Director, Blue Carbon Positive Business Models

  • Conservation International
  • Location: This position is based preferably in Arlington, VA. It is also open to Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Belgium, France (Remote), or United Kingdom (Remote)
  • 06/04/2024
Office work Blue economy Climate change Coastal management

Job Description


Conservation International (CI) and our partners are pioneering a new initiative to save our coastal ecosystems while driving economic growth by establishing a Blue Carbon Positive Business Model Activator (BC+). BC+ goes beyond traditional carbon credits, focusing on sustainable, economically viable business models with broad applicability that benefit both the environment and the people who depend on it. By creating regenerative blue carbon businesses, BC+ aims to provide local incentives through economic growth and coastal protection, promoting a transition to a more sustainable and prosperous future where nature and humanity thrive together.

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems -- mangroves, seagrasses, tidal marshes, and kelp -- are some of Earth's most biodiverse habitats, providing unparalleled carbon sequestration capabilities per unit area and ecosystem services that are critical for fisheries, water quality, local livelihoods, and coastal resiliency from climate change. Nevertheless, persistent threats have resulted in nearly half of these ecosystems' degradation or loss. This decline deprives communities of essential ecosystem services, endangers biodiversity, and releases up to 1.9 Gigatons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere each year. Carbon finance is one strategy for driving investment in coastal conservation and restoration. However, projects have primarily relied on small-scale alternative livelihoods and have yet to be able to produce significant returns. With limited economic improvements compared to prior practices, backsliding to destructive practices is common. Moreover, gaining access to carbon finance is complicated and costly. Many areas with high carbon finance potential lack the enabling conditions (regulation, clear ownership, capacity) to engage the market.

To address these challenges, CI is partnering with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to establish the BC+ program. BC+ will accelerate the development of emerging business models that tightly weave protection and production goals, making coastal habitat preservation a crucial component of success.

CI is looking for a Director to co-lead the creation and longer-term management of the BC+ program. The Director will work closely with internal and external partners, including collaborating with CI experts in the Center for Natural Climate Solutions, the Center for Oceans, the Conservation Finance Division, and the International Blue Carbon Institute. The Director will also work directly with their counterpart at TNC.  

We seek a highly skilled and entrepreneurial business professional with a strong background in sustainable finance, investment analysis, and business startups and a deep passion for addressing the climate crisis, protecting our oceans, and enhancing community well-being. The Director will be able to design and execute innovative financial models, forge strategic partnerships, provide project management services, and develop strategies that maximize the potential of regenerative blue carbon business models as natural climate solutions. They will work with a high degree of independence and professionalism and continuously engage key internal and external partners critical to program success, including country program staff and partners. They will provide broad programmatic, budget, and technical oversight and ensure compliance with CI policies, program and funding agreements, and local requirements. They must maintain strong relationships with current donors and actively pursue new funding sources in partnership with CI's development staff and partners. The Director will lead an interdisciplinary network team and engage and influence key external stakeholders, including government and NGO officials, donors, and other parties critical to program success and achieving BC+ goals.

Career level


Career options

Non academic career