Deputy Director of Program Administration (Natural Capital Project)

Stanford University
Stanford, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) is a global partnership that has developed a systematic approach to valuing natural capital in resource allocation decisions. With our global environmental data and software-based analytics, we inform governments, NGOs, investors, corporations and communities around the world on the value of nature’s benefits in decisions affecting land, air and water. In response to increasing demand, we are now refining and mainstreaming our approach into policy, management and finance.

NatCap’s global hub is at Stanford University, in the Woods Institute for the Environment, and comprises an academic network and an implementing network of about 300 partner institutions total. Core academic partners are the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Minnesota; core implementing partners are The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. We are a team of ecologists, economists, health scientists, policy experts, geographers, hydrologists, computer scientists, software engineers, and more – with the optimism, commitment, and humility to work together. Our common quest is to integrate the value nature provides to society into all major decisions.

Natural capital is an economic metaphor for the limited stocks of physical and biological resources found on earth. In a nutshell, our focus is on Earth’s lands, waters, and biodiversity. Natural capital is an essential underpinning of human well-being, just like built, human, and social capital, and it is important to factor the value of natural capital into decision making.

At NatCap, we are answering questions such as: “Where might coastal development increase tourism revenue without losing mangroves and other ‘green infrastructure’ that protect the coast from storms?” We work with stakeholders such as governments, investors, NGOs, corporations to help make valuing natural capital easier and more accessible to everyone. Through iterative engagement with stakeholders around their needs, NatCap:

  • Develops new science and evidence for the power of natural capital approaches
  • Creates free, open-source technology tools to make the science accessible and useful
  • Builds capacity through teaching and learning exchanges 
  • Engages leaders to accelerate uptake and magnify impact

NatCap is technology-powered and data-driven. Through InVEST, a suite of free, open-source software designed to inform decisions about natural resource management, NatCap helps provide information about how changes in ecosystem are likely to lead to changes in the flows of benefits to people.
It’s an exciting time at NatCap as we scale up the impact and build up the leadership team. To learn more about our work and the impact we have had to date, visit


We are looking for a skilled and collaborative leader to help take NatCap operations to the next level. The NatCap Deputy Director of Program Administration will join a small team of senior NatCappers responsible for translating the vision to reality. The individual filling this role will work closely with the Faculty Director and the leads for Science & Network and Research Bridging. The Deputy Director will lead the Natural Capital Data & Software Platform; the Early Career Fellows Program and Research Collaboration Program; operations & finance, and IT. This hands-on position offers the unique opportunity to shape the organization on the cusp of exciting growth.


  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization and the day-to-day operations. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, personal development for direct reports and accountable for the performance of employees.
    • Make key hires to support the ramp-up of operations, while maintaining a strong culture
  • May independently or in collaboration with human resources managers, guide faculty supervisors in the interpretation and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and programs.
    • Build strong relationships across the university to assure efficient operations and support for the full range of NatCap activities.
  • Develop business plans and infrastructure to support research and teaching. Provide analysis and review of multi-year plans, including providing alternative methods for achieving goals when necessary. Influence faculty leadership on specific recommendations for current operation and for future development of the organization and lead process improvement.
    • Work with the Faculty Director, Advisory Council, and leadership team to refine and manage:
      • a sophisticated operations environment, supporting finance, communications, programs, training, and software development
      • a comprehensive scaling pathway that addresses the operational and administrative needs of the university, partner organizations, and stakeholders 
      • a fundraising strategy that sustains and diversifies funding sources
    • Strengthen and implement the backend infrastructure, systems and processes in finance, operations, business development and software development
  • Interpret, implement and ensure compliance with university academic and administrative policies and procedures within an operating unit. Recommend new internal policies, guidelines and procedures.
  • Oversee and/or manage the finances across all sources for the annual budget cycle, including developing, monitoring, analyzing forecasting and reporting.
  • Manage and coordinate grants and contracts for the department. Ensure compliance with institutional and external requirements.
  • Represent the unit’s business and academic operations within the organization. May represent the organization to external constituencies.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience in administrative and financial management, or combination of education and relevant experience. A background in environmental work preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills including conflict resolution.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Strong financial expertise in accounting, budget planning and financial forecasting.
  • Strong expertise in grants and contract administration.
  • Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
  • Strong knowledge of industry standards and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Subject matter expertise for area(s) of responsibility.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines.
  • Track record of making key hires, retaining and developing talent, and building a strong team culture 
  • Proven comfort in a dynamic team that spans research, operations, software development, communications, and stakeholder interactions 
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships and implement projects that involve a wide range of partners and stakeholders 
  • Ability to collaborate and encourage consensus

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Working with a strong, cohesive team from diverse backgrounds
  • Collaborating closely with award-winning faculty 
  • Support from a dedicated and highly accomplished Advisory Council
  • Opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people and the health of ecosystems around the world


  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, writing by hand, use a telephone, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork or parts, rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


  • Occasional evening and weekend hours.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

The Program Manager reports to Faculty Director Gretchen Daily. NatCap is operationally housed in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and is based at Stanford University. Travel for coordination with network partners and donors is expected to average approximately 25%.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, depending on experience and qualifications.
Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All final candidates are subject to a background check.

To be considered, interested candidates shall include a cover letter and resume.

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.