• Vice President, Climate

    Job Locations US-DC-Washington
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
    Executive/Senior Management
  • Overview

    In the spring of 2016, the National Audubon Society adopted a new strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on the most important opportunities for addressing critical threats to birds and their habitat throughout the Western Hemisphere. The plan reaffirms Audubon’s commitment to organizing our conservation work along four migratory flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific. Each spring and fall, billions of migratory birds follow the flyways of the Americas from wintering to breeding grounds and back again. By protecting the web of life that represents the Americas’ richest veins of biodiversity, Audubon is safeguarding our great natural heritage for future generations, preserving our shared quality of life, and fostering a healthier and more resilience environment. To do so, Audubon connects its powerful network—463 Chapters, 41 nature centers and sanctuaries, 23 state offices, more than 650 state and national staff members, 1.2 million members and volunteers, and U.S. and international partners—along each of the flyways, to weave a seamless web of conservation across the hemisphere.

    Our 2016 strategic plan builds on the strong foundation established by the previous plan. It creates a roadmap for the next five years, guided by two ideas: by focusing on the needs of bird species, the scale and ambition of our conservation work can match the complexity of 21st century demands; and to do so, Audubon will become the most effective conservation network in America. We have set our sights on tackling the largest issues of our time across five crosscutting conservation strategies--climate, coasts, working lands, water, and bird friendly communities. We are building durable public will for conservation by broadening and deepening our support base, with a clear-eyed focus on increasing diversity and promoting inclusion. We have invested in the skills and capacity of our unparalleled distributed network to achieve wins across all these strategies.



    Position Summary

    The National Audubon Society’s climate strategy is founded on our commitment to protecting 315 bird species and the habitats on which they rely that are under considerable threat due to climate change. We have determined that climate change is the most pervasive threat to birds in North America and around the globe. Our approach to advancing climate change solutions is a highly pragmatic one focused on building bi-partisan coalitions and drawing on our authentic, large and centrist membership base to advocate for a suite of solutions that reduce carbon and build resilience into ecosystems. Audubon’s unique strength is its grassroots constituency, a critical and often missing piece of previous national climate initiatives. This job description emphasizes policy and campaign experience because success will come as much from outside the Beltway—in communities and in partnership with industries—as  from Capitol Hill.

    Over the past three years, we have made significant progress. Audubon’s bedrock, as always, is science that proves the severe threat that climate change poses to birds. We have succeeded in passing local and state climate policies; we have trained and mobilized our membership and other bird lovers to advocate for practical solutions; we have built important relationships with leaders of both parties; we have successfully advocated for well-sited renewable energy projects and state policies that support clean energy. Our actions and our theory of victory have raised significant capital needed to propel our work into the future.

    Today, our priorities are focused in three areas:


    • Building a politically active, national network of advocates for climate change solutions by informing, training, and engaging Audubon’s membership and other bird lovers in targeted geographies across the country;
    • Supporting and advancing state and local climate policy solutions through grassroots campaigns and by contributing technical expertise; and
    • Advancing clean energy policies and well-sited renewable energy projects across the country.

    As we enter into the next phase of our climate work, Audubon is seeking a proven leader who can build on our foundation or research and early successes and who can drive Audubon’s flagship strategic conservation priority. S/he will have expertise and a record of accomplishment in advancing climate policy solutions and working with networks, building and leading coalitions and engaging grassroots communities. The ideal candidate also possesses strong relationships with other organizations, associations and donors who are developing and advancing a range of solutions that reduce carbon and is familiar with clean energy solutions. As a leader of Audubon, s/he will be both entrepreneurial and highly collaborative.

    The Vice President for Climate will serve on the national conservation leadership team at the National Audubon Society and will work with the Audubon network and leaders in the public and private sectors to accomplish lasting conservation results including mitigation and adaptation outcomes. As a longtime conservation NGO, Audubon understands that advocacy for bird-centric adaptation measures can often be an effective onramp for mitigation advocacy. Because Audubon’s unique membership of 1.2 million spans the political spectrum, the Vice President for Climate must have a track record of working effectively with leaders representing all political affiliations.

