Freshwater Senior Manager

Conservation International (CI)

Cape Town, Johannesburg or Nairobi, , XV

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.  


Conservation International’s Freshwater Initiative is focused on securing critical freshwater ecosystems around the world as a foundation for sustainable development.  We are hiring a senior manager to advance the strategic freshwater objectives of CI’s Africa Division, and of our overarching Freshwater Initiative. This one-year position, with the possibly of an extension, will report to the Freshwater Lead in CI’s Global Strategy Group.

The position will have two sets of primary duties. The first will be to work with a subset of Africa place-based teams to design projects to deliver measurable freshwater-related benefits. This may entail adding new components (e.g. hydrologic analyses or monitoring) to existing projects, or it may consist of working with teams to conceptualize new projects, identify and build the necessary partnerships to undertake them, and fundraise for them.  A second set of duties will be to work with the Freshwater Lead to elevate CI’s profile in the freshwater space (largely but not only in Africa) and to support her in managing the Freshwater Initiative and the projects encompassed within it.

A successful person in this position will have a broad understanding of applied freshwater conservation in developing country contexts and will be innovative, a problem-solver, collaborative, flexible, and outcome-oriented.


  • Assist a subset of Africa place-based teams to design projects to deliver measurable freshwater-related impacts
  • Assist the Freshwater Lead in tracking progress of Freshwater Initiative projects and developing communications around them
  • Work with the Freshwater Lead to elevate the Freshwater Initiative among target audiences within and outside Africa (including through attending and presenting at events, meetings, etc.)
  • Work with the Freshwater Lead and the Africa Division’s Vice President for Strategy and Programs to refine the division’s Africa strategy and fundraise for it (proposal writing and possible donor visits).
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor


This job will be performed principally in a normal office environment, preferably located in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Nairobi, with trips to field sites as needed.  Average travel per month (both to field sites and to other CI offices) is anticipated to be approximately 1-2 weeks.



  • A successful candidate will have a Master’s degree in a freshwater-related field (e.g. hydrology/ecohydrology/hydroinformatics, integrated water resources management, freshwater ecology).
  • At least three years’ experience or the equivalent applying that expertise to help solve real-world conservation problems


  • A candidate will preferably have experience working in developing country and data-poor contexts, especially in Africa. The candidate will have experience with modeling and/or monitoring freshwater-related ecosystem services, as well as a solid understanding of climate change adaptation.
  • The candidate will be able to work independently and in teams, have strong written and oral communication skills (in English), and have fundraising and communications experience. Project tracking experience is preferred. Proficiency in Portuguese, French, Malagasy, Kiswahili, or an indigenous South African language is preferred.

Please submit resume and cover letter. Submission Deadline: March 6, 2020

See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

Conservation International Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.

  • Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms. 
  • Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.
  • Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.
  • Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.
  • Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.
  • Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.

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