Director, Global Food and Water Policy (External Affairs Director I)


External Affairs












September 2021




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 or follow @nature_press on Twitter.



The Director, Global Food and Water Policy, plans, implements and coordinates programs to affect government, multilateral agencies and international institutions to support global policy outcomes for TNC’s Global Provide Food and Water (PFW) strategy.  The position will have a strong focus on the development and implementation of a global policy strategy to support TNC’s work related to regenerative agriculture, food systems and aquaculture and secondarily, related to nature-based solutions for agriculture, and water security.  The Director will serve on the leadership teams of the Global Provide Food and Water Strategy and the Global Policy, Institutions and Conservation Finance (GPIF) team and will be a close strategic advisor to the Global Managing Director, Provide Food and Water.  The Director reports to the Director, GPIF with a close working relationship with the Global Managing Director, PFW. The position currently supervises two professional staff.  





The Director, Global Food and Water Policy, works with national and international governments and business entities at all levels to further the Conservancy’s mission.  Facing externally, the Director will engage in key global policy forums to advance TNC’s global agriculture, food, and freshwater work, such as the, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and UN Convention on Biological Diversity processes, and oversee engagement with key international institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, CGIAR, and International Fund for Agricultural Development.  The Director will draw on an extensive professional network to identify strategic trends and opportunities and engage in or build strategic coalitions to advance TNC’s strategies.  


Facing internally, the Director will ensure coordination of food and water policy issues, primarily focusing on regenerative food systems; support policy strategy development and implementation by country-level colleagues in key countries, including, for example, Brazil, China, and Kenya, and coordinate closely with the US agriculture policy team.  The Director will also engage public-sector bilateral and multilateral donor agencies to support relevant TNC field programs.   


The preferred location for this position is the TNC Worldwide Office (Washington, DC metro area).




  • Manages multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives. 
  • Ensures that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs. Work checked through consultation and agreement with others rather than by directives of superiors.
  • Ensures that program meets all lobbying, contractual and legal regulations and standards.




  • Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of related senior-level work experience, including current and evolving political, legislative and conservation trends at the global level.
  • Experience working with current and evolving political, legislative, sustainability, and/or conservation trends on an international level, with particular experience in food and agriculture-related policy issues.
  • Fluency in English required; additional languages appreciated.
  • Demonstrated experience building strong relationships across an organization and with partners such as corporations, public agencies, donors, and/or volunteers.
  • Experience managing and supervising a large multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience in directing or participating in complex negotiations and presenting to and communicating with government officials, corporate executives, board members and others.
  • Experience designing, implementing and directing multiple and multifaceted projects, setting deadlines and ensuring program accountability.
  • Experience communicating complex processes and ideas effectively to a variety of audiences within and outside an organization. 




  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s degree appreciated.   
  • Significant experience in public policy, conservation/environmental policy, regulatory advocacy, and public funding.  
  • Outstanding analytical and project management capabilities. Demonstrated ability to successfully develop and implement complex projects in an unstructured environment. 
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, negotiating and organizational skills.
  • Independent and self-motivated with the ability to participate effectively in a remote team environment. 
  • Fundraising experience.




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. 



Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions. 

Drives for 


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.



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.



This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.



To Apply: 

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