Wastewater Pollution Program Director

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Sacramento, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Job ID: 52935

Location: California

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular


Sacremento, California, USA

Location negotiable within the United States. 






The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative 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; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, bipartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world. 

The California Chapter is TNC’s largest state program and one of the largest, most dynamic conservation organizations in the country. With approximately 230 employees, from financial analysts and fundraisers to ecologists and economists, we are currently invested in 14 strategies to address the biggest challenges facing California and the world, including numerous community-based projects designed to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation. Over the past six decades, we have protected 1.4 million acres, 5,000 miles of streams, and 3.8 million acres of ocean habitat in California and off the coast. 

The California Chapter believes that we are most effective when we are embedded in our state’s communities, politics, media, and environmental issues. For this reason, and to reduce our carbon footprint when meeting in person, all staff live in California, including those in a home office.

Finally, we are passionate about the middle ground in American politics and life. The hallmark of The Nature Conservancy is its “big tent” approach, engaging people across the political and ideological spectrum to find solutions that last. We ask all employees to embrace this critical strategic position of our organization.


Wastewater pollution is a critical threat that can undermine TNC’s aquatic conservation goals. It jeopardizes ecological health globally, with serious impacts to public health, economic stability, social equity, food and water security, climate resilience, and coastal livelihoods. This problem is not isolated to low-income communities suffering from the global sanitation crisis — in fact, it is rampant in high-income areas as well. Our existing wastewater treatment systems are aging and unable to keep up with increasing weather events from climate change, the growing pressure of larger populations, and emerging novel contaminants that are unregulated, and therefore, untreated. The Wastewater Pollution Program at TNC aims to reduce wastewater pollution in marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments by creating the enabling conditions for conservation organizations to actively address this threat.

The Wastewater Pollution Program Director (Program Director III; 2-year position) manages all aspects of the program. They manage a team that provides technical expertise, engages policy staff, builds relationships with external partners, and fosters the Aquatic Wastewater Pollution Community of Practice at TNC to support practitioners who recognize the need to integrate this threat into TNC’s conservation portfolios. The Program Director serves as the principal contact to partner organizations, TNC business units engaged in wastewater pollution projects, foundations, and the academic community. They play a leading role in donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship for the program. For key North American geographies, they direct analysis on how policy (e.g., standards and regulations related to water quality, sanitation, wastewater effluent, and stormwater) is/could be playing a role in addressing wastewater pollution – and where policy has been a successful tool for enabling implementation of solutions.


The Program Director:  
•    Leads a small team to execute deliverables from a multi-year grant as well as oversee affiliated projects across the organization.  
•    Cultivates and manages relationships with key donors and raise funds for program work.
•    Develops long-term strategies to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
•    Leads development of communication and awareness content to share lessons learned, strategies, tools, and case studies.     
•    Leads development and act as co-host of a ten-part pilot podcast series on wastewater pollution.
•    Works with communications and media colleagues to share information about wastewater pollution with media outlets, journalists, and social media platforms (e.g., podcasts, webinars, etc.). 
•    Leads awareness building efforts to align the issue of wastewater pollution with TNC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work.                            
•    Manages high quality and effective multidisciplinary staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development.  

If you’re looking for a career where you can find purpose, come join TNC as the Wastewater Pollution Program Director. We’re looking for a passionate, dedicated person to lead cross functional teams and support this work within our division. Come join TNC and apply today!


•    BA/BS degree and 10 years’ experience in program management, environmental policy, conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
•    Degree or related work experience in environmental, water quality, and/or sanitation policy, regulation, and/or compliance.
•    Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation.
•    Experience directing a major program or project of strategic importance, including management/supervision of multi-disciplinary teams and meeting deadlines.
•    Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance. 
•    Experience in partnership development with policy makers, non-profit partners, community groups, academic partners, municipalities and/or government agencies.                                        
•    Experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans at the state or country level. 
•    Experience with financial management of a large program.

•    Experience working in or with any of the following sectors: WASH, public health, sanitation, utilities, government policy, environmental justice, gender equity and international development.
•    Experience conducting or leading policy analysis, particularly in North America.
•    Experience with policy development and/or regulation, particularly related to sanitation infrastructure (sewer, septic, cesspool, etc.).
•    Experience with communications, storytelling, and media.                                   
•    Experience developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
•    Politically savvy.
•    Multilingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.


Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.  

We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance. 

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.


The salary range for this role is between $80,000 – $140,000 depending on geographical location and experience of the candidate. We will be able to narrow the range for candidates throughout the process as we narrow geographical location. 


To apply for Job ID 52935, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/ by 8:59 PM PST on 2/27/23. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

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 applyhelp@tnc.org 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.

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 with 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. 





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