Business Innovation Manager, Ocean and Climate

Guest Author


Website The Nature Conservancy


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube   to hear stories from staff or visit  Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”

Over the last three decades, we have partnered with governments, academics, organizations, corporations and Indigenous Peoples and local communities to address biodiversity loss and climate change impacts to our oceans. Our efforts are firmly rooted in people, collaboratively innovating solutions to climate and biodiversity crises that will also advance the aspirations of the people who depend on natural systems and resources.


Addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis necessitates a shift towards an alternative economic paradigm that prioritizes the preservation of natural resources, promotes biodiversity, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and enhances equitable economic opportunities and well-being for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and smallholders. The Nature Conservancy recognizes the importance of integrating human livelihoods into conservation efforts and, in collaboration with communities and partners worldwide, strives to transition economies towards a harmonious relationship with nature and people.

The Ocean Climate team is dedicated to establishing resilient coastlines that not only mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change but also support thriving communities, all rooted in the best available scientific knowledge. A key challenge is the lack of effective and equitable investments in the ocean. The Business Innovation Manager will design one of our core strategies to unlock the full potential of ocean economies as a natural climate solution. This strategy will cultivate a pipeline of investment-ready businesses and community-led enterprises that deliver climate and community benefits and design the investment approach to grow and scale such businesses. This includes forging partnerships with local communities, entrepreneurs and capital providers; creating innovations in business models to incorporate the value of ocean nature-based assets; and collaborating with TNC’s impact investment team to develop financing and investment strategies for ocean-based economies. Further, this role requires cultivating strategic alliances with public and private funders, policymakers, and international collaborations focused on the intersection of ocean and climate to explore approaches beyond traditional financial structures. By removing obstacles and expanding opportunities for ocean-based solutions, the aim is to maximize the benefits of coastal wetlands, including climate mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and human well-being.

This position will also involve collaborating closely with various teams within TNC, including regional and country teams and global teams such as Protect Ocean, Land, and Water, Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (Global IPLC), and the Impact Finance and Markets team. Working in conjunction with country programs, the Business Innovation Manager will contribute to the design, execution, and scaling of new and existing ocean initiatives, facilitate multi-sector partnerships, enhance regional and global coordination, and provide mentorship to country staff on business, investment, and supply chain matters. The ultimate objective is to bolster TNC’s ability to finance ocean health by improving the business strategies, investment approaches, and supply chain practices of industries in collaboration with communities and private sector partners.


We are looking for a highly skilled and entrepreneurial business professional with a strong background in sustainable finance, investment analysis, or business startups, coupled with a deep passion for addressing the climate crises, protecting our oceans, and enhancing community well-being. They will possess the ability to design and execute innovative financial models, forge strategic partnerships, provide project management services to TNC conservation programs, and develop strategies that maximize the potential of regenerative ocean strategies as natural climate solutions. With exceptional communication, leadership, and collaborative skills, the ideal candidate is driven by a passion for environmental conservation and social equity.


  1. Design and finance innovative business models: You will be responsible for developing a pipeline of business models that deliver climate and community benefits. This includes directly designing new financing structures or engaging with partners to advance their existing business models. Further, you work in partnership with other TNC investment professionals to develop investment mechanisms that meet the unique financing needs of such enterprises. By combining climate mitigation activities with sustainable economic opportunities, you will help de-risk projects and reduce their reliance on carbon finance. Additionally, you will provide project management and financial support to regional and country programs to create revenue-generating financial models that promote ecosystem health, climate mitigation and adaptation, and provide significant direct benefits to communities.
  2. Deploy an entrepreneurial mindset for new implementation strategies: To achieve scale and maximize the potential of ocean habitats, you will work towards exploring strategies that incorporate multiple environmental assets, including emerging methodologies that quantify ecosystem services (e.g., biodiversity, resilience), among other strategies. Your efforts will unlock project development opportunities in coastal wetland ecosystems and drive ocean-based initiatives as a nature-based solution for climate mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and human well-being.
  3. Build partnerships at various levels: You will actively engage private and public funders, policymakers, and emerging international partnerships focused on ocean. Your objective will be to bridge the misalignment between global climate and biodiversity priorities of institutional investors and governments with the needs and priorities of local communities. Through strategic collaboration, you will work to influence and guide funding commitments, address land rights and ownership issues, and deploy resources into a pipeline of community-focused projects.


