Okavango Basin Program Director

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Gaborone, Botswana
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.




The Okavango Basin Program Director is the team leader and manager of The Nature Conservancy’s emerging work in the Okavango Basin. The Okavango Basin Program Director oversees planning and development with partners of TNC’s source water protection strategy in the basin. She/he will be guided by The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Region and Global strategies as well as linkages with key stakeholders in conservation and sustainable development in the basin and on the continent. She/he provides strategic leadership and support for The Nature Conservancy’s activities in the Okavango, including assisting TNC in resource mobilization and establishment of in-basin capacity.




The Okavango Basin Program Director develops key partnerships with public & private organizations in order to advance the conservation and development of the Okavango Basin. She/he establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation and sustainable development partner within Okavango Basin, particularly in support of the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) and its Member States.  The Okavango Basin Program Director also provides support to relevant activities of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. The Okavango Basin Program Director will define the Conservancy’s conservation priorities in the basin, lead and manage team(s) which supports and improves conservation efforts, and build strategic, scientific, and technical capacity.  She/he assesses and engages communities to understand the potential for community-based conservation and sustainable development progress.

She/he supervises some contractors hired on behalf of The Nature Conservancy and eventually manages the Okavango Basin Program budget. The Okavango Basin Program Director serves as the principal contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations and the academic community in the Okavango Basin. She/he also plays a role in donor identification, cultivation and stewardship for the program. She/he collaborates closely with the Conservancy-led Water Fund network and works closely with Conservancy staff at the regional and global levels as part of the Source Water Protection strategy. 





  • Geographic/programmatic scope covers the Okavango Basin, with a focus on the source water area of the basin. 
  •  Represent The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Africa program in the Okavango Basin in outreach and training regarding Source Water Protection, Water Funds, and related conservation matters.
  •  Engage with the Conservancy’s Global Water Fund Network to exchange experiences, promote learning, and achieve implementation excellence. 
  •  Actively engage in design and execution of fundraising strategies and help ensure funding targets are met,
  •  Develop TNC’s Okavango Basin Program strategies and help achieve its strategic goals and objectives
  •  Provide support directly, and by bringing in staff across TNC, to OKACOM on Water Fund governance and finance, source water protection strategy development, and water infrastructure tradeoff analysis
  •  Ensure that OKACOM receives appropriate technical backstopping from TNC staff and partners
  •  Collaborate with OKACOM Member states, and other key partners such as National Geographic Society’s Okavango Wilderness Project, to achieve common objectives.
  •  May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  •  Participate in the development and implementation of the TNC Africa Source Water Protection strategy
  •  May require frequent travel domestically and/or internationally and some evening and weekend hours
  •  Report to The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Freshwater Conservation Director, with support from the Africa Water Funds team, on regular basis to coordinate activities and ensure alignment with TNC priorities





  •  BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation
  •  Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.   
  •  Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  •  Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.                                        
  •  Experience negotiating.
  •  Experience with financial management of a program.
  •  Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English.


  •  Multi- lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  •  A Masters’ degree or 10-12 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  •  Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives and experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  •  Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in Portuguese and other relevant languages.
  •  Politically savvy.




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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.