The Nature Conservancy

Director - Community led Economics

The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube  to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Director, Community-Led Economies – Africa Region will focus on designing, scaling, and financing community-led livelihoods and nature-based enterprises in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), with a particular focus on women and youth-led initiatives. This position will collaborate closely with teams across TNC, including Africa regional teams and the Global Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (Global IPLC) team. The Director will grow TNC’s community-led economies strategy in Angola, Gabon, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia with a focus on freshwater, grassland, and coastal ecosystems. This position will report to the Africa Indigenous Landscapes Strategy Lead. The possible locations for this position include Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon, Angola, or South Africa. 

The Director will support the development of community-led, sustainable livelihood opportunities that generate income for communities and contribute to TNC’s priority conservation outcomes. This includes leading the development of the Africa region’s community-led economies strategy, identifying and assessing sustainable enterprise opportunities, advancing early-stage enterprises, building partnership networks across private, NGO and government sectors, and developing pathways to create enabling conditions and remove barriers for community-led enterprises—including community capacity building, business technical assistance, market access and access to capital. The Director will also be responsible for building business acumen among TNC colleagues–including the use of entrepreneurial tools and processes, such as human-centred design and the business model canvas–to strengthen TNC’s ability to foster community-led economies among grassland, coastal and freshwater ecosystems in Africa. They will work closely with the Gender and Reproductive Health Advisor to advise on women-led businesses and gender equity.


  • Leads the Africa regional community-led economies strategy design and implementation in collaboration with the Africa Team, the Global IPLC Team, other TNC regional and global teams, and external partners and consultants.
  • Responsible for feasibility and enabling conditions assessment, supply chain analysis, development of business models and financial projections, connection to markets, and access to financing opportunities.
  • Identifies and manages key local and regional partnerships to execute the community-led economies strategy and improve the business viability of community-led, sustainable enterprises.
  • Directs community leadership and decision-making throughout all steps of strategy creation and business design.
  • Provides creative, critical thinking and problem solving to support new and existing sustainable enterprise opportunities.
  • Develops recommendations to the Africa Team about how to advance community-led enterprises and other sustainable livelihood opportunities in the short, medium, and long term.
  • Builds the business acumen of TNC colleagues to better position teams to partner effectively with sustainable, community-led enterprises.
  • Collaborates with the Global IPLC Team to inform the organization’s global approach to sustainable livelihoods.
  • Provides detailed primary and secondary research to support enterprise development.
  • Works cross-functionally with TNC teams and external partners to engage conservation, business, financial, and legal expertise in the development and implementation of community-led, sustainable enterprises.


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, or related field and at least 5 years related experience, or equivalent combination.
  • Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) will be an added advantage.
  • Fluency in English and written and oral communication skills experience.
  • Critical thinking, research, and analysis skills experience to assess complex information to make strategic decisions.
  • Experience building partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, including community or business leaders, government or legislative staff, program leadership and/or similar audiences.
  • Experience developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment with limited guidance.
  • Project management skills.


  • Experience assessing, designing, and launching new businesses.
  • Experience in impact investment, blended finance, microfinance, or a related field, and a knowledge of key players in these fields.
  • Experience in gender equity and women-led enterprises.
  • Experience developing and sensitizing financial models.
  • Familiarity with sustainable livelihoods and relevant stakeholders in Africa, including stakeholders, policies and market opportunities related to grasslands, coastal, and freshwater enterprises (e.g., fisheries enterprises, livestock enterprises, women-led enterprises, ecotourism, etc.).
  • Ability to develop and drive new ideas and approaches.
  • Ability to sensitively advise other staff on how to effectively engage with internal and external partners.
  • Ability to work well in a highly matrixed, decentralized, and collaborative organization.
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills and political savviness. Must be a team player.
  • Outstanding analytical and project management capabilities, including an ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Multi-lingual skills (Kiswahili, French and/or Portuguese) and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • NGO and/or corporate relations experience a strong plus.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into 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 and partners, we impact conservation around the world! 

TNC offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on 

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.


To apply for job ID 52348, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at 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.

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.