Conservation Program Director II

The Nature Conservancy - Milton, DE4.3

The Conservation Program Director II builds, manages and provides technical and programmatic support to TNC Delaware’s field operations. S/he establishes TNC Delaware as a major conservation partner, defines our conservation priorities, builds and leads a team to support and improve conservation efforts, and increases strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. S/he serves as a principal contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations and the academic community. The Conservation Program Director II develops key partnerships with public & private organizations to identify and resolve technical issues and to widely communicate solutions and best practices, develops innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools and frameworks to address natural-system needs, and engenders community support for conservation efforts. S/he negotiates complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities and develop and implement conservation strategies. The Conservation Program Director II plans, implements, and advances climate-adaptation initiatives, projects and policies to institutionalize natural solutions that mitigate coastal flood hazards, leading collaborative partnerships and interactions with communities, government officials, corporate representatives, non-profit organizations, foundations, media, and other key audiences. S/he plans and implements TNC Delaware’s land-protection program and projects, which are guided by TNC’s Resilient and Connected Lands Analysis. The Conservation Program Director II serves as a collaborative partner to TNC Delaware’s Land Steward on ecological restoration strategies, including reforestation, sustainable timbering and the use of beneficial fire. S/he participates in TNC Delaware’s public and private fundraising activities (including grant writing) to increase financial support for TNC priorities and helps recruit new team members as our programs grow.


Working closely with TNC Delaware Leadership Team (of which s/he will be a member), other TNC business units, and TNC science and conservation practitioners, the Conservation Program Director II:

Develops and executes systems-thinking strategies to advance TNC's climate-adaptation priority strategy in Delaware (e.g., local, state-wide and large-scale planning, initiatives and policies that support nature-based adaptation actions; advancing legislation to improve Delaware’s ability to adapt to a changing climate, etc.).
Develops and executes a land-protection strategy based on latest TNC science (e.g., Resilient and Connect Lands Analysis)
Provides lateral support for TNC Delaware’s Land Steward, including collaborative planning around ecological restoration, reforestation, prescribed fire, sustainable timbering, management of hunt leases, etc.
Contributes stormwater management and federal and state Clean Water Act expertise to TNC Delaware’s Building Healthy Cities priority, including expertise to help advance a water fund and green-infrastructure urban stormwater solutions.
Collaborates with TNC staff from other business units and the North American region on cross-border conservation initiatives, including prescribed fire, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy siting and carbon sequestration.
Conducts outreach and represents TNC to government officials, the business sector, non-profit community, media, funders and other audiences.
Identifies key stakeholders and constituencies and develops and implements strategies to engage these individuals and audiences in collaborative action on climate adaptation policy, planning, and projects.
Creates new and strengthens existing partnerships with other organizations in the non-profit and private sectors, including the environmental, conservation, sportsmen's, outdoor recreation, business, and other communities.
May manage projects and teams involving research and analysis on a broad range of subjects (e.g., science and technology, economics, public opinion).
Monitors legislative, regulatory, and administrative developments and coordinates action on policy opportunities, as appropriate, in support of TNC Delaware’s conservation priorities.
As a registered Delaware lobbyist, communicates with elected and appointed officials and prepares and delivers testimony before legislative and administrative bodies.
Works with TNC Delaware’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator, helps drive use of media (e.g., earned, paid, social) in support of TNC Delaware’s priorities.
Shares information and coordinates strategy with TNC staff in other state, regional, and worldwide office programs.
May manage and supervise staff and/or volunteers, interns, or temporary staff.
Financial responsibilities may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors and outside consultants, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.
Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements, including federal and state lobbying laws and regulations.
Recruits, manages and supervises team members and manages TNC Delaware’s Milton office.
Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget.
Writes requests for proposal (RFPs) for grant/contract funding for TNC Delaware’s conservation priorities and programs.
Frequently makes independently strategic decision based on analysis, ambiguous information and context.
Negotiates complex agreements, in a political environment.
Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours.
May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and 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.

Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
Advanced degree in conservation or science-related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
7-10 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
Knowledge of current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and regions.
Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
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.
Politically savvy.
Experience employing land-protection strategies and negotiating real-estate transactions.
Experience working with coastal restoration, including experience with nature-based solutions to climate-change impacts on coastal communities (e.g. marsh and wetland restoration).
Ability to use ESRI GIS software to visualize spatial data.
Experience in stormwater management, including a working knowledge of MS4/TMDL programs, green infrastructure stormwater solutions and related Clean Water Act issues.
Government relations experience and ability to advance legislative priorities and lobbying objectives.
Ability to work collaboratively with Stewardship staff on ecological outcomes.
Demonstrated ability to develop, implement and complete conservation projects


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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 people 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.