The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy

Chief of Staff | External Affairs

Arlington, VA
May 20, 2022
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Arlington, Virginia, USA

Who We Are

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 working in more than 75 countries and territories. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

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 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’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.


The challenges facing our planet today require comprehensive solutions that address the well-being of people and nature and lay the foundation for future conservation efforts. Promoting policies that provide benefits to both people and nature is critical to securing lasting conservation outcomes. The work and expertise of The Nature Conservancy’s External Affairs programs are integral to this effort. External Affairs is helping to shape the government policies that help make possible achievement of transformative conservation outcomes to address climate change, enhance protection of lands, waters, and the ocean, and provide food and water sustainably. We have an awesome task at hand, and the work that you do here will have a direct impact on our success.

The Chief of Staff for External Affairs reports directly to the Global Head for Policy and Government Relations (the “Global Head”), a member of TNC’s Executive Leadership Team. The Chief of Staff provides support to the Global Head and serves as a key partner in leadership of the business unit. Working in close partnership and in coordination with the External Affairs Management Team (the “XAMT”), the Chief of Staff drives execution of key organizational priorities, leads and manages projects with skillful active management, manages one or more administrative staff, and coordinates with the Global Head and XAMT on communications with the Board of Directors and potential donors.

Essential Functions

The Chief of Staff operates in a large and complex operating unit (OU), directly supporting the Global Head by making her time and decision-making more effective. The Chief of Staff broadly manages the flow of information to and from the Global Head: on the front end, by ensuring she is fully prepared for all business meetings and interactions and streamlining the Global Head’s decision-making process; and on the back end, by tracking new tasks and workflows both handled by the Global Head and delegated by the Global Head to her team, with primary responsibility for follow up and ensuring timely completion.

In interactions with the XAMT, principal roles include serving as an air-traffic controller for the Global Head and the XAMT, helping sort and prioritize issues and conversations; as an integrator connecting work streams that otherwise might remain siloed; and as a communicator linking the XAMT and the broader organization. These roles require a deep understanding of the policy and government relations work being executed across all divisions of the External Affairs team, and coordination with the Director of Strategic Operations & Finance on issues of departmental strategy, growth, fundraising and organization. The Chief of Staff will also work closely with the policy communications teams responsible for positioning External Affairs both internally and externally and assist with crisis management.

Beyond the XAMT, the Global Head regularly interacts with high-level internal audiences (the Board of Trustees, the Executive Leadership Team, staff, volunteers, public and private donors) and with external contacts that form the most powerful constituency in the conservation business – government officials, NGOs, business executives, and other conservation leaders. The Chief of Staff will ensure that the Global Head is fully prepared for such meetings, working with the XAMT to provide full briefing materials and with the administrative staff to ensure optimal meeting logistics. The Chief of Staff will oversee the communication of resulting workflows and expected outcomes, working with TNC colleagues to build out stakeholder management strategies and deliverable timelines.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 7 years relevant experience, including working at a senior level.
  • Experience managing a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and senior level staff.
  • Experience managing complex projects across multiple teams and disciplines.
  • Experience in developing program-wide strategies and policies.
  • Experience working with diverse groups of staff and partners.
  • Written and verbal fluency in English
  • Superb communication and presentation skills

Desired Qualifications

  • Extensive management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage performance of a large multi-disciplinary team. Keeps staff informed and expresses appreciation.
  • Exceptional diplomatic skills and a proven track record of gaining influence without authority to develop creative solutions to complex business problems.
  • Discretion, strong interpersonal skills and excellent judgement are paramount; can anticipate and avert problems, and grasp and add value to the Global Head’s vision for the External Affairs team and policy writ large. Proven ability to succeed through positive influence and persuasion.
  • Well-organized and self-directed. Must be able to react to time-sensitive matters as well as manage complex, longer-term initiatives.
  • Knowledge of current and evolving trends in conservation, government relations, fund raising and non-profit management.
  • Ability to manage project teams of peers as well as teams of executives and others in high-level management positions.

What We Bring

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on

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


To apply for job ID 51431, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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 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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

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.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

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