Ocean Protection Program Associate

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Job ID: 52533

Location: All International

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular


Arlington, Virginia, USA

Remote home office; 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 mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube   to hear stories from staff or visit  Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Ocean Protection Program Associate works alongside the Global Ocean Protection team to support the delivery of priority ocean outcomes across key global geographies, enhance team cohesion and program efficiencies, and deliver inspiring and authentic communications for global ocean conservation. They are an integral team member responsible for ensuring that the work across the team is elevated and integrated into organizational processes by supporting strategic planning, internal and external communications, and overall program coordination. The Program Associate will project manage a wide range of projects, including planning and organizational requests, as well as work on emerging conservation projects and concepts as assigned. They work closely with, and as technical support to, the Director of Ocean Protection, the larger oceans team, and communications staff.

This position sits within the Global Protect Oceans, Lands and Waters business unit and reports to the Director of Ocean Protection. 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. Requires willingness and ability to travel up to 25% both domestically and internationally.   


We’re looking for someone to provide cross-cutting support to our Global Ocean Protection team and work. This person will work directly with field programs and content experts across the Ocean team, Global Protect, and TNC as a whole to help connect staff, support ongoing work process, and identify/implement improvements in projects and processes to help make the team more effective and efficient. A primary responsibility of the Program Associate is to support critical internal and external communications efforts in close coordination with our strategic communications team and content experts to help elevate global protection priorities, challenges, and opportunities with practitioners, donors, and leadership. They also manage and support organizational requirements for strategic planning and related efforts, including conservation information management. The Program Associate helps support the integration across programmatic areas by supporting cross-team learning and team meetings.

The ideal candidate should have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and experience working with, organizing, and coordinating complex projects and teams and managing contracts. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of conservation by directing and shaping the work of our Global Ocean Protection team.

Key responsibilities and scope for this position are:

·       Supports internal and external communications efforts to elevate ocean protection work and strategies.

·       Manages project contracts and timelines and ensures delivery of outputs.

·       Works with strategy teams, field practitioners, and regions to elevate their work and needs. 

·       Manages data sets and relevant team information to ensure effective coordination, access to information, and knowledge sharing.

·       Strategizes and supports conservation information management via TNC’s systems, including the Conservation Hub.

·       Incorporates cross-disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives.

·       Serves as a team leader for assigned projects.

·       Conducts strategic research for the Protect Leadership Team members to be best positioned on internal and external engagement.

·       Identifies collaboration opportunities and supports team integration and learning.

·       Coordinates and supports team engagement, including team meetings, retreats, and other meetings.

·       Proactively supports, resolves or elevates issues to Ocean Protection leadership, and collaboratively solves complex problems.

·       Provides general logistical, administrative, and coordination support to the program as assigned.

·       Requires a willingness and ability to periodically travel.


·       Bachelor’s degree in Business, Communications, Policy, Resource Management, or related field and 3 years of related experience or equivalent combination.   

·       Experience supporting complex projects and strategic initiatives in an unstructured environment.                         

·       Analytical and project management experience. 


·       Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience are appreciated. 

·       Communications experience, including shaping and supporting presentations, drafting written program information materials, social media and supporting internal and external events and managing contracts and contractors to develop communications products.

·       Self-starter with the ability to generate communication/work plans with limited support in line with the overall conservation strategies. 

·       Experience contributing to business plans or major strategy assessments. 

·       Familiarity with global ocean protection strategies, efforts, and projects.

·       Fluency in a language other than English (e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, French) appreciated. 

·       Willingness to learn and develop expertise in new conservation strategies, economic drivers, management tools, and global affairs. 

·       Strong team player who can build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization and with partners. 

·       Strategic thinker with strong organization skills and proactive problem-solving capabilities.

·       Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to work independently.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world! 

TNC offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on nature.org/careers. 

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.


To apply for job ID 52533, submit your cover letter and letter online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/ by 11:59 EST Sunday 11th, December, 2022. 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.

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.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role while committing to closing the gender pay gap and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.