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The Conservation Fund
Minnesota State Director

Explore Company PosterThe Conservation Fund seeks to recruit a Minnesota State Director.

About The Conservation Fund:

The Conservation Fund (Fund) practices conservation to achieve environmental and economic outcomes. Every Fund program places conservation at its center and the Fund’s entrepreneurial staff create and implement innovative, practical ways to benefit the natural world and the well-being of Americans from every walk of life. At the Fund, they believe that conservation is an "all-hands on deck proposition," in the words of one of the former Board Chairs. Conservation takes many forms, and the Fund’s programs interpret and practice conservation in a mutually-reinforcing way - working in concert to ensure the value of natural resources in America remain essential to our prosperity.

Beginning in 1985, the Fund has conserved more than 8 million acres, completing over 3,000 real estate projects. Rather than solely pursuing their own conservation agenda, the Fund works to fulfill top public priorities. The projects often begin when government or community leaders want to save a special outdoor place. To act swiftly, they turn to the Fund for bridge financing and a full suite of conservation services, from real estate negotiation and land acquisition to strategic planning, conservation training and community outreach. In addition to helping partners save land, the Fund works with interested private landowners to secure lands with high conservation value. They place particular importance on “working lands,” or forests, farms and ranches being sustainably, actively managed. The Fund has pioneered a special brand of conservation, blending economic and natural resource goals. They developed a unique slate of Conservation Services, to support economic development, spark cutting-edge conservation and bridge connections between people and the land. Together, the Fund is advancing vibrant, healthy communities. The Fund’s Conservation Ventures invest in, or lend money to, small business and sustainable forestry efforts that generate economic, social and environmental returns.

The goal is to help people build enterprises that make a difference with every board foot, kilowatt hour, paddle stroke, bottle or bushel they produce. Expanding its sustainable forestry ventures, the Fund’s Working Forest Fund program is a dedicated source of conservation bridge capital and in-house expertise that allows us to acquire and sustainably manage working forests with high conservation value and buy time for permanent conservation solutions to unfold. In addition, the Fund created the Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF), which provides loans to small businesses committed to operating a profitable business that’s good for the environment and does right by its employees.

For more information about The Conservation Fund, please visit www.conservationfund.org.

About the Position: Minnesota State Director

The Minnesota State Director is responsible for all conservation efforts conducted by the Fund within Minnesota. The Minnesota State Director provides leadership for the Fund and with partners in Minnesota. The State Director works with internal and external teams to develop and deliver a robust program of land and water conservation. S/he is responsible for developing and implementing the Fund’s conservation and financing programs in Minnesota and ensures outcomes are achieved based on our partners’ priorities. Moreover, the State Director secures public and private financial support for the Fund’s operations and conservation projects. The State Director serves as the primary spokesperson in Minnesota to internal and external audiences (including staff, public and private donors, government agencies and officials, community leaders and other partners), and cultivates and partners with those audiences to accomplish our partner’s land conservation objectives.

The broad goals for the Minnesota State Director are as follows:

  • Assumes responsibility for identifying, pursuing and executing land conservation projects in Minnesota including, partner outreach, negotiations, public and private funding.

  • Develops and implements successful take-out and funding strategies for projects and operations.

  • Supervises, develops and coordinates with Minnesota Conservation Acquisition staff.

  • Coordinates activities and collaborates with the Fund’s Conservation Acquisition, Development, Legal and Conservation Services staff.

  • Creates and funds the annual budget for Minnesota projects and operations.

  • Develops and enhances relationships and coordination with federal, tribal, state and local conservation agencies and other partners in Minnesota including public funding entities, the state legislature, other non-profits, foundations, landowners and individuals.

  • Performs project due-diligence including coordinating appraisals, surveys and environmental audits, site evaluations, and funding contracts and coordination of same with the legal and development teams.

  • Participates with internal teams regarding land conservation, outreach, fundraising and other matters in the Midwest and elsewhere in the Fund as requested.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Minnesota State Director ideally should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Experience working with local, state and federal conservation land acquisition and funding programs.

  • Familiarity with real estate, public funding mechanisms, policy and the legislative process in Minnesota. Ability to direct, prepare, present and/or participate in negotiations of project proposals with landowners, governmental agencies, funders and other partners.

  • Solid understanding of natural resource and land use issues in Minnesota and the region.

  • Strong background in government relations; working with elected officials, local, state and federal agencies.

  • Demonstrated success as an inspirational leader who has successfully motivated staff, partners, donors and others to achieve and sustain excellence.

  • Ability to work independently and proactively, with minimum supervision, demonstrating flexibility, creativity, and drive for results.

  • A team player with the ability to successfully work with and sometimes lead internal and external teams, as well as in non-leadership team role.

  • Demonstrated experience successfully managing relationships in a political environment.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the mission and goals of The Conservation Fund.

  • High energy, forward thinking, creative individual with high ethical standards.

  • Attention to detail and ability to work with deadlines and under pressure.

  • Ability to walk over and navigate rough terrain often in inclement weather.

  • Willingness to travel as necessary to carry out duties, often with short notice and in inclement weather over long distances.

  • Possessing a driver’s license.

  • Ability to understand the priorities of partner entities and develop conservation solutions that harness the resources and skills of TCF and innovate as necessary and garner trust.

  • Well organized and self-directed.

  • Effective communication and presentation skills with the ability to persuasively convey the mission and conservation priorities of the Fund to its partners to diverse groups including major donors, public agencies, corporate executives, board members, partners and others who are critical to the organization’s overall success.


Compensation for the Minnesota State Director includes a competitive base salary, and a package of health and employee benefits.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to TCF/MSD in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Conservation Fund is an equal opportunity employer and invites
individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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