Senior Vice President (Global Government Relations)

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. 


People need nature. Food, water, livelihoods, a stable climate — these are just some of the essentials that nature provides. At Conservation International (CI), we protect nature so that humanity can thrive. Blending innovative science, policy expertise and a worldwide network of partnerships, CI empowers communities, countries and companies to sustainably care for nature.

Working at every level of society, from remote villages to the offices of CEOs and heads of state, CI’s staff of over 1000 people in 30 countries strives to protect nature where it is most crucial for people. Our ultimate goal: a healthy planet that enables all people to prosper.

The Senior Vice President, Global Government Relations is a senior leader for CI, with primary responsibility for the organization’s involvement on influencing the development and implementation of policies important to the achievement of CI’s mission and strategic objectives with an emphasis on nature-based climate solutions, and sustainable seascapes and landscapes. The position reports to CI’s President and is a core member of the CI Leadership Team.

Based at CI’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the Senior Vice President, Global Government Relations will lead the development and implementation of a strategy for CI to influence globally important policies (climate, sustainable development, freshwater, biodiversity, wildlife trafficking), including funding appropriations and programming of key public donors. This position will spearhead CI’s outreach to high-level officials and staff with the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch and also participate in CI’s high-level engagement with other national and sub-national governments worldwide, as well as inter-governmental organizations (UNFCCC, UNGA, CBD) and international policy forums. The SVP will coordinate closely with CI policy hubs in Europe and Japan and with CI’s Center for Ocean to ensure coherence of CI’s policy efforts as well as alignment with the CI strategies. S/he will lead the team in serving as a knowledge and support hub to mainstream and support national policy efforts led by CI’s regional field divisions and country programs.

The Senior Vice President will shape and oversee CI’s vision and strategy for globally important policy, with emphasis on mobilizing government action and funding as a positive force for nature-based climate solutions, and sustainable seascapes and landscapes. He or she will represent CI at high levels with governments and inter-governmental institutions, manage policy engagement by members of CI’s Executive Team and Board of Directors, and frame the content of CI communications on policy matters. The Senior Vice President will supervise a team of staff experts and will be accountable for program plans, budgets, and fundraising.


Program Strategy and Management:

  • Lead a team to articulate an institutional vision for globally important public policy, consistent with CI’s mission, strategies, and signature focal areas.
  • Define CI’s strategic priorities for development and implementation of globally important public policy related to nature-based climate solutions, and sustainable seascapes and landscapes, and lead team to develop and implement a strategy to achieve objectives.
  • Oversee timely preparation and monitoring of program budgets, outputs, deliverables, indicators, work plans, and progress reports, consistent with CI’s annual planning process.
  • Supervise a team of CI staff experts responsible for program delivery and operations.
  • Coordinate with teams across CI to ensure coherence to policy objectives and strategies, and to leverage CI’s presence in Africa, Americas, and Asia-Pacific.
  • Participate actively on CI Leadership Team and cross-divisional Global Programs group.
  • Serve as the principal staff liaison to the CI Board of Directors on policy matters.

Policy Engagement

  • Represent CI in high-level discussions with government officials from the United States and other countries, as well as with senior officials from inter-governmental organizations.
  • Speak at major professional conferences and other events focused on international globally important public policies.
  • Advise team on direction and content of policy materials (internal briefing memos, letters to government officials, comments on Federal Register notices, congressional testimony, policy position papers etc.) on policy and legislative initiatives related to CI priorities.
  • Facilitate and manage high-level policy engagement by members of CI’s Executive Team and Board of Directors.
  • Frame the content of CI communications on policy matters, and serve as a key media spokesperson for the organization on all policy matters.


  • Develop a fundraising strategy in collaboration with CI’s Development team and field programs.
  • Oversee development of grant proposals to cover program expenses and to enable strategic growth over time.
  • Build and sustain strong relationships with current and potential donors interested in providing support to CI’s global policy efforts.
  • Ensure timely submission of high-quality reports to donors.


  • This position is based in CI-Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
  • Up to 40% domestic and international travel.



  • 10+ years of executive-level professional experience involving strategic leadership and program delivery.
  • Deep substantive knowledge of, and internationally-recognized stature on, policy and public funding issues related to international conservation and development, e.g., climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, ocean health, wildlife trafficking, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest practices.
  • Strong familiarity with institutional frameworks and financial institutions relevant to international conservation policy, e.g., United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Global Environment Facility, Sustainable Development Goals, international trade and economic processes.
  • Track record of working effectively at senior-levels with the legislative and executive branches of government in multiple geographies.
  • Experience with inter-governmental negotiations on policy related to CI priority topics.
  • Understanding of developing country context, preferably from living or working abroad, and knowledge of conservation policy innovations, trends, and challenges in developing countries.
  • Extensive international network of key policy-makers and thought leaders, including in CI geographies.
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience.
  • Strong track record of leading a team of experts in line with CI’s culture of collaborative approaches and with an eye to professional development.
  • Ability to oversee project management and budgeting.
  • Outstanding oral and written communications skills.
  • Proven ability to work with a wide variety of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and political contexts.
  • Collaborative spirit, with a strong commitment to teamwork with internal colleagues and external partners.
  • Fluency in English, with Spanish or French as a preferred additional language.


  • Proficiency in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.
  • Experience in formation and implementation of public-private alliances.
  • Supervises team of experts in U.S. and international policy.
  • Authority to convene internal meetings with CI staff at all levels as necessary for development and implementation of government policy strategy and program activities.
  • Authority to convene meetings with senior officials from governments, inter-governmental organizations, foundations, and NGOs.

To apply please submit your resume.

Conservation International is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer of minorities, females, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.  It is the policy of CI to afford equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment. CI offers reasonable accommodation in the employment process for individuals with disabilities.  If you need assistance in the application or hiring process to accommodate a disability, you may request an accommodation at any time.  If you require an application accommodation due to a disability, please e-mail your request to [email protected] and include “accommodation” in the subject line.