California Impact Investing Fellow

San Francisco, CA, United States 🇺🇸


San Francisco, California (CA) preferred. Other CA locations possible.


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit  to learn more.

One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. The California Chapter is the largest and among the most innovative in the organization, with approximately 200 employees and $625 million in assets. We believe that what happens in California doesn’t stay in California – that the conservation solutions forged here can have repercussions across the country and the world to help nature and people thrive together. 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 California Impact Investing Fellow will be a member of California’s Conservation Investment Department, with the primary responsibility of identifying and facilitating the development of investment opportunities in a range of asset types (e.g., freshwater, agriculture, forestry, fisheries) across California. The Fellow will work closely with NatureVest, The Nature Conservancy’s global impact investment unit.


The Conservation Investments Department supports the California chapter’s work in environmental economics, conservation finance and impact investing. The Department conducts economics- and finance-related analyses on TNC projects and serves as internal consultants to various TNC California teams to bring economic, financial and business expertise to the design and implementation of the Conservancy’s conservation priorities. The Conservation Investments Department works closely with NatureVest on impact investing deals. NatureVest’s mission is to create and transact investable deals that deliver conservation results and financial returns for investors. To learn more, visit:

The California Impact Investing Fellow will primarily be focused on sourcing and developing a pipeline of impact investment transactions for the California chapter.  S/he will represent the Conservation Investments Department in exploratory discussions with regional conservation, industry (e.g., agricultural, forestry, freshwater) and finance experts (including Nature Conservancy staff) to assess the relevance of potential projects to California’s impact investment deal pipeline. The Fellow will initially focus on exploring impact investing opportunities for two core strategies of the California Chapter’s Water Program: securing environmental flows and advancing sustainable groundwater management. The Water Program’s strategy of securing environmental flows focuses on providing the water that fish and wildlife need at specific times and specific places by engaging with farmers, ranchers and communities to free up water. The Water Program’s strategy of advancing sustainable groundwater management focuses on working with local communities to reverse dramatic over-pumping of groundwater so that both nature and people can benefit from underground aquifers well into the future.
The California Impact Investing Fellow will conduct the initial screening of pipeline transactions for a) financial viability and b) alignment with the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy’s conservation priorities, in order to determine whether an opportunity warrants further review by the Conservation Investments Department and NatureVest. In this capacity, the Fellow’s responsibilities would include: financial modeling, market analysis and risk assessment and mitigation.  Thereafter, s/he would support the Project Director, Conservation Investments in conducting detailed financial analyses on selected pipeline deals, including development of cash flow projection sensitivities, capital stack structuring and partner negotiation.  Additional responsibilities would include assisting the Conservation Investments Department and NatureVest in thought leadership and business development, including representing the Team at industry events, speaking panels and investor meetings and creating marketing pitch decks and other materials. Although focused primarily in California, the Fellow may have opportunities to engage with leaders in other TNC chapters throughout the western United States to develop impact investing deals.

Reporting to the Project Director, Conservation Investments, this position is a unique and exciting opportunity for an investment professional who is knowledgeable and passionate about leveraging financial markets to drive environmental impact and natural resource sustainability.


Deal Origination and Pipeline Development:

  • Working in collaboration with the Project Director, Conservation Investments, NatureVest, and relevant regional TNC California directors and staff to originate potential pipeline transactions from on-the-ground conservation, financial, and industry experts.
  • Conduct initial financial assessment of potential pipeline opportunities including: building initial financial model,
  • conducting regulatory risk assessment, and conducting high level analysis of key stakeholders.
  • Liaising with California and NatureVest colleagues to ensure potential pipeline transactions are aligned with TNC California’s conservation priorities and values and NatureVest business objectives.
  • Making independent decisions frequently based on analysis, experience, and judgment.
  • Support the Project Director, Conservation Investments in the development of detailed financial analysis, including modeling cash flow projections and structuring the capital stack for both bespoke and traditional transaction structures.
  • Develop and implement creative ideas that satisfy investor return requirements while ensuring the performance of conservation strategies.
  • Coordinate across matrixed teams with members of the Conservation, Science and External Affairs departments.

Thought Leadership and Business Development:

  • Under the direction of the Conservation Investments Department and NatureVest leadership, create original thought leadership content on water policy and investment best practices.
  • Requires willingness and capacity for significant travel throughout California, and potentially, the western United States.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years’ experience in a private sector environment, such as management consulting and investment banking, or with a leading conservation organization or government entity, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience developing and implementing complex projects and strategic initiatives in an unstructured environment.
  • Experience leading and managing large scale projects, including working with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.


  • 5-10 years’ experience in a private sector environment, conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Strong team player who can build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization and with Conservancy partners.
  • Experience building and managing financial models, including proficiency in Microsoft Excel, the development of pro forma financial projections, and an ability to undertake financial valuation.
  • Private sector fundraising and/or marketing experience, including involvement in investor or thought leadership roadshows and development and delivery of pitch presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceive and write creatively for various audiences as it relates to conservation and/or investment.
  • Demonstrated experience using diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships and motivate staff and partners.
  • Willingness to learn and develop expertise in new conservation strategies, economic drivers, management tools, and global affairs.
  • Superior written and oral communications.
  • Strong knowledge of complex water, environmental, and agricultural issues.
  • Experience developing end products with software such as Microsoft Office (esp. PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Visio), Adobe Creative Suite, and cloud and web based tools including SharePoint, WebEx/conferencing software, Skype, Google Hangouts, and DropBox
  • MBA or similar degree with significant coursework in finance or economics.


  • Employment term is three years.

To apply to position number 44333, submit resume and cover letter as one document. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 15, 2016.

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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.