Kansas State Director

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The Nature Conservancy

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Topeka, KS, United States

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5 days ago


Topeka, Kansas, USA

Location flexible within Kansas.



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 Kansas State Director to lead the State Business Unit and partner closely with the Great Plains Division as we execute on our ambitious conservation goals.

The Conservancy has worked in Kansas for more than 30 years, protecting more than 190,000 acres of land and serving as a trusted partner in state and regional land and water management initiatives. The Kansas Chapter works closely with a variety of partners on conservation strategies statewide including our priorities of Land Protection and Stewardship, Water and Agriculture, and Climate and Energy.

With a talented staff of 25 located across the state, an operating budget of $5 million, an engaged Board of Trustees, and a robust conservation agenda in place, this role offers a unique opportunity to shape and implement a strategic approach to Kansas’ conservation priorities—and to help shape a resilient, equitable future for the Sunflower State.

As the Kansas State Director, you have the unique opportunity to continue implementing Kansas’ 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 Kansas-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 Kansas 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 Kansas, 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, and Inclusion (DEI) 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 Kansans. 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.

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.

The State Director essential functions include:

  • Leading, managing, inspiring, and motivating 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 business unit’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 Kansas business unit, and for integration of divisional, regional, and global priorities; Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.
  • Directing, preparing, presenting and/ or participating in negotiations of project proposals with governmental, bilateral and/or multilateral agencies.
  • Managing 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.
  • Ensuring recruitment, management and development of high quality and effective staff.
  • Supporting seasoned and emerging staff through creating a culture of collaboration, personal accountability, innovation, and high morale.
  • Fostering DEIJ successfully by and leading a diverse workplace culture, nurturing a safe and inclusive environment for all.
  • Continuing cultivating a volunteer Board of Trustees that provides strategic leadership and guidance in setting program goals and active fundraising.
  • Providing leadership in conservation, fundraising and marketing in support of local, divisional, regional, and global outcomes.
  • Working with staff to secure increased private and corporate support, engaging major donors, corporations, and foundations.
  • Approving budgets and sets priorities that dictate private and public fundraising goals.
  • Providing leadership in public policy efforts within the chapter, division, and the region.
  • Cultivating and stewarding strong and cooperative partnerships with governmental leaders and agencies, corporations, foundations, academic institutions, and other conservation organizations.
  • Supporting strategic government relations and advocacy efforts on a variety of topics for local and regional impact.
  • Actively participating in the Great Plains Leadership Team and Division teams, collaborating on innovative, cross-boundary projects and funding efforts.
  • Ensuring program commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.
  • Key factual data and metrics include:
    • 25 staff members across the state
    • Budget of $5 million and 2 offices across the state.
    • The Kansas business unit is part of the Great Plains Division which also includes the AR, IA, MN, NE, ND, MO, OK, SD and TX business units.
    • Routine travel throughout Kansas, regionally and globally as required, and can be 40-50 percent at times
    • The State Director reports to the Great Plains Division Director.


  • 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 ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage performance.
  • Prior financial experience managing a multi-million-dollar budget ($5-10 million).
  • Experience creating and fostering an environment that allows staff to feel empowered and create a culture of trust, growth, and development.
  • Experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences, including board members, key stakeholders, employees, and outside partners.


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 https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/careers/recruitment/ 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 52522, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.


Carol Hodges chodge@tnc.org

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 applyhelp@tnc.org 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.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role while committing to closing the gender pay gap and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.