Community Based Conservation Water Program Director

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Location negotiable, United States
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 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 world faces pressing global challenges, from climate change to increasing food, energy and water demands. The Nature Conservancy believes we can meet these challenges and make progress towards a future that balances the needs of people and nature through major changes in decisions about natural resource management, economic development investments, and market systems. The Conservancy seeks a program director with extensive conservation planning and project management experience to lead a body of work on community based conservation with a global portfolio of freshwater projects. S/he will lead a process of site selection and conservation planning in partnership with site-based teams and local partners that will serve as the blueprint for implementation of activities in these geographies for the next 5-10 years. S/he will be a member of the Global Water Team and will collaborate with other global conservation teams (Lands and Oceans), the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Team and site-based teams to successfully deliver on actionable community-based conservation plans for a portfolio of sites. 




The Community Based Conservation (CBC) Freshwater Program Director will manage the delivery of 1) a set of community based conservation plans for a portfolio of freshwater project sites; 2) tools, resources and lessons learned that are developed through the planning process; and 3) a three-year proposal for carrying out work based on the conservation plans. This includes scoping of geographies, gathering baseline information, providing capacity building opportunities for project teams and carrying out a collaborative conservation planning process. S/he will occasionally work with members of the Lands, Oceans and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Teams to align on the CBC planning process, plan potential joint workshops and share knowledge and resources.

The CBC Freshwater Program Director will report to the Director of Water Security Science and Innovation, and will be an active member of the Global Water Team.  In addition to delivering on a set of conservation plans, s/he will manage the delivery of products by peers on the Global Water Team and other colleagues at The Conservancy that work to improve the measurement of project impacts and capture lessons learned from CBC approaches. S/he will serve as the primary point of contact for Global Water for a large organization-wide grant, including reporting on freshwater-related activities throughout this grant, and coordinating and writing a three-year proposal for implementation of activities developed through the conservation planning process. The CBC Freshwater Program Director will also manage the grant and ensure grant deliverables and financial status is on track.

Although the program that this position will support is fully funded for ten years, this position as described is expected to run through two years, at which time project planning will be complete. At that time the program structure, including this role, will be reevaluated to ensure effective deployment of program activities.




•    Leads and manages a project team to deliver on program activities and deliverables.
•    Integrates community based conservation approaches into project selection, planning and implementation.
•    Aligns program activities with Global Water strategies and the Conservancy’s Shared Conservation Agenda.
•    Builds capacity among site-based Conservancy practitioners, partners and local communities that enables effective participation in conservation planning and project implementation.
•    Increases understanding and uptake of freshwater community based conservation approaches at the Conservancy through development of knowledge, tools and resources.
•    Travels 25% or more in both the US and internationally.                     
•    May work in variable weather conditions at remote locations, hazardous terrain and/or under physically demanding circumstances.




•    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 in grant management and project delivery across multiple teams.
•    Experience writing large multi-year proposals.
•    Understanding of Community Based Conservation approaches.
•    Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation plans.
•    Experience or education in freshwater ecology or related field.
•    Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
•    Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives or related field.
•    Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
•    Demonstrated experience in fundraising.  
•    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.