Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy Specialist

Guatemala City, , GT

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact for people and nature around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, major US cities and in your neighborhood. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

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 Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy Specialist creates tangible policy results that support The Nature Conservancy’s climate-smart conservation goals by aiding in the design and delivery of project policy objectives; serving as liaison and informational contact between The Nature Conservancy and others; developing and leveraging strong partner relationships with scientific/research organizations, federal, state, county and local municipal agencies, business sector, community organizations, and/or indigenous groups. She/he will aid in the development of a coherent vision for climate-smart agriculture in Central America


The Latin America Region (LAR) seeks to transform the region’s agriculture production into environmentally resilient systems for long-term sustainable growth by changing the production/consumption value chains of Latin America. The Nature Conservancy seeks to incentivize the conservation of the region’s 940 million hectares of natural habitat through sustainable intensification on 740 million hectares of agricultural land. To achieve this goal, the Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy Specialist plays a critical role in bringing about policy changes in Central America, targeted countries include: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama.

As a member of the Regional Unit Lands team for LAR, she/he liaises with staff across the Conservancy, particularly with colleagues in Latin America Region’s Mexico North Central America (MNCA) Conservation Program, and partners to inform, design, and implement changes in local, federal, and/or national policies that are aligned with the Latin America Lands Unit’s programmatic goals and interventions in agricultural development and climate change adaptation. She/he will service serve as a subject matter expert and advisor on complex and strategic issues. S/he liaises with TNC’s global strategy teams, Science and Field Conservation staff, other External Affairs departments and with TNC’s Operating Units to further the Latin America Lands Unit’s conservation goals and strategy. Duties include daily contact with local, state and federal officials, and/or corporate representatives on matters pertaining to administrative, legislative, and/or corporate actions related to the mission of The Nature Conservancy.

Pre-existing knowledge of local, state, and national agriculture policies and government sponsored programs and interventions across the Central America region is important for this position as well is having personal and professional contacts with government officials. In addition, an understanding of the environmental aspects of farming, ranching, fisheries and aquaculture for both smallholders and large holders, as well as related sustainable technologies and knowledge of major corporate actors is also important for this position

S/he will be based in Guatemala and report to the Latin America Lands Climate and Food Security Coordinator, based at the Conservancy’s global headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.


  • Responsible for coordinating and managing climate-smart agriculture policy related work within Central America as part of the Climate and Food Security Program.
  • Responsibility and accountability for meeting departmental strategic goals and objectives.
  • Develops relationships and works effectively, gaining cooperation from corporate, government, community, and non-governmental organization partners and individuals over whom there is no direct authority to accomplish program goals.
  • Makes strategic decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
  • Ensures that the program complies with counties’ lobbying laws and regulations as well as with internal-TNC policies and requirements.
  • Applies a diversified knowledge of practices to support Conservancy strategies.
  • Works collaboratively within a cross-functional interdisciplinary team positively managing the relationship between the Regional Program and Conservation Programs.
  • Ensures investments in climate smart agricultural projects can bring about tangible results and commitments in policy change
  • May visit conservation, ranching and agricultural field sites in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances approximately 4-6 times per year.
  • Requires frequent travel domestically and internationally (approximately 30-50% per month), and evening and weekend hours.
  • Acts independently within broad program goals.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, management or other relevant field and 5 years of government relations or corporate sector experience, or equivalent combination education/experience.
  • Written and oral fluency in both English and Spanish
  • Analytical and project management experience. Demonstrated experience in successfully developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.
  • Proved experience with social, economic and political conditions and issues related to agriculture and climate change in Central America, specifically: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and/or Panama
  • Proved Experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans at the state or country level.
  • Experience coordinating projects in a decentralized organization, working across teams, operating units and functions to achieve optimal results.


  • Master’s degree and 7 years’ experience in climate change policy and/or the agriculture sector within the Central America, or equivalent combination
  • Ability to make sound decisions based on analysis, consultation with others, experience, and judgment
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Experience preparing, presenting, and communicating project proposals and negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements with management-level individuals in government and/or corporate business.
  • Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government).
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and regions.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, negotiating and organizational skills.


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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 men and women 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.

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Job Title: Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy Specialist

Location: Guatemala

Job ID: 45093

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time