Center Director, Sharon Audubon

Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Program/Project Management


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 Sharon has been connecting people with nature since 1962, and is located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, in the town of Sharon.  Audubon Sharon consists of the Sharon Audubon Center and Miles Wildlife Sanctuary, both in Sharon, CT and a satellite sanctuary called the Edith Leopold Sanctuary in Hartland, CT.  The Sharon facilities are in the heart of one of the largest core forests in Connecticut and consist of over 2,700 acres of forest, wetlands, fields and ponds. The Miles Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the 3,000-acre Housatonic State Forest and the Leopold Sanctuary is adjacent to a portion of the 9,000-acre Tunxis State Forest.  Audubon Sharon has long been known as a vital community resource for environmental education and conservation programs, activities including school education programs, conservation outreach, habitat management and wildlife rehabilitation.

Consisting of key habitats for birds and other wildlife in the Atlantic Flyway, Audubon Sharon actively engages in creating bird friendly communities throughout the region where birds and people can thrive and where a culture of conservation is born and can grow. Additionally, Audubon Sharon, led by its Center Director, takes the lead in statewide efforts related to forest protection and bird conservation via landowner education, forest management planning and related actions as part of one of National Audubon Society’s Atlantic Healthy Forest Initiative. This initiative includes elements of all Audubon’s core approaches to conservation – education, science, public policy, and direct habitat management.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut, the Center Director will have five core functions: manage all Audubon Sharon operations; shape the Center’s programming in support of Audubon’s mission; serve as lead for state efforts on forest conservation and participate on National Audubon Society’s Atlantic Flyway Healthy Forest team; play a significant and proactive role in fundraising for Audubon Sharon’s facilities and operations as well as other statewide and Flyway initiatives; and participate as an active and productive participant in the Audubon CT senior management team. The Director, therefore, plays an important role in carrying out the mission of Audubon Connecticut and the National Audubon Society in the northwest corner of Connecticut and throughout the Flyway.

Essential Functions

Leadership and Staff Management

  • Provide dynamic, collaborative leadership for the Center’s mission, strategy, core program areas, and operating departments consistent with National Audubon’s strategic plan.
  • Oversee all operational aspects of the Center facilities, budgets, and programs; hire and effectively manage staff.
  • Serve as the state leader on forest conservation and action-oriented outreach programs to private landowners related to forest management and enhanced habitat for birds and other wildlife. Serve on an Atlantic Flyway Healthy Forest Initiative Leadership team.
  • Under the direct supervision of the state Executive Director, maintain an excellent working relationship with Center Stewardship Board, while also building Board capacity and engagement; develop and enhance relationships with local environmental and other community leaders, organizations, and stakeholders.
  • With staff, help grow an active volunteer and intern program.
  • Involve staff, Stewardship Board, and key partners in developing measurable goals and action plans, as well as a process for monitoring and assessing progress in partnership with National Audubon Society’s science team.
  • Preserve and cultivate a culture of mutual respect, individual initiative, collegiality, and diversity; collaborate with staff to identify and implement best practices and evaluate outcomes, where applicable.

Program Development and Implementation   

  • Oversee the development and implementation of programs in Sharon that reflect and contribute to Connecticut’s contribution to the overall NAS strategy, and Atlantic Flyway Initiatives, most specifically those relating to forest conservation, and the growth of bird-friendly communities.
  • Work closely with Audubon Connecticut’s science staff to expand Audubon Sharon’s conservation activities, including enhancing and promoting the Center’s on-site wildlife rehabilitation program/facility that demonstrates the importance of animal and natural habitat protection.
  • Establish on-site educational and outreach programs that contribute to the mission of Audubon CT and the National Audubon Society.

 Marketing and Community Outreach

  • Work with Audubon Connecticut staff, the Sharon Stewardship Board and constituents to develop and implement a marketing and promotions plan for Audubon Sharon and its programs.
  • Develop and deliver effective oral and written presentations, and under the direct supervision of the Audubon CT Executive Director, be available to serve as Audubon Sharon’s spokesperson with the media.

Budget and Fundraising

  • Work with the Executive Director and ACT Finance & Operations Manager to develop and deliver required budgeting and financial reporting.
  • Under the guidance of Development staff, create and implement a financially sustainable development plan for the Center that cultivates and maintains relationships with current donors while identifying and expanding new funding sources. Collaborate with the Sharon Stewardship Board to help maximize giving opportunities, as well as engage the group in other volunteer activities related to donor cultivation.
  • Enhance existing sources of earned income, including program revenue, camp and school program tuition, store sales, rental income, admissions, etc.
  • Effectively and enthusiastically communicate the case for support of the Center’s program at community and fundraising events.
  • Seek new revenue opportunities, write grants, ensure grant reporting and compliance; assist with and staff special fundraising events at the Center.

 Land and Facilities Management

  • Work with Audubon Connecticut’s conservation staff and Flyway leadership to expand Connecticut’s Forest Stewardship program including the development of demonstration forest management areas on Audubon property.
  • Evaluate and engage in land acquisition projects as appropriate to protect the integrity of Audubon Land.
  • With State and Center Staff oversee habitat management projects that enhances habitat for birds and other wildlife on Audubon property.
  • Monitor and maintain trails and facilities, anticipating and remedying deterioration, and possible safety problems to provide for visitor needs. This may also include a capital campaign to upgrade facilities to allow for expansion of programs.
  • As required, facilitate Audubon Sharon’s 18-year bird banding project and integrate with woodthrush conservation in conjunction with Audubon’s International Alliances Program.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Education or related field required. Graduate degree in forest conservation and\or ecology is preferred.
  • 5-8 years’ progressive leadership experience in forest conservation project management and\or management of nature centers, science museums, education program or environmental protection program implementation, and assessment.
  • Record of successfully hiring, managing, and mentoring staff, and the ability to lead by example.
  • Demonstrated fundraising success in the areas of individual giving, corporate giving, foundation and other support will be highly weighted.
  • Familiarity with the communities, flora and fauna and environmental partners of Litchfield and neighboring counties would be an added plus, and/or a demonstrated ability to connect quickly with communities of interest is highly desired.
  • Strong business acumen, with the ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, work in a dynamic environment and effectively manage change.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to prepare and deliver presentations to diverse audiences and age groups, and prepare proposals, reports, program summaries, newsletter articles, and other documents.
  • Technically savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications as well as donor enterprise systems. Experience with Salesforce a strong plus.
  • Experience with or operational knowledge of forestry maintenance equipment, including operating chainsaws and tractors, a plus but not required.
  • A can-do attitude and a tolerant, friendly personality with a great sense of humor are essential. Excellent organizational and communication and writing skills are also critical for success.
  • A passion for conservation, the mission of the National Audubon Society and the natural resources of Connecticut; working knowledge of wildlife conservation issues and ability to articulate them and inspire participation.


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