MN, ND, SD External Affairs Director

The Nature Conservancy

Who We Are:

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. 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. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube  or on Glassdoor.  

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”

What We Can Achieve Together:

The External Affairs Director (EAD) develops, leads and implements strategies to achieve the Conservancy’s goals of tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity through interaction with federal, state, local and tribal governments, multilateral agencies and non-profit organizations. The EAD works closely with TNC conservation and climate staff to further the work of the Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy by focusing on policy, practice, and funding initiatives that provide opportunities and impact TNC’s conservation and climate programs. The EAD identifies conservation and climate policy and funding opportunities, evaluates the potential for strategic partnerships, and develops and implements strategies at a large scale. The EAD will liaise with counterparts across the global organization to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy/practice approaches. 

The EAD serves on the Chapter’s Leadership Team and is supervised by the Chapter Director. The preferred job location is the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota. The salary range for this position is $115,000-$122,000 dependent on experience.

We’re Looking for You:

Are you looking for work you can believe in? At TNC we strive to embody a philosophy of Work that You Can Believe in where you can feel like you are making a difference every day. We’re looking for someone with strong experience in leading a diverse, multi-disciplinary team.

The ideal candidate should have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and experience designing, organizing, and directing complex projects such as bold policy initiatives. The ideal candidate should also have specific experience working with federal agencies leveraging federal resources. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of conservation by directing and shaping the work of our team!

What You’ll Bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior management level experience in government relations, public sector, corporate sector, or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Leadership and Supervisory experience.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Experience in strategy development and implementation.
  • Experience working with federal and state agencies, congressional and legislative officials or equivalent experience.
  • Experience working with partners and government agencies, to align federal funding to projects.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Experience with relationship building.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience presenting to and communicating with management-level individuals within multiple sectors.

In addition to these qualifications, we appreciate candidates that will bring a diversity of experience to our team. As such, candidates with multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience are encouraged to apply as well as those with experience developing and implementing equitable policy and assuring diversity, equity, inclusion and justice are embedded in strategy.

What We Bring:

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including: health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexible to the needs of the people we employ!

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.


To apply for the MN, ND, SD External Affairs Director position, submit your cover letter and resume online by using the Apply Now button at by Monday, October 24, 2022.

Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

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 with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19.   By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.