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Governance of The Nature Conservancy

Board of Directors Charter of Governance Responsibilities

The Board has articulated and set forth with specificity the governance and oversight responsibilities it intends to exercise.

The Nature Conservancy’s Board of Directors shall:
  • Set and ensure fidelity to mission and approve organizational strategy, goals, plans, and budgets.
  • Establish policies, and ensure management systems are in place for compliance.
  • Approve major engagements in public policy and other external affairs activities.
  • Establish, and hold senior management accountable to, measures of organizational performance.
  • Hire, evaluate, and set compensation for the President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Ensure appropriate management of major risks (including risks to the organization’s name, reputation, and intellectual property) to the organization.
  • Set policy and criteria for management of the Conservancy's financial assets, and monitor performance against these policies and criteria.
  • Preserve the organization’s core philosophical tenets, including its reliance on innovation and entrepreneurship, its non-confrontational style, and its willingness to take well-considered risks, consistent with its ethical standards, to accomplish its program.
  • Establish state, country, and other territorial programs and advisory groups as it deems necessary to accomplish The Nature Conservancy’s mission.
  • Establish sound mechanisms for the engagement of volunteers in the activities of the chapters and the mission of the organization as a whole.
  • Create and maintain policies for developing the Board of Directors, including recruitment, tenure, leadership, board structure and composition, and board assessment and evaluation. A board assessment shall be completed at least once every two years.
  • Help raise significant private and public funds for conservation.
  • Position the Conservancy as a highly effective, reputable, credible, a-political conservation organization and leader in performance and governance in the independent sector.
Board of Directors members shall:
  • Be committed to, and understand, The Nature Conservancy's mission, strategy and values.
  • Assume responsibility to be fully informed of major organizational issues, including finance and audit.
  • Make a significant commitment of time for meetings, and for periodic consultation with the CEO and other senior managers.
  • Possess experience or knowledge in at least one of the following areas: governance of large, for-profit or not-for-profit organizations, experience with the Conservancy, relevant conservation expertise; expertise in a scientific discipline; significant understanding of financial management; or audit, compliance and risk-management. 

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