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 the 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, 43 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 46 states, and 700 staff across the country. Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).
The Chief Scientist is a senior leader who serves a crucial role in shaping Audubon’s science agenda to inform and drive the organization’s conservation priorities across the hemisphere. In this role, the Chief Scientist will need to be a person of deep experience and stature in the science field, and also be a person eager to work in an innovative and collaborative workplace.
The Chief Scientist is the strategic leader and provides day-to-day direction to the Science Division staff. There are currently three teams with approximately 30 staff with a $6M annual budget. Teams range from (1) Community Science, which manages the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and similar programs, (2) Conservation Science which provides spatial and quantitative support for Audubon’s five Conservation Strategies and track progress against our conservation goals, and (3) Migratory Bird Initiative.
Generating and interpreting science in support of actionable conservation and policy is at the heart of the position. Recruiting and managing staff with skills ranging from spatial and quantitative ecology to GIS and coastal biology is essential. Because of the breadth of disciplines involved in the overall program, the Chief Scientist must possess both vision and an ability to analyze and synthesize complex information that supports the organization’s conservation goals. He/she must cultivate strong and cooperative working partnerships with government agencies, corporations, foundations, and other conservation partners, and have the presence and stature to engage the highest levels of leadership in these organizations. He/she must have the ability to translate basic emerging science into Audubon’s practical and applied field approaches.
The Chief Scientist also advances the organization by directly supporting Audubon’s strategic conservation goals and objectives. This position reports to the Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) and works closely with the CCO and other senior leadership team members, and must be comfortable presenting to and working with a diverse variety of audiences , from NGOs, to government agencies to business leaders. In addition, the Chief Scientist works closely with the network of bird conservation staff and scientists in Audubon’s field offices to align and support our priorities on the ground. The Chief Scientist, in collaboration with Audubon’s development staff, will be responsible for raising and managing adequate annual financial support for current and expanding programs.
Audubon’s science program is also an essential resource and partner to our Conservation Strategies, International programs, state field offices and other ornithological institutions. Since Audubon is the BirdLife International partner in the US, the Chief Scientist will collaborate closely with the science staff of the BirdLife Secretariat and other BirdLife partners.