Development Director (Policy Center for Environment and Peace)

Arlington, VA, US

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.



The Policy Center for Environment and Peace focuses on building understanding of the value of natural capital to human well-being and promote and support the adoption of policies, good governance, and development investments that recognize that natural capital is essential for the sustainable development of nations and societies.


The Development Director will be responsible for leading the design and implementation of the fundraising strategy and campaign for the Policy Center for Environment and Peace. The goal of the fundraising strategy will be to support the Center’s objectives by creating a near (one to three years) and long-term (5-10 years) plan and fundraising goals to both meet the operating needs of the Center.


The Director will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to identify and cultivate donor prospects and opportunities with key individuals, foundations, corporate and public partnerships aligned with the Center’s key objectives, and will also maintain and strengthen existing relationships with the Center’s current donor portfolio. S/he will work closely with CI’s Development Division to design and coordinate the fundraising strategy and fundraising activities that highlight the work of the Center in CI fundraising and donor events, and to identify both existing, new donor prospects and funding. S/he will at times either lead or support strategic proposal writing projects that are complex, critical and significant in programmatic scope. The Director will work with cross-functional groups to  develop proposals – requiring the synthesis of complex programmatic details and technical information – for a variety of donors including bilateral, multilateral, corporate, foundations and individuals.




  • Lead, prepare and/or edit fundraising strategies, proposals, documents and presentations to secure gifts at the five-, six-, and seven-figure level from corporate, foundation, individual, government and multilateral donors.
  • Support Policy Center to develop strong project proposals with sound design, clear outcomes, and impactful results.
  • Liaise with Policy Center and other CI units and donor account leads to develop competitive proposals, both technically and financially.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact within the Policy Center, specifically for multi-country, multi-division proposals and projects, but also for Policy Center work and capacity-constrained programs.
  • Work closely with Development, and other divisions on overall strategic fundraising and campaign plan.

Donor relations, tracking and representation

  • Meet with donors and prospective donors to cultivate interest in the Policy.
  • Review fundraising opportunities for alignment with the CEP strategy.
  • Track funding opportunities and create processes for submitting quality proposals.


  • Track unfunded needs and manage the fundraising pipeline for Division.
  • Design and implement a monitoring system or database for Policy Center’s fundraising effort that can be used in conjunction with CI’s existing tools.

Team contribution

  • Contribute to the team and support all Policy Center initiatives and activities.


  • The position may require travel to donor meetings (up to 15%).
  • The Director will need to multitask and be comfortable working in a fast-paced, sometimes unpredictable work environment.
  • This position is a one-year fixed term with the possibility of extension.



  • Undergraduate degree required, with coursework or experience in environmental sciences and/or international development.
  • At least ten years’ experience in fundraising, with an emphasis on fundraising from a variety of sources including governments, multilaterals, corporations, foundations and individuals.
  • Proven success in securing funding from a variety of sources, including cultivating foundation, private, and corporate donors, as well as responding to public funding solicitations.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and management skills.
  • French, Spanish or Portuguese language abilities.
  • Proven ability to identify strategic issues and priorities.
  • Ability to synthesize and articulate relevant information to help inform and shape engagement in with key donors in a strategic manner.
  • Proven ability juggle multiple projects simultaneously and work with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Ability to guide a proposal development teams across the division meet group deadlines, manage time and engage effectively in multiple and diverse activities.
  • Ability to work with teams involving expertise outside own functional and programmatic area and to develop ideas or solutions to complex problems that go beyond established practices.
  • Ability to establish and manage job objectives for self, and cross-functional proposal development teams.
  • Proven track record of taking initiative, working independently, and coordinating dispersed teams.


  • Experience fundraising for environmental or international development organizations.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge or a similar fundraising database software package and proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Working knowledge of a publishing software like InDesign.
  • Experience living overseas or working in an international setting.