Website nature_org The Nature Conservancy

Conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.

The Applied Economist conducts economic analysis and develops business cases/models for scaling regenerative food production systems as part of the Provide Food and Water team.  Working in close partnership with local teams and communities, this position will support both regional and global teams to achieve TNC’s 2030 goals through implementation of landscape-scale food systems interventions.

The Applied Economist will provide technical support and leadership to catalyze systemic change in agricultural production systems across a portfolio of TNC’s regional work. This position is responsible for identifying opportunities to drive economically beneficial food systems change, quantifying the costs and benefits of transition to regenerative food systems, and developing business cases/models to advance system change.  With an eye for opportunities that will create conditions for change across multiple communities and geographies, the Applied Economist will be adept at market analysis, value chain analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and will possess the strategic acumen to identify market gaps and opportunities, with a focus on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and community well-being.  In tandem with development of the Global Regenerative Foodscapes Strategy, the Applied Economist will also become familiar with current economic development activities in regional locations to assess their potential to be catalytic at a system scale, including within geographies in Asia Pacific, Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe.

The Applied Economist will focus on local processes and drivers, economic assessment of farm level and foodscape level economics – and key forces driving these economics such as agronomic, policy, financial (credit, insurance contexts), technological or social factors, evaluating the opportunity to scale entrepreneurship and opportunities for financial or business investment, and working with global and regional teams to develop a replicable model for implementation in prospective agricultural strategies.

The Applied Economist will also support through thought leadership on agrifood issues, assisting with and/or managing priority projects, supervise program staff and consultants, and serves as a technical resource on the Regenerative Foodscapes global strategy and related project(s). They liaise with other TNC staff, notably field colleagues, as well as external actors as applicable, to help drive the implementation of the global strategy and associated projects in the places where TNC works.  They track and/or assess corporate practices, governmental policies and decisions, or the practices or views of other stakeholders concerning the strategy or priority project and their potential impact on organizational conservation goals. They may also advise TNC communications, marketing and philanthropy staff on priority project(s) and related issues.



  • Provides economic analysis of transitions to regenerative food systems.
  • Provides strategic analysis and leadership in support of the conservation agenda for Regenerative Food Systems.
  • Designs, implements and directs complex and diverse projects encompassing multiple programs and regions.
  • Incorporates cross-disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives in a complex matrix environment.
  • Develops reports, presentations and assessments on topics related to the global strategy.
  • May supervise program staff and consultants to develop and manage work plans and large project budgets.
  • May manage a grant, contract or write a request for proposal.
  • Works within a budget to complete projects, negotiates and contracts with vendors and assists with budget development.
  • May involve domestic and international travel of 25% or more.



  • Master’s Degree in science, economics, business or finance, and 4 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing and interpreting statistical or environmental data.
  • Experience with applying analytical capabilities, economic modeling and business model development, and expertise in food and agriculture
  • Experience with leading complex projects or strategic initiatives in an unstructured environment.
  • Experience researching, critically analyzing, and evaluating information from divergent sources and compiling it into cohesive reports and recommendations for strategy and action.
  • Experience with regional economic development vision and implementation – a systems thinker who can see the big picture, while also serving as a bridge to community economic development organizations.
  • Expertise in food and agriculture; familiarity with fisheries and aquaculture production systems



  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated;
  • PhD and 1-3 experience considered.
  • Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese, highly desirable.
  • Critical analytical thinking and excellent English writing skills essential.
  • Familiarity and knowledge related to business, governmental, and/or environmental policy and practices.
  • Ability to develop and drive new ideas and approaches.
  • Ability to work well in a highly matrixed, decentralized and collaborative organization.
  • Possesses strong interpersonal skills and political savvy. Must be a team player.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet time sensitive deadlines.
  • NGO and/or corporate relations experience.
  • Ability to articulate goals to regional bodies, work groups or political leaders
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and partners including outside consultants


To apply for job ID 50754, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on 01/17/2022. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

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