  • Lead the design and implementation of the Ocean and Climate business strategy in collaboration with local, regional, and global teams, as well as external partners and consultants. Develop a pipeline of both investment-ready and non-investment-ready enterprises that deliver community and climate-based outcomes based in coastal wetland conservation and regeneration.
  • Identify and pursue diverse funding sources, such as grants, various concessional and impact investment strategies, nature-based credits, philanthropic contributions, and assessing potential returns and risks to ensure a sustainable and diversified financial structure for the projects.
  • Provide consulting and advisory services to country program staff, communities, and multi-sector partners, supporting them in designing, executing, and scaling new ocean business and finance initiatives.
  • Provide project management support across TNC’s Ocean Climate team, as well as develop reports and funding proposal, as needed.
  • Build and maintain strategic partnerships with private and public funders, policymakers, and international alliances focused on ocean and climate issues.
  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address governance and policy challenges that may impact the efficient and equitable deployment of funds for project implementation.
  • Advocate for supportive policies and regulatory frameworks that facilitate the flow of financing to communities and remove barriers to successful project implementation.
  • Collaborate with global and country teams across TNC to increase effectiveness, learning, dissemination of best practices, and continued improvement of global, regional and country strategies and programs, including participating in conferences, workshops, and knowledge-sharing platforms.
  • Persuasively communicate complex finance and market concepts to internal and external stakeholders with diverse backgrounds.
  • The Business Innovation Manager will report to Ocean and Climate Lead, Tackle Climate Change. This position may require frequent travel (up to 30%) and evening and weekend hours. This is a two-year funded position with the possibility for extension based on deliverables and funding.


  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, finance, business, or related field, and at least 5 years of experience in business, impact investment, sustainable economic development, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and professional experience.
  • Experience designing, launching, and/or scaling businesses through direct partnership, investment, and/or value chain development, either directly or as part of larger team or enterprise.
  • Experience/training with ocean economies and climate finance.
  • Program leadership and project management experience, with alignment on initiatives and driving successful execution of complex, cross-functional projects.
  • Experience developing strong relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders, including business, investors, governments, NGOs, community members, program leadership, and related audiences.
  • Critical thinking, research, and analysis skills, including assessing a large set of opportunities and distill complex issues into strategic decisions, structured frameworks, and cohesive action plans.
  • Fluency in written and oral English communication skills.


  • MBA or a degree in finance, business, or related field, and at least 7 years’ professional experience, preferably in sustainable finance, venture or private equity investing, or management consulting.
  • Familiarity with coastal ecosystems and relevant value chains, including those related to agroforestry, livestock, fisheries, or ecotourism.
  • Familiarity with barriers to scaling sustainable economic initiatives, such as lack of access to capital, markets, and technical assistance; unfavorable public policies; and outsized resources and subsidies flowing toward unsustainable development options.
  • Experience applying or developing models to define, measure, and evaluate social and environmental impact, and adapt programs accordingly.
  • Ability to manipulate, analyze and interpret data. Advanced expertise in Microsoft Excel.
  • Familiarity with carbon markets, impact investing, blended finance, or a related field.
  • Outstanding analytical and project management capabilities, with an ability to develop and drive new ideas and approaches and meet time-sensitive deadlines in a fast-paced, highly matrixed, decentralized, and collaborative environment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, organizational skills, political savviness.
  • Multi-cultural experience appreciated, including experience working directly with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and smallholder producers.
  • Multi-cultural experience, with fluency in Spanish, French, Indonesian, and/or other languages.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into 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 and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.

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