Project Development Manager – California

Company: Blue Forest

Location: , All

Job Function: Project Management


Blue Forest is a climate finance non-profit on a mission to foster financial innovation for sustainable solutions. We do this by developing science and financial products that support ecosystem restoration. Blue Forest’s first financial tool– the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB) – was developed in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, the World Resources Institute, and the National Forest Foundation to overcome funding gaps for forest management. As a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, the FRB enables private capital to catalyze public land management on National Forest land by valuing the resulting ecosystem services, thereby reducing wildfire risk and promoting ecological sustainability.

Blue Forest recognizes that the fields of finance and environmental conservation have histories of exclusion and discrimination based on race, ability, gender, socioeconomic background, and sexual orientation. Today, Blue Forest works towards being an environmental organization actively working to dismantle discrimination and racism in our team and environmental work.


A Project Development Manager at Blue Forest leads the development and coordination of conservation finance efforts at the state or regional level. This role involves being detail-oriented during day-to-day project operations and execution while also establishing project strategies and developing relationships with project partners. The Project Development Manager will develop and implement strategies for individual projects, collaborate with the Blue Forest communication teams on project communication efforts, and foster relationships with state agencies, non-profits, local research partners, funders, and land managers for the region.

This position requires partnering with Director-level staff to develop big-picture strategies, leading project management and day-to-day project development, as well as supervising Analyst- and Associate-level project development staff. Project and program management requires close collaboration with colleagues and partners across internal and external organizational departments; therefore, an ability to learn and collaborate interdisciplinarily is essential to success. This position will focus on FRB Project Development and partnerships across the Pacific Southwest (California).


Location: Remote in California. Must be willing to travel up to 30% of the time, primarily within California.

Reports to: Matt Sjoholm, Director of Project Development, CA 

Salary: 95k-105k, dependent on experience

Preferred Start Date: As soon as possible; priority application deadline May 21st, 2023.  

Individual FRB Project Development in California (80%)

  • Manage the development of multiple FRB projects from conception to execution, including bringing structure and processes to innovative and ambiguous projects. Project workstreams will include:
    • Partnering with land managers (such as the Forest Service) on implementation strategies for priority restoration projects
    • Engaging community stakeholders, Native nations, and potential project collaborators
    • Researching and engaging potential project beneficiaries
    • Quantifying and communicating project benefits with internal and external science partners
    • Developing proposals and securing funding commitments from beneficiaries
  • Develop project materials such as presentations, two-pagers, and memorandums to support project development
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with key project development partners across a portfolio of project assignments

Regional Strategy and Partnerships in California (10%)

  • Establish, develop, and manage key relationships with state agencies, the Pacific Southwest Regional Office of the U.S. Forest Service, Native nations, beneficiaries, and regional stakeholders
  • Partner with the Blue Forest leadership team to identify opportunities to expand conservation finance models (like the FRB) to other sectors and ecosystems 
  • Integrate DEI and tribal engagement throughout the project development process
  • Partner with the leadership team to build the pipeline of projects in California. Enable and manage revenue opportunities such as grant opportunity identification, consulting to public or private entities, or new business model generation

Staff Management and Growth (10%)

  • Play a supervisory role for 1-3 analyst- and associate-level staff
  • Regularly meet with direct reports to support staff development/growth and help build a culture where staff are empowered to bring their unique contributions to the team 
  • Be a champion for company culture, values, equity, and inclusion



An ideal candidate will have 5+ years of relevant work or equivalent experience. Blue Forest will prioritize the following qualifications in the hiring process; however, we do not expect candidates to fulfill all criteria and encourage all interested candidates to apply.

  • Project Management: Project management experience including scoping, managing, and executing multiple work streams simultaneously, meeting deadlines, overseeing budgets, and managing multiple external stakeholders. Excellent time management, prioritization, and knowledge management skills. Project management certifications are a plus. 
  • Communication: Strong professional written and oral communication skills, including distilling and communicating complex ideas into presentations and written memos, facilitating multi-stakeholder collaborative discussions, creating effective storytelling products, etc.
  • Partnerships & Collaboration: Experience collaborating with internal and external stakeholders and Native Nations to design effective solutions and projects. Strong relationship management skills, with demonstrated experience partnering with local, regional, and national partners. 
  • Navigating Ambiguity: Strategically minded and comfortable prioritizing competing needs, bringing structure to ambiguous situations, proactively researching and identifying solutions. Excitement to drive and execute both the day-to-day operations and strategy for individual projects.  
  • Conservation Finance, Ecosystem Services, Utilities, or Forestry Expertise: Passionate and understanding of conservation finance, modeling ecosystem services, water and electric utilities, forestry, or other relevant fields. Experience working with the USDA Forest Service or utilities is a plus. 

Compensation and Benefits

  • 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision coverage; subsidized coverage for dependents
  • Access to a 401k retirement plan with a 4% employer match
  • Starting 3 weeks paid vacation and 17 paid holidays; paid sick leave and volunteer time
  • 3 months of paid family leave
  • Employer-paid life and long-term disability insurance
  • Access to Dependent Care FSA
  • Public Lands Exploration stipend (reimbursements for visits to National Forests, county parks, etc.)
  • Monthly Home Office stipend or co-working space provided
  • Additional stipends for health & wellness; home internet and cell service; and professional development
  • Option for non-taxable contributions towards repayment of student loan debt, up to $5,250 per year, in lieu of salary 

How to Apply


All Blue Forest staff are required to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines that term. Proof of full vaccination shall be a condition of employment and must be provided prior to starting work, except where prohibited by law. Blue Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and the company will engage in the interactive process regarding reasonable accommodations for candidates who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability/medical condition; a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance; or a claimed exemption under applicable state law. 


To apply to this position, submit a resume on Gusto. People from historically underrepresented populations and candidates with non-traditional career paths are especially encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and those submitted by May 21st, will be given priority consideration.

If participating in the interview process would require you to incur additional expenses to participate, such as childcare, please let us know, and we are happy to reimburse for reasonable expenses incurred up to $30/hour for twice the length of each interview in which you participate. There will be space to request this reimbursement upon offer of an interview.

Blue Forest provides equal employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. Applicants must have authorization to work in the United States.