Vice President, Climate Change

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Conservation International

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Arlington, VA, United States

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30+ days ago

Vice President, Climate Change

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.


With growing evidence that nature can provide 30% or more of the climate mitigation needed to achieve the Paris climate target, Conservation International (CI) has set ambitious targets for helping the world realize the outsized potential of nature to address climate change. Our focus is on defining and executing creative solutions at the scale and speed needed to stabilize our climate while recognizing and benefiting the communities at the heart of natural climate solutions. We seek an experienced climate leader to drive our institutional climate change strategy.

The Vice President, Climate Change is a highly visible and strategic role in one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, serving as an authoritative communicator and spokesperson while forging and leading creative and impactful partnerships. They help identify, design, and execute high-impact initiatives and regularly work with and advise senior leadership in orchestrating CI’s work in climate science, implementation, finance, policy, corporate engagement, and communications.

The Vice President directly supervises a core team of technical experts managing external strategic engagement and initiatives such as REDD+, adaptation, and deforestation-free finance, as well as a cross-divisional team of regional climate leads and key staff across CI programs worldwide. The Vice President reports to the Senior Vice President, Center for Natural Climate Solutions.


Thought Leadership:

  • Oversee development of key institutional positions and accelerate progress on key strategic initiatives.
  • Represent CI as a primary, trusted, and highly visible voice on a wide range of climate change issues in media, speaking engagements, and partnership events.
  • With support from the editorial team, write op-eds, white papers, talking points, and other communications efforts that advance CI’s role as a trusted voice on climate change.


  • Create and/or lead high-profile initiatives and partnerships, such as CI's collaboration with Nature4Climate, movement-building efforts, business coalitions, and others. Leverage alliances to promote visibility for CI’s work and to expand CI's reach and scale of impact.
  • Build and maintain continuous connections with a broad array of senior-level internal and external stakeholders critical to CI's impact on climate change.
  • Lead CI’s strategic engagement at major climate events and attend, as appropriate (e.g., COPs, climate summits, etc.). Guide CI’s senior leadership in strategic climate engagement.

Strategy and Management:

  • Oversee CI’s ‘Nature for Climate’ Star, driving CI’s strategy and implementation on climate change. Develop and direct creative approaches to achieving CI’s climate change goals, guiding CI in identifying the most impactful opportunities.
  • Manage a climate strategy budget.
  • Supervise a team of experts (currently 5) in programmatic delivery of climate change strategy activities and a broader cross-divisional Climate Team that coordinates climate actions throughout CI; drive major climate initiatives; marshal staff and resources behind priorities and programs to reach scale; oversee the development and implementation of work plans and the tracking and reporting of progress; oversee the development of high-quality climate content (papers, reports, positions, presentations); and foster a learning environment by addressing project and strategic challenges with CI management.

Resource Mobilization:

  • Lead activities to mobilize diverse resources in support of the climate strategy, including via philanthropy, investments, and markets.
  • Advise CI development and global public funding teams (including GEF and GCF agencies) on targeted fundraising opportunities for climate change.
  • Guide other CI programs in raising funds for their respective climate change work.

People and Resource Management Responsibilities:

  • The Vice President manages a major functional area that requires directing others across several programs on a continual basis. They directly supervise a team of 5 and lead a cross-divisional Climate Team with multiple dotted-line reports. They must be proficient in assessing skill levels across the program, developing plans to address gaps, and redeploying human resources to meet changing priorities.
  • The Vice President plays a lead role in generating revenues for climate change work across the organization through fundraising efforts with high-net-worth individuals, foundations, public agencies, and private corporations.


  • Work Location: Arlington, VA preferred (a combination of remote and on-site work). Remote candidates will be considered.
  • Up to 25% of travel time annually.
  • 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. 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.



  • Graduate degree in environmental science, climate change, or other relevant fields.
  • 15 years or more of experience in climate-related leadership. Proven leadership skills and success in effectively inspiring and engaging diverse teams in a multicultural environment.
  • 5 or more years of experience managing teams/employees.
  • Global understanding of climate issues and priorities generally and natural climate solutions in particular.
  • Proven track record of public-facing communications work including media interviews, essays, public speaking, storytelling, and coalition building.
  • Experience in strategy development and project management of climate change mitigation, resilience, and/or adaptation activities.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information and make recommendations for decision-makers within and outside CI.
  • Demonstrated success in navigating a diverse and global organization. Experience convening a broad range of individuals, preferably in multicultural contexts.
  • Demonstrated success in mobilizing resources to address climate change.
  • Excellent verbal and written English fluency.
  • Ability to travel internationally and work in remote locations.


  • Ability to communicate in Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese

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