Director of the Conservation Innovation Center

LOCATION: This position will be based at Chesapeake Conservancy’s office in Annapolis, Maryland. The office operates with a hybrid remote/in-person environment with the number of days in the office per month negotiable. Some travel around the Chesapeake Bay watershed to meet with current and prospective customers will be required.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary and benefits are commensurate with the candidate’s relevant professional experience and/or education, with an expected salary range of $100,000-$125,000. The Conservancy offers a competitive employee benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, participation in a retirement savings plan with an employer match, and an alternate work week. Opportunities for advancement and professional development are available. This position will not support relocation assistance.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Chesapeake Conservancy is looking to hire an experienced Director for its Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) to guide operations and provide strategic vision to this geospatial analysis and mapping branch of the organization.  The CIC Director will provide leadership for a diverse, multigenerational workforce of 10 analysts and 2 managers to implement multiscale, conservation-focused geospatial mapping and analysis projects and innovative exploratory work to inform resource planning, policy development and strategic direction of the Conservancy and its partners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Cultivation and curation of a broad network of clients and partners to fund CIC’s work and advance organizational and Chesapeake Bay Program goals in concert with Conservancy leadership and its development team is a key element of the position. The CIC Director must be an effective manager with advanced knowledge of GIS and demonstrated success in leading teams of GIS specialists, technicians and coordinators of geospatial mapping and analysis projects, meeting both schedule and budget targets.  The incumbent needs to be a team-oriented leader capable of working collaboratively with conservation leaders and agency managers to identify and address their geospatial information needs guiding the development of accurate scopes of work and budget for planned projects. The Director must also be a strategic thinker who improves the functionality and value of the Conservancy’s enterprise GIS assets to support ongoing and future work of the department, as well as a skilled communicator, effectively tailoring presentations and dialogues to reflect different target audiences.

REPORTS TO: This position reports to Chesapeake Conservancy’s Executive Vice President of Programs.


  • Provide leadership and managerial oversight of the CIC Team.
  • Lead strategy development for future CIC work and enterprise development.
  • Coordinate staff to ensure projects are delivered in a professional manner, on-time, and within budget.
  • Develop and oversee management of departmental, grant, and project budgets.
  • Represent CIC in Conservancy committees and Board communications.
  • Coordinate business development activities for future CIC work, including short- and long-term grants and fee for service projects with government, non-profit and private entities.
  • Establish operating procedures and systems to ensure contractual agreements, scopes of work, schedules, and budgets are accurate and achievable.
  • Coordinate department analysis work and processes to meet high performance goals.
  • Ensure administrative tools, systems, and processes are in place and maintained to support and inform operations, tracking, and reporting.
  • Coordinate program outreach and communications with clients, partners, and stakeholders for implementation of current work, marketing of CIC services, and engagement with CIC products and reports.
  • Maintain and guide staff development and management practices to provide a healthy workplace and support high productivity of the CIC team.
  • Ensure that technical systems are available and maintained to support current and future work requirements.

KEY QUALIFICATIONS: The CIC Director should be an organized, dependable, and goal-driven individual with a passion for the mission of Chesapeake Conservancy – conservation, restoration, public access, and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay, the surrounding watershed, and its collective natural and cultural resources. Candidates should have a strong record of achievement in strategic planning, project management, staff development, budgeting, and managing diverse organizational processes. Advanced knowledge of geospatial technologies, data analysis, and emerging trends in GIS applications, with a track record of innovation and coordination of internal and external teams doing this work, is required.  Successful candidates will have advanced knowledge of land conservation GIS applications and familiarity with CIC products and methods.  Candidates are sought with professional networks of contacts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and/or conservation organizations with a proven track record of partnership development and fund raising. Other essential skills include adaptability, independence in problem solving, strong oral and written communication, and collaborative leadership. The ability to work in a fast-paced environment with strong prioritization and task management skills is essential to the success of this position.


  • At least 5 years full-time work experience managing teams and organizational units that conduct geospatial analysis.
  • At least 3 years full-time work experience or equivalent training/education in geospatial mapping and analysis, or data science focused on land conservation or watershed restoration.
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant field (geographic information systems, environmental studies, geography, computer science, etc.)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with experience engaging leaders and stakeholders of governmental, nonprofit, and private institutions in project and partnership collaborations.
  • Documented experience in the development and management of complex scopes of work and budgets related to geospatial mapping and analysis.
  • Demonstrated experience managing complex departmental and large-scale project budgets.
  • Track record of leadership in establishing successful grants, contracts, and/or cooperative agreements for geospatial projects.
  • Experience establishing and managing project management systems and processes.
  • Previous work experience related to Chesapeake Bay region environmental issues or similar watershed-scale environmental issues (Preferred).
  • Authorization to work in the United States is required.
  • All Chesapeake Conservancy employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

About the Conservancy

Chesapeake Conservancy is a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland, dedicated to ensuring a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed where fish and wildlife thrive, with healthy waters and abundant forests, wetlands, shorelines, and open spaces. With the human population in the Chesapeake Bay watershed approaching 19 million and growing, and with tens of thousands of acres of open space vanishing each year, the Conservancy works to connect people with the Chesapeake’s wildlife and history, conserve landscapes and rivers, and restore the region’s natural resources. The Conservancy works in close partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as many other federal, state, and local agencies, academic institutions, private foundations, and corporations to advance conservation.

Within the Conservancy, the Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) has become a globally recognized leader in producing data, analyses, and web applications to advance precision conservation and restoration. Through collaborative partnerships, CIC develops innovative custom approaches to leverage high-resolution geospatial data to support informed decision making at very local to watershed-wide scale.  CIC works with leading technical organizations like ESRI and Microsoft to deliver more precise data and bring cutting edge technology and techniques to our work. More information is available on our website at


Chesapeake Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, refusal to submit to a genetic test or to make available genetic test results, or any other legally protected characteristic. 

Chesapeake Conservancy understands that protecting and restoring the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed requires intentional commitment to inclusive practices and narratives within the conservation movement. Through our work we celebrate and elevate the people, places, and cultures of the region, especially by engaging underrepresented communities. Committing to the values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice is critical to achieve our vision of a Chesapeake that is healthy, accessible to everyone, and a place where people and wildlife thrive. To that end, we commit ourselves to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice both in our programmatic priorities and our internal organizational development through inclusive recruitment of staff and board members and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.