Full-Time Houston Urban Conservation Program Manager
|SUMMARY||The Houston Urban Conservation Program Manager will be responsible for shaping and implementing strategies that will protect, conserve, enhance and best use natural systems for the benefit of nature and people in the Houston environment, including increasing the resilience of urban areas to environmental changes and challenges. Specifically, this position will work with local governments, partner organizations, and others to design and test the effectiveness of nature-based approaches for reducing urban heat and protecting air quality and freshwater resources. Place-based demonstration projects will be designed to increase incorporation of natural systems into the built environment. Where possible, projects will reduce risk to disadvantaged communities and include community involvement opportunities. The Program Manager will work with a team of conservationists, scientists, policy, marketing and development professionals to successfully implement this work.
|The Houston Urban Conservation Program Manager is a senior staff representative for The Nature Conservancy in Houston and will function as a liaison between the Texas Chapter and the North American Cities Network. S/he will work to integrate the Chapter’s work as an essential element of the TNC North America Cities Strategy and Global Resilient Cities Initiative in demonstrating how nature and natural resources can help build resilient communities across race, politics, class and privilege. The Houston Urban Conservation Program Manager will collaborate with non-governmental organizations, private industry and government agencies in Houston to advance nature-based solutions for the benefit of nature and people, especially as Houston considers strategies to mitigate flooding and other impacts from major storms like Hurricane Harvey. S/he, working closely with TNC’s Texas Chapter, will play a leading role in managing TNC’s relationships and advancing the organization’s public policy and other priorities with federal, state and local policy makers related to the Cities Network strategies. This position reports to the Director of Policy, Cities and Climate. S/he will be expected to deliver compelling presentations to the Texas Chapter, the Conservancy’s North American Cities Network, Global Resilient Cities Initiative and to internal and external audiences. With support from the Conservancy Development team, s/he will interact with key Conservancy supporters.
Responsibilities may include one or more of the following additional functions:
· Help define and implement The Conservancy’s national urban priorities.
· Develop key partnerships with public and private organizations and community leaders in order to effectively implement strategies and to widely communicate solutions and best practices.
· Negotiate complex and innovative solutions with government agencies, communities, property owners, and other conservation organizations to conserve, protect, and integrate natural infrastructure in urban landscapes.
· Develop, implement and review appropriate community engagement strategies.
· Develop innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools and frameworks to address the natural system needs.
|RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE||· Use scientific tools to prioritize locations for specific adaptation projects in Houston.
· Identify a diverse portfolio of replicable projects that demonstrate the value of nature to people and people to nature in an urban environment.
· Assist with establishment of policies or sustainable financing mechanisms that mainstream successful approaches to use natural systems to solve urban challenges in air quality, heat, and water.
· Build relationships with government agencies, partners and other professional organizations to mainstream the use grey/green approaches in decision-making and integrate these approaches in their best management practices.
· Build cooperative relationships and collaborate with diverse groups, including communities, property owners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members, and the general public, to recruit support for the Conservancy and publicize and leverage Conservancy efforts.
· Build contacts with Houston disadvantaged communities and the government and non-government institutions that serve them to advance the use of nature-based solutions to reduce their risk.
· Serve as an integral team member of the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network and Global Resilient Cities to better understand how to plan, implement and measure the changes communities and organizations seek concerning our natural environment.
· Create innovative sources of new funding through private-public partnerships.
· Develop outreach efforts designed to educate people on the role of nature-based solutions in protecting their stake in the region and create opportunities for the community to engage in tangible projects or other actions.
· Develop long-term strategies and achieve strategic goals and objectives.
· Recruit, retain and manage high quality and effective multi-disciplinary contractors or staff, with responsibility for performance management.
· Makes independent strategic decisions frequently based on analysis, ambiguous information, experience and judgment.
· May require frequent travel and evening and weekend hours.
· May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
|MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS||· BA/BS degree in environmental policy or related field and 5 years of experience in not-for-profit, private, government or conservation practice in a related field.
· Ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage performance.
· Experience in designing, implementing and directing multiple projects and initiatives.
· Experience preparing and presenting project proposals, negotiating, and/or working in partnership within TNC or with other organizations in a collaborative and advisory capacity, or related.
· Experience in partnership development (partners, community, government, etc.); experience with high-level conservation and policy contacts.
· Excellent communication and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups.
|PREFERRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & EXPERIENCE
|· Master’s degree in related field.
· 7 to 10 years of experience in not-for-profit, government or conservation practice or a related field.
· Experience in urban heat, reforestation, ecological restoration and management, storm water and water management projects, or urban/regional planning and policy.
· Experience working in or with local governments and/or community based organizations.
· Experience in fundraising and working with donors.
· Demonstrated success in building support for conservation projects across a wide range of audiences, including senior staff, donors, agencies, colleagues, and key external audiences.
· Knowledge of current trends in research in urban ecosystems and on recent practices in the conservation of lands and waters within cities.
· Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
· Knowledge of politics and society with respect to environmental affairs; politically savvy.
· Strong knowledge of unique Houston political, cultural, business and NGO landscape.
· Managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
· Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
· A proven track record as a team leader to achieve clear objectives.
· Ability to work cross-divisionally to achieve results.
· Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means.
· Successful experience in developing, directing and managing multiple projects.
· Demonstrated leadership and visionary qualities and ability to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization.
· Proven interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills.
· Experience in collaborating with scientists and other conservation practitioners to complete assessments and develop focused conservation priorities.
· Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives.