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Senior Legal and Policy Specialist for Counter Wildlife Trafficking
RTI International (RTI)
Grade: Unspecified
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Added 1 month ago
Job Description

Research Triangle Institute (RTI) has over 30 years’ experience assisting governments, communities, and the private sector. As a not-for-profit, independent research institute based in North Carolina, USA, RTI has roughly 5,000 employees with global experience implementing international development projects. RTI's Sustainable Growth & Resilience (SG&R) technical unit within the International Development Group brings together RTI experts and capabilities across food security, agriculture, energy, environment, water, governance, and economic opportunity. SG&R will leverage RTI's experience designing and delivering multisectoral programming and technical solutions to respond to climate change, build resilience, and promote economic growth around the world.

Project Description

The anticipated project is the USAID Reducing Demand for Wildlife (RDW) regional project, which will seek to significantly reduce demand for wildlife products and counter wildlife crime in Southeast Asia and China. Specifically, RDW will reduce demand through Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) campaigns. This project will extend USAID Wildlife Asia’s use of SBCC as an approach for demand reduction. The project will also reduce supply through rational, comprehensive regulatory, policy and enforcement systems. RDW will convene policy makers, legislators, enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges to review the region’s wildlife law regulatory and enforcement systems. This will primarily be done through regional bodies, such as the working groups of the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEANAPOL, and the Asian Judges Network for the Environment. This will be a start to harmonizing and linking the different policy, legislative, and enforcement frameworks present in the different countries of the region and support the leadership of these regional institutions in developing plans and priorities.


RDW will be based in Bangkok, Thailand, and the geographic scope includes all ASEAN countries, with a focus on the Lower Mekong (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia) and China.

Position Description

RTI’s Environment Division is seeking a Senior Legal and Policy Specialist for Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT) to coordinate the development and implementation of the law and policy component of the project. The Senior Legal and Policy Specialist will work in close collaboration with the other components of RDW and report to the Chief of Party. This position is contingent on RTI being awarded the anticipated project.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Under the direction of the Chief of Party, lead in the development and implementation of a comprehensive law and policy strategy to increasing political will, strengthening policy and legislative reform, supporting CWT capacity building, within the ASEAN region and target countries, with a focus on the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Working Group on CITES and Wildlife Enforcement and advancing judiciary capacity building and exchanges.
  • Under the direction of the Chief of Party, lead in engagement in strategic national, regional and global CWT related policy dialogues and formulation including the identification of strategic overarching/cross-cutting policy issues, development of policy agendas and terms of reference for dialogue.
  • Organize policy discussion forums, and focus group discussions with national and regional stakeholders, INGOs and donors through a range of different avenues such as ASEAN ministerial and working group meetings; partnership with other international and regional organizations.
  • Undertake regional and national legal and policy research aimed at guiding UWA’s goal of helping to strengthen and harmonize governance structures across the region.
  • Provide technical guidance to -and in turn receive technical inputs from the other activities to enable a cohesive, unified approach in order to implement an integrated counter wildlife trafficking strategy for the program, including engaging other USG and CWT partners.
  • With support from the Chief of Party, drive collaboration with - and build upon the efforts of - other ASEAN, USG, and civil society activities to strengthen and institutionalize demand reduction, policy and legislation, law enforcement, prosecution and judicial capacities with the goal of institutionalizing and thus sustaining USAID activities and investments beyond the life of the project.
  • Support coordination of training of government and non-government officials including policy makers and legislators, customs, law enforcement agents, prosecutors, the judiciary in CWT issues, and private sector players with the expectation that trainings will support or incorporate demand reduction efforts and inform policy and legislation activities on the project.
  • Provide leadership on the development of a plan to strengthen legislation and policies, prosecution and judicial capacity with the goal of increasing the level of capability to bring CWT cases to court and to be heard by judges with specialized knowledge.
  • Advance strategic partnerships with government stakeholders, CWT partners and regional/national training institutions to incorporate the process of building policy, law enforcement, prosecution and judicial capacity countering wildlife trafficking into their curriculum. This also includes working closely with the Social and Behavior Change specialist on integrating pertinent information derived from the project’s research regarding illegal traders’/buyers’ motivation for illegal wildlife part and products.
  • Provide oversight to Government Policy and Liaison Specialist on implementation of technical tasks.
  • Contribute to monthly, quarterly, and annual progress reports and support additional requests from USAID as required.
  • Provide technical leadership in the development and implementation of work plans, monitoring of project indicators, and overall planning and implementation of project activities.
  • Supervise and manage consultants and subcontractors as required to implement technical activities.
  • Complete any other duties/activities as directed by the Chief of Party in line with the Project’s objectives.


  • Bachelor's Degree and 8 years of experience, Master's degree and 6 years of experience, PhD and 1 years of experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience working in counter wildlife trafficking.
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience working in the governance and policy in the ASEAN region.
  • Proven experience and effectiveness designing, leading, coordinating and implementing capacity building systems, institutional strengthening and coalition building in counter wildlife trafficking.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team.
  • Highly motivated to collaborate, share information and coordinate work across teams.
  • Proven ability to advance USAID development objectives.
  • Fluent and superior English written and verbal communication skills, including expertise writing and editing reports and communications products for a USAID audience.
  • Ability to work effectively with the Microsoft office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Adobe.
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