Freshwater Protection Specialist

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)





#Open until filled

(Flexible Location)


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 Freshwater Protection Specialist supports the development and implementation of a key global strategy at TNC: Durable Freshwater Protection (DFP). They may develop and implement one or more DFP mechanisms (e.g. free-flowing river designations, protected areas and other effective area-based conservation mechanisms, community-based reserves), through global work and in partnership with colleagues and partners in geographies around the world where TNC works. The Specialist supports Global DFP leadership by assisting with and/or managing priority projects and serves as a technical resource on DFP, including in the areas of policy, conservation planning, strategy development, sustainable financing, stakeholder engagement, capacity development, and/or measurement.  They liaise with other TNC staff, notably field colleagues and other Global Protect colleagues working on Project Finance for Permanence and Nature Bonds, as well as external actors as applicable, to help drive the implementation of the DFP strategy and associated projects in the places where TNC works.  They track and/or assess governmental policies and decisions, or the practices or views of other stakeholders concerning freshwater protections and their potential impact on organizational conservation goals.  They may advise TNC communications, marketing and philanthropy staff on issues related to DFP or priority project(s) and related issues. May involve domestic and international travel of 25% or more.


This is an exciting decade to be a part of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as we galvanize momentum to 
address the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. This urgency is particularly pronounced 
when it comes to rivers, lakes, and wetlands.  Globally, monitored freshwater populations have declined by an average of 83% since 1970, we’ve lost 64% of the world’s wetlands since 1900, and only 37% of the world’s longest rivers remain unimpeded and free-flowing. Add to this mix the implications of climate change, with patterns of precipitation becoming more unpredictable and regionally dryer and wetter, exacerbating pre-existing patterns of water abundance and insecurity. In response, TNC has set an audacious goal of conserving 1 million kilometres of river systems and 30 million hectares of lakes and wetlands by 2030. New and improved protections for freshwater ecosystems will be a key part of achieving that goal. The Durable Freshwater Protection team, through influencing global policy and practice, providing technical support to regional colleagues and partners, and developing guidance and resources for DFP implementation around the world, is working to help elevate and scale protections to bend the curve of freshwater biodiversity loss. 

This is an exceptional career opportunity for a highly motivated, capable individual interested in joining the world’s leading conservation organization! The location for this position is flexible and includes anywhere The Nature Conservancy has permission to work. No relocation, immigration or sponsorship is available with this position. Other team members are located Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Colorado. The position sits within the Global Protect Oceans, Lands and Waters team and reports to the Durable Freshwater Protection Director.  


•    Bachelor’s degree in conservation, freshwater ecology, environmental science, business, finance, political science, public policy, international relations, international development or related field and 4 years related experience, or equivalent combination.
•    Experience leading complex projects or strategic initiatives in an unstructured environment.
•    Experience researching, critically analyzing, and evaluating information from divergent sources and compiling it into cohesive reports and recommendations for strategy and action.
•    Experience writing and editing promotional and informational material.


•    Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated
•    Master’s degree.
•    Critical analytical thinking and excellent English writing skills are essential.
•    Familiarity and knowledge related to business, governmental, and/or environmental policy and practices pertaining to freshwater ecosystem conservation.
•    Knowledge of, and fluency in, the global strategy area of focus, including strong understanding of the key drivers affecting the decline in freshwater biodiversity and experience with the application of tailored protection and conservation approaches 
•    Ability to develop and drive new ideas and approaches.
•    Ability to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary context.  
•    Ability to work well in a highly matrixed, decentralized and collaborative organization.   Possesses strong interpersonal skills and political savvy.  Must be a team player.
•    Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet time sensitive deadlines. 
•    NGO and/or public sector experience.
•    Ability to write and speak in a language other than English is highly desirable (Spanish and/or Portuguese preferred)
•    Negotiation and/or facilitation experience.


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 

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 53364, 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.

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 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.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development