Director of Freshwater Programs

Birmingham, AL, US

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Freshwater Program Director (FPD) oversees all aspects of freshwater conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama. He/she will implement the conservation strategies in the Chapter’s strategic plan to promote, sustain and restore Alabama’s ecologically important rivers and streams.


The Freshwater Program Director establishes the Conservancy as a major leader in freshwater conservation and restoration efforts in Alabama. He/she will work in priority watersheds to conserve and/or restore key ecological processes (flows, sediment loading, floodplain function, and nutrients) to support viable populations of aquatic species. This person will work with diverse stakeholder groups to develop conservation solutions in Alabama rivers that are pragmatic, use adaptive management techniques supported by science, and are non-confrontational.

The FPD provides technical and program support to Conservancy field operations. He/she serves as the principle contact for freshwater related issues to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations and the academic community. The FPD will lead and manage teams (both internal and external) which supports and improves conservation efforts, and builds strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. He/she negotiates complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities and develops and implements conservation strategies.


  • Oversees and implements all components of freshwater conservation for the Alabama Chapter.

  • Leads on-the-ground operations and implements large restoration projects.

  • Programmatic scope of this work may require cross-boundary work and relationships.

  • Leads and manages teams and projects to support and improve freshwater conservation efforts.

  • Manages multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training and career development. Establish clear directions and set stretch objectives.

  • Establishes and maintains optimal standards of performance for the freshwater program while controlling costs and administering budgets.

  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs.

  • Builds cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals

  • Frequent travel within Alabama. Will work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.

  • Frequently makes independent decision based on analysis, experience, and judgment.


  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.

  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.

  • Experience developing partnerships (NGOs, community, government.).

  • Negotiation skills.


  • 5-7 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Knowledge of current trends in freshwater, river, and wetland restoration projects.

  • Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.

  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.

  • Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government).


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 44831, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 30, 2016.

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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 men and women 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.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*

Job Title: Director of Freshwater Programs

Location: Alabama

Job ID: 44831

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time