The need for durable, landscape level safeguards to help stem recent decades’ dramatic decline of global biodiversity and to build resilience to climate change has fostered the development of new mechanisms to identify, conserve, finance, and manage critical ecosystems. One of the most promising has been the Project Finance for Permanence, or PFP. The PFP model protects ecosystems at a large scale and avoid the challenges of “paper parks” by ensuring that conservation management is properly resourced and durable. Because the PFP model requires comprehensive planning and design that involves a wide range of stakeholders, PFPs also address the frequent piecemeal approach to conservation whereby areas of land receive varying levels of protection without consideration for ecological connectivity, wildlife corridors, or community development needs.
An emerging collaboration among Pew, the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and philanthropist Ben Walton, represented by his family office Zomalab, aims at helping to meet these ambitious and important goals. It is built around the innovative PFP conservation finance mechanism. PFPs have the potential to catalyze and spur tremendous investments from private, government, and multilateral funds to permanently conserve some of the world’s most spectacular and ecologically important marine and terrestrial natural ecosystems. In addition to safeguarding nature, a tenet of this initiative would be to ensure that expanded protection and improved management of parks and reserves provide economic benefits to local communities through tourism and other enterprises based on sustainable uses.
The senior officer – Conservation and Financial Planning will report to the project lead for the Global Finance for Permanence Initiative, with strong dotted-line reporting to the vice president, finance and treasurer, and will be a founding member of this new effort at Pew. The position is located in Washington, DC, and will work closely with the project lead and the Pew finance team to develop conservation plans and financial models that will be foundational to the project. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.
- Work with partners to design and build agreement on project scope (geographic and thematic) for individual PFPs.
- Work extensively with a range of local and national partners and stakeholders to assess conservation status and prospects, identify critical threats and opportunities, and conduct stakeholder analysis for individual PFPs.
- Lead consultative processes with partners in developing an extensive conservation plan that includes goals, strategies, activities, and assumptions, as well as monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans.
- Design and conduct related studies; organize workshops to generate relevant information for the project.
- Refine conservation program goals, objectives and activities as needed.
- Travel extensively to project sites and facilitate multi-stakeholder consultation workshops to develop detailed conservation and financial plans.
- Work extensively with a range of stakeholders to collect, clarify and analyze financial and other data relevant to conservation programs.
- In close consultation and with guidance from the vice president, finance, and treasurer, develop detailed long-term financial models including: projections of costs; mapping of costs to funding sources and timing; trust funds and related investment returns; .
- Coordinate with the finance department to ensure financial models include analyses of pertinent risks, such foreign currency risk, sovereign risk, and market risk. Financial models will be designed to analyze funding sensitivities to the various types of risk.
- Guide development, in collaboration with the vice president, finance, and treasurer, of approaches and tools to estimate long-term financial needs for achieving goals, assess existing funding, and calculate financial gaps.
- Engage frequently with internal stakeholders, including the finance and legal departments, to ensure up-to-date information is shared regarding PFP deals, terms, and financing.
- Communicate conservation and financial analysis scope, approach, assumptions, and results in meetings, presentations and reports for various audiences; based on analysis, make recommendations on the design and implementation of financial mechanisms.
- Train counterparts at project sites to prepare/manage financial modeling and related processes.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required in a management, finance or conservation-related field. Master’s degree is preferred, in particular an MBA.
- At least 10 years of applicable experience is required and at least 5 years in conservation management is preferred.
- Financial modeling expertise.
- Some experience with developing countries preferred.
- Detail-oriented with excellent quantitative, analytical, oral, and written communication skills.
- Must be client-focused, and enjoy problem solving and working with teams across different time zones.
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and internet research.
- High degree of flexibility, and ability to work against deadlines (including some nights and weekends), and under frequently-changing circumstances.
- Able to lead group discussions with individuals working in different roles and countries; capable of training and guiding team members, including ability to work with a high degree of cultural sensitivity.
Frequent travel, including internationally, is expected for this position.