Program Associate

Milwaukee Program Associate Job at The Conservation Fund in Milwaukee, WI

Start Date:



Special Notes/Instructions:

We offer an excellent benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance; 403(b) plan; paid parental leave, vacation, sick leave and holidays. Interested/qualified candidates should send their resume with cover letter to


Employment Type: Full Time

Hours per Week: 37½

Work Hours (i.e. shift): 8:30 – 5:00


Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Required Experience: 4 to 7 years

Position Description

The Milwaukee Program Associate is responsible for originating and implementing real estate transactions for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) Greenseams® and Working Soils® programs.

Greenseams is an acquisition program that protects hydric soils and connects publicly owned parcels of land along river corridors in a four-county area around the Milwaukee, WI metropolitan area.  Working Soils, a complimentary program to Greenseams, permanently conserves working lands to protect water retention abilities and improve water quality as part of a collaborative effort through the Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partnership.  Both Greenseams and Working Soils are part of and support MMSD’s $400 million flood management program in the region.  The Conservation Fund, a national conservation organization and accredited land trust, manages and administers the Greenseams and Working Soils programs on behalf of MMSD with a staff of four that includes a Program Director, Program Associate, Program Assistant, and Associate Director Midwest.

The Program Associate works as part of a team to identify, guide, and manage conservation acquisition land transactions.  The Program Associate is responsible for the full spectrum of land transaction activities including landowner outreach, negotiating land purchases, managing real estate due diligence and closings, and subsequent land transfers, all consistent with Land Trust Alliance (LTA) standards and best practices and policies. The Program Associate works in collaboration with a team of professionals at MMSD, outside contracted real estate service providers, local municipality, county and state government staff, area land trusts, community nonprofits, and The Conservation Fund’s staff.  This is a great opportunity with room for growth and advancement, working with a national leader in conservation transactions and with stable, mature programs in an acceleration mode.


  • Initiate, negotiate and complete land acquisitions of fee simple and conservation easements with private landowners in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties for the Greenseams and Working Soils Programs;
  • Develop strategies and opportunities for landowner outreach and cultivation and act as primary contact and lead on meetings with landowners of priority parcels within Greenseams® and Working Soils® project areas, including mailings, cold-calling, organizing open houses, making presentations, and in-person meetings;
  • Conduct site assessments to evaluate potential land acquisition projects, including field assessment of potential sites, research on zoning and area land uses, and develop written recommendations and presentations to document the conservation values important to program goals and to support decision-making;
  • Participate and act independently on behalf of the Greenseams® and Working Soils® programs within regional work groups, committees, and projects to develop partner opportunities and further the goals of each Program;
  • Coordinate with Program Director on building and maintaining strong relationships with local municipalities, US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and land trusts to facilitate timely property transfers, acquisition partnerships and leverage funding, restoration, and management;
  • Respond to and track inquiries about potential conservation projects, providing landowners and other interested members of the public with information about the Greenseams® and Working Soils® programs;
  • Assist Program Assistant with monitoring all eased lands annually to ensure compliance with MMSD Easement terms, LTA and TCF monitoring standards, and suggest solutions and management options if issues arise;
  • Support development and advancement of overall program strategy and approach, and actively explore continuing education opportunities as needed to contribute to program goals;
  • Explore new business opportunities for The Conservation Fund;
  • Assist with or assume lead on projects and other duties as assigned, including without limitation grant writing and grant reporting; mailings and filing; landowner databases; processing transaction approvals through The Conservation Fund and MMSD; research; and ordering and reviewing due diligence such as appraisals, Phase I Environmental Reports, surveys, and title commitments.


  • Advanced degree and minimum of 4 years of experience in a professional working environment.
  • Experience with real estate purchasing and knowledge of land negotiation process.
  • Ability to negotiate through applying skills such as active listening, building rapport, clear verbal and nonverbal communication, and problem-solving.
  • Aptitude to work independently and proactively with minimal supervision, while demonstrating flexibility, creativity, and a drive for results.
  • Demonstrated commitment to land conservation and The Conservation Fund’s mission of making conservation work for America.
  • A sense of humor, ability to have fun, and enjoyment working in a fast-paced team environment.
  • Critical thinker; able to conceive, plan, and implement programs.
  • Willingness to travel extensively in the four-county area surrounding Milwaukee and work nights as needed.
  • Must be attentive to detail and meet deadlines, multitask on multiple projects, and work well under pressure.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide range of people and organizations, and political climates; as well as within a government agency environment.
  • Ability to establish new partnerships to further program goals and initiatives.
  • Strong technical skills with GIS and ESRI products, handheld Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Microsoft Office Suite, and ability to learn new and advanced technology.
  • A valid driver’s license with a good motor vehicle record is needed to travel throughout the state.

The ability to traverse landscapes that may be covered by rough terrain is required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The Conservation Fund, a Non Profit Corporation, is an Equal Opportunity Employer who fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, National Origin, Veteran Status, Disability, Genetic Information or Testing, Family and Medical Leave, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression and prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint, or otherwise oppose discrimination.

Contact Information

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