Freshwater Lead Job Vacancy in Kenya - The Nature Conservancy

Position Title: Kenya Freshwater Lead

Who We Are:

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”

Since establishing the Africa Program in 2007, The Nature Conservancy’s vision in Africa is to work towards fostering a sustainable future for people and nature, partnering with indigenous communities across 55 million acres on the continent. Our efforts are firmly rooted in people, leveraging scientific and technical expertise as we collaborate with governments and organizations to conserve and enhance Africa’s shared resources in the nine countries where we operate.

Freshwater ecosystems are richer in species diversity per unit area than those on land or in the ocean, and they provide incalculable benefits to people and the planet. Yet they are also under threat like never before. As part of The Nature Conservancy’s 2030 Goals, we are determined to do more to address these threats. We need solutions that create long-term protection for rivers, lakes, wetlands and other freshwater habitats through innovative policy, implementation, and financial approaches. And we need to do this in a way that incorporates community needs and benefits into the planning and execution of this work, while recognizing that rapidly accelerating climate impacts create an urgency to act.

What We Can Achieve Together:

The Kenya Freshwater Lead will play an integral role in helping the Conservancy step up to create long-term protection for rivers, lakes, wetlands and other freshwater habitats through innovative policy, implementation, and financial approaches through coordinated and collaborative approaches designed to build upon existing investments in Kenya and the strength of the Conservancy around the world. This position will be guided by the priorities of the Africa Freshwater Protection Strategy, building a country-specific program for elevating and integrating freshwater ecosystem protection to benefit people and nature in Kenya. They will support specific freshwater conservation and management projects on river and lake systems in Kenya, with an emphasis on catalyzing measurable ecosystem health improvements. Among these are projects in the Ewaso Ng’iro and Tana River basins. The Kenya Freshwater Lead will coordinate a team to complete an assessment of freshwater ecosystem conservation priorities across the country, and use the results to catalyze new freshwater ecosystem protection meansures. They will also help embed freshwater protection goals in our other Kenyan conservation strategies, particularly for climate mitigation/adaptation and terrestrial ecosystem protection

We’re Looking for You:

The Kenya Freshwater Lead is a core member of an accelerating effort that advances freshwater biodiversity conservation, water resource management, and improved livelihoods across critical freshwater ecosystems of Kenya. They will work with government and non-governmental stakeholders to chart the course for improved freshwater conservation in Kenya, and help ensure the financial resources are available to make sure this conservation benefits people and nature for the long-term. The Kenya Freshwater Lead will report to the Kenya Program Director and will be based at the TNC office in Nairobi Kenya

Key responsibilities and scope for this position are:

  • Take a leadership role in the growing Kenya freshwater program of work and lead the development and implementation of annual Kenya freshwater protection workplans and budgets.
  • Coordinate multi-disciplinary staff to complete a freshwater ecosystem values assessment to support protection of Kenya’s freshwater biodiversity and critical ecosystem services..
  • Work with communities, government, and civil society in priority freshwater ecosystem areas to engage productively, using the principle of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, in freshwater ecosystem protection and water funds planning and action.
  • Support the development of funding proposals for enhanced, expanded or new protections to freshwater ecosystems to meet the long-term needs of freshwater ecosystems and local communities.
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate policy mechanisms for improving the conservation status of priority freshwater ecosystems in Kenya.
  • Support the Central Highlands Ecoregion Foodscape project to sustainably intenstify agricultural practices while protecting environmental flows in the Ewaso Ng’iro River
  • Support TNC’s efforts to provide sustainable alternatives for energy generation and irrigation in the Tana River Basin.
  • Develop and manage technical contracts related to freshwater ecosystems (e.g. hydrology, species data, water quality, economics) with external partners.
  • Build cooperation from outside partners including NGOs, governments, and private sector to accomplish program goals.
  • The position will involve frequent domestic and occasional international travel.

What You’ll Bring:

  • BA/BS degree in natural resources management, conservation, business, law or another related field of study and 5 years of related work experience in conservation practice , policy , fundraising or other related experience.
  • Experience in developing supportive and collaborative partnerships with other non-profits, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Program management experience, including setting objectives, managing and reporting on performance.
  • Experience in developing and managing multiple projects and timelines.
  • Should also have working knowledge of hydrology, freshwater ecology, and spatial analysis.
  • Experience negotiating.
  • Excellent communication skills and political savvy, including English written and oral delivery and critical analytical thinking.
  • Knowledge of key actors and current trends, threats to freshwater biodiversity in Kenya, and practices related to management and protection at a national scale.
  • Passion for building enduring capacity through partnerships

What We Bring:

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become 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, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, retirement pension stipend , parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

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 cultures. 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, colours, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, 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.

How to apply