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Global Director of Freshwater Outcomes

Expiration Date: 

JOB TITLE Program Director V 
POSITION TITLE Global Director of Freshwater Outcomes  
JOB FAMILY Conservation 
JOB NUMBER 250014 
STATUS Salaried 
LOCATIONJanuary 2022 
DATE Flexible-International 


Founded in 1951, 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. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters, and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing  food and water sustainably, and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore,  we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, 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 is seeking a Global Director of Freshwater Outcomes to build on TNC’s strong foundation in science and place based conservation to accelerate impact on freshwater biodiversity, nurture innovative ideas, convene action, and tell water’s ever changing modern story. As a trusted, global conservation leader, the Global Director will facilitate the development and execution of a  global portfolio of investments that will ensure at least an additional 1 million kilometers of river systems and 30 million hectares of  freshwater habitats are safeguarded or restored through the actions of TNC and our partners. These projects and systems change efforts  will focus on the protection of biodiversity as well as influencing compatible land and water management, regenerative food and  agriculture systems, and governance that includes supporting people and communities adapting to climate change. The Director will  provide strategic leadership and support across all levels of the organization and aspects of our work and excel at leading with, and  without, authority in a highly decentralized and matrixed organization. 

The location for this position is flexible within countries where The Nature Conservancy is a registered NGO and has an already established  office. This position is not eligible for relocation or immigration assistance.  


The Global Director of Freshwater Outcomes serves as The Nature Conservancy’s organizational lead in coordinating, designing, and  advancing a global freshwater biodiversity conservation strategy to deliver on the organization’s 2030 goals for healthy freshwater  ecosystems and resilient watersheds. In doing so, they lead TNC’s freshwater conservation portfolio management and its performance,  business development, fundraising efforts, internal and external communications, and special campaigns and projects. The Director will  work across global, regional, and local teams to lead the development of TNC’s strategy and teams on freshwater management, protection,  and restoration. They will also provide fundraising leadership, coordination, and collaboration capacities to support implementation in each  of the regions where TNC works. 

The Director plays a facilitative leader role to regional management and technical leads working to implement place-based projects and  local and national leadership to influence enabling conditions such as policy, financing, and markets. The facilitative leader role is  exemplified by co-development of strategies with regional and local teams, raising financial resources and profile for TNC’s freshwater  innovation, and delivering technical support for outcomes in place through the mobility of talent and capacity across the globe to deliver on  TNC’s Freshwater conservation outcomes.  

This position will report to the Global Managing Director of Protect Oceans, Lands, and Water and engage with multiple leadership teams  and advisory boards which are designed to better enable resource development and deep collaboration with colleagues throughout the  Conservancy who are responsible for advancing TNC’s freshwater conservation outcomes. 


• Create a dynamic, learning organization that aligns, acts quickly, and adjusts often to accelerate freshwater conservation outcomes.  • Develop theories of transformational change and priority strategies in partnership with internal and external stakeholders and partners  and managed through virtual, high-functioning teams. 
• Expand the vision and implementation of shared learning and global capacity mobility through TNC’s freshwater community of practice. •
Collaborate in the design of a “HUB” internal data management system to assess internal alignment and track overall progress, and ensure that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.  
• Lead the cultivation of fundraising opportunities for the organization’s freshwater conservation priorities including the development of  relationships with major donors and securing principal gifts in coordination with the Global Managing Director for Protect, Global  Managing Director for Provide, Regional leaders, and TNC’s philanthropy team. 
• Establish TNC externally as a global leader and collaborative partner in freshwater biodiversity science, policy, and conservation. Serve  as a spokesperson for TNC’s freshwater work and develop targeted communications and media campaign strategies in coordination with  TNC’s marketing and communications team.  
• Lead both the development and relationship management for key partnerships with priority public and private organizations including  government agencies, NGOs, corporations, professional societies, the academic community, and other groups, as applicable.
• Ensure the inclusion of freshwater biodiversity conservation in global and regional policy agreements such as the UNFCCC and  Convention on Biological Diversity. Work closely with TNC’s Global External Affairs Team and Corporate Engagement Team.
• Manage a highly matrixed team of approximately a dozen staff with both solid and dotted line reporting structures, as well as influence  the direction of several hundred staff in an integrated approach to transform freshwater management globally. 
• Assess legal, financial, reputational, and policy risks on a variety of issues related to program development, public policy, and external  partnerships.  
• Commit to, and lead by example, all of TNC’s core values including diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
• When approved and in compliance with organizational COVID-19 health and safety protocols this position may require frequent travel  domestically and/or internationally (estimated 25-40%). 


• BA/BS degree and 15 years of experience in conservation, business, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Experience as a leader in the Freshwater conservation space. 
• Experience developing practical applications of scientific concepts, strategy innovations, and creative problem solving for conservation  outcomes in multiple countries. 
• Experience in a matrixed, decentralized and geographically dispersed organization, such as directing and managing a major program or  complex project of strategic importance at a regional or national scale.  
• Experience leading, coaching, and motivating staff, setting objectives, and managing performance. 
• Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation, and generating corporate revenue. 
• Experience working with current global freshwater conservation trends and practices across multiple regions.
• Experience developing partnerships with non-profit partners, community groups, and/or government agencies.  


• Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience.  
• 10+ years experience working at a senior level to help identify, evaluate and coordinate high profile, complex work, policies, large and long-term programs with broad organizational impact; capable and comfortable making timely and informed decisions.
• Master’s degree or PhD in related field. 
• Extensive networking and communication skills. 
• Experience working with methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives. 
• Successful leadership experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
• Politically savvy, with proven ability to collaborate and lead by example and influence, both within and across institutions.
• Demonstrated leadership and visionary qualities. 
• Knowledge of global politics and societies concerning environmental affairs, and specifically to global freshwater issues.
• Extensive networking skills with high-level contacts, and experience creating a shared vision with partners on freshwater globally.
• Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other languages.


  • Builds Relationships: Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.  
  • Collaboration & Teamwork: Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace  contributions.  
  • Communicates  Authentically: Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate  level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.   
  • Develops  Others: Sets challenging goals and objectives based on a strong sense of purpose and high-performance standards and  steadfastly pushes self and others for tangible results, while ensuring work-life balance. 
  • Drives for Results: Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions,  strengthen commitment, and be more effective. 
  • Leverages  Difference:  Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and  takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across  differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholders. Actively seeks to build and retain a  diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives.  
  • Systems  Leadership:Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of  large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people;  providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic  actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of  behavior may be limiting change. 

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.