Director of Climate Adaptation Policy – the Nature Conservancy

Apply for the position HERE


The Director of Climate Adaptation Policy will lead and manage policy activities as part of an integrated effort to further the climate adaptation agenda of the Conservancy. The Director of Climate Adaptation Policy provides direction to other government relations staff and also directly interacts with U.S. Federal agencies, Cabinet departments and White House offices; Congressional staff; and State, Tribal and local governments.  In addition, the position will oversee Conservancy policy efforts in international fora such as negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, with international donor institutions, and in key countries identified in the Conservancy’s key country strategy (Brazil, Indonesia, China and Mexico).  The position will be based  within the Conservancy’s U.S. Government Relations Department, reporting to the Director, U.S. Government Relations, with a dotted line to the Climate Adaptation Strategy Leader and will work in close coordination with other external affairs staff and with the Conservancy’s Climate Adaptation Team as part of an organization-wide climate adaptation strategy. The Director of Climate Adaptation Policy may be required to register as a lobbyist under relevant provisions of U.S. law.

More specifically, the Director of Climate Adaptation Policy will:

  • Work with the Climate Adaptation Strategy Leader to foster the integration of policy approaches to climate adaptation in the U.S. and in other key countries and for all TNC priority areas (marine, freshwater, conservation lands, and climate).
  • Translate science-based recommendations into effective policy proposals and justifications for those proposals for use with agencies and Congress.
  • Lead, in collaboration with the Climate Adaptation Strategy Leader, the development of a refined Conservancy-wide point of view on principles for adaptation policy efforts in the U.S. and in other countries.
  • Oversee an emerging Conservancy strategy to reform disaster risk reduction and hazard mitigation programs and policies.  Maintain active engagement with the Conservancy’s U.S. and International government relations staff including staff in country and state programs to coordinate action on emerging priorities and initiatives and foster the integration of climate adaptation considerations into Conservancy policy priorities.
  • Advocate for funding for ecosystem based adaptation including the mainstreaming of EBA into multi and bilateral donor institutions and key country national funding priorities (for example federal appropriations within the U.S.).
  • Provide expert policy analysis of proposals before Congress and the Administration, and TNC field staff, work with Congress to shape and enact legislation in support of Conservancy objectives related to adaptation.
  • Work with Adaptation Team Members to translate place-based lessons learned into policy inputs and coordinate with field programs to leverage success for policy effect.
  • Lead, supervise and manage 2-4 other staff as may be assigned to adaptation policy  work including staff working on climate change risk issues and international adaptation issues.
  • Collaborate with the Conservancy’s media relations and marketing staff on strategic communications to increase public understanding of adaptation issues.
  • As requested, represent the Conservancy with public and private funders in support of the Conservancy’s adaptation policy objectives.

Bachelor’s degree in environmental policy or related field and 7 years of senior government relations/external affairs experience.


  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field and 7 or more years of senior relevant experience. Relevant graduate degree preferred.
  • Federal agency or Congressional staff experience or equivalent experience with involvement in climate change adaptation and/or conservation issues.
  • Some involvement/experience with international conservation policy
  • Expert understanding of climate change impacts and/or forest/watershed/coastal management.  Familiarity with efforts in one or more of the following areas desired:  international negotiations, biodiversity policy, poverty alleviation, international development, urban planning.
  • Demonstrated experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills; collaborative orientation and style
  • Proven experience in supervising other professional staff.
  • Demonstrated strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Strong advocacy experience and/or orientation.


  • Willingness to travel 10-35% of time.
  • Work requires only minor physical exertion and/or physical strain.  Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 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.

To apply to position number 39593, submit resume and cover letter as one document HERE.

All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on January 13, 2012.
ailure to complete all of the required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. The information entered in the education and work experience sections are auto screened by the system based on the basic qualifications of the position.

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