Strategic Partnership Manager

Conservation X Labs
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Conservation X Labs is seeking a  Strategic Partnership Manager who can work fluidly across multiple sectors, engaging and bringing together partners, including large and small private companies from different industries, conservation organizations, development institutions, academia, governments, investors, and foundations including family offices, with a purpose of focusing them on helping create and scale disruptive innovations to address the underlying drivers of extinction, including reinventing the feed, food, fiber, and materials that threaten our planetary health. 

We are seeking problem solvers, who are personable and highly motivated, hungry and enthusiastic, who love people, establishing and maintaining relationships, and are passionate about conservation and our mission.  We want applicants who want to disrupt conservation in order to radically improve it. We are looking for those who have dared mighty things by trying a path that others have not chosen. We are looking for those who have failed but have learned from failure and risk, and whose faces are marred by dust, sweat, and blood. We are looking for those who like to experiment, to make things, to hack things, to test things, and to break things (particularly dogmatic approaches to conservation or technology). Finally, we are looking for kind, hardworking people who will enthusiastically devote their intellectual and creative energy to advance our mission, enjoy working on a team, are deeply entrepreneurial and self-motivated, and are driven by their passion.


Conservation X Labs (CXL) is a technology and innovation company that creates and incentivizes innovative solutions to end the Sixth Mass Extinction. We create new products in our labs, lead open innovation competitions to harness planetary genius, and empower talented innovators across disciplines to collaborate and revolutionize the future of conservation. We are an optimistic, passionate, entrepreneurial, fun, and mission-oriented team working to radically improve the way we find and support solutions for conservation’s most wicked challenges.


  • Are you great with people and love making new friends and cultivating deep relationships?
  • Do you have an aptitude for building coalitions strategically, including creating campaigns and coalitions to solve wicked problems?
  • Do you seek out genuine and dedicated collaborators who are willing to help make programs successful and impactful?
  • Are you technologically savvy seeking to harness new tools and data systems to increase the power and leverage of your work on behalf of the CXL.
  • Are you forward thinking, creative, innovative?
  • Do you have strong research, analysis, writing and communication skills to identify potential partners, and keep them engaged?
  • Do you want to know if you are having impact and want to measure it?

Are you quirky, iconoclastic, and exceptional?


If yes, read on..



Conservation X Labs believes that its only competitor is extinction.  As such, it seeks to work in coalitions, networks, and collectives, with other organizations, to achieve its mission of ending the Sixth Mass Extinction.  The Strategic Partnership Manager will be the integument in maintain our existing networks of nearly 80 organizations, and will strategically form new partnerships and maintain existing partnerships with organizations within the private/commercial sector, academia, NGOs, foundations, and governments in support of the programs at Conservation X Labs. 

Specifically, your duties include building and engaging partners around our scientific and engineering programs that will allow us to accelerate development, and work in a networked fashion as part of a collective of institutions focused on conservation technology and engineering for good.  The Strategic Partnership Manager will create and engage coalitions around each of our grand challenges for conservation initiatives, tackling future issues like food, feed, & fiber replacements, new cooling technologies, engineering resilience and regenerating ecosystems, to ensure that our challenges have the broadest reach and credibility and the solutions they generate will get to scale. 

The first programmatic focus for this position is the Microfiber Innovation Challenge managed by the Open Innovation team. The Partnership Manager will actively engage representatives from each of the Microfiber Innovation Challenge partner organizations with tangible activities (e.g. amplification of the challenge, recruitment of evaluators, collaborations with innovators sourced through the competition, etc.).  For instance, this would require working with partners across multiple fields, such as material science, the fashion industry, textile production and distribution, sustainable downstream companies, organizations and associations promoting circular economy, and chief sustainability officers and teams in corporations. The ideal applicant is willing to work with our current partners and build off of their own professional network to strategically support the programs at CXL.

We seek someone who is innovative and who has the ability to manage a large portfolio of responsibilities that will enhance and improve our organization’s impact through leveraging mutually beneficial partnerships across our programs, and do so while seeking to understand our organization’s culture and approach, and that of each of our partners.  The ideal applicant will be a fast learner and early adopter, great with people, highly organized and highly strategic, able to see the long-term, rather than just the immediate needs. They will be a problem solver, comfortable with both people and databases, performance oriented, and have keen attention to detail. They will be a builder – of relationships, of teams, of programs.  

We seek applicants who thrive in a fast-paced, constantly changing start-up culture, and are able to work well both individually sometimes with little guidance, as well as part of a team. We want people who like finding solutions to hard problems.

