Project Director, Conservation Investments – The Nature Conservancy


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
The Project Director for Conservation Investments supports the California chapter’s work in conservation finance, conservation assets (including real estate, commercial fishing quotas, carbon credits and interests in fresh water) and environmental economics. The Project Director conducts finance- and economic-related analyses on TNC projects and serves as an internal consultant to various TNC California teams to bring sophisticated business, financial, and economic expertise to the design and implementation of the Conservancy’s conservation priorities. This position reports to the Director of Conservation Investments and is part of the Conservation Program.
The California chapter’s Conservation Investments Department is responsible for several critical functions, as follows:
  • Asset Acquisition:
    • The California chapter’s asset acquisition process relies on a cross-functional team with established roles and responsibilities.
  • Asset Management and Disposition:
    • With several hundred thousand acres held in fee or in easement (and other conservation assets, such as commercial fishing quotas, carbon credits and water rights), the California chapter has extensive – and often complex – asset management responsibilities.  The California chapter regularly reviews its asset management and disposition strategies to ensure that it is managing its diverse portfolio to achieve the maximum conservation benefit with the most efficient use of limited resources.
  • Conservation Finance and Impact Investing:
    • The Conservation Investments Department leads key projects and collaborates with various TNC California teams to bring sophisticated financial and business expertise to the design and implementation of the Conservancy’s conservation priorities, including but not limited to the Conservancy’s six Priority Initiatives (Migratory Birds, Salmon, Desert Renewables, Sustainable Fisheries, Water and Climate Change). The Conservation Investments Department leads TNC California’s development of conservation finance strategies, including but not limited to impact investing strategies.  The Conservation Investments Departments serves as TNC California’s principal liaison with other TNC national and international programs in the development of large terrestrial and aquatic conservation transactions. In addition, the Conservation Investments Department leads efforts to analyze points of leverage and opportunities in resource-based industries including grazing, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, energy and water, in order to advance TNC California’s efforts to advance conservation solutions by collaborating with these industries.
  • Environmental Economics:
    • The Conservation Investments Department advises teams across the state on how to most effectively incorporate economic analyses and concepts into their work. The Department drives the understanding and appropriate use of traditional and innovative micro-economic tools and frameworks that result in effective application of market-based approaches to achieve TNC conservation objectives.   The Department helps Conservation Program team-members identify opportunities to develop and implement ecosystem services strategies and other strategies to secure funding for conservation from non-philanthropic sources and to assist in structuring and negotiating related agreements.  The Department provides economic and technical expertise to project teams for linking ecological and economic strategies and data, including through advice related to setting up and using information from cost-benefit and economic valuation studies.

The Project Director for Conservation Investments works closely and coordinates with a wide variety of California chapter staff, including scientists, project directors, finance, marketing, government relations and legal staff, as well as TNC staff located outside of California, as necessary. In addition, s/he may work with California trustees, other non-profit conservation groups, government agencies and other external stakeholders in support of conservation goals. Functions may include one or more of the following:

  • Assists staff in the development and negotiation of complex and innovative solutions to conservation challenges, including but not limited to: sustainable fisheries, climate change, salmon restoration, implementation of Natural Communities Conservation Plans, and sustainable agriculture;
  • Supports teams implementing conservation efforts and strategies;
  • Establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation partner within the area of responsibility; and builds the Conservation Programs employees’ strategic and technical capacity by disseminating best practices and mentoring and training.
  • BA/BS degree and 7 years experience in a private sector environment, such as management consulting and investment banking, or with a leading conservation organization or government entity, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment.
  • Project management experience.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
Preferred qualifications:
  • M.B.A. or other graduate degree with significant coursework in finance or economics preferred
  • Commitment to the mission and values of The Nature Conservancy, although no prior experience in environmental conservation is required.
  • Strong team player who can build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization and with Conservancy partners.
  • Outstanding analytical and project management capabilities.
  • Superior written and oral communications.
To apply to position number 41293, submit resume and cover letter as one document.  All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 11, 2013.

Read more about the position here.