Project Manager (WIO Blue Economy)

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Mombasa, Kenya 🇰🇪


Mombasa, Kenya


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 79 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 Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Africa Oceans Strategy focuses on securing large scale ocean protection through national debt restructuring and marine spatial planning science known as Blue Bonds, with emphasis on linking science and communities to habitat protection and management. TNC’s work on fisheries aims to safeguard productive marine and freshwater fisheries for ecosystem health and as important foundations of food and livelihood security. TNC has established partnerships with several non-government and government agencies to support fisheries and coastal community-based conservation in Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles, with increasing connectivity in the greater Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region and throughout Africa. 


The Project Manager, WIO Blue Economy oversees and manages the implementation of a new project: “Strengthening the Blue Economy of the WIO through integration of ecosystem services and effective biodiversity conservation” including all aspects of protection, science, stewardship and community relations. The 5-year German government funded project is the focus of this new role, which will be a 5-year contract position with possibility of renewal, depending on funding arrangements. 

The Project Manager will develop and lead a project-focused team working towards marine spatial planning and fisheries management goals within the region, with focus on Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Mauritius. The role provides scientific leadership, project management and administrative oversight to support TNC’s conservation planning work. This position will report to the Africa Oceans Strategy Director and work closely with TNC’s Africa Fisheries Team and Global Oceans Team. The position will be based at TNC’s office in Mombasa, Kenya (Nairobi may also be possible location) and may involve significant domestic and international travel.


The Project Manager will be responsible for day-to-day management and implementation of the WIO Blue Economy project work plan, including direct supervision of several TNC project staff. The Project Manager will coordinate between TNC teams, local government agencies, partner organizations and relevant stakeholders to ensure the goals and milestones of the work plan are achieved. The position holder will provide technical and project support to Conservancy field operations and serve as the principle contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations and the Academic community. The Project Manager shall help define marine conservation priorities in the WIO region to align with the aims of the Africa Oceans Strategy, and build strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. The Project Manager shall also maintain administrative and budgetary oversight for all project-related activity.

The role requires strong working knowledge of Marine Spatial Planning processes, as well as community-based and industrial fisheries practices in the region. The Project Manager will direct TNC work-streams related to MSP in Kenya, Tanzania and possibly Mauritius, and fisheries management initiatives in Kenya and Seychelles. The Project Manager will facilitate integration and representation of local community and stakeholder interests across all related TNC activities in the region. 

This program of work is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Government, and therefore the maintenance of communications and reporting with the funding body will be a necessary part of the role (in collaboration with the Africa Oceans Strategy Director). The country-specific MSP and related activities are to be implemented in cooperation with relevant government agencies and programmes and potentially embedded within government led initiatives (e.g. the KEMFSED World Bank project in Kenya), where coordination with local agencies will be essential in order to achieve common goals.


  •     Coordinates work streams under the “WIO Blue Economy” project in Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Mauritius, related to advancing MSP, area-based marine biodiversity protections and fisheries management.
  •     Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards for project implementation, and with respect to integration of related TNC and partner roles within relevant programs of work.
  •     Writes required reports for internal and external communications and required reviews or updates.
  •     Frequently makes independent strategic decisions related to project developments, partnership arrangements, national and regional policy support, technical capacity requirements etc., based on analysis, available information and context. 
  •     Negotiates complex agreements in a political environment (e.g. stakeholder and community roles and representation in protected area and fisheries management).                                                                                     
  •     Is responsible for representing TNC’s Oceans Strategy and interests within the WIO region, including development of new partnerships.
  •     Supervises staff based within same (Mombasa) office as well as at remote locations.
  •     Frequent travel domestically and internationally, evening and weekend hours (in consideration of COVID-19 related travel restrictions).                
  •     May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.   


  • BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in marine conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.   
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.                                        
  • Experience negotiating with a range of stakeholder interests.


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • MSc degree in a related field and 7-10 years’ experience in marine conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans, including through management of large complex multi-national projects.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in MSP, fisheries management and marine conservation science, especially as applied to the WIO region.
  • 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 regionally relevant languages.
  • Politically savvy.


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