Senior Policy Advisor, Freshwater

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The Nature Conservancy

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Arlington, VA, United States

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21 days ago


Arlington, Virginia, USA

This position is negotiable anywhere The Nature Conservancy is authorized to conduct business. Arlington, VA is TNC's headquarters.




The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Senior Freshwater Policy Advisor furthers the work of The Nature Conservancy and its conservation partners related to our 2030 Goals for freshwater and organizational aspirations related to water for people and nature through direct interaction with governments, multilateral agencies, and partners focusing on policy, practice, and funding initiatives related to climate and conservation outcomes. Works with the TNC Freshwater Council, global programs, and regional staff to identify and set annual priorities that strengthen policy, regulatory, and institutional processes through global forums and dialogues (e.g. CBD and UNFCCC COPs, World Water Forum, UN Water Conference, HLPF, etc.) and with bilateral and multilateral agencies toward greater investment in and attention to freshwater outcomes, nature-based solutions, and related funding flows.

  • Identifies opportunities to integrate freshwater interests into climate, biodiversity, sustainable development, inland fisheries, and public health agendas, often through program specific examples (building awareness and increasing issue salience in these forums).
  • Provides expert advice and guidance to help TNC’s global and regional staff strengthen institutional capacity and connect basin planning and demonstration activities to policy that build global capacity and support greater investment in freshwater ecosystems and their health, and achieve targeted policy and investment goals resulting in improved freshwater conservation outcomes, including opportunities related to climate change, nature-based solutions, and financing conservation.
  • Supports increased mobilization of public and private resources to accelerate the protection and conservation of freshwater ecosystems, including through climate, agricultural, inland fisheries, and public health (including sanitation) as appropriate, through strategic external engagement with key partners, governments, and international institutions to secure policy and financial commitments including those associated with existing TNC priority approaches and mechanisms (Enduring Earth, Resilient Watersheds, America the Beautiful, debt transactions, etc.).
  • Seeks opportunities to integrate nature and people into dialogue related to water, food, and climate in furtherance of TNC’s 2030 Goals and aspirations.
  • Represents TNC’s freshwater policy agenda and aspirations internally through representation on the TNC Freshwater Council.

The Senior Policy Advisor for Water is a demonstrated expert in global policy frameworks, national policy opportunities, and sustainable finance mechanisms related to water. They should have a proven track record of working globally, with national and/or regional governments, and have excellent networking and coaching skills.


The challenges facing our planet today require comprehensive solutions that address the well-being of people and nature and lay the foundation for future conservation efforts. Promoting policies that provide benefits to both people and nature is critical to securing lasting conservation outcomes. The work and expertise of The Nature Conservancy’s External Affairs programs are integral to this effort. External Affairs is helping to shape the government policies that help make possible achievement of transformative conservation outcomes to address climate change, enhance protection of lands, waters, and the ocean, and provide food and water sustainably. We have an awesome task at hand, and the work that you do here will have a direct impact on our success.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior management level experience in government relations, corporate sector, or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Fluency in English, additional languages strongly appreciated
  • Experience working at the international level, with international organizations and government agencies across multiple countries.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Proven experience in strategy development and implementation.
  • Demonstrated relationship building skills.
  • Experience negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Proven written and verbal communication and presentation skills.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.


To apply for job ID 52448, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.