Natural Capital Economist

Washington DC or Michigan, , US

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 Natural Capital Economist provides technical and scientific support, project management, and leadership in support of the TNC-Dow Collaboration, a high profile globally strategic collaboration for The Nature Conservancy.

The Natural Capital Economist is responsible for managing the science aspects of a strategic corporate engagement to develop methods to embed the value of nature into the global business strategy and decision making of a Fortune 50 company (The Dow Chemical Company), and help Dow as it seeks to implement projects around the globe to help achieve its 2025 Nature Goal, as announced in April, 2015 where they committed to bring an assessment of nature – both impacts and dependencies – into all of their capital, product R&D;, and real estate projects, seeking to find $1B in business value from projects that are good for the business and the environment.

The Center for Sustainability Science at The Nature Conservancy provides science leadership to create transformational impact with the business sector and governments, by translating the value of nature and conservation approaches into actionable, science-based strategies that can help solve societal challenges. Companies and governments are increasingly recognizing nature’s value and the benefit of nature-based strategies, but often they do not have the tools and data to build them into their own decisions. The new Center for Sustainability Science aims to help fill this critical gap. The Center works hand-in-hand with public and private sector decision-makers to co-create solutions, drawing on TNC’s grounded experience and expertise around the world and the global scale of our strategies and partnerships.


The Natural Capital Economist’s primary responsibilities are to ensure the continued success of the TNC-Dow collaboration, and robustness of analysis as it moves into its second phase, which will focus on the implementation of Dow’s Nature Goal, and public sharing of outcomes related thereto. The Natural Capital Economist will be a subject matter expert on the science and economics of natural capital, as well as helping set direction for the joint TNC-Dow team, developing a collaborative work plan for the analytical aspects of the collaboration, ensuring transparent progress towards goals, and anticipating and managing for delays or disruptions for the analyses of the Collaboration.

The Natural Capital Economist needs to have the ability to translate information and work across disciplines – collaborating with Conservancy scientists, corporate staff, external research collaborators, and decision-makers across sectors. S/he needs to understand the science and economics of natural capital in projects and analysis, but also to keep in mind practical considerations of implementation.

The position reports to the Managing Director, Center for Sustainability Science, and may eventually supervise other professional staff, but will not have any direct reports immediately. This position will sit in the Center, while working in close collaboration with the Dow Collaboration Manager in the Corporate Engagement Program, as well as other global and regional staff and external partners as needed.


  • Ensure the continued success of this Collaboration, as it moves into its second phase.
  • Set analytical direction for the collaboration team, including leading development of goals and success factors for projects in Dow’s Nature Goal.
  • Provide project management of analytical projects, including developing project plans and schedules, working with colleagues from chapters and programs around the word to support Nature Goal projects in those locales and supporting the Collaboration Manager to successfully achieve these goals.
  • Must communicate results of work to private sector and scientific audiences, including through peer reviewed publications, research and communications
  • Develop strong relationships across all parties internally and externally, including the Dow and Conservancy team members, and ensure impeccable project management, high quality deliverables and on-time delivery
  • Coordinates with TNC’s Communications Team on internal and external science communications related to the Collaboration. S/he represents the Collaboration internally and externally, including giving presentations.
  • May provide training for internal and external colleagues on ecological and conservation scientific principles.
  • Supports program objectives by working in a complex matrix organization environment
  • Some travel required (average 5 nights per month)


  • Master’s Degree in environmental science, or economics or related field and 4 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing and interpreting statistical or environmental data; and communicating analytical results to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience leading or participating on cross functional teams.
  • Experience designing, implementing, and directing complex or multiple projects of strategic importance, including developing project goals, project plans and budgets, managing finances, leading/supervising multidisciplinary professionals and coordinating the work of partners.
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.


  • PhD and 1-3 years’ experience considered preferable.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Strong knowledge of common software applications.
  • Experience working with companies
  • Demonstrated project management capabilities; experience leading complex projects with scientific and policy attributes preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully develop and implement complex projects in an unstructured environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Strong presentation skills
  • Demonstrated leadership and visionary qualities and able to work effectively with and through others in a complex, matrixed, decentralized and geographically dispersed organizational environment.
  • Preference for basic knowledge and experience of the application of ecosystem services for business, but not required
  • Commitment to the mission and values of The Nature Conservancy, although no prior experience in environmental conservation is required


To apply to position number 45235, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 3/24/17.

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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.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*