Global Director of Science Capacity

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Job ID: 52831

Location: All International

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular


Arlington, Virginia, USA

The work location for this position is flexible within locations where The Nature Conservancy has an established office. The headquarters of TNC is located in Arlington, Virginia.




The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you.


The Global Director of Science Capacity will build on TNC’s strong foundation of more than 700 TNC scientists around the globe to accelerate our science impact on biodiversity and climate by co-developing, fundraising for and implementing a Science Capacity strategy. The Science Capacity Building strategy is part of the One Conservancy Science plan (OCS), which is investing in science across the organization to achieve TNC’s 2030 Goals for people and nature. The strategy includes building and managing a diverse team and responsibility for programs that include an ecosystem of learning, professional development, networking, and a resource center, all aimed at expanding the impact of scientists and the science they generate towards our Mission. The ideal candidate will be deeply invested in co-developing a vision and program that helps the hundreds of scientists across our global organization grow professionally to achieve their full potential and is a strong manager and collaborative influencer to expand TNC’s effectiveness as a science-based organization, and to accelerate our progress towards our 2030 goals.

Above all, TNC is seeking a strong leader, with experience working with and engaging and inspiring staff, and the many donors, partners, and stakeholders we work with and depend upon with a deep expertise and appreciation for internal science capacity in the face of audacious organizational science goals. This role provides strategic leadership across a highly decentralized and matrixed organization and must come to the role with experience working in a similar environment, collaborating closely with global, regional, and local teams to design and advance a global internal science capacity strategy delivering on the organization’s 2030 goals.

In this role, you are responsible for creating enabling conditions for a holistic and impactful program that includes topical and professional trainings and workshops, mentoring and peer review programs, the establishment and maintenance of scientific communities of practice and Global Science Gatherings, Conservancy-wide resources devoted to data and knowledge management, publication assistance, curating the One Conservancy science survey and maintaining the associated database, connecting scientists to projects of greatest need through talent mobility programs and supporting the diffusion of science into organizational decision making. You will especially target science capacity building in low resource programs and countries outside of the U.S. To lead this work, you will build and supervise a diverse, global and dedicated team within Global Science, and work to effectively partner with experts in other business units to manage and deliver the program. In line with our TNC Values, the Global Director will also be responsible for ensuring this program purposefully intersects with growing TNC’s ability to reflect the diversity of the global programs we serve. Recognizing the diverse geographic and thematic contexts in which TNC scientists work, and in support of TNC’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, you will ensure that the program is accessible to and meeting the needs of scientists in business units across the entire organization, with special attention to providing critical resources and support to the scientists, business units, and regions in most need of such support. 

In addition to your primary responsibility of leading the Science Capacity Building Program, you will serve as one of many ambassadors for the One Conservancy Science plan across TNC and coordinate closely with other leadership positions within Global Science and across the Conservancy. You will inspire others to become champions for the Internal Science Capacity program, serve as the primary point person and are responsible for partnering with fundraising colleagues for our internal science capacity program across TNC, in partnership with and with the support of the Chief Scientist, the Deputy Chief Scientist, and other directors in Global Science, Development staff, and your team. Overall, success for this program will be measured by its ability to provide high-impact, resource-efficient opportunities for TNC scientists across the organization to grow professionally and expand their impact towards TNC’s 2030 Goals.

This position reports to TNC’s Deputy Chief Scientist within the Global Science business unit. The location for this role is flexible within a country where TNC is established as a legal and operating entity.


Are you looking for a career to help science, people and nature? We’re looking for someone who is an inspired collaborative leader, a motivated problem-solver, and passionate about finding leverage points, creating efficiencies, and mentoring and empowering scientists around the world.

As the Global Director of Science Capacity, you can move TNC’s mission forward by:

