Freshwater Strategy Director

Conservation International (CI)

Africa, , 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.  


This is a one-year position, with the possibility of an extension, focused on advancing the Africa Division’s strategic freshwater objectives and those of CI’s broader Freshwater Strategy.  The position will report to the Freshwater Lead in the Global Strategy Group and will have a dotted line to the Africa Division’s Vice President for Strategy and Programs. 

There will be three sets of 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 lead the development of strategic freshwater activities for the broader Africa division (e.g. around sustainable aquaculture).  A third 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 growing the Freshwater Initiative and the projects encompassed within it.


  • Assist a subset of Africa place-based teams to design projects to deliver measurable freshwater-related impacts, ensuring that they are aligned with CI’s institutional priorities and facilitating information-sharing among teams
  • 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, and lead on division-wide elements.
  • Work with the Freshwater Lead to elevate the Freshwater Initiative among target audiences within and outside Africa (including through organizing, attending and presenting at events, meetings, etc.)
  • Assist the Freshwater Lead in tracking progress of Freshwater Initiative projects and developing communications around them.
  • Other duties as assigned. 


  • This position is based in the Africa region.
  • This job will be performed principally in a normal office environment, 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 Bachelor’s degree in a freshwater-related field (e.g. hydrology/ecohydrology/hydroinformatics, integrated water resources management, freshwater ecology) and will have at least seven years’ experience or the equivalent applying that expertise to help solve real-world conservation problems in African contexts. An advanced degree is preferred. 
  • Program or project management experience, preferably in the global conservation, NGO, advocacy or related for-profit arena.
  • Excellent technical and analytical skills.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills.
  • Team player and able to work effectively with diverse work groups in a multicultural environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • A record of success in influencing and partnering with key stakeholders and raising funds.
  • Proven ability to multitask and meet priorities.  Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with changing priorities and under minimal supervision. 
  • Fluency in English required.


  • Experience with modeling and/or monitoring freshwater-related ecosystem services (water regulation, inland fisheries)
  • Experience in the area of climate change adaptation.
  • Project tracking experience is preferred.
  • Proficiency in Portuguese, French, Malagasy, Kiswahili, or an indigenous South African language.

Please submit resume and cover letter.

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.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled