The Nature Conservancy Lead Scientist-Climate Change (Location is flexible) in District Of Columbia


Negotiable AA100


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact for people and nature around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, major US cities and in your neighborhood. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.

The successful applicant will work in the Office of the Chief Scientist and work closely with our Public Policy team to assist in the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

If you have a personal passion for conserving and protecting the natural world with a belief in The Nature Conservancy’s mission, then please apply to this position and learn more about the Conservancy.


The Lead Scientist will offer technical and science strategic leadership across the entire organization in areas such as: climate mitigation practices and technology, climate adaptation strategies, natural solutions to climate mitigation, climate-smart agriculture, and spatial planning for renewable energy. S/he will drive efforts to establish TNC as a global leader in solving the global climate challenge. S/he conducts original research, publishes findings and communicates to diverse audiences to add to the evidence base for conservation and decarbonization energy strategies in support of TNC organizational goals.

The Lead Scientist will be an active collaborator with the Science Cabinet in the Office of the Chief Scientist – a collaborative group that brings top level thought leadership to the organization’s strategy leaders, establishes and advances critical science issues with the external academic and practitioner communities, and takes on joint research to address pressing trans-disciplinary issues in conservation.


  • Fosters risk taking and innovation to strengthen the use climate change science within the organization.
  • Leads project teams and/or staff in support of major science initiatives and projects.
  • Places special emphasis on research and synthesis that advances the evidence base for understanding effectiveness of major conservation strategies in improving biodiversity and human well-being.
  • Communicates findings and best practices in high-level international forums and peer reviewed publications, and cultivates an external presence in coordination with TNC Communications team as an expert and leader in relevant disciplines
  • Provides critical, evidence-based thought leadership, advising on and influencing the creation and execution of major climate-related strategies for TNC’s five Global Programs: lands, waters, oceans, climate change and cities
  • Leads efforts to translate findings and best available science into regionally or sectorally appropriate guidelines, tools, and/or best practices for the organization and the broader conservation community
  • Enlists academic, public sector, and NGO scientists in research on challenges of interest to the organization
  • Identifies, cultivates and solicits major donors and grant opportunities in support of program activities.
  • Plans, organizes and directs project programs.
  • Develops work plans and project budgets.
  • Spend 30% or more of work time travelling globally.


  • PhD degree in related scientific field, plus 10 years related experience in the design, execution and communication of applied science.
  • Post-doctoral experience.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Established connections and/or collaborations with prominent climate change research and practitioner groups and individuals
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in the science of mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • Extensive record of premier publications in top-notch peer reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience translating science across traditional disciplinary boundaries and into pragmatic climate-related, conservation and/or natural resource management decisions.
  • Fundraising experience (with foundations, government agencies, and individuals) for broad programs and projects.
  • Experience creating or functioning within university partnerships.
  • Experience with networking in the scientific community.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.
  • Experience with decision making with legal, financial and reputational results and consequences.


  • Experience in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors
  • Ability to resolve large-scale, complex problems through systematic, rigorous studies.
  • Ability to propose, implement and manage short and long term programmatic goals.
  • Ability to produce scientific research that balances data and resource limitations with rigor and credibility
  • Ability to participate in the formulation of broad, strategic policies.
  • Ability to manage and guide projects and project teams.
  • Ability to deal effectively and diplomatically with all levels of management and staff.
  • Proven negotiation and persuasion skills.


To apply to position number 45287, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 14, 2017.

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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 men and women 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.*

Job Title: Lead Scientist-Climate Change (Location is flexible)

Location: DC Metro Area

Job ID: 45287

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time