Chair of Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group

Body: Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group (IWTAG)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: London
Skills required: International Experience
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £200 per day
Time Requirements: Up to a maximum of 15 days per annum

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    28/02/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift

    Week commencing 23 March 2020

  • Final Interview Date

    Week commencing 20 April 2020

  • Announcement

    End of June 2020


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group (IWTAG) is made up of independent experts from a range of backgrounds, including non-governmental organisations, scientific and academic institutions and the private sector, and UK government officials.

The primary role of the IWTAG is to assess applications for funding, to enable Defra to advise Ministers as to the highest quality projects for funding. The IWTAG helps to ensure that UK Government funding granted through the IWT Challenge Fund is spent on high quality projects tackling the illegal wildlife trade through action under one or more of our four strategic pillars.

The main function of the Chair is to effectively manage the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund sift meetings, where the Advisory Group (made up of around 13 independent experts plus around five government policy officials) discuss their reviews of project applications. The Chair will be required to attend three days of IWTAG meetings per year (including an annual strategy meeting) with the aim of providing a final prioritised list of recommended projects for the consideration of Defra Ministers.

In addition, the Chair is expected to promote the IWT Challenge Fund and attend key events alongside Ministers, and occasional project workshops. As Chair, you may be asked to preside over, or speak at, these events. The Chair maintains close contact with the IWTAG Secretariat in Defra and some time will be spent on preparation for meetings, and discussing and clearing issues by post, telephone or e-mail.

Applicants from a wide range of backgrounds will be considered, including the private sector, academic and professional institutions, and non-governmental organisations.

The Chair is responsible for:

• Acting as the public face of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, alongside Defra and other government ministers. Representing and promoting the strategic interests of the Fund at the most senior levels across the public, business, academic sectors, and to non-governmental organisations.

• Chairing Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group meetings, including application sift meetings, and ensuring consistent standards of assessment are applied and that recommended projects demonstrate a strong evidence base and excellent value-for-money. You may be called upon to take the final decisions on recommendations for funding where consensus cannot be achieved by the group, on appeals and, occasionally, to advise on revisions to approved projects;

• Guiding strategic discussion on the scheme aims, priorities and further development and advising on recommendations to be made to Ministers;

• Attending and chairing/speaking at IWT Challenge Fund events including IWT workshops, and IWT conferences and seminars;

• Advising the IWT Challenge Fund Secretariat (Defra) on preparations for application sift processes, advisory meetings, and other matters.

Person Specification

Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

• Significant academic or professional experience and standing in a field related to the work of at least one of the main themes, such as developing sustainable livelihoods to benefit people directly affected by IWT, strengthening law enforcement, ensuring effective legal frameworks, or reducing demand for IWT products;

• Experience in chairing high-level committees making recommendations on strategic and/or funding priorities and the ability to lead and facilitate collective decision-making when chairing meetings. This includes taking full account of the range of relevant factors and opinions, and encouraging consensus from a range of apparently differing views;

• Experience of working with and applying to grant funding schemes, and of reviewing project applications to such schemes, including the ability to identify funding priorities in line with respective guidance;

• Ability to contribute to long-term strategy discussions relating to the scheme, and demonstrable experience in making similar high-level strategy decisions.

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be expected to attend IWTAG meetings in autumn 2020.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

• Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest, Conduct and Political Activity Questionnaire)

• Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on Friday 28 February 2020. Email to

For further information about the role please email:

1_IWTAG Chair - Information Pack
2_Monitoring form 1 (Political Activity and CoI Questionnaire)
3_Monitoring form 2 (Diversity)

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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