  • Serving as the lead of the TNC-wide Science Capacity Building Program and ensuring its strategic contribution to the One Conservancy Science plan, you will work with your team to put into action a permanent ecosystem of learning (virtual and live trainings and workshops, mentoring and peer review programs, communities of practice on key scientific areas and Global Science gatherings), a One Conservancy resource center (providing data and knowledge management, and technical and publication assistance), and an annual One Conservancy science survey and associated database. 
  • Engaging with the Chief Scientist, Deputy Chief Scientist and senior leaders across TNC to prioritize science capacity building needs and to demonstrate the value of internal science investments to TNC’s pathway to impact towards the 2030 Goals.
  • Serving as a content expert for fundraising efforts and internal discretionary requests to secure funding to implement the Science Capacity Strategic plan, with the support of the Chief Scientist, Global Director of Development for Science, and the Global Science Team. 
  • Working in close partnership with fundraising staff, expand base of strong supporters and the enabling conditions to realize the potential of this important body of work.
  • Build, supervise, manage, and mentor a diverse team of existing staff and anticipated new hires to develop, implement and adaptively manage this body of work, and doing so in a way that strengthens psychological safety and empowers each team member to reach their full potential. 
  • In collaboration with your team, facilitate a transparent process to establish and implement a multi-year strategic plan and associated annual work plans and budgets. To inform this work, you will also create structured opportunities for scientists (within and outside of Global Science) and non-scientists to provide input to shape the focus of your team’s work for greatest impact across TNC’s global reach.
  • In collaboration with your team, develop and implement a strategic internal communications plan to distribute information across the organization to engage staff and leadership to participate in the Science Capacity Building Program. 
  • Designing and implementing a system of monitoring, evaluation and learning to track progress and support adaptive management towards the Science Capacity Building Program’s strategic goals and in support of the One Conservancy Science Plan. 
  • Preparing reports, materials, and other information for communication and discussion of program outcomes with the Chief Scientist, other key internal leaders, donors, trustees, and external partners.
  • Meeting regularly with your direct reports, alongside periodic meetings with others on your team who do not directly report to you, to ensure team cohesion, progress towards work objectives, and to support career development objectives.

This position requires travel both domestically and internationally, flexibility to work outside of regular working hours, occasional work in variable weather conditions and/or at remote locations. The program will be shaped by the experience and strategic guidance from this new hire; if you are passionate about building science capacity across TNC and have been envisioning what you would do for our scientists if you had the chance, this is it – please apply today!


The Global Director of Science Capacity should possess a deep curiosity and respect for people, which fuels a desire to learn from others with varied perspectives and experiences, and harness the full power of diversity, equity and inclusion to achieve greater conservation impact and durability. An ability and desire to work in complex systems is essential, as is an aptitude to engage and work with diverse internal partners and stakeholders in varied settings around the world.

Through combining these passions, this person can play a powerful role in addressing the complex challenges that confront our vision for a world where people and nature thrive. Below are some of the specific experiences and skills that would further enable this candidate:

  • Master’s degree plus 10 years’ experience in Conservation Science or other relevant field. 
  • Experience leading and managing a multi-disciplinary team, including setting goals and direct supervision and development of employees.
  • Experience developing an organization or company-wide capacity building program.
  • International/global capacity building experience.
  • Project management experience.
  • Direct experience with fundraising at levels of >1 million.                     
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals.                         
  • Experience in internal partnership development in multiple countries.                        
  • Experience with high-level conservation contacts. 
  • Interpersonal and relationship building experience.                           
  • Experience in communication, presentation and negotiations.
  • Experience communicating and teaching science to a wide range of audiences.
  • Multicultural or cross-cultural experience is required.


  • Experience working with TNC or similar highly matrixed organization is preferred.
  • Ph.D. preferred.
  • A vision and passion for supporting and growing scientists and science programs across TNC’s global landscape.
  • Experience designing, organizing and directing complex projects of strategic importance and leading and managing a team to carry out these projects. 
  • Empathy for and a strong understanding of the situations, needs, challenges and opportunities of scientists working in business units across TNC’s global reach.
  • Experience designing and implementing scientific capacity building activities such as trainings, mentoring, peer review, communities of practice, knowledge management, and/or other offerings related to professional scientific development.
  • Capable and comfortable setting priorities and making timely and informed decisions that support larger strategic goals for the business unit and for the role of science across the entire organization.
  • Experience developing a programmatic strategic plan aligned with annual work plans and budgets.
  • Ability to make independent decisions based on incomplete or ambiguous information and accept associated risks. 
  • Strong strategic thinker and advanced analytical ability. 
  • Experience collaborating in a large, matrixed organization and strategically navigating complex internal dynamics.
  • Demonstrated track record of successfully raising funds – from external and/or internal sources – to support a science team and to fund a major program of work for capacity building.
  • Fluency (verbal and written) in English is required, fluency in additional languages highly desired.


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 700 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, we impact conservation throughout the world! 

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including: health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on

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 52831, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact This position will remain open until filled and applications are reviewed in the order they are received.

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 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 committing to being equitable across groups 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.





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