Missippi River Basin Program Director

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Remote (Preferred location within the Mississippi River Basin)
  • Jul 21, 2022
Full time Conservation/ Natural Resources

Job Description


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.


The Mississippi River Basin Program Director provides strategic leadership and integrates all aspects of the Mississippi River Basin whole system project – including conservation planning, policy and relationship development, outreach and communications, and fundraising support. This program works through a team structure and has been built on strong collaboration between divisions, states and regional programs.
Priorities are aligned to shared goals of increased floodplain protection, reduced nutrient loading to the Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, and improved governance based on a collaborative, systems approach. The Mississippi River Basin Program Director also plays a key leadership and support role in building collaborative, shared leadership competencies to plan, coordinate and facilitate the work of various implementation teams. The salary range for this position is $115,000.00-130,000.00.


The Mississippi River Basin Program Director serves as the principle organizing force within the Mississippi River Basin and is responsible for leading/facilitating the collaboration between participating divisions, states and associated staff in the development and implementation of regionally scaled strategy. The Director designs, facilitates and supports teams to synthesize and integrate investments made in conservation strategies across the basin. With these teams, the director also develops learnings and recommendations from a basin-level perspective to influence future investments, thus creating a virtuous align-act-adjust cycle of conservation in the Mississippi River Basin. The director also engages North America (NA) Program and Policy leads to ensure whole system strategies are aligned with NA and Global priorities – working particularly close with the NA Agriculture Team. The director establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation partner within the basin, plays a leading role in managing major public agency and elected official relationships unique to the Mississippi River, and supports public and private fundraising programs of Mississippi River Basin and participating business units. The director may coordinate and support the development of complex and innovative solutions with government agencies, major institutions, and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities at regional scales. The director reports to a division director and lead sponsor and may also supervise a number of direct reports.


•    Is responsible for the coordination and implementation of whole system conservation strategy, including strategy specific to floodplain protection, nutrient reduction for improved water quality, and better governance. Seventeen states actively participate in the whole system effort.
•    Works with the state and NA staff on the development and implementation of the program.
•    Organizes, coordinates, and facilitates collaboration in and between strategy teams focused on a variety of projects which may encompass multiple programs and involve coordinating the work of other professionals, inside and outside the organization. Incorporates cross- disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives and communication among participants.
•    Highly diversified work involves participation in the formulation and evaluation of broad policies and/or long-term programs, or making decisions, which typically have broad organizational impact.
•    High level management and leadership responsibility for 10+ staff members which may or may not report directly to the director, both internal and external to the organization.
•    May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
•    Makes independent strategic decisions frequently based on analysis, ambiguous information, experience and judgment.
•    May require frequent travel domestically and/or internationally and evening and weekend hours.


•    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 country level.
•    Experience with financial management of a large program.


•    Multi- lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
•    Developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
•    Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
•    Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
•    Politically savvy.


Builds Relationships: Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.
Collaboration & Teamwork: Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.
Communicates Authentically: Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.
Develops Others: Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.
Drives for Results: Sets challenging goals and objectives based on a strong sense of purpose and high-performance standards and steadfastly pushes self and others for tangible results, while ensuring work-life balance.
Leverages Difference: Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholder. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives.
Systems Leadership: Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic
actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.


To view the full position description and apply, please visit https://careers.nature.org and search for job ID #51878 in the keyword search or apply directly here. All resumes and cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy's online application system by 11:59
p.m. EST on August 22, 2022.

Job Level



Nonprofit- NGO



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