Conservation Finance Innovation Fellow

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Conservation International

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Arlington, VA, United States

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30+ days ago

Conservation Finance Innovation Fellow

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.


The Conservation Finance Innovation Fellow will help develop a new program on conservation finance innovation and replication and work to create dynamic and unconventional approaches to contribute to a shift in how nature is valued, financed and protected.

The Conservation Finance Division (CFD) is in the process of formalizing a program on conservation finance innovation and replication. The program will innovate and replicate new business and investment models which create greater demand for private sector investment into conservation (both from internal and external sources). The Fellow will contribute core capacities and expertise in the areas of programmatic development, project management, business planning, financial structuring and due diligence to help design the new program and pilot the program’s new approaches to building CI’s pipeline of innovative business and investment models.

As a member of CI’s Fellows Program, the selected candidate will have opportunities to expand the breadth of their professional skills and experience through collaboration with a cohort of exceptional conservation finance practitioners, scientists, and project managers, working throughout the institution, with opportunities for co-learning across new areas of study and practice, and personal development.


  • Development of Conservation Finance Innovation and Replication Program. Contribute to the development of the new program, including helping develop a strategic plan which aligns with institutional goals, organizing the work and meetings of the program’s core team, helping coordinate work with other CFD programmatic pillars, and helping collaborate with other CI divisions and external partners, including through training and learning events.
  • Development and Application of Decision Tools & Analytics. Contribute to the development and/or refinement of tools and approaches that combine and integrate leading conservation finance, science, and applied conservation and restoration expertise, to source, select and support the best new innovative conservation finance projects.
  • Development of Innovative Conservation Finance Business Models. Contribute to concept design for 2-3 innovative conservation finance business models, incubating business model design in collaboration with internal and external partners, and designing pilot projects, including leading on the development of business plans.
  • Replication of Conservation Finance Business and Investment Models. Conduct research on proven conservation finance business and investment models that CI is well placed to replicate in order to advance institutional goals and geographic priorities. Identify 2-3 replication opportunities based on a) business and investment models that CI has invested in through CI Ventures or as a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Agency and b) other well-documented proven models, including those described in blueprints developed by the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC) or other similar initiatives. Collaborate with internal and external partners (including private sector proponents) to replicate each model and help manage the projects through to financial close.
  • Support Collaboration with Private Sector to Facilitate Improved Financial Flows to Conservation.
  • Contribute to the management of projects in which CI collaborates with the private sector to increase investment in nature. Projects may include the development of new funds or instruments where a private sector partner leads in financial structuring while CI provides ESG leadership and guidance.

Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • This position is based in Arlington, VA.
  • Expected to travel (domestic and international) up to 30% of the time.
  • Guidance on flexible work arrangements will be shared 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.



Combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor's degree and 7 or more years of progressively responsible professional experience in business, finance, management consulting, natural resource economics, or related discipline(s) with a specific concentration in the following areas:

  • Conservation & Development Finance. Fluency in conservation and/or development finance approaches, strategies, and trends relevant across geographies and asset classes; Knowledge of common private sector business and investment structures and mechanisms (e.g. blended financing, credit enhancements, concessional financing tools, etc.) relevant to the development financing; Demonstrated contextual understanding of the structure, dynamics, and key economic and environmental issues and trends in adjacent sectors and industries;
  • Business Planning & Analysis. Demonstrated ability to translate business concepts and operational objectives into business plans and budgets; Experience in the analysis and evaluation of investment and capital budgeting decisions in development finance and/or corporate finance contexts; Demonstrated proficiency in development, interpretation, and testing of complex financial models, investment valuation, sensitivity analyses, and other quantitative analytical models using Excel.
  • Leadership & Collaboration. Demonstrated ability to lead, engage and collaborate within highly matrixed, cross-disciplinary, and geographically and culturally diverse teams and/or organizations to achieve shared goals.
  • Analytical Skills & Abilities. Strong analytical and conceptual skills, and demonstrated ability to understand, evaluate, and interpret a broad range of economic, financial, scientific, and non-technical information used in economic decision-making. Demonstrated ability to translate complex and ambiguous information into actionable strategies and plans.
  • Project/Program Management. Demonstrated ability to manage and successfully execute multiple projects, initiatives, and workstreams with varying degrees of complexity and at multiple scales. Knowledge and skill in project/program performance assessment, measurement, and reporting.


  • Fundraising & Development. Experience in fundraising with governments, foundations, corporations, and private individuals, and experience managing multimillion-dollar program budgets with numerous sub-grantees and partners.
  • Carbon Finance. Familiarity with verification, certification, and registration standards and methodologies relevant to natural climate solution (NCS) carbon crediting.
  • Experience working in emerging, developing market contexts.

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