Water Fund Project Manager

Wilmington, DE, United States 🇺🇸


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 www.nature.org/about-us 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 Water Fund Project Manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, managing and executing the development of a water fund or similar conservation investment model for the Brandywine-Christina watershed to improve water quality and/or quantity by working with our partners and other key stakeholders to create and execute revenue, governance, and implementation mechanisms for coordinated conservation interventions.


The Water Fund Project Manager coordinates and manages several project teams from TNC Delaware and other partners such as at the University of Delaware in developing the Brandywine-Christina Healthy Water Fund, an innovative conservation finance mechanism designed to secure freshwater resources for nature and people. The Project Manager cultivates and maintains relationships with partners and key stakeholders in the watershed, working collaboratively in the development of revenue, governance, and implementation mechanisms for the Water Fund. The Project Manager implements project management and highly effective teams techniques to ensure timely progress of the project(s). S/he oversees and actively promotes the project to stakeholders, communities, and/or donors to raise awareness and support. S/he leads and oversees the development of research and conservation strategies that focus on protecting and restoring critical watershed services and the ecosystems and communities they benefit. S/he catalyzes the advancement of appropriate multi-benefit approaches for regulatory compliance that address the needs of regulators while simultaneously resulting in net conservation benefits. S/he employs a full range of tools to evolve appropriate elements of a water fund or similar conservation investment model. Grant funding for this position has been secured for a period of one-year with a strong likelihood of continued grant-funded support.


  • Designs and implements collaborative research and planning to address high priority water quality and/or quantity challenges in the Brandywine-Christina.
  • Develops and sustains effective working relationship with key stakeholders in the watershed, including water purveyors, municipal managers, conservation partners and external advisory experts.
  • Works with water resource managers to identify watershed management and/or regulatory solutions that simultaneously achieve conservation, regulatory, and water quality/quantity goals.
  • Gains cooperation from partners, stakeholders, and other outside parties to accomplish the goals of the water fund.
  • Manages a balanced budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, and assisting with budget development.
  • Ensures project compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Under minimal supervision, makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
  • May lead interns or volunteers on a project basis.
  • Assists with public and private fundraising sufficient to meet individual project needs.
  • May manage multiple grants, contracts or requests for proposals.


  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
  • Experience managing multiple priorities, with assignments sometimes coming from a number of sources.
  • Experience managing and maintaining compliance with public and/or private grant obligations.
  • Experience communicating with stakeholders, the public and/or media both in writing and verbally about the social, economic and ecological benefits of the water fund.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.


  • MS degree and 7+ years’ experience in water resources.
  • Experience with water resource management and/or research.
  • Experience with watershed restoration and monitoring.
  • Experience influencing water resource policy.
  • Demonstrated experience in partnership building.
  • Experience in developing conservation finance vehicles or mechanisms to scale up funding for conservation.
  • Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means.
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Excellent project and meeting management skills.


  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


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.


To apply to position number 44363, 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.*

Job Title: Water Fund Project Manager

Location: Delaware

Job ID: 44363

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time