The Strategic Partnership Manager will be a critical part of an interdisciplinary team that includes conservation scientists, molecular scientists, social scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, communications professionals, and policy experts. We are an optimistic, passionate, forward-looking, and mission-oriented organization set to transform the approaches to solving conservation problems. As such, possessing both knowledge of conservation problems, and their drivers, and technological solutions is a huge plus.

Finally, we want people who cares about our mission as much as we do.


  • Very, very smart and very, very capable
  • A degree from an accredited post-secondary institution in a relevant field with a professional track record of building strategic partnerships and maintaining strong, productive relationships, or the equivalent experience.
  • Strong strategic thinking, communications, and leadership skills.
  • A highly-motivated individual who can work independently and take the lead on tasks to see them through to completion, and also recognize when to collaborate with others from the team at CXL.
  • A detail-oriented individual who can manage multiple tasks at a time and track their progress and successes in completing those tasks.
  • Passion about solving environmental conservation problems through innovation.
  • Ability to translate ideas, work plans, and scientific and technical information into relatable, approachable and inspiring presentation and actions.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills: ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines, maintain a high degree of judgment, and work well under pressure, including reacting to change in a productive manner.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills. Exceptional writing and communication skills in English.
  • Great at networking.
  • Friendly, open, curious, and passionate attitude towards teamwork and mission-driven product development.
  • Likable, kind, and open-minded.
  • Ability to work across engineering and scientific disciplines, in small teams with enthusiastic co-workers.


  • Lead the management and engagement of existing and new partners, including, but not limited to: maintain our current and established partnership leads through regular communications and actions; create new leads by researching potential partners; and, create new types of partnerships that are relevant to the goals of the program. The initial focus will be the Microfiber Innovation Challenge.
  • Work with the Open Innovation team to understand the goals and strategy of our grand challenge competitions, beginning with the Microfiber Innovation Challenge (and other initiatives that rely on strategic partnerships).
  • Take the initiative to learn about the problems that CXL seeks to solve through innovation in order to better understand the landscape of potential partners.
  • Create a systematic, strategic, and process-driven approach to partner outreach and relationship management.
  • Deliver a great experience to our partners when working with us - you will represent our brand and be our partners’ liaison internally, and will advocate for their interests within CXL.  As that also involves understanding if our partnerships are working, you will forecast, measure and report on the outcomes and impact of the partnerships, allowing us through data rather than hunch to invest our time effectively.
  • Lead the tracking of partnership outreach and communications, including, but not limited to: conduct and track partnership outreach; track next-steps to maintain relationships with partners; clearly communicate with partners how to engage with CXL; and, clearly communicate with CXL staff how, when, and why partners will engage with organization.
  • Work with the CXL communications team and leadership to develop messaging for partnership outreach and external communications about our partnerships.
  • Negotiate and finalize partnership agreements (e.g. MOUs) in accordance with CXL’s guidelines and policies.
  • Maintain productive and friendly ongoing relationships with current partners and offer new ways to grow the partnerships.


SALARY AND BENEFITS: $70,000 to $90,000, depending on experience and salary history. Health, dental, vision insurance, and a 401K match is provided.  We do not track vacation or sick days subject to a specific limit.  CXL also gives off the weekdays between Christmas and New Year’s Day, all federal holidays.  CXL is also committed to learning opportunities for its team. This position is expected to involve some domestic and international travel.  This position is based in Washington DC, but we will consider other arrangements.


Please send a cover letter that explains why you fit what we are looking for, and resume to with “Strategic Partnership Manager – [Your Last Name]” in the Subject Line of the email.  You are welcome, but not obligated, to provide other links or attachments that would provide evidence of why you would succeed in this position, including how you have solved difficult problems in professional settings.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until 5 PM EST, January 15th. Please note that we will start interviewing before the deadline and may fill the position before this date.  Start date is as soon as possible. 


Conservation X Labs applies technology, entrepreneurship, and open innovation to source, develop, and scale critical solutions to the underlying drivers of human-induced extinction, whether in conservation or other fields. Conservation X Labs takes an approach to conservation that is technology- and innovation-focused, market- and scale-driven, and interdisciplinary. We believe this approach – one that addresses the underlying drivers of extinction rather than its symptoms, and one that takes a revolutionary over evolutionary approach – is the future of conservation, what we call Conservation 3.0. We source, develop, and scale new solutions through open innovation, directed engineering and technology development, product acceleration, and building the diverse community of solvers that will transform the field. Conservation X Labs operates as both a 501c3 non-profit organization and related a B-corporation.

CXL is committed to creating and cultivating a diverse workforce and inclusive environment where every employee and contractor has the right to work in surroundings that are free from all forms of unlawful or intentional discrimination. It is our policy to hire, promote, transfer, terminate, and make all employment related decisions without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.