Director, Conservation and Geospatial Systems

The Nature Conservancy · Arlington, VA

Posted 2 months ago

Project Management
Vue JS
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Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. 

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Although you’ll see requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Passion, innovation, and diversity are all key components to advancing our Mission and we encourage you to apply.


The Director of Conservation and Geospatial Systems (Director) in IT is accountable for the management and delivery of services and products from the Conservation and Geospatial Systems teams within the Business Delivery Services department.  This position reports to the Sr. Director, Business Delivery Services.


The Director is responsible for all aspects of the Conservation and Geospatial Systems teams, providing management and support of the work it performs both within IT and across TNC’s priorities, goals and objectives. The Conservation and Geospatial Systems teams develop requirements, architect, design, build and support solutions consisting of specific software, cloud architecture and data in support of a large conservation science-driven community across TNC. Included are custom software solutions for tracking TNC’s conservation projects, Esri ArcGIS and earth observation software solutions, AWS and Azure cloud platforms, and spatial as well as non-spatial data. This position requires highly complex professional work in systems strategic planning, software and platform development, and ongoing operations and maintenance of those systems and information. The Director serves as a client manager for the business to improve the customer experience and strengthen the relationship between IT and the business and plays a complimentary role having broad vendor management lifecycle responsibilities with key technology product and services providers within their solution portfolio. The Director supervises and provides leadership to several direct report managers with staff beneath them fulfilling discrete functions (Business Analysis, Software Development, Geospatial Information Systems Technology Management).  The Director is accountable for creating an environment where these teams can be successful in achieving their established goals. The Director is also responsible for financial planning, budgeting and resource allocation, career growth and management, as well as performance management and managerial administrative duties.


  • Provides information technology leadership to the Conservation and Geospatial Systems teams. This includes articulating the overall IT vision, strategies and roadmap and ensuring the team understands and embraces their roles and responsibilities to achieve them.
  • Builds relationships with TNC business stakeholders and strategic external partners, identifying and promoting collaborations that help accomplish TNC’s conservation goals.
  • Understands the challenges and needs of the business while providing strategic guidance and oversight to Conservation and Geospatial System teams.
  • Monitors and analyzes changing business needs of the organization with industry trends in order to continually evaluate alternatives and implements solutions that most effectively advances conservation and geospatial systems.
  • Advances TNC business practices in collaboration with the appropriate business owner(s), as necessary.
  • Provides leadership support and collaborates with the Geospatial Information Officer, who leads the Geospatial Systems team, to help ensure TNC continues to be regarded as a leader in geospatial science and technologies in the field of conservation.
  • Provides leadership support and collaborates with the Associate Director of Application Development and Support, who leads the Conservation Systems team, to help promote and integrate custom software solutions for tracking conservation projects across the organization.
  • Leads strategic planning initiatives to examine the integration of software and platforms across Conservation and Geospatial Systems.
  • Identifies and assesses conservation and geospatial solutions generated across the business, evaluating end-user and technology-user business requirements and determining whether these solutions fit the support model of Conservation and Geospatial Systems.
  • Collaborates with the IT Enterprise Architecture team, Information Security team and other IT stakeholders to ensure solution alignment with established organizational SOPs, established architecture principles and patterns, organizational technology standards, and architectural target states.
  • Ensures that appropriate peer reviews and quality assurance validations are conducted to validate work done for solutions and systems before release to production in all phases of the project life cycle.
  • Maintains and provides production support for the systems and platforms supporting Conservation and Geospatial System business needs.
  • Oversees broad vendor management responsibilities including oversight and guidance on product/service evaluation and selection, setting strategic direction for negotiations on complex, high profile or sensitive agreements, representing TNC interests on vendor customer advisory boards to influence product direction and optimizing vendor performance and value.
  • Provides broad management and leadership responsibility for a department, including recruitment, retention, professional development, establishing clear directions, and setting objectives.
  • Advocates for adequate resources, capacity, and support for Conservation and Geospatial Systems teams in order to accomplish their objectives.
  • Fosters a learning culture by encouraging training in core competencies, technologies and organizational business practices.
  • Develops and manages the budget for all products/services included within Conservation and Geospatial Information Systems application portfolio.
  • Ensures that TNC policies and procedures, and IT security and financial standards are met and managed.
  • Fosters a supportive, inclusive, equitable, respectful and safe work environment.
  • Possess the ability and willingness to travel 15% or more to predominantly US locations, possibly non-US locations.
  • Ensures communication and relationships with customers, business stakeholders and other IT staff members are professional and collaborative.


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field and 10 years’ experience working in an IT environment with demonstrable capabilities.
  • 8 years’ experience managing a multidisciplinary team.
  • Experience designing, developing, and delivering solutions within a complex environment, possessing commensurate skills in software design, development and support.
  • Experience planning and executing projects cross-functionally including systems evaluations and selections, acquisition integrations, new system or module implementations, and technology migration/re-platforming initiatives.
  • Experience managing the processes required to define, architect, design, build, test, deploy and operationalize systems and continually measuring, evaluating performance and improving processes end to end to reduce inefficiency, increase delivery pace, quality and value.
  • Experience managing the support and maintenance of several highly complex, large scaled business critical systems/services in a large, decentralized organization.
  • Experience in Agile/Scrum/Kanban supporting Agile efforts as well as knowledge of Continuous Delivery and DevOps practices.
  • Excellent written, visual, and oral communication skills, ability to clearly and succinctly communicate with key business partners, including senior executives
  • Experience managing annual budget planning activities and managing to establish budgets.



  • Experience in designing, supporting, managing Geospatial Information systems, specifically ESRI’s ArcGIS suite of products.
  • Knowledge of contemporary web application architecture and design with experience in one or more web development frameworks including Angular, React, and/or Vue.
  • Experience with AWS and/or Azure private/public/hybrid cloud model design, implementation, orchestration, and support.
  • Experience with the systems life cycle, project management principles and web-based programming best practices and concepts.
  • Experience analyzing highly complex system-wide technical specifications and interfaces, debugging applications programs, and producing user and technical documentation.
  • Experience developing web-based production applications using .NET Framework.
  • Knowledge of relational database best practices and concepts.
  • Experience managing work using Jira/Atlassian Suite or similar task and documentation management tool.
  • Possess an automate everything mindset, from Continuous Architecture based design to team collaboration.
  • Experience with CI/CD toolsets such as: Jenkins, Ansible, CloudFormation, BitBucket.
  • Experience working in a global organization.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Conservation Science background is a plus.


To apply for job ID 50069, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact [email protected].

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.

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 [email protected] with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

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