Ridge to Reef Program Director


Osa Conservation seeks an early-mid career, exceptional professional to build an ambitious conservation corridor program in the epicenter of biodiversity in the Central American tropics. In the region where the ocean meets the mountains in the southern Pacific slope of Costa Rica, OC owns and operates a premier conservation field station located nearby Corcovado National Park. The conservation corridor program will both develop and apply conservation science to create a corridor implementation plan to build a viable conservation corridor between Corcovado and Amistad National Parks (a strategic roadmap and operational plan that includes approaches, timeframes, actors, financing mechanisms, developed with a coalition of local to International stakeholders).

This is not an academia job or full-time field work role – it is directing the use of the best in science, planning and technology to accomplish conservation in this landscape. It is an opportunity to take millions of dollars of investment in infrastructure and land and deploy it for maximum conservation impact — as such it is a unique career opportunity.


While opportunities for conducting research come with the job, this is not a strictly research job. It is above all a leadership position in which the Reef to Ridge team leader will lead fundraising efforts, form institutional partnerships, recruit talented staff, conceptualize major initiatives, and engage a variety of stakeholders from the general public, thought leaders to government decision makers. The successful candidate will build the program from the ground up. This will be a major lifetime achievement.



Characteristics and Requirements

  • High-energy charismatic personality with a strong work ethic
  • PhD in conservation or an MBA in a conservation-environmental related focus considered.
  • Minimum experience of 5 years in conservation related field work and implementation, preferably in Central America
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in Spanish and English
  • Ability to coordinate with multiple actors, for teamwork and the development of activities in culturally diverse
  • Good physical condition for work in adverse conditions in the field
  • Valid drivers’ license (manual vehicles)
  • Willingness to live in remote region of southern Costa Rica
  • Availability to travel at least 50% of the time, and a strong desire to be in the field.
  • Knowledge of building a large-scale project plan that has all key elements to be attractive to investors-donors.
  • At least 3 publications in peer-reviewed and indexed scientific journals
  • Willingness to learn fundraising focused on high net worth individuals and major foundations



  • Report and coordinate their actions directly with the OC Executive Director
  • Develop the funding for the program through grant writing and work with high end donors
  • Represent OC conservation and science policy and programs at high level scientific-conservation meetings, with government and private sector institutions
  • Supervise the work of the Project Coordinators of the conservation-field station and community focal areas
  • Act as a senior management staff member and coordinate with other OC senior staff
  • Build partnerships with research institutions and other conservation entities


Specific Duties

  • Prepare, execute, and monitor the Reef to Ridge plan, both for OC and the broader coalition of stakeholders
  • Develop the processes and policies that allow improving the implementation of conservation activities in the field station, private reserve, and broader corridor
  • Review any proposed research at OC field sites – principally terrestrial and support to Marine Conservation Director on marine areas
  • Design and conduct the organization’s conservation-research grant program (along with Marine Cons. Prog. Director) and, in coordination with the Science Coordinators, provide technical support to the grantees
  • Disseminate the organization’s findings nationally and internationally, generating connections with researchers and teachers from national and foreign universities to attract research in the field station
  • Ensure the collection, maintenance and use of the databases of stations
  • Seek and prepare proposals for the financing of terrestrial based field and conservation projects in the corridor and station
  • Organize training courses where necessary for team members and potential students
  • Build a strong social media presence by actively promoting the conservation programs, organization overall and field sites on social media and ensure that all associated staff do likewise
  • Other tasks and duties ongoing and as assigned



Osa Conservation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.


To Apply

Please submit a copy of your resume and a cover letter to [email protected]n.org, with “ Ridge to Reef Program Director” as the subject line by July 31, 2020. Applications that do not follow these criteria will not be considered.