Chief Operating Officer

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Conservation International

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Arlington, VA, United States

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30+ days ago

Chief Operating Officer
Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, biodiversity, and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to help people and nature thrive together.
Conservation International is seeking an experienced, dynamic leader to bring vision, direction, and leadership to oversee the development, growth, and ongoing management of our critical operational units. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and working alongside our Executive Vice Presidents, the COO will be empowered with the authority and responsibility to manage Conservation International’s operations across the entire global organization and enforce its policies and procedures, extending to all employees, provide strategic organizational leadership and operational management of internal systems, promote a culture of compassion, trust and collaboration and assure that the entire organization operates consistent with its values.
A newly created position, the COO will directly supervise the following organizational functions: Finance & Accounting; Information Technology and Systems; General Counsel; Human Resources and Global Administration.
The successful candidate will be a visionary leader and communicator with proven success in leading multi-disciplinary operational teams and programs with exceptional strategic, financial, and operational acumen and experience. They will bring an entrepreneurial spirit combined with business acumen to lead and execute CI’s mission and strategy. This individual must bring a passion and appreciation for diverse perspectives, talents, and identities and work collaboratively and respectfully at all levels of CI. The COO will serve as a role model for CI’s core values and leads our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, supporting organizational efforts to provide space for all voices in our organization.

  • Establishing a close partnership with the CEO and executive team and leading a clearly articulated.
  • Operational strategy in support of CI’s strategic goals.
  • Working closely with the Executive Committee and senior leadership to ensure a culture of open
  • and direct communication in a positive, fair, and accountable workplace.
  • Ensuring consistent application of policies and practices, with the authority to ensure appropriate
  • accountability across the organization.
  • Accountable for leading and monitoring overall and organization-wide risk levels.
  • Direct the development and implementation of short-term and long-term fiscal planning including annual budgeting and multi-year forecasting, ensuring the highest levels of fiscal responsibility.
  • Develop and utilize predictive models and analyses to provide insight into the organization’s operations and business plans. Support effective decision-making and planning through financial and management analyses, performance indicators, reports, and recommendations.
  • Direct the current and long-term effectiveness of CI’s financial functions including accounting, budgetary controls, financial planning and analysis, grant and contract management, financing, banking, investments, taxes, and reporting.
  • Provide governance for IT and implement best practices for a high quality, consistent and reliable infrastructure across CI’s global workforce, ensuring systems integration and the promotion of the most efficient use of technology resources.
  • Cultivate an organizational culture that reflects CI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; support a collaborative, learning culture that values knowledge sharing, feedback, and continuous growth.
  • Identify and monitor areas of business risk and implement strategies to mitigate as appropriate. Monitor compliance and take actions to address any issues or gaps identified.
  • Ensure adherence to generally accepted accounting practices, donor rules and regulations, and applicable tax laws.
  • Represent CI in forums and build partnerships needed to advance CI’s agenda, including multilateral agencies, government bodies, NGOs, private sector partners, and other key public and private donors to achieve CI’s mission.


  • This position is based in Arlington, VA.
  • The position may require extensive international travel.
  • The position requires the ability to work non-traditional and extended hours to support a global workforce in multiple time zones.
  • Our Arlington, VA office is officially open. Guidance on hybrid or remote work schedules will be discussed during the interview process.
  • For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all US-based Conservation International staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site in CI US offices. Effective January 4, 2022, new hires will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.


  • Masters/Advanced degree in business administration and 15 years or more experience in a leadership position working cross-functionally across finance, operations, human resources, and IT in a large non-profit organization.
  • 5 or more years of experience in senior leadership.
  • 7 or more years of experience managing teams of professional employees.
  • Proven ability to navigate complex nonprofit compliance, operations, and risk management issues in a global setting, while adjusting approaches to country-specific contexts.
  • Ability to listen to and learn from the Board of Directors, donors, and staff, while bringing experience and perspective to further advance the organization, culture, and mission.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide an inspiring, accessible, visible, and flexible leadership style that inspires trust, respect, and confidence and drives results.
  • Multicultural competence to lead and manage others through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure all aspects of diversity are leveraged in our teams and work.
  • Proven experience building and motivating high-performing teams, acting as a coach and mentor.
  • Demonstrated expertise in managing organizational financial activity and systems, including budgeting, multi-year forecasting, modeling, accounting, and reporting in a diverse stakeholder and funding environment.
  • Proven ability to formulate and execute results utilizing strong analytical, critical decision-making, and strategic planning skills.
  • Confidence and capability to adapt and lead in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environment, conceptualizing and implementing innovative strategies and programs.
  • Ability to analyze and recommend short-term and long-term improvements to processes, procedures, and systems.


  • Fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, and/or French.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.
See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE
Conservation International is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled

Job Type: Full-time