Project Director, Inclusive Conservation Initiative

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Project Director, Inclusive Conservation Initiative

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.

POSITION SUMMARY - This position is based in Arlington, VA

The Project Director will oversee the GEF-7 Inclusive Conservation Initiative with joint implementation between CI and IUCN. The 5-year project is an investment of USD $25 million to enhance Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) efforts to steward lands, waters, and natural resources to deliver Global biodiversity benefits. The function will lead the technical delivery and project management of the GEF 7 Inclusive Conservation Initiative, providing overall technical leadership, management, and guidance for project implementation and monitoring in line with the requirements of the project, IUCN and CI GEF Agencies, and the GEF. Among their key responsibilities will be to provide technical inputs, prepare and monitor project work plans, drive project implementation, implement the safeguard plans, and ensure effective results monitoring.

The Project Director works to ensure project results meet project standards and project deliverables are completed on time and within budget. They establish the project work plan including staffing needs and supervise up to three lower-level employees. The Project Director will work with all members of the ICI project team (CI and IUCN) to ensure that project deliverables are met effectively and on time. Duties are performed under general direction.


  • Technical and strategic direction to the implementation of the program/project in accordance with the approved Project Document ensures results across the entire project.
  • Ensure compliance with CI, IUCN, and GEF requirements; coordination with partners; the production of program/project documents, work plans, budgets, and schedules; the production and operationalization of the program M&E framework; production of contracts and internal agreements; and management of the program budget.
  • Ensure that program/project activities are on time, on budget, and on track for contributing to the achievement of objectives and contractual obligations as well as the ICI’s programmatic objectives. Coordinate and ensure coherent implementation of global (Component 2-4) and country-based subprojects. • Organize meetings of ICI partners as well as the ICI steering committee and Advisory Committee.
  • Represent ICI with partners and contribute to activities such as training and workshops. This function will be divided across CI and IUCN
  • Gather, develop, and share project information, action plans, and deliverables with internal and external project stakeholders. Support project bids as assigned.
  • Ensure partner/stakeholder standards and interests are represented and incorporated into project deliverables. Review for compliance with partner/donor agreements.
  • Manage the preparation of reporting summaries and project narratives. Collaborate with both CI and IUCN HQ and Program finance and operations staff for project financial reporting.
  • Manage project staff which may include hiring and managing subcontractors, partner staff, and other non-CI project personnel.

Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Periodic travel to the project site and other office locations.
  • Comfortable working out of doors for extended periods.
  • Ability to work outside the normal work schedule to meet project deadlines.
  • Guidance on flexible work arrangements will be shared during the interview process.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and or experience in social sciences, conservation or development studies, community engagement, international policy, environmental education, or a related field.
  • 7 or more years of related work experience in project management, including planning and budgeting.
  • 2 or more years of experience supervising others and managing and motivating multicultural teams.
  • Ability to diagnose problems and identify solutions.
  • Cross-cultural skills
  • Strong written communication skills. Proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to work well under pressure, multitask, set priorities, and deliver quality results.
  • Written and spoken fluency in Spanish


  • Master’s degree.
  • Understanding of the economic and environmental issues facing developing countries and the local communities is strongly preferred.
  • Understanding of global policy issues related to indigenous people’s issues, particularly related to rights, climate change and conservation.
  • Knowledge of the following topics: climate change mitigation and adaptation, including REDD+, Green Economies, Rights Based Approach, Social Safeguards, Community Conserved Areas, and indigenous people’s rights.
  • Demonstrated skills in intercultural communication and experience engaging multiple audiences.

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, affirmative action, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility-committed employer. We are proud to have a diverse, global workforce where employment decisions are based on qualifications, experience, position requirements, business needs, market conditions, merit, and other legitimate nondiscriminatory factors.

As a science-based organization, CI follows CDC recommendations for COVID-19 and other vaccines. Accordingly, for the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, subject to applicable local law, all Conservation International staff are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, vaccination is no longer a mandate or condition of employment and employees are not required to provide proof of vaccination. This means we will not require an individual to be vaccinated to enter a CI office, attend CI events or travel on CI-related trips. This applies for our community partners as well. This vaccine expectation applies to all team members working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site. Job applicants are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.