Director of Protection



The Nature Conservancy is dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we work with local communities, governments, landowners, and businesses in 72 countries including all 50 United States to create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. Arkansas’ conservation community is especially collaborative. Our dedicated, talented, and fun Arkansas staff work closely with partners and stakeholders on fire restoration, Delta conservation, river restoration, and connecting people with nature strategies utilizing a network of projects and preserves to test and share conservation practices and influence policy. Arkansas has a collaborative conservation culture which is well supported by donors and the general public. The State’s 1/8-cent sales tax generates about $60 million per year to advance conservation. Working with these many partners the chapter has helped conserve more than 325,000 acres, hundreds of river and stream miles, and has timberlands, ranches, lodges, and recreational amenities for hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, floating, and climbing. This position is located in Arkansas’ capitol city Little Rock. Little Rock is a vibrant community nestled between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains along the Arkansas River. It has a greenway, numerous dining options, thriving art scene, several farmer’s markets, and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.


The Director of Protection works closely with the Director of Conservation Programs to coordinate and implement a comprehensive program to strategically protect areas of conservation significance. The Director of Protection will work regularly with federal, state, and other conservation partners to use a full range of protection tools, including gift, easement, purchase, lease registry, conservation brokerage and cooperative projects with federal, state, and local government, conservation organizations and other partners as appropriate.


The Director of Protection (DOP) has two main functions: organizing a protection program that aligns with protection priorities for our conservation strategies and completing all aspects of land acquisition. They work closely with partners including federal and state agencies, landowners, elected officials, business leaders, and other organizations to pro-actively further our conservation mission and five-year strategic plan. The DOP ensures compliance with internal TNC policies, standard operating procedures and other legalities. They assist in securing public and private funds for land protection, research land ownership information for tracts identified as potential acquisition projects and prepare grant proposals and legal project packages as appropriate. They respond to protection inquiries and, with staff, screen potential protection projects to assess strategic alignment of proposed projects.


•Oversees protection program that requires partnership.
•Ability and willingness to travel frequently and on short notice, sometimes on weekends.
•Negotiates complex real estate transactions, which can bind the Conservancy legally and financially.
•Plans and directs work on protection projects.
•Assumes ultimate responsibility for and ensures timely and thorough completion of all land transactions.
•Secures funding from public and private sources to support land transactions.
•Maintain records related to land transactions.
•May recruit and supervise staff; responsible for performance management, training, and development.
•May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


•BA/BS degree in natural resources management, conservation, business, law or another related field of study and 3 years of related work experience in conservation, real estate, fundraising or other related experience.
•Experience in managing multiple projects and timelines. Ability to prioritize.
•Experience negotiating and executing complex agreements.
•Experience developing partnerships with organizations, state and federal agencies, and communities.
•Supervisory experience.
•Experience working with computers, including database management.
•Experience with project management


•Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
•3 to 5 years of related work experience in conservation real estate, fundraising or other related experience.
•Experience writing proposals and securing grant funding
•Experienced with implementing project management processes
•Excellent oral and written communication skills. Ability to forge positive working relationships and communicate effectively with a diverse array of agency partners and landowners.
•Knowledge of current trends and strategies in conservation and land protection.
•Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government).


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.

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

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