University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Programme Director, Natural Capital (Maternity cover)

We are seeking a talented Programme Director with the credibility, drive and skills to lead our dynamic and fast-paced Natural Capital Team and engage with companies on how to sustain the natural world through their own strategies and operating practices. This fixed term 12-month role will be providing maternity cover for the position of Programme Director, Natural Capital.

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges. Capitalising on the excellent, multidisciplinary strengths of the University of Cambridge, CISL builds deep, strategic engagement with leadership companies and creates opportunities for collaborative enquiry and action through its business platforms. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Royal Founding Patron of CISL, and has inspired, and supported many of our initiatives.

The Programme Director is responsible for developing new natural capital business groups and initiatives in accordance with market needs and the strategic objectives of CISL. The role holder oversees the development and growth of existing platforms such as the Natural Capital Impact Group.

The Programme Director works with senior leaders from progressive companies, including household names, with significant land footprints and dependencies upon natural capital; this includes Board-level sponsors. The role holder establishes and builds upon relationships with clients and works closely with individual companies to help them unpick and take action on some of their biggest natural capital challenges and opportunities. In securing funding for the creation of new natural capital initiatives, the role holder also directs the delivery of these by the Natural Capital Team.

The Programme Director works under the direction of the Executive Directors of CISL and in close collaboration with senior colleagues within CISL.

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and will be expected to demonstrate the following essential skills and experience:

  • Proven ability to identify potential natural capital business opportunities and turn them into active revenue generating projects.
  • Experience of working in fields related to sustainable development and natural capital, and having an understanding of how these and related issues can be applied by business and affect leadership and organisations.
  • Experience in working with senior leaders from business and the public sector.
  • Experience in fundraising.
  • Excellent relationship skills and a proven ability to build, grow, and maintain relationships with key leaders.
  • Understanding of project management techniques.
  • Understanding of relationship marketing techniques.
  • Demonstrable leadership, with a proven ability to manage small dynamic teams.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

The following attributes are desirable:

  • Experience of developing products and services in a natural capital context.
  • Experience in developing, maintaining and growing collaborative groups of business leaders to apply new thinking that provides both commercial and environmental benefits.
  • Experience of working closely with individual companies to ascertain and test solutions to particular natural capital challenges in their own business contexts.
  • An active network of contacts within the sustainability field, or in related fields such as natural capital, conservation, supply chain management, partnership, governance, etc.
  • An active network of contacts within the sustainability field, or in related fields such as natural capital, conservation, supply chain management, partnership, governance, etc.
  • Experience in turning one-off projects into repeatable programmes.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Maternity cover: This post is full time, located in Cambridge and fixed-term for 12 months or the return of the post holder, whichever is the earlier.

Informal enquiries can be made to the CISL Human Resources team,

Please quote reference EN15700 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

  • Role overview
    This document provides a brief summary of the key responsibilities and candidate requirements.
  • Further Information
    This document provides a detailed overview of the position, CISL and the University of Cambridge, including responsibilities and terms and conditions of the role.
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