Director of Community Engagement

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



United States


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.


Position Summary


The Chicago Urban Conservation Program builds on the Conservancy’s science-based, collaborative, results-oriented approach and its record of contributing creative and effective solutions to conservation challenges. We work to achieve benefits for people and nature in Chicago and neighboring communities by increasing access to and engagement with urban nature, increasing urban biodiversity and improving community resilience and public health by implementing natural solutions as essential components of a healthy, just, climate-resilient city.  All our work is done collaboratively in partnership with other leading agencies and organizations across Chicago and neighboring communities and aligned with environmental and social justice priorities. As a part of the Chicago Conservation Team, the Director of Community Engagement will lead a team to develop and implement strategies in support of Illinois’ work in “Connecting People and Nature” within the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network, a network of over 20 urban conservation programs.  The Director of Community Engagement will report to the Chicago Conservation Director.


The Director of Community Engagement oversees the efforts of the Chicago Urban Conservation Program to increase engagement of Chicago area residents with nature, for the benefit of both. This position leads strategies on conservation projects that improve public health, resilience, and social cohesion of neighborhoods where we work. The Director of Community Engagement oversees the Conservancy’s community stewardship partnership with the Chicago Park District, our community engagement strategies at our Indian Boundary Prairies preserves in south suburban Markham, and our partnership with Illinois Nature Preserves Commission supporting the Volunteer Stewardship Network, supervising staff in these three programs. This position develops relationships and seeks partnerships with community-based organizations, environmental justice organizations, faith communities, public health agencies, and the academic community.  

Level of Language Proficiency



  • BA/BS degree in a related field and 4 years’ related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Hands on knowledge with best practices for community engagement.
  • Experience working across differences such as race, culture, disabilities, socio-economic class and language groups.
  • Familiarity and some application of current and evolving trends in urban conservation.
  • Experience in organizing and facilitating meetings and/ or trainings
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies. 
  • Experience writing reports and proposals.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, and Outlook.



  • Multi-lingual and/or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Ensures a coordinated, equitable and strategic approach to community outreach and engagement.
  • Experience with volunteer management and natural area stewardship.
  • Equity-minded with a desire for continued learning about socio-historical context of historic underrepresentation, questioning assumptions, and making evidence-based decisions a regular practice.
  • Experience working with clergy and faith leaders, and who has the broad skills and passion needed to meaningfully engage diverse faith communities.
  • Self-starter with the ability to generate work plans with limited support.
  • Strong team player who can build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization and with program partners.
  • Ability to build buy-in, influence, and rally partners toward outcomes.
  • Knowledge and understanding of City of Chicago and Cook County’s political, cultural, and environmental NGO landscape.
  • Experience in equitable partnership development and building relationships with diverse constituencies and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in successful grant development and/or other fundraising. 
  • Understanding of the human health dimensions of environmental and conservation challenges including socio-ecological systems and environmentally overburdened communities.
  • Awareness and experience in environmental and/or social justice related work. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

For more information and to apply, please visit and search for job ID# 46960 in the keyword search. Deadline to apply is 11:59 PM EST November 18, 2018. The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.