Conservation International Reviews

Updated August 12, 2015
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Conservation International Chairman and CEO Peter A. Seligmann
Peter A. Seligmann
27 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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  1. good working environment

    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    diversity, clear deliverables, fun environment

    Cons

    high turnover during the last five years


  2. Great mission!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    People and culture at CI. Benefits are good.

    Cons

    Salaries could be more competitive.


  3. Fantastic, mission-driven non-profit

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    - Dynamic organization that provides opportunities for staff at any level to have a meaningful contribution to the mission and strategy - International focus, diversity of programs, diverse staff means lots of opportunities to interact and learn about other countries and cultures - Benefits are competitive with for-profits, generally positive atmosphere and good workplace conditions, salaries are competitive with other non-profits - Many managers (not all) respect work-life balance and provide opportunities for professional development

    Cons

    - Founder-led organization, very top-down management - Frequent changes to strategy and restructuring results in lack of continuity of programs, funding, feeling of job insecurity by many staff - Legacy of promotion of staff who are strong in one area (e.g. science or fundraising) but are not necessarily strong managers, in some cases this has resulted in weak or outright bad management

    Advice to Management

    - If changes in strategy or restructuring is necessary, communicate the reasons for the change clearly and beforehand - Changes should be, when possible, made with input from staff at all levels of the organization. If feedback is incorporated into senior leadership decisions, or not, this should also be communicated (communication should not just flow in one direction.) - Organizational changes should, when possible, be made incrementally and outcomes of the changes (positive or negative) should be tracked and reported. Rather than making massive changes all at once, it is better to make incremental tweaks and see what works or doesn't. Major overhauls of programs or strategies should only be made in extreme cases.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    Anonymous

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, relaxed and casual work environment.

    Cons

    Top level management lacks the ability to set strategy and communicate it. With constantly changing priorities and structure and high turnover it is almost impossible to push through any initiatives or projects or to get anything done. Those who were hired to lead divisions are rarely present and in most cases they are far distanced from the actual work.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at your job descriptions and fix your mission statement.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Beware : terrible NGO to work for !

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting travels, good salary package but BEWARE ! I was fooled into taking up the job only to discover after accepting it that this NGO had no actual means of paying me

    Cons

    Do not be fooled by the salary package if offered a job in this NGO : this is the worst organization ever I have had to work with. Poor senior management, no leadership, no vision and direction, constant restructuring and lay-offs, lack of funding, clear green washing NGO (Monsanto funding, Northrop Grumman Corporation, etc.), management by terror, legal and fraud cases, sect-type of organization, narcissic CEO and executive management, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Retire or close down your organization : other NGO in conservation are doing a much better job than you.


  7. Communications

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    The people are dedicated, smart and energetic.

    Cons

    Everybody has to spend a lot of time fund-raising, so that becomes a big part of the job--as well as a feeling of insecurity. Top management is male-heavy.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Great staff, poor management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    Conservation International has an excellent global staff who works every day to make the world a better place to live. Benefits are good. Also, there are lots of opportunities for learning if you build the right network within the organization. For some positions, there are lots of opportunities for travel around the world.

    Cons

    The organization is poorly managed and very unstable. There was a change in the senior leadership by the end of 2014, making the organization worst than ever. There is a huge gap between HQ and Field that was widened because of the new leadership. Resources are scarce and staff turnover is very high in US. Promotions are ad hoc and do not follow a very consistent process. Staff morale is low and people are very afraid about the future. I have heard that some of the best staff have just left the organization and that several others key staff members are looking for jobs elsewhere. In summary, because the organization seems to be in permanent transition, I am very sad to say that Conservation International is certainly not a good place to work under the current leadership.

    Advice to Management

    CEO needs to retire. Current top leadership needs to be replaced before it is too late. Mid-level staff needs to be empowered.


  9. Helpful (3)

    A great place to gain knowledge than move on

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great health benefits. Flexible hours and schedule for some.

    Cons

    People won't speak to you. Senior staff barely even glance at you. Your supervisor will probably have no clue on how to delegate work to you without micro managing the heck out of the entire process. Which leaves no room for success. Emails emails emails! You can get a thousand emails from someone telling you to do something that you have never met. The process for reviews is a joke because there's no accountability when it comes to the higher level staff. There are tons of staff with under 5 years that are fed up with not having a voice. Every idea for innovation will be shut down and shredded to pieces. You might as well cover your mouth with duck tape.

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate older staff. Anyone with 10-15 years plus under there belt should be cross trained to move on to another department. This way they are also being taken out of their elements to keep from running away newer staff with their I've been here......many years speeches. Help other departments reach their goals. It's one big organization but each division is solely responsible for on their own budgets with little help or guidance from above when in trouble.


  10. Helpful (3)

    HR is never out of business.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Women, who wants to have a child, get hired, have a baby, and then run away! Take advantage of their good maternity leave! But you have to leave soon afterwords because the stressful work environment will be detrimental to your health and happiness of your family!!!! Run!!!! It's actually really dangerous to work there; HR department works against you and takes advantage of your honest feedback. There's a lot of Friday, 3pm meetings after which you never see your co-workers again! Stay away!!!! The company is getting a really bed reputation and it deserves it!!!!

    Cons

    Everybody there is a strong supporter of the cause which makes it tolerable to go to work. It makes for good camaraderie in bed times, which are plenty. Senior staff is constantly restructuring and changing organization, hiring new people and firing those who actually contributed and helped develop the org. to a new level. They do not recognize talent, rather they make decisions in a spur of a moment based on recommendations by famous and influential outsiders (the have Hollywood connections and they think marketing, not science, is holy grail!).

    Advice to Management

    Stop living in clouds and think of yourselves as omnipotent gods! It's childish!, to say the least!


  11. Great place to work when both principals were in the game.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of learning experiences, ability to choose projects of interest.

    Cons

    Too much conflict with 4 partners.

    Advice to Management

    Two principals have to be on the ball, not distracted.



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