Natural Infrastructure Director

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Dublin, OH, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Dublin, Ohio, USA. The preferred office location is in Dublin, Ohio, but other locations in Ohio may be considered.


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 74 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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 Natural Infrastructure Director will design and implement strategies to restore “natural infrastructure” (wetlands, floodplains, and riparian corridors) to improve streams and lakes impacted by nutrients. This strategy will engage constructively with TNC team members and partners, using a scientific and collaborative approach to achieve far reaching results.  With Lake Erie to the north and the Ohio River to the south, our region is rich in water resources. Lake Erie provides drinking water for 11 million people, and the Ohio River provides drinking water for an additional five million Ohioans. The five worst harmful algal blooms (HABs—concentrations of blue-green algae or cyanobacteria caused by excessive amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen primarily from agricultural runoff) on Lake Erie have occurred since 2011, and this same condition is affecting other lakes and reservoirs, streams, and the Ohio River. Fortunately, growing societal awareness of threats to drinking water and support for water quality improvements is driving new opportunities for conservation across the state and region.  TNC has established ambitious goals for nutrient management in the Lake Erie and Ohio River Basins, with focus on the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), Scioto and Great Miami watersheds.  We have a strong agriculture program that is working on nutrient and water management in the field with a suite of partners from crop retailers, commodity groups, farmers, and researchers. With the advent of the H2Ohio Program funding and continued support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Farm Bill programs, we have an opportunity to highlight nature’s ability to act as a natural water filter by promoting and advancing natural infrastructure to reduce nutrient loading to Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico.


The Director will help shape and inform TNC’s natural infrastructure restoration strategy, provide input on freshwater policy approaches, and cultivate, maintain and influence strategic relationships with key partners.  They will engage with public agencies and other conservation partners to restore natural infrastructure and identify research and science needs to target and advance restoration of natural infrastructure as a nutrient reduction strategy while maintaining productivity of agricultural lands and exploring the co-benefits of climate resilience. They will utilize funding from multiple funding sources (H2Ohio, GLRI, 319, etc.) to implement or assist with implementation of restoration projects to restore target watersheds most impacted by nutrient enrichment.  They will manage Coastal and Oak Openings project teams and collaborate closely with agriculture and mitigation program staff at TNC.  They will work with TNC staff and partners to identify and evaluate potential restoration sites, build relationships with and capacity of partners to accelerate restoration projects, draft restoration concept plans, explore and assist with accessing funding for projects, and develop, manage and advance priority restoration projects.


  • Lead and collaborate to design and implement a strategy to accelerate the restoration of natural infrastructure through a combination of policy and on-the-ground TNC projects and partnerships to address Ohio and WLEB’s most pressing water quality concerns.
  • Focus on restoration of natural infrastructure that reduces nutrient loading to area streams and lakes.  Geographic focus of work is the Western Lake Erie Basin and Scioto and Great Miami River watersheds.                                                                                   
  • Work with partners to ensure that public and private funds are raised to implement identified restoration projects.
  • Builds collaboration and participation with outside parties, including state conservation agencies, regional park districts, Soil and Water Conservation Districts as well as internal TNC agriculture, mitigation, and land protection teams to accomplish program goals.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.            
  • Under minimal supervision, makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
  • Advance science to target natural infrastructure siting and align TNC, state agency and partner efforts with the best data.
  • Accelerate implementation of natural infrastructure projects and building a pipeline of projects with concept plans.
  • Provide leadership in grant writing and supporting public fundraising to support and accelerate the restoration of wetlands, floodplains and riparian corridors to both reduce nutrient loading and increase the health of our rivers and lakes.
  • Cultivate and steward strong and cooperative partnerships with an emphasis on agencies and partner conservation organizations while exploring new partnerships to build capacity and accelerate implementation.
  • Provide expertise to support strategic government relations to support these efforts with a focus on local and regional impact.
  • Manage multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training and career development.  Establish clear directions and set stretch objectives to effectively align team and achieve ambitious goals.


  • 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 in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and government agencies  
  • Experience negotiating.


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • 5-7 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in restoration and agricultural drainage.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Ability to build and maintain productive relationships across TNC program areas and with numerous restoration partners.
  • Ability to work closely and effectively with conservation partners, contractors, consultants, agencies, and staff on all aspects of restoration projects.
  • Experience preparing scopes of work and concept plans for wetland and stream restoration.  
  • Experience writing and managing grant and construction projects.
  • Ability to communicate with scientists and researchers on scientific research and monitoring of nutrient management in natural ecosystems.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in analyzing and synthesizing spatial data such as soil surveys, topographic maps, etc. in ArcGIS.
  • Thinks and acts from a broad perspective and a long-term view and understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.


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.


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