Climate Director Position Description

JOB TITLE External Affairs Advisor II
JOB FAMILY External Affairs
STATUS Salaried
SUPERVISOR Director of Conservation
DATE March 2020


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 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 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 Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington works to create a world where people thrive. We are launching a multi-faceted, multi-year effort to reduce carbon emissions in Washington State, elevate the role of Natural Climate Solutions, and integrate TNC’s expertise in landscape resilience and adaptation into a compelling strategic initiative that engages a diverse array of communities and sectors, including rural and tribal communities. The Climate Director will hone and implement a strategic program of work that builds on TNC’s growing role as a leader in tackling climate change. They will work with diverse partners including community-based organizations, landowners, agencies, tribes, and businesses to build support for the climate movement and to deploy expertise to shape climate policy at the local, state, and regional levels. They are a leading advocate for climate strategies within the Conservancy and with external partners and policy makers.


1. Climate Strategy Leadership (40%)
• Shape and communicate a bold strategic vision for TNC as a leading organization in the effort to tackle climate change in Washington and as a leader in the Pacific Northwest region
• Design and lead implementation of climate change mitigation strategies for TNC in Washington, including implementation of Natural Climate Solutions strategies in alignment with TNC’s North America and global priorities
• Shape TNC’s climate strategy to live into our organizational values including diversity, equity, and inclusion, and so that we are engaging new partners such as rural interests who are not currently well represented in the climate dialogue
• Engage across conservation, marketing, government relations, philanthropy, and science teams to ensure information flow, coordination and synergy between TNC’s climate work and the work of other core programs
• Supervise one employee and an annual budget, manage a matrixed team across multiple programs

2. Community Outreach and Partner Engagement (60%)
• Develop and lead TNC Washington’s strategic outreach to partners and communities to strengthen support for actionable and transformative climate policies
• Build partnerships and connections with rural communities, communities of color, environmental justice, and other climate impacted communities to create durable and lasting solutions
• Build and strengthen partnerships with tribes and governments
• Engage with media (print, radio, TV, social) to provide expert opinion, articulate TNC’s positions, and raise awareness for TNC’s climate program and for solutions


Level of Position: Senior level position with independent strategic decision-making; Manages team and annual budget

Within the scope of the position, the Climate Director will:
• Participate in leading implementation of WA’s strategic plan
• Frequently make strategic decisions based on analysis, ambiguous information and context
• Create, build, and maintain effective partnerships with agency partners, tribal governments
• Support development of private and public funding proposals to support strategy implementation
• Negotiate complex agreements in a political environment
• Work primarily in Washington State, with collaboration with neighboring states and on some national opportunities

Work Environment and Schedule
• Work is generally performed in a professional office environment and involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain
• Willingness to travel frequently within Washington State and occasionally to meetings in other U.S. locations
• Work long and/or flexible hours as needed, including evening and weekend hours when required


• Experience directing a major program or project of strategic importance, including management/supervision of multi-disciplinary teams, contracts, and budgets
• Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field or equivalent combination of education/experience and 6 years of senior level experience
• Experience working across teams in a matrixed setting
• Experience working with donors, the public, media, elected officials, and with people from many different and diverse backgrounds and experiences
• Experience negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements
• Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups, and/or government agencies and tribes
• Experience with written and verbal communication, including delivering presentations
• Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.


• Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experiences are appreciated
• 7+ years’ experience influencing, developing, and implementing greenhouse gas reduction strategies (policies, practices, campaigns) or equivalent combination of education and experience
• Knowledge of current trends and practices in Washington, the Pacific Northwest region, and nationwide pertaining to climate policy and  initiatives
• Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means
• Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff
• Politically savvy
• Fundraising experience, including donor engagement and cultivation
• Ability to commit to TNC’s Code of Conduct and to organizational goals around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Estimated starting salary: $114,000 – $124,000 annually, dependent on qualifications and experience.


Visit and apply online with cover letter and resume to job 48956 or apply directly here. All resumes and required cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system. The application deadline is September 28, 2020 at 8:59 PM PST. If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact and include the job opening ID.


Builds Relationships
Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.

Collaboration & Teamwork
Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.

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
Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.

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 stakeholder. 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.

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 cultures. 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 orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.