Deserts and Grasslands Director

Phoenix or Tucson, AZ, 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 www.nature.org/aboutus 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.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Deserts and Grasslands Director will oversee all of the AZ Chapter’s work related to deserts and grasslands, including providing strategic leadership and establishing overall conservation priorities. A key aspect is to work with internal and external partners, including federal and state agencies, in order to develop policy-oriented approaches to make a significant impact in deserts and grasslands conservation and address TNC’s North American conservation priorities. The position is located in either Tucson or Phoenix.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The Deserts and Grasslands Director both leads the Chapter’s existing work related to deserts and grasslands and also develops new conservation strategies in these areas. The position identifies and develops important external partners and serves as a principal representative, at the staff level, to government agencies (such as the State Land Department and Arizona Department of Transportation), other conservation organization, and the academic community. Establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation partner in both deserts and grasslands conservation and helps identify common interests between disparate parties. Builds off the Chapter’s existing work in order to identify, develop and lead a few high impact, policy-based strategies that can achieve conservation of desert or grassland landscapes at a large scale. The position will also lead much of the Chapter’s work to guide growth and infrastructure development in Arizona, including working with internal teams to submit comments and analyses as part of public processes as well as working with partners to contribute the Chapter’s science-based expertise to agency planning and decision-making. Through the Stewardship Director the position will provide oversight for the majority of the Chapter’s preserve system in Southern Arizona (120,000 acres over 20 properties) and will work with the Stewardship Director to develop strategies which leverage these important assets to achieve outcomes beyond their geographic boundaries. Coordinates with other program and functional leads, in particular those in Science and External Affairs and sponsors cross-functional teams to address key challenges. The Deserts and Grasslands Director is the functional lead for this area in the Chapter and ensures alignment and builds cohesion with staff under their supervision. The position is a key member of the Chapter’s Land and Water Group, which provides leadership for all conservation functions.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE

Geographic size and scope is that of a larger, complex business unit and/or a program that requires cross-boundary work and relationships Supervises staff – currently the Stewardship Director and the Conservation Ecologist are direct reports, and nearly a dozen stewardship staff work in the program Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget Responds to requests for proposal (RFPs) for grant/contract funding for program Frequently makes independently strategic decision based on analysis, ambiguous information and judgment Negotiates complex agreements, in a political environment Responsible for leading or co-leading a whole system program Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances Utilizes and builds off existing conservation and work plans as a basis for developing strategies and creates new ones Works with a variety of partners, including landowner groups, ranchers, agencies and NGO’s Tracks and recommends action on major initiatives related to infrastructure growth in Arizona Uses project management methodology to guide work Supervises staff – currently the Stewardship Director and the Conservation Ecologist are direct reports, and nearly a dozen stewardship staff work in the program Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget Responds to requests for proposal (RFPs) for grant/contract funding for program Frequently makes independently strategic decision based on analysis, ambiguous information and judgment Negotiates complex agreements, in a political environment Responsible for leading or co-leading a whole system program Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances Utilizes and builds off existing conservation and work plans as a basis for developing strategies and creates new ones Works with a variety of partners, including landowner groups, ranchers, agencies and NGO’s Tracks and recommends action on major initiatives related to infrastructure growth in Arizona Uses project management methodology to guide work

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Geographic size and scope is that of a larger, complex business unit and/or a program that requires cross-boundary work and relationships. Supervises staff – currently the Stewardship Director and the Conservation Ecologist are direct reports, and nearly a dozen stewardship staff work in the program. Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget. Responds to requests for proposal (RFPs) for grant/contract funding for program. Frequently makes independently strategic decision based on analysis, ambiguous information and judgment. Negotiates complex agreements, in a political environment. Responsible for leading or co-leading a whole system program. Frequent travel domestically and/or internationally, evening and weekend hours. May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. Utilizes and builds off existing conservation and work plans as a basis for developing strategies and creates new ones Works with a variety of partners, including landowner groups, ranchers, agencies and NGO’s Tracks and recommends action on major initiatives related to infrastructure growth in Arizona Uses project management methodology to guide work

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

7-10 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience. Advanced degree in policy, science or other relevant topic Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans. Knowledge of current trends and practices in desert or grassland conservation and management in the western US, with Arizona-specific experience greatly preferred Experience with land management issues and challenges at the ground level Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes. Knowledge of methods and standards for prioritizing conservation efforts across large landscapes, and promoting actions that yield the greatest overall benefits. Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages. Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government). At least 3 years working on public land issues in Arizona with knowledge of major policies and players.

AUTO SAFETY POLICY

This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at www.nature.org/careers.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.

HOW TO APPLY

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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.*

Job Title: Deserts and Grasslands Director

Location: Arizona

Job ID: 45343

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED