Job-TNC-Desert/Arid-lands Habitat Leader


TheNature Conservancy

Savingthe Last Great Places


TITLE:                         GrasslandHabitat Leader
SUPERVISOR:           Director, Global Priorities Group
LOCATION:              open
DATE POSTED:          December 18, 2003

TheGrassland Habitat Leader is a new, estimated 12-month position [1]developed to lead The Nature Conservancy in setting outcome-based conservationgoals, including priority conservation strategies and places, for all of theworld’s grassland biomes – called Major Habitat Types. Grassland goals will be informed by global scientific assessments ofhabitat status, threat and conservation progress, and calibrated againstadvancements to be made through TNC and partner efforts. The objective of this position is to conduct an expansive and inclusiveprocess that builds both institutional support and partner engagement for theconservation of the world’s grassland ecoregions. Responsibilities include: 1)leading a science-driven assessment of each grassland Major Habitat Type thatculminates in an authoritative “state of the habitat” report;  2) conducting a conservation gap analysis to identify priorityareas and priority strategies; 3) articulating initial habitat goals for TNC; 4)facilitating the establishment of longer-range goals for relevant TNC programs;5) contributing to a framework to help inform Conservancy FY06 planning; and 6)making structural or process-related recommendations relevant to implementationof these goals.

The Grassland Habitat Leader will work with four other habitat leadersto lead TNC in setting comprehensive conservation goals for all Major HabitatTypes.  Within that broaderframework, the Grasslands Leader will provide overall leadership on behalf ofTNC for Grasslands Major Habitat Type goal setting. It is conceivable that TNC might co-lead each process with individualsfrom other institutions.   Specificduties require building and managing a small core ad hoc team of partners, keyTNC staff, senior managers, trustees/Board of Governors, and Global PriorityGroup (GPG) staff.   TheGrasslands Leader is expected to work with other habitat leaders to identifycrosscutting issues and ensure consistent methods. The Leader will work closely with the GPG on data management and analysis,mapping, and the overall process.  TheLeader ensures the goal setting process for grassland habitats remains withinbudget.  The Director of GlobalPriorities supervises the Grasslands Habitat Leader.


  1. Advance habitat goal-setting for grasslands within a broader organizational effort that will set coherent goals and define priorities for all Major Habitat Types organized under five different habitat groups (grasslands, deserts, freshwater, marine, and forests).  Collaborate with other Habitat Leaders to ensure learning across groups and to balance efforts and priorities across and between groups.
  2. Work with other institutions to conduct global habitat assessments, insuring the use of existing information to document and analyze the status, distribution, threats, geographic priorities, dominant strategies, level of conservation investments and established international goals, and gaps relevant to Grassland Major Habitat Types.
  3. Solicit input from the field to produce a preliminary draft outline of TNC specific goals, outcomes, priorities and approach to gaps for conservation of grassland Major Habitat Types.
  4. Facilitate a habitat conference with field practitioners from TNC, trustees, key partners, and potential donors to peer-review a draft ‘state of the habitat report’,  to refine initial recommendations for TNC goals and priorities, to galvanize goal setting for programs across TNC, and to build networks of collaboration across practitioners.
  5. Finalize a global context and conservation vision for all grassland Major Habitat Types (in the form of the state of the habitat report), including TNC’s goals and contributions to the vision with relevant measures, clear organizational priorities for discretionary resources, and collective commitments overall organization. 
  6. Recommend ongoing operational or structural implications of pursuing conservation goals for grassland Major Habitat Types.


  1. Credible conservation experience within grassland ecoregions and familiarity with grassland biogeography. At least 10 years experience in the conservation field and applying ecological concepts to conservation decision-making or biodiversity management, particularly as it relates to grassland habitats.
  2. Highly skilled at effective communication with diverse people and institutions. Experience translating information and ideas between disciplines or stakeholder groups and excellent speaking and writing skills required.  Past success in marketing concepts and approaches to various audiences in building positive and lasting relationships with people and organizations.  
  3. Track record of delivering results in a complex process.   Proven understanding of how organizations work and of how to design program structures and functions to accomplish specific goals. Ability to operate effectively in a non-confrontational style in diverse institutional settings.  Comfort with ambiguity and institutional change.
  4. Excellent management skills.  Knows how to set priorities well, manage an ad hoc with no direct management authority, and manage finances.  Able to set and fulfill meaningful goals and objectives, to develop realistic schedules, to anticipate and solve programmatic or people-related problems, and to objectively measure performance against goals and institute changes when merited.
  5. Works well independently but is also a good team player.  Able to accomplish individual and programmatic goals while making a significant contribution to the broader goals of the organization.
  6. Strong commitment to conservation.
  7. Willingness to travel frequently, often on short notice.





Visitus at

[1] Internal TNC candidates will have the option to return to their previously held positions and external candidates may be eligible to second with a University or apply for an IPA.  Each position is conceived as an estimated one-year position – the actual time frame will be determined with GPG Director to ensure accomplishment of goals.  Potential continuation of habitat groups or implementation of strategies will be determined after a management review of the recommendations from the habitat goal setting process.   


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