Senior Director, Leadership Engagement

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Conservation International

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Arlington, VA, United States

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23 days ago

Senior Director, Leadership Engagement

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 Senior Director is responsible for developing strategy and aligning Conservation International’s global Advisory Councils. The position designs and executes a comprehensive strategy for global councils that identifies prospects, supports recruitment pipelines, develops fundraising messaging, and creates stewardship plans for members. The position provides an internal framework and manages a Community of Practice for global council managers to ensure cohesive programming, donor communications, and operational best practices that drive toward flexible revenue goals.

They represent the organization externally and continually builds strong relationships with Leadership Council members, donors, and prospects. The position is responsible for cultivating Council members to become active financial contributors to CI and enhance their future giving potential. As well as, encouraging Council members to build community connections, make introductions to potential partners and other donors, and serve as ambassadors for CI’s global mission. They will lead the development and implementation of the Council engagement strategies with Leadership Council relationship managers and teams.

This position is the main contact for the US-based Leadership Council and oversees the team that executes all aspects of the Leadership Council strategy, from developing annual meetings and virtual learning engagement opportunities to conducting regular communications with the Council.

The Senior Director works closely with and continuously engages senior leadership and key internal stakeholders throughout CI to collaborate on opportunities and strategies to benefit all Global Councils. Duties are performed under limited or “as needed” supervision. This position reports to the Vice President of Individual Giving and will ideally be located near Arlington, VA. Remote candidates will be considered.


Global Council Leadership and Strategy

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive strategic work plan for all of Conservation International’s regional (Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Americas Councils) and programmatic councils (Science Council).
  • Create and lead a global Community of Practice of Council managers to share information, experiences, and a forum for feedback and continuous improvement.
  • Develop strategic programming opportunities for the Leadership Council that align with CI’s strategic plan. Execute three annual Leadership Council meetings and at least two virtual engagement opportunities. Partner and coach CI leaders through presentation development and donor engagement opportunities.
  • Guide the work of the Senior Coordinator, Major Gifts to ensure meeting materials are developed and distributed in a timely manner.
  • Work with the Donor Experience and Communications team to ensure all Council messaging is aligned with CI’s strategic plan. Manage the distribution of Quarterly newsletters, monthly program updates, and all other CI materials (Ex. Annual report, Impact report).
  • Provide leadership, direction, and guidance for Council managers related to meeting program development, donor communications and stewardship, and gift solicitation.
  • Work with Council Leadership to ensure Council members are meeting their unrestricted giving requirements and will facilitate engagement between the Leadership Council and the Board of Directors.

Donor Strategy Management

  • Create effective donor strategies for Leadership Council members in partnership with Relationship Managers and teams to secure more than $1.5M annually in unrestricted and lightly restricted gifts.
  • Develop and manage strategy to ensure a strong pipeline of Council prospects and giving.
  • Work closely with CI Leadership Team and other key stakeholders to ensure Council cultivation and stewardship opportunities are fully maximized and aligned.
  • Build strong relationships with Council members and prospects across the organization, interacting with them frequently to cultivate gifts, new donors, and align donor expertise with opportunities to engage more deeply with the organization.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Collaborative Teamwork

  • Work closely with the Board meeting planning team to ensure seamless execution of Council sessions and create opportunities for engagement with the board.
  • Work with the CEO's office and other members of the Executive Team to ensure communications are aligned and consistent between the Board of Directors and the other regional and programmatic councils.


  • The position is based in CI’s Global Support Center in Arlington, Virginia, and is classified as a hybrid position, meaning that the position is expected to work out of the office on average two days per week, and remotely on average three days per week (Fully remote will be considered).
  • Typical office environment.
  • Flexibility in the work schedule to accommodate time differences with staff based in different locations may be necessary.
  • Domestic and International travel will be required 3-4 times per year to lead Council meetings and meet with Council leadership.
  • 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. CI follows CDC recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines. 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.



  • Bachelor's degree
  • 10 or more years of related work experience in directly soliciting major gifts and/or managing programs that engage major donors.
  • Success in this position requires a person who is a self-starter and can work independently and has impeccable professional integrity and confidence.
  • Successful experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Knowledge of current trends and metrics in philanthropic giving.
  • Effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment
  • Effective interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen, use diplomacy and tact, and build strong relationships with donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.
  • Well-developed written and oral communication, negotiation, and organizational skills.
  • Success in this position requires a person who is a self-starter and can work independently and has impeccable professional integrity and confidence.
  • Effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.


  • A demonstrated understanding of conservation and/or fundraising issues.
  • Small and large event experience is a plus.
  • Proficient in fundraising software and systems.

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