Managing Director, Public Policy
The Nature Conservancy - Washington, DC

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The Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres and 5,000 miles of river worldwide – and operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Conservancy’s global staff of 3,600 people is on the ground in 38 countries, including all 50 of the United States.

The Conservancy manages one of the most effective private philanthropic organizations in the world, raising more than $400 million annually. The Conservancy has a robust membership program, growing on-line donor community, and one of the most successful planned giving programs in the country. Total Conservancy assets are now in excess of $6 billion, and total revenue was nearly $1.2 billion in FY11.

In 2011 TNC launched a new conservation framework, to address the unprecedented threats to our natural world and unprecedented opportunities to safeguard it. Its longevity, size and reach position the Conservancy to contribute to transformative solutions to global conservation challenges.

Its conservation framework concentrates on four global challenges:
  • conserving critical lands,
  • restoring oceans,
  • securing fresh water, and
  • reducing the impacts of climate change.
To address these global challenges, the Conservancy pursues global solutions at the intersection of
nature’s and people’s needs. The global solutions include:
  • Protecting and restoring natural systems, which will require transformative policy, transactions and financing solutions to work at a scale that is meeting global challenges.
  • Using nature sustainably, to address the dramatic pace of agricultural expansion, fisheries utilization, energy exploration and infrastructure development on land and water.
  • Broadening the constituency for conservation, which requires cultivation of a growing constituency of private citizens, policy makers, business leaders, financiers and others who recognize nature’s importance.
For more information on the Conservancy’s programs, please refer to


The Conservancy’s new strategy, Global Challenges, Global Solutions, is anchored in a more substantial public policy initiative at TNC. As a result, TNC’s External Affairs division will lead a new set of major initiatives for the Conservancy on public policy and business practices in support of this new framework. Doing so requires greater capacity for public policy and government relations across the organization.

As a consequence, the TNC leadership team has decided to create a new senior leadership position, a Managing Director for Public Policy, who will work as a member of the External Affairs team, headed by Glenn Prickett. The Managing Director will provide leadership across the organization for public policy and government relations and take on leadership within External Affairs for United States Government Relations, International Government Relations, and Conservation Campaigns. These three existing units are led by high-performing individuals, for whom the Managing Director will provide oversight, guidance, and support.

The Managing Director will also supervise a new unit for Policy Innovation, which will help build the Conservancy’s capacity for policy development and provide a home for cross-cutting policy staff as TNC develops its major initiatives. The Managing Director will furthermore provide leadership for the Conservancy’s national advocacy campaign in the United States. In addition, this role will provide senior leadership on climate policy.

Most importantly, this newly created role will allow more effective leadership within the
Conservancy in developing and implementing the high-impact policy initiatives needed to achieve the goals of TNC’s new global strategy.

As the global head of Public Policy, the Managing Director will be responsible for:
  • Leading and supporting U.S. and international government relations teams as well as national and international advocacy campaigns;
  • Driving outreach activities of the Team including public communications and outreach and building coalitions with other important constituency groups;
  • Ensuring coordination and executive level support for advocacy initiatives such as trustee and other “grasstops” lobbying efforts, outreach to senior elected and appointed officials, coalition-building with other constituencies, and engagement of TNC members and the public in Conservancy advocacy;
  • Keeping abreast with important global trends that affect the Conservancy and creatively integrating different ideas and perspectives to challenge status-quo thinking and translating broad policy strategies into clear business objectives and practical action plans;
  • Advising the President and the Board and providing expertise in policy and political matters to leverage TNC’s conservation objectives prudently;
  • Advising Conservancy leadership, assisting in the development of new global conservation strategies and negotiating across a variety of government and other stakeholder work systems;
  • Working collaboratively with other executives, identifying, developing, and implementing standards and best practices to marshal the organization’s External Affairs talent to achieve organization-wide results on a global basis.
  • Developing, sharing, and infusing cutting-edge practices and thinking across organizational regions and functions; aligning strategies and results with conservation priorities; and ensuring that the Conservancy is a powerful, catalytic and transformative institution with a pre-eminent role in the global conservation arena.


The ideal candidate will have senior level political and policy-making experience in the U.S. government, international organizations, or both as well as a minimum of 10 years of leadership experience in the private or non-profit sector. He or she will bring experience and strong interest in political advocacy campaigns and national and international politics and policy, as well as climate policy in particular. Capitol Hill or U.S. Executive Branch experience is a plus, a good working knowledge of relevant conservation issues is highly desirable, and a willingness to commit to Conservancy goals, methods, and approaches is a must.

The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator with the following key competencies:
  • Collaboration & Influencing skills. It is vital that the individual has the proven ability to create constructive relationships with senior management and peers, being recognized as a partner and resource by all, including the leaders that will report to him or her. The candidate will have a demonstrable track record of engaging with executive teams in shaping government policy and business strategy. Gaining credibility, support and involvement of key internal and external constituents will be critical to his or her success. Ability to persuasively convey the mission of The Nature Conservancy and regional programs and priorities to diverse groups, including public officials, donors, partners, Board members, and other stakeholders who are critical to the organization’s overall prosperity and success.
  • Results Orientation. The successful candidate will demonstrate an appreciation for the relevance of public policy to advancing an organization’s mission and goals. This will be evidenced by an action orientation towards solving problems and implementing viable solutions. Establishing priorities and driving results are key behaviors that we will seek to identify in potential candidates.
  • Team Leadership. The candidate must possess managerial skill as demonstrated by his or her organizational abilities, success in supporting, recruiting and developing a talented global team, skill in managing resources (internal and external), and good judgment. This implies the ability to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization. The successful candidate will foster a professional environment that provides for continuous learning and development and that attracts and retains high calibre talent and provides accurate motivating feedback and constructive criticism and develops successors and talent pools for key positions.
  • Cultural fit. Personal alignment and commitment to TNC goals and methods and values will be critically important. TNC is widely recognized for its commitment to the conservation of the environment and all activities will be expected to reinforce and build on that commitment. Moreover, the Managing Director, Public Policy must be a keenly motivated problem-solver and self-starter who exhibits personal courage, composure, and outstanding judgment.


This search is being conducted by an Executive Search firm, Egon Zehnder International. Interested and qualified candidates must submit their application materials to the EZI contacts named in this posting. Do not apply on this website. Application deadline is April 8, 2013.

Victoria Dimitrakopoulos
+1 415 963 8570

Christoph Lueneburger
+1 212 519 6020

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