Grants Director

United States- Arlington, VA
Feb 19, 2018
Apr 30, 2018
Executive, Director
Full Time


Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) awards grants and provides technical assistance to community groups, nongovernmental organizations, universities, private sector enterprises and other civil society partners in developing countries to safeguard biodiversity hotspots. Managed from Conservation International Headquarters, CEPF is a joint program of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.

Reporting to the Managing Director of CEPF, the Grant Director oversees grant making in designated biodiversity hotspots, providing programmatic direction and guidance. Through the development and management of ecosystem profiles and in partnership with key stakeholders, the Grant Director identifies the niche where CEPF investment can provide the greatest incremental value and outlines strategic goals and interest in the region. The Grant Director manages CEPF grant making in designated hotspots by using these ecosystem profiles to guide investment, ensuring stakeholder engagement and awarding, managing, and evaluating grants to maximize conservation impacts under defined strategic directions. Through the selection, coordination and management of Regional Implementation Teams, the Grant Director engages civil society organizations with a strong local presence to provide strategic leadership in each hotspot approved for investment, with the goal of creating cohesive portfolios of grants that exceed in impact the sum of their parts by building a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and political boundaries toward achieving the shared conservation goals described in the profiles.

This position can be based in Arlington, VA or Brussels, Belgium


Portfolio Management:

  • Oversee CEPF investment at the grant and portfolio level (initially in the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot).
  • Oversee and support the work of the Regional Implementation Team (RIT). Strengthen the capacity of the RIT to deliver its core functions, and deliver targeted trainings in CEPF policies, systems and tools.
  • Review large grant applications and make joint recommendations with the RIT for all large grant awards. Support the RIT to manage a small grants program for all awards under an agreed threshold (currently $20,000).
  • Monitor the performance of large grants. Work closely with the RIT to troubleshoot major issues with the performance of individual grants as needed.
  • Ensure full compliance with World Bank safeguards and CEPF policies and procedures.
  • Ensure effective coordination between the RIT and the CEPF Secretariat, including the Monitoring, Evaluation and Outreach, and Communications teams on all aspects of implementation.
  • Lead portfolio-level evaluations with the support of the RIT. Document and share lessons learned through Annual Portfolio Overviews, and Mid-term and Final Assessments.
  • Supervise the preparation of an updated ecosystem profile, if and when the hotspot is selected for reinvestment. Ensure extensive stakeholder participation from civil society, government, private sector and donors.

Donor Engagement and Management:

  • Assist the CEPF Executive Director, as required, to engage with CEPF’s global donors to deepen synergies and identify new opportunities for collaboration.
  • Engage with potential and existing regional donors (including, initially, the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the EU/IUCN BEST initiative) to develop and manage co-funding alliances and stimulate increased financing for the biodiversity hotspots (initially Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands). Prepare reports to regional donors.

CEPF Program Management:

  • Participate in CEPF-wide program development and lessons learned activities.
  • Contribute to various Secretariat-level tasks, including compiling information and materials for the Monitoring, Evaluation and Outreach Unit and the Communications Team.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Moderate travel – up to 20% of the time.
  • This is a part time/50% position  .
  • This position can be based in Arlington, VA or Brussels, Belgium.



  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resources management or other relevant field and a minimum of 8 years’ professional experience in conservation project management and grant making or equivalent combination.
  • Proven record of successful team leadership through effective communication and participation skills.
  • Proven record of effectively building partnerships with key partners, donors and government officials.
  • Strong working knowledge of conservation issues.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French.
  • Strong writing and communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of audiences and from different cultures.
  • Ability to analyze and present data and program information, orally and in writing and in non-technical language.
  • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Office with experience in Microsoft Excel.
  • Ability to work productively in a variety of settings, ranging from the office to the field.
  • Experience in working both independently and as part of a broader, dynamic team.


  • Experience in financial analysis and risk assessment.
  • Conservation-related field experience.
  • Working experience or knowledge of conservation issues in the Madagascar and Indian Oceans Hotspot.

To apply please submit your resume and cover letter.


Conservation International is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer of minorities, females, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.  It is the policy of CI to afford equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment. CI offers reasonable accommodation in the employment process for individuals with disabilities.  If you need assistance in the application or hiring process to accommodate a disability, you may request an accommodation at any time.  If you require an application accommodation due to a disability, please e-mail your request to and include "accommodation" in the subject line.


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