Director Policy and Government Relations, Africa 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪

Africa TNC Offices

Director Policy and Government Relations, Africa (Nairobi, Kenya. Open to countries in Africa where TNC has an established office)


Nairobi, Kenya 



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.

Since establishing the Africa Program in 2007, The Nature Conservancy’s vision in Africa is to work towards fostering a sustainable future for people and nature, partnering with indigenous communities across 55 million acres on the continent. Our efforts are firmly rooted in people, leveraging scientific and technical expertise as we collaborate with governments and non-governmental organizations to conserve and enhance Africa’s shared resources in the nine countries where we operate.

TNC’s work in Africa transcends three key pillars: securing ownership rights to lands and resources for indigenous people, strengthening leadership and resource management, and helping communities value nature through a holistic appreciation of its benefits while increasing revenue streams for conservation efforts and socio-economic development. Together with our partners, we are witnessing critical milestones in integrated land and fisheries management, ocean and source water protection, energy development, and sustainable food production, working together and strengthening our resolve in tackling global challenges such as climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss that stands to adversely impact the nearly 1.4 billion people that share Africa.


The Director Policy and Government Relations, Africa  is a senior management position that serves as a member of the Africa Leadership Team within TNC’s Africa Region. This position is expected to plan, implement, and coordinate programs to support governments, design and implement policy-based initiatives/outcomes that support TNC’s 2030 goals.  They will also have strategic leadership for the multi-country region supervising the Country Program Directors. Reporting to the Africa Regional Managing Director, the job will be based at the TNC regional office in Nairobi, Kenya or another country in Africa where TNC has an established office, and will work closely with the Conservation Director.


The Director Policy and Government Relations, Africa  will lead engagement with partner governments where we work. This position will work with national and intergovernmental institutions, development institutions, non-governmental organizations, and business entities at all levels to further the Conservancy’s mission whilst helping governments achieve their regional and international biodiversity and climate change commitments. They will coordinate internationally negotiated agreements, legislative, administrative, and corporate initiatives and policies related to The Nature Conservancy’s mission or programs. They will  develop strategic partnerships to achieve TNC’s conservation goals and help shape the regional and national conservation strategies /initiatives to help government achieve their commitments through  regular contact with country, regional and multilateral officials, institutions, and/or corporate representatives regarding actions related to the mission of The Nature Conservancy. The Director Policy and Government Relations  will represent The Nature Conservancy before special interest groups and engage key public and private officials to increase support for TNC’s mission, and programs funding and development of policy statements.


  • Applies a diversified knowledge of best practices to lead TNC’s government relations efforts within the region and countries where we work.
  • Support country programs and strategy leads to develop and implement government relations strategies.
  • Work with TNC country programs, partner governments and other NGOs and/or multilateral agencies to drive policy agenda in support of TNC’s work in the region  to design strategies for and encourage the adoption of policies at the national level to help those countries develop and meet their commitments to their respective targets under the CBD and UNFCCC.
  • Manage and provide strategic direction to TNC Africa’s policy work, fostering enabling conditions to achieve desired policy results.
  • Lead and coordinate policy work in line with TNC Africa’s programs and strategies.
  • Works with the Africa Region Public Fundraising team and other partners to engage with public funding agencies in our countries, such as international lending agencies, bilateral development groups, and private investors, to create understanding of and support for TNC Africa priorities.
  • Support program objectives by working in a complex matrix organization environment collaboratively within a cross-functional interdisciplinary team.
  • Acts independently within broad program goals, i.e., community-based, and landscape-level conservation, sustainable finance, smart development, science and capacity building, and strategic partnerships.
  • Manages multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to network and communicate effectively about TNC Africa.
  • Develops and administers departmental budget and has authority to modify budget based on changing circumstances. Operates within budget guidelines to ensure sound financial performance. 
  • Work checked through consultation and agreement with others rather than by directives of superiors.
  • Ensures that program meets all lobbying, contractual and legal regulations, and standards.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, management, or other relevant field and 10 years of related senior-level experience.
  • Experience working with current and evolving political, legislative, sustainability, and/or conservation trends on an international, regional, country, and sub-national level.
  • Fluency in English and knowledge of other languages within the geographies we work.
  • Experience building strong relationships across an organization and with partners such as corporations, public agencies, donors, and/or volunteers.
  • Experience managing and supervising a large multi-disciplinary team and managing a program budget.
  • Experience in directing or participating in complex negotiations and presenting to and communicating with government officials, corporate executives, board members and others.
  • Experience designing, implementing, and directing multiple and multifaceted projects, setting deadlines, and ensuring program accountability.
  • Experience in public policy, conservation/environmental policy, regulatory advocacy, and public funding. 
  • Experience communicating complex processes and ideas effectively to a variety of audiences within and outside an organization.


  • Master’s degree  in relevant field, such as business development, corporate governance or strategic management or international development will be an added advantage.
  • Senior management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage performance of a large multi-disciplinary team. 
  • Superb communication and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups including key public policy decision-makers and other government officials, corporate executives, major donors, board members and others who are critical to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Works effectively in high-tension situations and maintains composure under pressure. Diffuses high-tension situations comfortably.
  • Creates and communicates a compelling vision.
  • Commands attention can change tactics midstream and manage group processes during presentations or discussions.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop constructive and effective working relationships inside and outside the organization.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated. French and Portuguese an advantage.
  • Experience with corporate social responsibility or corporate sustainability.
  • Outstanding analytical, policy influencing, and project management capabilities. Demonstrated ability to successfully develop and implement complex projects in an unstructured environment.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, negotiating, and organizational skills.
  • Independent and self-motivated with the ability to participate effectively in a remote team environment.
  • Demonstrated Fundraising experience.


To apply for job ID 51159, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact [email protected].

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.

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TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to [email protected] with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19.   By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.