Forest Program Director

Organization icon

The Nature Conservancy

Location icon

Flagstaff, AZ, United States

Clock icon

30+ days ago


Flagstaff, AZ, USA


The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The Forest Program Director oversees aspects of protection, science, stewardship and community relations for the Arizona business unit. Provides scientific leadership and support for TNC’s conservation planning work and establishes overall conservation priorities within the division.


Based in Flagstaff, Arizona, but will consider living in close surrounding communities. The Forest Program Director oversees implementation of the Conservancy’s Future Forest Project with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in northern Arizona and in furtherance of the Chapter’s strategic goals.

At the Chapter level, primary duties include representing the Forest Program in developing strategic goals for the Chapter and assisting the Director of Conservation in managing the overall conservation program as part of the Conservation Leadership Team.

At the Program level, primary duties include:

(1) implementation of a Master Stewardship Agreement between the USFS, an agreement designed to accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration within the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the largest restoration effort undertaken by USFS to date, and

(2) leading efforts to create, test and apply innovative business practices and technologies that support both government agencies and the private sector to more efficiently and effectively implement forest restoration actions.

Overall, the position advances innovation and transformation in the preparation, administration, and implementation of forest restoration projects and serves as the primary internal and external contact for the Forest Program. In this capacity, the position is responsible for developing multi-year and annual plans for the program, managing complex budgets and agreements, and working with operations, finance, development and leadership staff to ensure smooth implementation of the program.

The position works as part of a larger cross-functional team of Conservancy staff and external partners including the Conservancy’s contractors and agents overseeing restoration work. Primary areas of focus for the Forest Program Director include:

(1) Working with USFS to streamline business practices associated with preparation of timber sales to achieve the supply certainty needed to reach the restoration goals of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The position is responsible for driving technological and business practice innovations to reduce the time and cost of releasing timber for harvest, and for documenting efficiencies to facilitate time and cost-comparisons with traditional practices. Approximately 25%

(2) Working with USFS and industry partners to simplify implementation of forest operations and reduce the cost of mechanically harvesting timber. The position manages the contract and relationship with the Conservancy’s agent, providing input and oversight for implementation of the Conservancy’s agreements with USFS. The Program Director serves as liaison to the USFS Coordinator responsible for the Stewardship Agreement. Approximately 20%

(3) Leading efforts to scale up technology platforms the Conservancy has developed on a national level. This includes working with the Washington DC office of the US Forest Service. Approximately 10%

(4) Developing multi-year business plans and annual work plans, based on Forest Program strategic priorities. Approximately 10%

(5) Effectively recruit, manage and develop direct reports, including annual objective setting and reviews; performance and career coaching; effective and timely handling of performance issues, regular/on-going check-in meetings; etc. Demonstrates behaviors that are consistent with those of a role model in TNC’s Competencies, Code of Conduct, Values and Psychological Safety areas. Ensures any direct reports are managing their staff to these same expectations. Approximately 10%

(6) Leading and assisting in the development of funding proposals and managing implementation, budgets and reporting of agreements, grants, and contracts. Approximately 10%

(7) Working with the Conservation Director to assist in managing the overall conservation program by participating on the Conservation Leadership Team. Approximately 10%

(8) Representing the Forest Program and TNC externally in various fora, and routinely engage both technical and non-technical audiences including partners, stakeholders, industry, community groups and donors. Approximately 5%


  • Geographic size and scope is that of a larger, complex business unit and/or a program that requires cross-boundary work and relationships.
  • Responsible for leading a program across a 2.4 million-acre forested landscape managed primarily by USFS.
  • Supervises forest program staff; works as part of a larger conservation team focused on innovation and transformation of agency business controls and forest operations.
  • Collaborates closely with agency, industry and other stakeholders to accomplish project goals.
  • Negotiates complex agreements.
  • Responsible for administration and oversight of contractors, contracts and agreements.
  • Prepares budgets, reviews financials, responsible for project reporting; and establishing and maintaining optimal performance standards within budget.
  • Makes independent strategic decisions based on analysis, ambiguous information and context.
  • Writes requests for proposal (RFPs) for grant/contract funding for program.
  • May be responsible for leading or co-leading a whole system program.
  • Frequent travel locally within Arizona which may include occasional overnight/weekends; and occasional travel out of state.
  • May work in variable weather conditions at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. May be walking or standing on varying types of terrain.
  • Lift, push, pull, move 25 pounds.
  • Other duties as required.


  • BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience negotiating.
  • Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Youth certification (within initial 30 days of employment; annually thereafter).


  • Multi-cultural, multi-lingual, cross cultural experience and background an asset.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices within forest industry and federal/state agencies.
  • Institutional savvy to navigate environment with complex drivers and levers.
  • Driven to work in collaborative environment with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders to solve organizational and economic challenges and successfully facilitate change management.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and successfully implementing conservation policy and practice.
  • Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations to achieve project goals.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven critical thinking and analytic skills.
  • Familiarity with GIS programs and software


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become 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, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including; health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, accrued paid time off (including annual, personal, and sick leave), life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellness benefits. Benefits may be subject to generally applicable eligibility, waiting period, contribution, and other requirements and conditions. Learn more about our benefits at We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellness, and flexibility needs of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply for job ID 51721, submit your current resume and cover letter 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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

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.