Northern Great Plains Rangelands Program Director

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Rapid City, South Dakota, USA
  • Jan 30, 2020
Full time Government/Nonprofit Land Use

Job Description


The Northern Great Plains Rangelands Program Director (Program Director) will facilitate cross-state coordination among The Conservancy, rancher-led coalitions, individuals and other partners in support of the North America Sustainable Grazing Lands Strategy.  The Program Director will collaboratively identify needs, opportunities and strategies for keeping the ranching community and economy healthy across the northern Great Plains.

The Program Director will enhance and accelerate collaboration with producer groups and conservation partners, develop products and cross-boundary relationships that add value to the grazing community at the regional scale. The Program Director will lead a project that will connect the four TNC Chapters of the NGP (South Dakota/North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming), the North America Sustainable Grazing Program, and the respective Great Plains, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific North West Divisions with rancher-led coalitions across political boundaries. They will develop financial instruments and mechanisms to aid in transferring ranch ownership to the next generation; de-incentivize grassland conversion by collaboratively identifying and developing tools that level the playing field between grazers and row-crop agriculture. They will also provide a nexus between rancher groups and TNC corporate partners to test and implement practices that improve the economic, ecologic, and social value proposition within the beef supply chain.


  • Facilitates and develops cross-boundary work and relationships with TNC operating units, rancher-led coalitions, conservation partners and industry.
  • Collaboratively develops innovative risk-management tools and policies for adoption by the ranching industry.
  • Coordinates with North America Sustainable Grazing and Science teams to accelerate adoption of Integrated Ranch Management Plans throughout the Great Plains.
  • Convenes rancher-led coalitions and agricultural lenders to identify and develop programmatic solutions to overcome barriers for young/emerging-ranchers.
  • Engages with the TNC Indigenous Landscapes and Communities Program to identify new partnership opportunities.
  • Leads multi-disciplinary efforts to influence beef supply chain mechanisms toward measurable outcomes in the northern Great Plains.
  • Establish and maintain optimal standards of performance for the program while controlling costs and administering budgets.
  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs.
  • Frequently makes independent decision based on analysis, experience, and context.



  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 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 negotiating.
  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • 6-7 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and regions.
  • Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives or related field.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English.
  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising. 
  • Politically savvy.