The Nature Conservancy Director, Allegheny Highlands Program in Virginia


Hot Springs, Virginia, United States



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 Director of the Allegheny Highlands Program is responsible for government and community relations, land protection and management, education and outreach, and science and research in a six-county region of Virginia, including stewardship of the 9,000-acre Warm Springs Mountain Preserve. S/he provides leadership and support for the program’s conservation planning and establishes overall conservation priorities in the AH program area. The Director coordinates that work with major state, federal and private partners while also serving as the coordinator for the Conservancy’s Central Appalachian Program’s efforts to collaborate with public land managers across the region. Located in western Virginia, the Allegheny Highlands boasts some of the finest intact temperate broadleaf forests in the world, along with intricate cave and karst systems that recharge pristine rivers and harbor endemic species. The region’s forests help protect the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers, which supply drinking water to the people of Northern Virginia, D.C. and Richmond before ultimately feeding into the Chesapeake Bay. Embedded within millions of acres of national forest and other public lands, teaming with native trout streams, and traversed by miles of trails - the area is an outdoor recreation paradise.


The Director of the Allegheny Highlands Program establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation partner within western Virginia and the Central Appalachians, defines conservation priorities in the region, manages a team that implements conservation strategies, and builds strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. S/he collaborates with other TNC staff in the fields of conservation, government relations, marketing, philanthropy, and operations, along with chapter leadership, and is the principle contact with the local community, landowners, corporations, donors, government agencies, the academic community and local elected officials. The Director develops key partnerships with public and private organizations to identify and resolve complex technical issues and to widely communicate lessons learned and best practices, develops innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools, and frameworks to address system-scale needs, implements high-impact strategies, and engages community support for local and regional conservation efforts. S/he negotiates complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities and develops and implements conservation strategies that are good for people and nature. Current priority strategies that the Director will lead include: 1) working with the U.S. Forest Service and partners through the Central Appalachians Fire Learning Network to advance the restoration of fire-adapted forests, 2) positioning Warm Springs Mountain Preserve as a flagship preserve for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, donors and researchers while modeling responsible stewardship and demonstrating sound ecological management, 3) advancing the science and management of private working lands to improve habitat for golden-winged warblers and other species of greatest conservation need, and 4) ensuring application of the mitigation hierarchy to natural gas pipeline and future energy infrastructure projects facing the region.


  • Supervises staff at remote locations.
  • Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget.
  • Prepares long-range business plans, annual work plans and budgets.
  • Develops and presents proposals to raise public and private funds in support of program and partner activities..
  • Works closely with the fundraising team to identify, cultivate, and steward donors.
  • Oversees all aspects of project management including contractual obligations and grant administration.
  • Frequently makes independently strategic decision based on analysis, ambiguous information and judgment.
  • Negotiates complex agreements, in a political environment.
  • Facilitates workshops, trainings and shared learning experiences for collaborative planning efforts.
  • May be responsible for leading or co-leading a broader regional program or strategy.
  • Frequent travel regionally and domestically, evening and weekend hours.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Fundraising experience or proposal development and writing, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Supervisory experience, including hiring, motivating, leading, mentoring, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience developing partnerships (conservation partners, community, government.)
  • Negotiation, facilitation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and safe driving record per TNC’s Auto Safety Program.


  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Knowledge of current trends in conservation planning, landscape ecology, climate adaptation, adaptive management and effectiveness monitoring, including fire management and restoration.
  • Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  • Working knowledge of general ecological principles and ability to direct conservation field work, with a broad grounding in natural resources management and familiarity with the ecology, flora and fauna of the Appalachians region.
  • Familiarity with National Forest System land management and policy.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English.
  • Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government).
  • Current certification or ability to obtain NWCG Firefighter Type II qualification.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy'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." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

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.


To apply to position number 45330, submit resume (required) and cover letter that includes salary requirement separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 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: Director, Allegheny Highlands Program

Location: Virginia

Job ID: 45330

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time