Land Protection Director, Central Appalachian Program

Land Protection Director, Central Appalachian Program

Type of offer:

The Protection Director leads land protection implementation in the Central Appalachians, one of TNC’s four current global focus areas for conservation of biodiversity and natural climate solutions. Scientists at The Nature Conservancy have mapped a climate resilient and connected network of lands that nature needs conserved to ensure a safe future for biodiversity as the climate changes. The Appalachians are a centerpiece of this network in North America. The seven state Central Appalachian region offers land protection opportunities at a scale found in very few other places in North America. TNC’s Central Appalachians program has prioritized the highest leverage protection deals and landscapes in this region and an existing Protection team works to implement these protection deals in collaboration with managing for resilience and natural climate solutions teams. The Protection Director will leverage their expertise in complex protection deals and leadership skills to drive this team to success.   


The Protection Director is responsible for the successful execution of TNC’s land protection vision in the Central Appalachian region by acquiring various interests in land. This position works closely with private landowners, corporations, and conservation partners to seek conservation easements, fee acquisitions, and other interests in land through the use of traditional and innovative land conservation tools.  They will work with a core team of remote staff from multiple state chapters and the Global Protect team to prioritize potential land protection deals and manage them from start to finish. The Protection Director will use innovative conservation funding approaches to execute very large (>100,000 acre) conservation projects that may incorporate local community benefit, forest carbon finance, renewable energy development and other nontraditional protection strategies. The person will have experience with complex approaches to real estate valuation, including the use of sophisticated financial analyses, and a history of successful negotiations. While the Central Appalachians is the primary focus of this position, they will, on an ad hoc basis, support protection efforts elsewhere across the 15 state Appalachian region with a connection to a global team of protection experts in order to leverage the highest priority protection projects. As one of a handful of full time Central Appalachians staff, this position will work very closely with the Central Appalachians Director, Director of Philanthropy, Sponsor, Coordinator and other team leads to ensure the whole of our conservation work in this region is much greater than the parts. They will work closely with the Central Appalachians Director and Global Protect Team to inspire partner organizations, TNC leadership, and other key stakeholders to support an ambitious vision for one of the most important conservation landscapes in the world. They may also mentor other staff outside of the Central Appalachians to disseminate best practices and increase organizational capacity for large and complex protection projects.


  • Geographic size and scope is that of one strategy across multiple states. 
  • Lead execution of very large conservation deals using innovative approaches.
  • Support public and private fundraising efforts.
  • Represent TNC and TNC’s vision for the Appalachians to key partner organizations.
  • Use political savvy and strong communications skills to build a large network across the Conservancy.
  • Disseminate best practices on protection tools and mentor other staff. 
  • Coordinate prioritized projects with relevant regional and global teams as a model for large-scale protection work. 
  • Transfer knowledge of novel land protection strategies across the Appalachians and beyond.                                                   
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently and on short notice, sometimes on weekends.
  • Negotiate real estate transactions, which can bind the Conservancy legally and financially.
  • Maintain records related to land transactions.                                                                                                                             
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.  
Location: DC Metro Area
Organization: The Nature Conservancy
Deadline: May 16, 2021
External website link: