Protection Team Lead

The Nature Conservancy MN, ND, and SD


Minneapolis, MN, USA


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 are lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube 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’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.”


The Protection Team Lead manages a team to protect natural areas and habitat for rare and endangered plants, animals and natural communities using the full range of protection tools, including gifts, easements, purchases, conservation brokerage and cooperative projects with federal, state, and local governments, conservation organizations and other partners as appropriate.  The Protection Team Lead supervises staff, allocates work among the team, coordinates the acquisition process, manages public and private funding sources and manages staff to outcomes. The Protection Lead may also manage the transfer of land interests to other parties. The Protection Lead may lead or participate directly on some projects or transactions.

The Protection Team Lead is a managerial position in the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Business Unit. The preferred location for this position is Minneapolis, MN but we are open to applicants in other locations. For those based in other locations, frequent travel to the Twin Cities metro area (at least once per quarter) will be expected. The anticipated salary range for this position is between $70,000 and $84,000 dependent on location and experience. Additionally, TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


The Protection Team Lead is responsible for implementing and achieving the Conservancy’s land protection goals within MN, ND, and SD by overseeing the Protection team and representing the Conservancy in relationships and negotiations with landowners, government agencies, and nonprofit and other partners. Working with the team, they assist in securing and managing public and private funds for land protection, ensuring due diligence is met, evaluating potential protection projects, preparing project packages, and responding to inquiries. 


  • Geographic size and scope is the Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Business Unit, with occasional work across the Northern Great Plains.
  • Lead the BU Protection Team in their day-to-day activities and direct acquisition processes and transactions.
  • Plan, direct and assign work on land acquisition, co-ops with government agencies, conservation buyer transactions, donations and conservation easement projects. May lead or participate directly in project acquisitions.  
  • Negotiate real estate transactions, which can bind the Conservancy legally and financially.
  • Maintain records related to land transactions.       
  • Ensure program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Supervise staff; responsible for performance management, training, and development of the Protection team.
  • Manage programs supported with state and federal funds
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently and on short notice, sometimes on weekends.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances. 


  • BA/BS degree in natural resources management, conservation, business, law or another related field of study and 3 years of related work experience in conservation, real estate, fundraising or other related experience.
  • Experience in managing multiple projects and timelines.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
  • Experience developing partnerships (partners, community, government).
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience working with computers, including database management.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • 3 to 5 years of related work experience in conservation, real estate, fundraising or other related experience.
  • Knowledge of current trends and strategies in conservation and land protection.
  • Politically savvy and experienced in partnership development (partners, community, government).    
  • Experience managing teams.
  • Experience with managing budgets.


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


To apply for this role, submit both a cover letter and resume online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, July 18, 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.