Bristol Bay Program Director; Nature Conservancy

Job Title: 
Bristol Bay Program Director
Job Location: 
Anchorage, Alaska


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy in Alaska seeks a Program Director to lead the Bristol Bay Program in the Southwest region of Alaska. Aligned with The Nature Conservancy’s state, regional and global priorities, the focus of this program is to support sustainable resource management through community-based initiatives in this globally important ecosystem. The Program Director will also implement a diverse program of work including land conservation and community development projects that meet ecological, economic and social objectives. The Program Director serves as supporter and partner with federal and state agencies, Tribal governments, regional organizations, Alaska Native corporate partners and local communities.

The Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska represents a global treasure with the largest remaining wild salmon fisheries and thriving local communities. The Alaska Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is dedicated to ensuring the long-term conservation of these remarkable freshwater ecosystems through scientific assessment and mapping, engagement with local communities, participation in land management planning, and promotion of sustainable economies.


The Bristol Bay Program Director is responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the Alaska Chapter’s collaborative strategies in Southwest Alaska. They engage a wide variety of stakeholders and partners in a comprehensive program that includes science-based protection, stewardship, conservation management, sustainable economic development and community relations work. The Program Director serves as the principle contact to government agencies, Tribes, other conservation organizations, foundations and the academic community. They may recruit, manage and coach a team of staff and manage an annual budget. The Program Director is an essential member of the Conservation team responsible for implementing the Alaska Chapter’s strategic plan and contributing to The Nature Conservancy’s organizational goals



The Bristol Bay Program Director establishes the Conservancy as a major conservation partner within the Southwest region of Alaska by defining conservation priorities and long-term conservation strategies, building strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field and developing key partnerships with public and private organizations to identify and resolve technical issues and to widely communicate solutions and best practices. They develop innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools and frameworks to address the natural system needs, engage local community support for conservation efforts, and negotiate complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities. They provide leadership for fundraising in support of the Bristol Bay Program and the Alaska Chapter.




  • Works with program staff to develop long-term strategies, goals and objectives
  • Supervises work within TNC in dispersed locations and coordinates with organizational partners
  • Provides strategic guidance and team management
  • Implements strategic conservation projects
  • Sets financial goals, evaluates return on investment, and develops corrective strategies to improve future results
  • Develops and administers budgets and ensures sound financial performance
  • Engages diverse partnerships and builds cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals
  • Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards while controlling costs and administering budgets
  • Judges talent, assesses staff’s strengths and weaknesses, creates strong morale and team spirit, and motivates individuals and
  • teams toward desirable results
  • Recruits, retains and manages high quality and effective staff
  • Communicates strategic project goals and objectives
  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances
  • Frequently makes independent decision based on analysis, experience, and context



  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies and sovereign Tribes.
  • Experience in interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills.


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Post graduate degree and 5-7 years’ experience in conservation practice, natural or social science, organizational management, or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Demonstrated success as an inspirational manager who has successfully motivated staff to achieve and sustain excellence.
  • Demonstrated leadership and visionary qualities and able to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and
  • geographically dispersed organization.
  • Developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  • Managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in resource, social and economic policy in Alaska.
  • Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives or related field.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising.
  • Extensive networking with high-level conservation contacts; political savvy.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy'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." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

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 to position number 48966, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 7th, 2020.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

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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.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.