Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon New York

US-NY-New York | US-NY-Troy
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Executive/Senior Management
New York
Additional Location : City
Additional Location : State/Province


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


Position Summary

Audubon seeks an Executive Director to build on Audubon New York’s rich history and expand its contributions to conservation in New York and the Atlantic Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success. This is a high profile, pivotal opportunity for a dynamic conservation professional. As one of Audubon’s largest state programs, with an annual budget of $3.25 million and a staff of 26, Audubon New York uses its statewide conservation initiatives, educational programming, network of seven Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries, 27 affiliated local Audubon Chapters, and 50,000 grassroots members to protect birds and their habitats.


Reporting to the Vice President, Atlantic Flyway, the successful candidate will have the passion and leadership skills necessary to articulate, develop, and implement Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies in the state. In addition to working closely with Audubon NY staff and the Vice President of the Atlantic Flyway to align the state program with strategic regional and national priorities, the Executive Director will also have the opportunity to work in close consultation with Audubon NY’s exceptional board on all aspects of Audubon NY management and strategy. The Executive Director will hold the title of Vice President within the national organization.


Our preference is that this position be located in New York City, the headquarters of National Audubon Society (NAS). For the right candidate we would consider other locations.

Essential Functions

Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership

  • Develop strategic goals and initiatives aligned with Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies that result in the organization’s increased statewide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats. Priorities include the Long Island Sound, Great Lakes, Healthy Forests, Climate and Bird Friendly Communities.
  • Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff of 26 while preserving open communication and recognizing the value of the senior management team.
  • Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement. Leverage the impact of Audubon New York’s Centers and Sanctuaries to achieve state and Flyway goals.
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the state office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with New York’s staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Represent Audubon New York throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
  • Along with appropriate development staff, lead Audubon New York’s fundraising to cultivate and solicit major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies for Audubon New York and to show a significant increase in contributions. Play an active role in helping to promote fundraising for regional priority projects across the Atlantic Flyway working with other state directors, the program managers and other supporting staff.
  • Effectively collaborate with other Audubon state programs and National Development staff on donor strategies under the One Audubon approach to members and donors.
  • Work closely with the Audubon New York Board of Directors to support the efforts of ANY in continuing the development of a strong statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.
  • Work closely with, support and provide guidance to the Chapters in New York to expand Audubon’s capacity to for on-the-ground conservation and education at scale. Work with the Chapter Council to strengthen the statewide presence of Audubon and support these organizations in their local efforts.
  • Continuously seek out ways to engage New York’s diverse population in Audubon programs.
  • Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • 7-10 years’ progressive professional experience, to include 3-5 years at a senior management level with comparable staff and budget responsibilities.
  • Strong leadership skills, with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong business and management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and potential partners a must.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • Seasoned organizational leader with an array of experience in public policy development and advocacy, campaigns, lobbying, and/or involvement in the state legislature and in working with members of Congress.
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed in a highly matrixed, complex organization—strong ability to influence and persuade others required.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Tech-savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, budgeting systems and donor databases; experience with Salesforce desired. Comfort with and interest in leveraging technology to maximize conservation impact and network engagement.
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to represent effectively Audubon New York to its
  • members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of, as well as connection to New York and its environment, conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies.
  • Knowledge of New York’s political and demographic reality with broad connections to partners and the philanthropic community, and is externally focused on raising Audubon’s profile.
  • Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required.
  • A strong commitment to the mission, values, and programs of Audubon New York and the National Audubon Society.


Application Instructions:

Audubon is partnering with DRG, Inc. on this search. In order to be formally considered, please send a cover letter and resume directly to, attention Carmel Napolitano, Senior Consultant.


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