Director of Conservation Collaboration

The Nature Conservancy

Brentwood, Tennessee

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Competitive


Nashville, Tennessee, USA

This role will be based in Middle Tennessee in the Nashville metro area and work in a flexible, hybrid working environment (in-office and at-home).


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”

Since 1978, The Nature Conservancy helped to create or expand 31 state parks and natural areas, 20 state Wildlife Management Areas, and nine national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges in Tennessee, in addition to establishing our own system of nature preserves. Between the iconic Great Smoky Mountains and the Mississippi River, the Volunteer State is renowned for its forests, rivers, caves, farmland, vibrant cities and one of the nation’s fastest growing economies. Tennessee is situated at the crossroads of a converging network of resilient and connected forests with some of the most biodiverse rivers in the country. Never has conservation of Tennessee's nature mattered more.


The Director of Conservation Collaboration oversees all aspects of conservation, protection, science, and stewardship for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee and plays an active leadership role in co-managing the conservation priorities that maximize the Southern Division’s collective contributions to realizing the Conservancy’s ambitious 2030 goals. This position provides the unique opportunity to have a significant conservation impact in Tennessee, across the Southern Division (comprised of 10 state chapters from Virginia and Kentucky in the north, southward to Florida and Louisiana), and beyond. With a focus on leading with conservation to accelerate impact, this role will collaborate with others across the Southern Division and U.S. region to build partnerships and provide leadership and support for TNC’s strategic conservation planning work; establish and oversee the implementation of conservation priorities; and be responsible for measuring and reporting progress towards 2030 Goals.

The Director of Conservation Collaboration serves as the principle contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations, and the academic community. They will play a leading role in donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship for the programs they support. The Director of Conservation Collaboration disseminates best practices, provides training and analyses to implement organizational measures of success, develops key partnerships with public & private organizations to identify and resolve technical issues and widely communicate solutions, innovative scientific methods, analysis, tools, and frameworks to address the natural system needs. They establish the Conservancy as a major conservation partner within their area of responsibility, define conservation priorities, lead and manage teams which supports and improves conservation efforts, and builds strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. They engage local community support for local conservation efforts, negotiate complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities, and develop and implement conservation strategies. May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. May require frequent travel and evening and weekend hours.


The Director of Conservation Collaboration has a deep conservation background, is process oriented, and can lead a team with excellent managerial, communication, and people skills. They have experience in strategic planning, can infuse conservation and science into strategy development and execution not only within Tennessee, but across the Southern Division. The Director of Conservation Collaboration must be visionary yet practical, seasoned yet adaptable, and an effective implementer able to administrator change. They will aid The Nature Conservancy in being a powerful voice in the conservation community in the Southern Division.

This role will lead the program planning and implementation work for Tennessee’s Freshwater, Forest, Agriculture, Cave, Land Protection, and Urban Conservation strategies and provide leadership to our Climate and Carbon Markets work as well. In addition, the Director of Conservation Collaboration will be a key contributor to the Conservancy’s Whole Systems work in the Appalachians, the Mississippi River Basin, and across the broader Southern Division portfolio (Climate Mitigation, Climate Adaptation, Resilient and Connected Lands, Freshwater, and Oceans & Coasts).

The Director of Conservation Collaboration will help quantify The Nature Conservancy’s positive impact on People (e.g., people with increased, sustainable, place-based economic opportunity, people with increased ability to meaningfully participate in decision-making about territory or resources). This role will possess strong communication skills and a demonstrated ability to explain complex conservation issues with general audiences. The Director of Conservation Collaboration works closely with our State Director and partners with philanthropy staff in the cultivation and direct solicitation of donors. They will collaborate with government relations staff in policy strategy to secure public funding to meet revenue goals and work with Communications and Marketing staff to share stories of success.


  • BA/BS degree and 10 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation.
  • Experience directing a major program or project of strategic importance, including management/supervision of multi-disciplinary teams and meeting deadlines.
  • Experience working with current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and geographic regions.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience negotiating
  • Experience influencing, developing, and implementing conservation policy and plans at the state or regional level.
  • Experience with financial management of a large program.


  • Multi- lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • 10-12 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  • Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives and experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Awareness of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles and practice in the conservation field and commitment to advancing DEI in operational and programmatic contexts.
  • Appreciation and desire to measure the People impact of our conservation work.
  • Excellent collaboration and people management/leadership experience.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Politically savvy.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on nature.org/careers.

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


The salary range for this leadership opportunity is $110K - $130K depending on experience.


To apply for job ID 53999, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org

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 people 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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org  with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role committing to being equitable across groups and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.

Category Admin & Leadership, General / Stewardship, Land Trust
Tags Outreach