Great Plains Grassland Strategy Director

The Nature Conservancy

Flexible, Remote

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $120,000-$160,000
Required Experience 7+ years

Office Location:

New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, & Minnesota


Who We Are:

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science- based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”

What We Can Achieve Together:

The Great Plains Grasslands Strategy Director provides vision, motivation, inspiration, and strategic leadership for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) overall grasslands strategy which is designed to transform the approach, scale, and effectiveness of grasslands management across the Great Plains and Western U.S grasslands focal areas: Northern Great Plains, Southern High Plains Initiative and Flint Hills. They will do this by harnessing the knowledge, capacity, and relationships across our Business Units and focusing them on collective actions that maximize, in concert with a diverse range of internal and external partners, our positive impact for people and nature.  The Grassland Strategy Director provides direction, oversight and accountability for this regional effort and integrates all aspects of implementation – including complex governance and collaboration, project design and tracking, policy and relationship development, outreach and communications, public and private fundraising, and staff recruitment and supervision. They will have budget authority for all projects at all scales within the strategy and can approve projects and proposals subject to division leadership approval and working in collaboration with relevant Business Unit directors, partners and conservation directors.  In pursuing this initiative, the Director will ensure that we integrate support and advocacy for priorities and outcomes identified by Tribal Nations and indigenous communities, including the revitalization of traditional fire culture.  The Director will also foster design and implementation that elevates equity in all aspects of our work as we know that inclusive conservation approaches and attention to the distribution of benefits are critical for achieving our goals.

The Great Plains Grassland Strategy Director leads the execution of the unified grasslands strategy which centers on a 2030 goal to protect 9.5 million acres (10%) of Grasslands in the Great Plains and to improve management of on 34.9M hectares (86.2M acres) of Grasslands in the Great Plains by 2030. The director will be responsible for understanding the entire group of projects in the grasslands strategy to make sound decisions and recommendations around investments and divestment strategy and to evolve the strategy over time using robust measures, evaluation, and learning practices to increase impact. The work of this Initiative takes place within the complex social-ecological systems that encompass grassland management in focal geographies.  Rapid learning and adaptation are foundational to the development of this new program. The Director must embrace an interdisciplinary and systems wide approach that unleashes the full potential of grasslands management, science, policy, and communications staff working in multiple Great Plains states and at the regional and national levels. The Director will bring together this substantial but often siloed workforce by fostering a shared vision and collaborative team structure across business units, and with diverse internal and external partners, in service of these goals. 

Guided by an internal TNC Steering Committee, the Director serves as an experienced advisor, senior thought leader and skilled advocate, establishing the Conservancy as a major conservation partner in grassland conservation across the Great Plains Western U.S. and Canada -- and in appropriate spheres at the national level. The Director plays a leading role in developing complex and innovative solutions; cultivating strategic relationships with public agencies and key decision-makers; collaboratively developing and advocating for policy positions; informing and delivering strategic communications; and contributing to public and private fundraising, including donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship. The Director will be a spokesperson and key point of contact both internally and externally on grassland priorities. The Director reports to the TNC Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota Business Unit Director and will recruit, hire, and supervise additional Initiative staff as appropriate. Current prioritized states include- New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas.  We also want to consider Canda and Mexico and connected states.

We’re Looking for You:

Are you looking for a career to help people and nature? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that people and nature can thrive together.  By joining our Great Plains Regional team, you will become part of a group that is a force to be reckoned with, a force for nature, a force for people, and a force for our planet.  Our team consists of a dedicated group who are leading the conservation effort on multiple fronts and who expertly bring strategy and action together.  The ideal candidate should have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and experience designing, organizing, and directing complex projects with a variety of partners inside and outside the organization. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of conservation by directing and shaping the work of our team!

What You’ll Bring:

  • BA/BS degree and 12 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience designing, implementing, and directing a major, equitable, complex program or project of strategic importance, including managing finances, supervising a network of multidisciplinary professionals and teams, and coordinating the work of partners with overall accountability for outcomes.
  • Experience navigating complex organizational systems and change leadership.
  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions in a complex environment, considering multiple perspectives and effectively evaluating risk and opportunity.
  • Experience working with current trends and practices in discipline(s) and geographic regions relevant to this position.
  • Supervisory experience, including recruiting, setting objectives, managing performance, and supporting mentorship and professional development.
  • Experience in partnership development and negotiation with a diverse range of individuals and organizations including nonprofit partners, community groups and/or government agencies. 
  • Experience influencing, developing, and implementing conservation policy and plans at the state and/or national level.
  • Experience working ethically and effectively with Tribal nations and indigenous people or communities.  
  • Fundraising experience, including identification and cultivation of potential public and private funders.
  • Experience communicating clearly and effectively via written, spoken, and graphical means.
  • Experience working with methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives including forest and fire management.

What We Bring:

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become 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, we impact conservation throughout the world!  The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on nature.org/careers.  We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we employ! This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

Additional Job Information:

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, accrued paid time off (including annual, personal, and sick leave), life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellness benefits. Benefits may be subject to generally applicable eligibility, waiting period, contribution, and other requirements and conditions. 

Learn more about our benefits at nature.org/careers. We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, wellness, and flexibility needs of the people we employ.

Auto Safety Policy:

This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’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." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit https://www.nature.org/enus/about-us/careers/recruitment/ under the FAQ section. 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.

Salary Information:

The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range of $120,000-$160,000 This range only applies to candidates whose country of employment is the USA. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including, for example, the candidate's location, qualifications, specific skills, and experience. Please note countries outside the USA would have a different pay range in the local currency based on the local labor market, and not tied to USA pay or ranges. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.


 Apply Now:

To apply for job ID 55110, 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.

Our recruiting process is a rolling interview process to ensure we engage applicants in a timely manner. This means we review applications in the order in which they are received. Once a strong candidate pool is identified, the role will be unposted. The timeline may vary depending on the expressed interest in the role, so we highly encourage candidates to apply by ASAP.  

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

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.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

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