Senior Manager of Sustainable Development Policy in Arlington, VA

$80K - $100K(Ladders Estimates)

Conservation International   •  

Arlington, VA 22201

Industry: Education, Government & Non-Profit


5 - 7 years

Posted 62 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.


CI is looking for a Senior Manager of Sustainable Development Policy to work closely with the Senior Director of International Policy. This position will lead the development and implementation of CI's strategy to achieve policy outcomes related to sustainable development, including the biodiversity and ecosystem services necessary to sustainable development.

The Senior Manager will be responsible for analyzing the political and technical landscape of target policy arenas (international or national level) and identifying potential policy pathways to support CI's on-the-ground objective. They will lead cross-institutional dialogue to refine CI's policy objectives and strategies for achieving them and then lead the cross-institutional implementation of those strategies – including developing positions and outreach to key country governments.

This position leads the development of CI policy position papers, which includes providing guidance to other CI teams, providing the best science and lessons from the field to produce robust policy recommendations. They will support CI programs in engaging their governments to achieve policy objectives by providing briefings and technical information. They will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with coalitions of like-minded organizations and with government negotiators; and with developing new relationships as needed.

Initial areas of focus for the position will be on the Convention on Biological Diversity's post-2020 framework; the integration of nature into country development plans via CI's Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes approach and policy approaches to shape the impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative for the better.


Global biodiversity policy:

  • Working with Senior Director for International Policy, lead the cross-CI Biodiversity Policy Team to develop position papers/case studies/technical briefs and strategy for achieving CI's policy objectives in the negotiation of the post-2020 CBD framework.
  • Represent CI externally to develop and maintain partnerships to achieve CI's policy objectives at the CBD with government negotiators and NGO coalitions.
  • Work with CI country programs to engage their governments throughout the negotiation of the post-2020 framework by providing briefings on CI positions and on the evolving politics of the negotiations.
  • Prepare analyses of the negotiations as they progress from now to 2020 and disseminate to CI staff along with updates to CI positions or strategy.
  • Provide policy review to all institutional communications with implications for global biodiversity policy and collaborate with the Communications team to support the definition of key institutional messaging on biodiversity policy.

Sustainable Development Policy:

  • Lead internal working group to develop a policy evaluation methodology that identifies key opportunities and gaps in national and local policy relating to how communities, government, and business use and conserve natural resources to support CI's Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes (SLS).
  • Lead internal working group to develop package of proven policy options for achieving SLS objectives, including supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provide technical support to SLS teams as needed.
  • Working with Sr. Director International Policy and the Africa Field Division, support development and implementation of an Africa policy strategy with a focus on China's impact in the region.
  • Contribute to Divisional planning, strategy development, budget processes, communications efforts and other cross-cutting tasks:
  • Provide robust contributions to divisional strategy development, planning processes, team initiatives/special projects (e.g. hiring committee for an open position), reporting and communication efforts as needed.
  • Support fundraising and reporting for this work.


  • This position can be based in Arlington, VA, Brussels, Belgium, Nairobi, or Johannesburg
  • Frequent travel to international meetings representing up to 30% of the work time and work through a geographically disbursed team



  • Graduate degree in conservation science, international policy, or development-related field and 4 years of relevant experience, or
  • Bachelor's degree and at least 6 years of specialized professional experience in relevant topics
  • Understanding of policy-making processes and environment and the role of policy in achieving on-the-ground results.
  • Knowledge of current negotiations under major biodiversity policy fora and existing network of contacts.
  • Highly independent worker with proven capacity to assess a situation, develop a strategy and execute it for multiple lines of work and usually working through others.
  • Proven ability to form collaborative working relationships with multiple groups internal and external to the organization and to lead groups to a strong and strategic outcome.
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex information to a diverse audience in written and oral formats. Experience in engaging a variety of external partners and stakeholders in governments, bilateral and multilateral institutions, development organizations and NGOs with professionalism and diplomacy.
  • Proven ability to work in culturally diverse environment.
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to adapt in a fast-paced, changing environment.
  • Ability to understand complex, technical issues concerning conservation science, international development policy, and the politics surrounding multilateral institutions that are critical to CI's success
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.


  • Fluency in Spanish, French or Portuguese.
  • Established relationships in the sustainable development and/or biodiversity policy community
  • Professional or academic experience in international policy analysis and design, and knowledge and understanding of complex multilateral institutions.
  • Experience living and working abroad.

View all Conservation International Career Opportunities at

Conservation International Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.

Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms.

Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.

Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.

Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.

Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.

Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.

Valid Through: 2019-9-16