Jobs Board

Sustainable Land Science Director

Conservation International , Virginia

Posted By: Monica Noon, February 11, 2021

Land degradation – the reduction or loss of the productive potential of land – is a major global challenge, exacerbating the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, increasing food insecurity and water scarcity, and often inducing regional disputes and spurring environmental migration. Meeting global commitments for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030 will require avoiding and reducing degradation where possible, and restoring land that has previously been degraded, necessitating major capital investments by the global community. State-of-the art monitoring and planning tools are urgently needed to maximize the impact of these investments.

The Director, Land Systems Sustainability will lead CI’s research agenda in this area, including on monitoring and addressing land degradation, and on optimizing (across landscape, national, and global scales) the deployment of approaches (such as forest restoration and soil regeneration) that are needed to rebuild healthy lands while increasing carbon storage and sequestration, supporting vulnerable communities, and maintaining biodiversity. A key goal of this work is to address barriers to scaling of innovative solutions, and to unlock much needed funds to support them from new sources such as investors and the corporate sector.

The candidate selected for this position, in addition to guiding a team building on CI’s leading work in this area, will work with staff from across the institution, and with external collaborators including experts from other NGOs, academia, intergovernmental organizations, and relevant environmental conventions (UNCCD, CBD, UNFCC). 

This position provides a unique opportunity for a skilled scientist to lead a highly visible program of research combining the application of cutting edge research and technology with direct engagements with stakeholders from a broad range of backgrounds.

Apply at:


  • MS in geography, agricultural sciences, environmental science, or related field
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in complex scientific research, including management of large multi-institutional projects
  • At least 3 years of experience supervising the work of others, and ability to motivate others even in the absence of direct authority
  • Proven track record of developing, directing, and managing complex scientific research projects, including mobilizing and investing resources strategically
  • Established publication record in high impact scientific literature on topics related to land degradation, restoration, and/or land use planning