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AWF Safaris Manager

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Posted on Monday, June 11, 2018

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is one of the leading international conservation organizations focused solely on the African continent. The AWF Safaris Manager plays a key, unique, and exciting role in the organization's Development & Marketing team. Based in Washington, D.C., the AWF Safaris Manager will oversee the operation and growth of our safaris program which serves as a foundational part of our development efforts to raise the resources needed to fulfill AWF’s mission: to ensure that wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa.

Africa is our campus; there is no better way to engage our donors — current and future — than giving them the experience of a lifetime while on safari in Africa. The AWF Safaris Manager is responsible for working in collaboration with preferred safari operators to design, market, and fill these trips. 

The AWF Safaris Manager reports to the Vice President, Development & Marketing, and will have the opportunity to mentor under Senior Vice President Craig Sholley, who built the program and has been running it for 18 years. Craig has over 45 years of experience in Africa with a portfolio of work ranging from conducting wildlife research, overseeing field-based conservation efforts, crafting and leading safaris for a diversity of acclaimed institutions, and successfully fund-raising for AWF’s overall mission.

The successful candidate will need to work collaboratively across teams to effectively develop and implement the program, especially with Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations; Director, Marketing & Creative; and Director, Development Operations

Key Duties & Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with preferred safari operators, designs, markets, and fills the annual slate of AWF membership safaris.
  • Designs, communicates, and fills annual pre- and post – board meeting and council meeting safaris.
  • Advises and designs customized individual and small group safaris as need with high net worth individuals and prospects.
  • Assists in the design of internal staff travel to Africa, largely as part of training for front-line fundraisers who will benefit from first-hand experience and understanding of AWF’s work on the ground across the continent.
  • Develop and train cadre of AWF representatives who can staff AWF safaris and provide the level of service and knowledge that is a hallmark of AWF safaris.
  • Represents AWF on select safaris, handling logistics as well as providing programmatic and natural history expertise.
  • Manage relationships with AWF contacts (inbound and outbound operators, lodge owners, etc.) across the African continent.
  • Manage the portfolio of developing safaris for corporate partnerships.
  • Assess opportunities and develop a business plan for growing the existing program from a break-even cultivation and stewardship program to a revenue-generating program (above and beyond the revenue generated from individual philanthropy).


  • Minimum of 5 years of managing international travel programs, with a high degree of experience focused on African destinations.
  • In-depth knowledge of Africa, wildlife natural history and behavior, and wild lands conservation a must, with actual work experience on the ground in Africa highly desirable.
  • Major gifts and/or corporate fundraising experience highly desirable.
  • Marketing experience; must be creative and an excellent writer at minimum.
  • Ability and willingness to travel to Africa and in the US to steward partnerships.
  • Demonstrated excellence in customizing service.
  • Excellent ‘people’ skills relative to managing groups comprised of diverse ages, political and social views, and personalities.
  • Proven experience in accounting and managing budgets.
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple tasks/projects and attention to detail.
  • Articulate, good teacher, engaging personality, and sense of humor required!
  • Demonstrated experience working with teams to deliver high-quality products and experiences.

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