Green-Gray Infrastructure Fellow

Arlington, VA or Seattle, WA, , US


Conservation International is launching an innovative, new, international program focused on developing and implementing hybrid Green-Grey solutions for climate adaptation. This program will be a first of its kind, combining a strong conservation focus with engineering expertise to provide solutions to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. The increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather has forced population centers across the globe to focus resources on climate adaptation. In addressing numerous impacts of climate change, decision-makers now face a range of alternative planning options from “hard” or “grey” engineering solutions to natural “green” ecosystem-based approaches. These options are often presented as exclusive alternatives – for example, either a seawall or a wetland can provide protection against flooding from rising sea level. However, different approaches bring varying challenges and benefits, and in many cases a green-grey combination may be the solution most able to provide long-term climate resilience and cost-effectiveness. By selectively combining elements of traditional “grey” engineering with conservation and restoration of critical ecosystems or “green” infrastructure, CI is developing the next generation of climate adaptation approaches that simultaneously ensure effective climate change resilience while also maximizing the broad spectrum of ecosystem services so critical to communities.

The new Green-Grey program will bridge CI’s Blue Climate Program, Oceans Center, Moore Center for Science, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business and Country Programs to create the science, solutions, partnerships, and field examples needed to bring this innovative approach to the world’s most vulnerable communities. The Green-Grey fellow will be the focal point for this program. The fellow will coordinate development and strategic implementation of the Green-Grey program across CI, build and support critical partnerships in science, industry and conservation, provide critical technical expertise and support across CI, particularly to CI’s field programs, and lead the day-to-day operations of the program.  The Green-Grey fellow will be at the forefront of developing this new conservation and engineering approach for application globally.

CI is seeking a unique individual to fill the role of Green-Grey Fellow. The fellow will come to the position with an appreciation of the immense potential of hybrid green-grey solutions to address climate change impacts across the globe, and a strong drive to use these approaches to build climate resilience and support adaptation for communities. The fellow will embody a strong commitment to conservation and environmental concerns globally, particularly including the importance of healthy ecosystems for communities. The ideal applicant will have coastal, water or other infrastructure engineering expertise and also have a solid working knowledge of conservation and environmental approaches and principles. The fellow will also ideally have experience working in less developed countries, including with communities, governments, academic and industry partners. Additionally, the capacity to develop strong partnerships with a broad range of institutions and individuals is essential as the fellow will be a key contact for the Green-Grey partnerships with industry companies, leading academic institutions, government agencies and non-profits.  


  • Coordinate development and strategic implementation of the Green-Grey program across CI, including aligning priorities across the Blue Climate Program, CI’s Blue Climate Program, Oceans Center, Moore Center for Science, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business and Country Programs.
  • Work closely with CI’s field programs to develop, fund and implement a diverse portfolio of on-the-ground Green-Grey demonstration projects, starting with the Philippines.  The fellow will provide essential technical support to the Ci’s field programs.
  • Work with program leaders from across CI, maintain and expand CI’s key strategic green-grey partnerships including with industry leading companies and globally recognized academic institutions. The fellow will provide the technical support and coordination capacity needed to build and support.
  • Work with program leaders to fund raise for implementation and expansion of the Green-Grey program through a diverse range of funding sources.
  • Provide technical support to the CI global prioritization process led by the Moore Center for Science, which will identify priority sites for implementation of the green-grey approach. 


  • This position is based in Arlington, VA or Seattle, WA.
  • International travel approximately 30% of the time.
  • Normal office environment.



  • Master’s degree in coastal, marine, environmental or related engineering.
  • 3-5 years of relevant work experience.
  • Proven ability to work well independently and coordinate with teams remotely.
  • Experience working in less developed countries.
  • Knowledge of conservation and environmental priorities, approaches and strategies.
  • Knowledge of climate change impacts on biodiversity and vulnerable communities.
  • Strong organizational and financial management skills.
  • Proven ability to build and support a variety of partnerships. Experience working with private companies and/or academic institutions preferred.  
  • Proven ability to lead, engage and collaborate with diverse teams and individuals across various disciplines, cultures and backgrounds to achieve shared goals.
  • Proven ability to deliver results while managing competing priorities under tight deadlines.
  • Outstanding written and spoken communication skills.
  • Experience writing for broad variety of audiences, including academic, media, web blogs, funding proposals.


  • PhD degree in coastal, marine, environmental or related engineering or natural resource management or related field.
  • Experience fundraising from a diverse range of funding sources.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Spanish, French or Portuguese highly preferred.