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Western Dry Forests & Fire Director

The Nature Conservancy
$96,000 - $150,000
Closing date
Jun 18, 2023

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Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type

Who We Are:

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 Western Dry Forests & Fire Initiative Director provides vision, motivation, inspiration, and strategic leadership for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) new Western Dry Forests and Fire Initiative which is designed to transform the approach, scale, and effectiveness of management in dry, frequent fire forests across the Western U.S. and Canada.  We 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 partners, our positive impact for people and nature.  The Western Dry Forests & Fire Initiative 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, fundraising support, and staff recruitment and supervision.  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 Western Dry Forests & Fire Director leads the execution of the unified Western Dry Forests and Fire Initiative which centers on a 2030 goal that 50 million acres of dry, historically frequent fire or mixed fire forests across the Western U.S. and Canada are on a trajectory toward increased health and resilience to climate change and wildfire via improved land management. 


The work of this Initiative takes place within the complex social-ecological systems that encompass Western forest and fire management.  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 forest and fire management, science, policy, and communications staff working in multiple western 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 a Steering Committee, the Director serves as an experienced advisor, senior thought leader and skilled advocate, establishing the Conservancy as a major conservation partner in forest and fire management across the 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 supporting 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 Western forest and fire priorities. The Director reports to the TNC Colorado Business Unit Director for at least the first 3 years and will recruit, hire, and supervise additional Initiative staff as appropriate.


The salary range for this position is $96,000 - $150,000 based on location and experience.


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 Western U.S. and Canada 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, complex program or project of strategic importance, including managing finances, supervising multidisciplinary professionals and teams, and coordinating the work of partners with overall accountability for outcomes.
  • 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 with a diverse range of individuals and organizations including non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience networking with high level conservation contacts.                                      
  • Experience negotiating in complex, multi-stakeholder situations.                                              
  • Experience influencing, developing, and implementing conservation policy and plans at the state or national level.
  • Fundraising experience, including identification and cultivation of potential public and private funders.
  • Experience communicating clearly and effectively via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic and creative initiatives.





  • Advanced degree in natural resources, science, conservation, business, law, policy or related field and 12-15 years’ experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of the current trends, practices and major issues in forest and fire management in the western United States.
  • Experience working ethically and effectively with Tribal nations and indigenous people or communities.
  • Experience integrating equity into the design and implementation of programs and/or projects.
  • Experience leading complex projects that involve coordination across multiple states and regions, managing finances, supervising multidisciplinary professionals, and coordinating the work of multiple teams and/or initiatives.
  • Able to think strategically within a complex system, develop practical applications of scientific concepts, and encourage innovation for conservation purposes.
  • Able to function effectively in a collaborative work environment and where implementation occurs with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions in a complex environment, considering multiple perspectives and effectively evaluating risk and opportunity.
  • Multi- lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Demonstrated political savvy.



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  We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we employ! 


How to Apply:


Please apply to Job 53432 at, or apply directly HERE.  Submit required cover letter and resume separately using the upload buttons.  Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received, and the position will remain open until filled.



Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact



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 cultures. 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 orientations, gender identities, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

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 with Request for Accommodation in the subject line

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