Conservation International Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Conservation International Manager Reviews

Updated Oct 10, 2019

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2.9
30%
Recommend to a Friend
74%
Approve of CEO
Conservation International Chief Executive Officer M. Sanjayan, PhD
M. Sanjayan, PhD
3 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "CI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, lots of travel

    Cons

    The pay could be better but it is the non-profit world

    Conservation International2018-12-19
  2. "Great staff, poor company culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Wonderful, world-class colleagues. Great benefits, competitive salaries (for a nonprofit). Opportunity to travel. Opportunities to interact with different teams and decent upward mobility.  The organization is in a period of transition, and it's hard to know where it will land. Several of the previous leaders left around the same time, shifting the organization from a more old school approach to new leadership. The transition has been slow, and some of it has been good. Leadership did take some action after the damaging Mongabay article last year, in particular dealing with serious harassment claims that had previously been ignored (some for years). 

    Cons

    Lack of organizational focus, leading to many staff frantically cover multiple roles because no one will make a call on what's important. Impact is hard to assess - the organization has been fundamentally unable to identify a niche in the environmental space, and company strategies, while improved from some of the previous indecisiveness, still don't encompass much of the work done by teams on the ground. Lots of passing the buck on responsibility, especially among leaders. Disconnect between leadership and lower-rank employees, particularly in the field divisions. HR is widely distrusted internally and creates more problems than it solves. Poor organizational coordination and knowledge management - the wheel is constantly being reinvented for even basic tasks. Limited professional development on many teams. Promotions are generally based on image and brown-nosing rather than competence and need, leading to some bad managers. Company culture has become a bit ruthless and competitive. Staff are overworked and stressed and there is high turnover as a result.  Despite the new leadership, there's still a culture of favoritism remaining from the older days, and your experience and opportunities at the company are only as good as the team you're with and the manager you report to. The new leadership means well and is trying to implement changes to bring the organization into the 21st century, but the jury is still out on how well it will work - in particular how CI will continue to sustain its current level of programming given that its best fundraiser was the previous CEO. 

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    Conservation International2019-10-11
  3. "Still working to overhaul bullying culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grant Manager in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, stimulating work, opportunities for travel

    Cons

    Culture of favoritism, management hires professionals but is not interested in their opinions or methods of work, little opportunity for growth

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    Conservation International2019-09-24
  4. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Partner Marketing Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International for more than a year

    Pros

    I loved my team there, and it is a very collaborative vibe. They are sincerely committed to their mission and attract talented, as well as kind people. While I worked remotely, it seemed to have a good culture and they have strong benefits, and are family-friendly (they have hospital grade pumps and pumping room for new Moms). I would have loved to continue working there if I was based in D.C.!

    Cons

    Could be challenging at times communicating with the international teams...And at times my manager had so much work it was hard to get an answer on things/it would bottle neck.

    Conservation International2018-10-10
  5. "Good place, but it can be better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good job environment, passionated people.

    Cons

    Too much stress and work extra non paid hours

    Conservation International2018-08-13
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Great Mission - Toxic Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    So many passionate people that want to make a difference in the world. A mission that anyone can get behind and a history to be proud of.

    Cons

    Terrible office politics, where a few bad eggs that create a toxic working environment for everyone around them. CEO is egotistical and unethical. Beware favoritism and back stabbing, yes-men/women are rewarded over independent thinkers.

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    Conservation International2017-09-20
  7. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic, mission-driven non-profit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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

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    Conservation International2015-07-23
  8. Helpful (3)

    "So far so good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Based in Arlington, VA, USA at the company HQ, Conservation International has experienced several changes in senior leadership positions over the last year. We seem to be getting through it pretty well and are on track for riding out the storm effectively. Credit goes to mid-level leadership for holding things together.

    Cons

    CI is still cementing the overall vision, scope and direction but are doing so while remaining effective. There is still a disconnect between the field offices/programs and HQ but this can only be mitigated and will never go away.

    Conservation International2014-12-29
  9. "Fun and dynamic work place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International

    Pros

    Very employee friendly and super dynamic workplace. The work is fascinating and everyone here has a passion for what they do

    Cons

    Sometimes communications and fundraising can take precedence over doing the real work.

    Conservation International2014-12-29
  10. Helpful (11)

    "Look for another place to work or if you get an offer there and take it... do not stop your job search!"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting global projects, some cool trips to field projects, huge organization so you "could" meet a lot of people (however CI is not a friendly environment). They have conferences at lunch time "brown-bags" where you could learn about different topics. CI looks good on your resume for future job search. Money? some salaries at the middle level are good, higher level are great. Nice green offices, casual dress code everyday, flexible hours, easy commute, very few happy-hours (those are so boring, so this is definitively a pro), some other perks like showers if you bike to work, etc.

    Cons

    Frequent massive reorganizations accompanied by lack of transparency, clarity and communication, excessive pressure to adapt and re-adapt under lack of vision and stability... you have to play nice, don't show that you are questioning company's (Peter & friends) decisions. Excessive layoffs based on "market conditions"- high level prostitution for green washing. A lot of turnover... also because brilliant people quit, i.e. look at how many jobs are posted considering the company is not growing. It is not growing! there is a lot of struggle to: get funding, keep good employees, redefining strengths/priorities and approaches, huge struggle to resolve executives rivalries, keep corporate image, manage field offices, etc. In the chaos of layoffs and quitting, many got promoted to higher management positions and 90% of current leadership team lacks basic management (and human) qualities. So much money goes to few pockets... go to the website and count the amount of Vice Presidents for the same departments or similar areas. It's a shark place!! others steal your ideas, so they can present them to the CEO and his inner circle... if you have something good be careful, copyright it, no kidding! I saw many ideas, documents stolen and the original author's name never got to Peter's ears. Why is this important? because same colleges compete/fight for protects/funding/professional recognition. CI is not a place to collaborate, but to survive. How to survive: act very polite, artificially smile- zombie like, never say hi (no body cares), go to all meetings and show how much you are working, reply emails at odd hours so they see you are a slave, praise your immediate boss... everybody is having a hard time there and morale is low, so even though your immediate boss could act like a dumb, he/she is also being bullied from high up. Sadly, CI used to be a great BINGO (Big Int. NGO), but it is very well-know among the rest of NGOs in D.C. that CI is not a good place to work anymore. So why the CEO, Peter S. has such a good rating? because he is a great businessman, knows how to play the game inside and out, very charismatic, and a fantastic public speaker.... there is a lot of brainwashing at the all-staff meetings and Peter is the orchestra director "CI is the best, we are the global leaders, we are the cream of the crop, etc"... "subtle" messages from him and the executives, and if you don't have a high power job or are new at the job, you may just see that side, believe it, and well, ignorance is a bliss. If you are high on the ladder, you know, Peter choose people that follow him and he can manipulate into what he wants/thinks, you become a marionette, you really have to follow the doctrine, but if you can't do that... well, you will become miserable working there, many are very aware of that and believe me everybody is looking for a better job while they are there.

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    Conservation International2014-03-05
Found 13 reviews