Director of Fund Operations

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About us

Since 1987, Conservation International has been developing game-changing solutions to the pressing issues of a growing global population and a shrinking base of natural resources that we all depend on. We work in 29 countries with 2000 partners worldwide. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous, and more productive planet.

Amid growing consensus that the protection, restoration, and improved management of ecosystems can provide at least 30% of the climate mitigation needed to limit warming to 1.5°C, Conservation International has set ambitious targets to realize the potential of natural climate solutions (NCS) worldwide. CI is launching an NCS Fund that seeks to double private investment in quality NCS. The Fund will deploy philanthropic capital to create a portfolio of high-quality NCS projects, to demonstrate and elevate the standards of NCS investments for climate and people, and to unlock a range of protection, restoration, and improved management activities that will leverage additional capital. The Fund is expected to finance 30-50 projects over the next 5 years, with a target capitalization of at least $100 million.

Position Summary:

The Director of Fund Operations is responsible for providing strategic oversight and is the visionary behind the efficient flow of information, the procedures, and the planning required to make the NCS Fund a success. This position is central to the success of the Fund, and for enhancing the strategy and mission of Conservation International. It requires previous operations experience and an understanding of the project development process, including developing country ground realities

The Director of Fund Operations is the operational guru shaping and guiding the work of the Fund team, enabling it to grow and innovate in a dynamic market environment. The team is fast-moving, with the ambition to tap the deep knowledge and technical expertise within Conservation International, to catalyze gigatons of emission reductions in the voluntary and compliance carbon markets.

The Fund is a critical part of CI's strategy to disburse targeted donor-supported grants combined with private sector investment to early-stage high-carbon-potential projects in order to scale up private sector investment in protection, improved management, and restoration NCS activities. The Fund team will prioritize impact through community engagement, biodiversity, safeguards, and high-quality carbon credits, as well as through projects in "Irrecoverable Carbon" and biodiversity hotspots. Each member of the Fund team plays a critical role in making this impact mission a success.

This position does not directly supervise staff at the time of hiring but is likely to do so in the future.


  • Advise on the strategic planning for the Fund including but not limited to:
    • Evolution of Fund objectives and metrics;
    • Alignment and strategic engagement with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Establishment and implementation of market-leading thresholds and definitions of "High-Quality NCS".
    • Prioritization of communities and people in forest carbon project design.
  • Support the Managing Director and/or Senior Portfolio Manager by providing strategic input on the Fund's project portfolio, ensuring that the Fund's resources are allocated efficiently and effectively to maximize project contributions towards the Fund's objectives.
  • Stand in as needed for the Managing Director, including for external representation. Manage best-practice operational processes across Fund operations, investment, and reporting frameworks in coordination with the finance and technical staff and in accordance with CI, donor, and Fund Operations Manuals and requirements.
  • Conceptualize and establish various Fund processes that provide visibility into progress towards Fund goals, including reporting, work-flows, data flows, SharePoint, and Teams site organization, and then coordinate and manage these on an ongoing basis.
  • Lead organizational and process components of the Fund, ensuring that it functions effectively and efficiently within the Center for Natural Climate Solutions and Conservation International.
  • Monitor and improve these Fund processes over time, streamlining with related internal staff, resources, and systems.
  • Work with internal CI financial controllers, ensuring that the financial inflows and outflows are efficient and well-documented.
  • Lead on the organizational components of the required Fund reporting, including the Annual Report.
  • Assess and evaluate the existing capacities within CI in order to optimize and de-risk the Fund's work.
  • Align internal capacity, planning, and budget in order to determine bottlenecks, risks, and weaknesses for the Fund.
  • Lead negotiations and management of select external service contracts with vendors and consultants as well as projects in the Fund pipeline (if needed)
  • Understand and manage the Team of Teams model within CI – weaving together the NCS Fund-focused staff who have different reporting lines within CI, as well as relevant Conservation Finance Division teams including the carbon finance team.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

People and Resource Management Responsibilities:

  • May involve staff supervision in the future.
  • Coordinates with Finance and Operations staff of the Center for Natural Climate Solutions on financial control of the Fund.
  • Coordinates with the Grants and Contracts Unit and Legal Unit at CI on procurement, consulting agreements, and sub-grant agreements.
  • Coordinates as needed with the Conservation Finance Division carbon finance team on aligning operations, processes, and agreements.

Working Conditions:

  • Strong preference for position to be based in CI US offices in Arlington, Virginia; Seattle, Washington or CI Global Offices (Remote Possible/other US locations). Please view a full list of our Global Offices here.
  • Flexibility in work schedule to accommodate time zone differences may be occasionally necessary.



  • Bachelor's Degree and 10 or more years of related work experience or a combination of education and experience.
  • Program/project management or portfolio management experience.
  • Operations experience, preferably including in developing countries.
  • Excellent technical and analytical skills.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Detailed understanding of organizational architecture.
  • Experience working in an operational leadership capacity within a large organization.
  • Experience developing budgets and workflows.
  • Team player and able to work effectively with diverse works groups in a multicultural environment.
  • Fluency in English required.


  • Fund operations experience.
  • Knowledge of international policy frameworks that affect demand and supply dynamics for offsets.
  • Experience assessing and managing risk within an organization.
  • Familiarity with the leading standards that are applied to emissions reductions and removals from climate-smart agriculture, forests, and other land use activities.
  • Multilateral or private sector operations and fund/portfolio management experience.
  • Ability to communicate in Spanish, Portuguese, or French.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.

Conservation International Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.

  • Passion: Inspired by people and by nature, we are urgently compelled to drive change for a sustainable future.
  • Integrity: We are honest, transparent, and accountable for our actions.
  • Teamwork: We work together as one CI, recognizing that inclusion, collaboration, and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.
  • Respect: We respect each other and work to earn trust, valuing our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.
  • Courage: We pursue our vision, taking bold action, persevering, and overcoming challenges.
  • Optimism: We are optimistic about the capacity of people to be caring, generous, and brilliant, and believe that with partners, we can inspire humanity to create a better future.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled.

Location: United States - Arlington, VA, Seattle, WA,
Flexible Location - US, Open to CI Global Offices Worldwide
Job type: Remote possible
Code: 1616

Apply here:

Recruiter: Conservation International