and policy communities and broker the development and delivery of key  
informatics products and services to address multi-stakeholder needs  
elicited through these ongoing interactions with stakeholders.
3. Lead the development of a communication strategy including branding  
and coordination of all external liaisons.
4. Identify and pursue new funding approaches including to promote and  
coordinate the GBIF Campaigns concept.
5. Play a key role in Secretariat strategic planning and serve as the  
main liaison between the Participation work area and the rest of the  
Secretariat and GBIF membership.
6. Be output and service driven with a proven ability to manage both  
internal and external teams and deliver relevant products and services  
in a collaborative, participatory yet demanding multi-stakeholder  
7. Have the opportunity to define an additional post within the  
Participation work area if required.

C. Prospective applicants should ideally have a combination of the  
1. A career track record in scientific domains such as agriculture,  
biodiversity, biology, ecology, biotechnology, biogeography, climate,  
marine and/or earth sciences.
2. Significant experience /exposure (at least 5 years) as a programme/ 
project manager for a variety of high-level, innovative science  
projects, preferably related to web technologies and/or large data  
sets and data integration, and innovative large-scale analyses.
3. Worked within and/or have a thorough understanding of the realm of  
biodiversity information, including systematics, conservation science  
and policy, and the reporting requirements of the major multilateral  
environmental treaties.
4. Experience working on inter-governmental initiatives and  
coordinating activities involving a wide range of distributed  
participants, including governmental, NGO and scientific groups.
5. Experience extracting and interpreting disparate user needs and  
translating these for development into appropriate informatics  
products and services.
6. Experience/exposure in conceptualising, planning and implementing  
product launches.
7. A track record of successful international and national fund-raising.

D. Personal attributes include that an applicant must:
1. Have superb English language skills; fluency in other UN languages  
is highly desirable.
2. Be comfortable in face-to-face interactions with a diversity of  
audiences and sensitive to cultural, political and regional differences.
3. Be an excellent public presenter in both preparation of multi-media  
materials and in presentation thereof.
4. Have excellent inter-personal and communication skills to motivate  
a team of skilled professionals and external contributors.
5. Be able to work successfully as both a leader and as a team player.
6. Be self-motivated, highly innovative and looking for a significant  
career growth opportunity.

The Head of Participation is expected to take up office by 1 April  
2009 or as soon as possible thereafter. Further enquiries and  
applications should be addressed to the Director, Dr Nicholas King at: HOP at gbif.org 
. Applications should include a concise CV outlining relevant  
experience, with a cover-letter detailing how you meet the  
requirements listed in B, C & D (and numbered accordingly), and your  
vision for contributing to the overall mission of GBIF. Include 3-5  
URLs or full copies of relevant scientific publications, outreach, PR,  
media, training, fund-raising and general external liaison products or  
materials. Closing date: 16 February 2009. Interviews will likely take  
place the last two weeks of February in Copenhagen.

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