    Reporting to the Chief Conservation Officer/Senior Advisor to the CEO, s/he will work closely with all departments in the Audubon network including state offices, the National Policy and Science teams, Network, development, marketing, legal and communications offices.  The Vice President will direct the organization’s climate strategies team and engage leadership in our state field offices and in Audubon chapters, as well as with members and other partners at the state and local levels to ensure the successful delivery of program outcomes and to build a durable, bi-partisan grassroots community committed to climate solutions.  

    This position will also serve as a leader for the National Audubon Society. In this role, s/he will provide strategic direction to the Audubon conservation leadership team on climate change, clean energy and other issues and solutions that can benefit the portfolio. This position will also advise partners on strategies and tactics to achieve conservation wins at scale and serve as Audubon’s spokesperson in forums and conferences to highlight challenges and showcase Audubon solutions.  

    Essential Functions

    • Climate Leader: Responsible for envisioning, directing and advancing National Audubon Society’s climate strategy including shaping local, state and federal policies, building partnerships with public and private interests, leading bi-partisan coalitions, and working with partners across the Audubon network.
    • Grassroots and Network Strategist: Responsible for building a durable grassroots network or community of activists who are committed to birds and are willing to take actions to address the major threat to their survival—climate change—in all political environments. While this position is based in Washington, D.C., Audubon’s added value for the climate movement comes from its local and state-based membership network. With 460+ chapters, 23 state offices, and 1.2 million members, Audubon has authentic local roots everywhere — something that distinguishes us on the climate landscape. Many of those members live in red and purple places, providing us the opportunity to build bipartisan success in conservative and moderate geographies. Further, our commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion compels us to consider the impacts and opportunities of climate action for communities across America.
    • Effective Manager: Manage staff and budgets; build climate leadership teams and support departments, field offices and other partners to materially contribute to the goals of Audubon’s climate agenda.
    • Proven Collaborator: Collaboratively lead and organize staff and resources across multiple national divisions, field offices and chapters; ensure that NAS maintains its focus on critical tasks and strategic goals while successfully executing policy campaigns and network building plans.
    • Spokesperson: Represent NAS by serving as its public spokesperson on climate change, clean energy and other solutions that reduce carbon.
    • Change Champion: Act as an entrepreneurial organizational champion of change by: 1) helping to develop and advance solutions at the local, state and national levels; 2) continuously examining new solutions to reduce carbon and adapt to climate change; 3) engaging the Audubon Network in achieving national, state and local policy victories; and; 4) integrating and mobilizing the assets across the Audubon network to achieve success.
    • Fundraising Partner: Work closely with the CEO, CCO and the organization’s Development professionals to support fundraising efforts that contribute to climate priorities; develop and help to maintain relationships with funders; and coordinate with conservation, policy and development team members, as needed.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree and 8+ years of experience advancing climate solutions with a range of stakeholder groups, experience leading campaigns, a track record of tangible results and working with government agencies, industry and elected officials. Demonstrated ability to work across the political spectrum is a must. 
    • Expertise in climate change and clean energy policies and a proven track record in advancing climate solutions.
    • Experience building and/or guiding  grassroots coalitions to advance climate solutions.
    • Extensive connections with leading experts in the field and with funders of climate programs.
    • Demonstrated experience managing distributed teams and overseeing complex and multiple projects in a matrixed for- profit or NGO, including the creation of visionary strategy, meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and communicating and coordinating closely with key staff and partners.
    • Familiarity with the political process and the appropriate activities of 501c3 and 501c4 organizations; creativity in leveraging all the tools available to non-profits for securing policy change.
    • A self-starter with the ability to work collaboratively with staff on multiple career levels, in various professional disciplines and across geographies.
    • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at all levels.
    • Proven track record of success in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
    • Technically savvy, including proficiency in Microsoft Office suite applications and various web-based technologies. Experience with Salesforce a plus, but not required.
    • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to effectively represent NAS.
    • Must have a flexible approach to work, with a willingness to travel nationally as needed.
    • Demonstrated commitment to conservation and passion for the mission and programs of the National Audubon Society.


    Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
    Share on your newsfeed