Director of Operations and Business Development

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The Nature Conservancy

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Little Rock, AR, United States

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16 days ago


Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Little Rock, Arkansas Preferred (Location within state flexible)


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 Nature Conservancy (TNC) is seeking an engaging and innovative Arkansas State Director to lead the State Business Unit and partner closely with the greater Divisional Unit as we execute on our ambitious conservation goals.

The Conservancy has worked in Arkansas since 1982, protecting more than 375,000 acres of land and hundreds of river and stream miles, serving as a trusted partner in state and regional land and water management initiatives. The Arkansas Chapter works closely with a variety of partners on conservation strategies statewide including our priorities of Protecting Water, Living with Fire, Restoring the Delta and Inspiring People for Nature.

A trusted name in conservation across the state and beyond, The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas is comprised of 30 dedicated, talented and fun staff. They are supported by a distinguished and committed board of 24 trustee members from around the state.

As the Arkansas State Director you have the unique opportunity to continue implementing Arkansas’s great conservation priorities for a resilient future for its residents. The State Director also has an important leading role in the larger Great Plains Division supporting multi-state initiatives; driving forward Arkansas specific initiatives that align and meet the overall greater initiatives of the Great Plains Division.

The State Director leads staff and trustees, cultivates new and existing donors, expands partnerships, and builds a broader constituency for conservation across the state. As a leader in the Arkansas conservation movement, the State Director plays a primary role collaborating with partner organizations, government agencies, elected officials and other key decision-makers to build alliances and shared agendas that advance science-driven conservation outcomes in Arkansas, across the Great Plains, and globally. The State Director is accountable for the chapter’s success in implementing TNC’s global conservation approach, producing measurable results, upholding organizational values, and supporting the ongoing work of equity while leading an inclusive workplace culture. The State Director is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) in the Chapter’s work and culture.


We’re looking for someone who is a passionate, motivated problem-solver, a demonstrated leader and manager of people, and an excellent communicator. This role offers a unique opportunity to design and implement a strategic approach to conservation of nature—and to help shape a resilient future for all Arkansans.

Overall you are an: Energetic, creative, big-picture thinking visionary, with high ethical standards, able to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization. You have strong communication and EQ skills to work with internal and external stakeholders. The ability to drive results through your team by fostering an environment of trust, growth, and development. All with the underlying passion and motivation of the positive impact and change you can make on the world. Come join TNC and apply today! Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC.

The State Director essential functions include:

  • Lead, manage, inspire and motivate staff, donors, trustees, and partners, to collectively achieve the maximum contribution to the organization’s mission and 2030 Goals. This includes presenting and representing the chapter’s and TNC’s vision in a compelling and engaging manner to internal and external audiences as lead spokesperson;
  • Overall responsibility for conservation results that are equitable and fair, including philanthropy activities and goals of the Arkansas Chapter, and for integration of divisional, regional and global priorities; Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.
  • Directs, prepares, presents and/or participates in negotiations of project proposals with governmental, bilateral and/or multilateral agencies.
  • Manages the development and execution of the chapter’s strategic conservation plan, budget and financial plans, and annual work programs, all delivered on time and within budget.
  • Ensures recruitment, management and development of high quality and effective staff;
  • Support seasoned and emerging staff through creating a culture of collaboration, personal accountability, innovation, and high morale.
  • Foster DEIJ successfully by and leading a diverse workplace culture, nurturing a safe and inclusive environment for all
  • Continue cultivating a volunteer Board of Trustees that provides strategic leadership and guidance in setting program goals and active fundraising.
  • Provide leadership in conservation, fundraising and marketing in support of local, divisional, regional, and global outcomes.
  • Work with staff to secure increased private and corporate support, engaging major donors, corporations, and foundations.
  • Approves budgets and sets priorities that dictate private and public fundraising goals.
  • Provides leadership in public policy efforts within the chapter, division and the region.
  • Cultivate and steward strong and cooperative partnerships with governmental leaders and agencies, corporations, foundations, academic institutions, and other conservation organizations.
  • Support strategic government relations and advocacy efforts on a variety of topics for local and regional impact.
  • Actively participate in the Great Plains Leadership Team and Division teams, collaborating on innovative, cross-boundary projects and funding efforts.
  • Ensure program commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.
  • Key factual data and metrics include:
    • 30 staff members, budget of $6.5 million and 2 offices across the state.
    • The Arkansas Chapter is part of the Great Plains Division which also includes the TX, KS, OK, MO, IA, NE, MN, ND, SD Chapters.
    • Routine travel throughout Arkansas, regionally and globally as required, and can be 40-50 percent at times
    • The State Director reports to the Great Plains Division Director.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 7 years of management experience or equivalent relevant combination; including leading and managing a large multi-disciplinary team with the strong experience motivating, leading, setting objectives, and managing performance.
  • Prior financial experience managing a multi-million dollar budget (5-10 Million)
  • Experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences, including board members, key stakeholders, employees, and outside partners.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Create and foster an environment that allows staff to feel empowered and create a culture of trust, growth, and development.
  • An inspiring leader, who translates the greater vision and goals of TNC into the daily impact of the team, their individual goals and can positively lead teams through change.
  • Passion for the goals and mission of TNC and the state of Arkansas. An endearing and inspiring storyteller with the ability to share TNC’s positive impacts on Arkansas strategically with fundraisers and donors. Eager and motivated to fundraise with a creative and open-mind (willing to consider new ways of fundraising and investing).
  • Proven success in building, maintaining, and managing a wide variety of relationships. Demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence, trust, authenticity, inspiration, and decisiveness.
  • Strong communication skills. Skilled in communicating technical and scientific information in an effective and clear manner in addition to communicating authentically, honestly, and productively.
  • Deep appreciation for the state of Arkansas and an understanding of the natural resources of Arkansas, their conservation challenges, and current management approaches. Politically savvy and in tune to local, state, and national politics especially in regard to matters on conservation and climate. Experience with gaining the interest of state and local government officials.
  • Strong competency working effectively across differences such as race, culture, disabilities, socio-economic class and language groups. Experience cultivating strong interpersonal engagement and relationships in a global, multicultural context and developing relationships to drive organizational outcomes.


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 a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% 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 on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being 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 52561, 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.

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.