SSC members are deployed in around 130 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, Task Forces and Sub-Committees; the main priority of the Chair and the SSC office is to provide support and leadership to this extensive global network to help stimulate conservation action on the ground. Any requests for additional groups to become established, together with the appointment of the Chairs of the Specialist Groups, must be endorsed by the SSC Chair in consultation with the SSC Steering Committee.
Other responsibilities of the SSC Chair’s office include working with government to address particular urgent species conservation issues, providing input to regional and national consultations and policy initiatives, consolidating and strengthening the SSC’s partnerships with other organizations, building collaboration with other Programmes and Commissions of IUCN, and fundraising for all SSC species related work. The SSC Chair’s Office works as a single team with the Global Species Programme in the IUCN Secretariat to support the SSC network, and to push forward the species conservation agenda within IUCN.
The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is headed by the Commission Chair, Dr Simon Stuart. The office of the SSC Chair has a prime location in the heart of the city of Bath, in the southwest of the United Kingdom. In addition to the Chair, there are currently five members of SSC staff supporting the Chair’s Office. Jennifer Luedtke, Coordinator of the SSC Amphibian Red List Authority; Kira Mileham, Director, Specialist Group Partnerships SSC; and Vera Hugues Salas, Assistant to the Chair and Office Manager, are based with Dr Simon Stuart in the Bath office. Michael Hoffmann, Senior Scientific Officer to the SSC; and Rachel Hoffmann, SSC Network Coordinator, are based at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) office in Cambridge, UK. UNEP-WCMC generously manages the finances of the SSC Chair’s Office and employs the staff.
IUCN Commission Chairs are members of the governing Council of IUCN but, since these positions are not paid for by IUCN, most Commission Chairs serve in a voluntary capacity. Dr Stuart, however, is in the fortunate position of being able to work full-time with three support staff in his office, due to the generous financial support of the following institutions: