• VP, Political Affairs & Executive Director, Audubon Action Fund

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

    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

    The National Audubon Society and the Audubon Action Fund are seeking a strategic, collaborative and innovative leader to lead Audubon’s political affairs and manage the Action Fund. The Vice President is responsible for developing and driving a comprehensive political strategy that will help achieve Audubon’s conservation goals working with the government affairs and campaigns teams to advance a bipartisan policy agenda at the federal and state level. As Executive Director, s/he will be responsible for developing and driving the Action Fund’s political strategy, successful execution of its annual operating plan as well as fundraising and financial objectives.


    This person will be a critical leader on the Washington, D.C.-based team that drives the organizations’ efforts to implement transformative policy solutions and mobilizes the most effective conservation network in America to turn policy ideas into real protections for birds and the places they need. S/he will work with Audubon’s Climate, Coasts, Water, Working Lands and Bird-Friendly Communities conservation leaders to identify and secure conservation policy priorities that achieve the vision and goals laid out in Audubon’s current strategic plan.


    As Vice President, they will ensure Audubon builds and maintains bipartisan working relationships with congressional offices and federal agencies and remain informed of policy, legislative, and political developments related to Audubon’s agenda. S/he will identify opportunities to leverage Audubon’s best assets – an engaged grassroots membership in all 50 states, a desire to build broad and politically-diverse coalitions, and an organization-wide commitment to pragmatic science-based solutions – in pursuit of sustainable policy accomplishments.


    As Executive Director of the Action Fund, s/he will work as a strategic partner to the National Audubon Society, bringing additional tools and capacity to turn policymakers into champions that advance policies that protect birds and the places they need.  This work requires creating durable public will that changes political decision making around climate, energy and conservation policy. S/he will be a public advocate for conservation and the Action Fund agenda with funders, decision makers, media and other stakeholders.


    The ideal candidate must have enthusiasm for Audubon’s conservation mission and drive to build bi-partisan conservation champions even in a highly partisan environment.  S/he must have a proven record of success advancing a legislative agenda as well as a sophisticated understanding legislative process and decision making. S/he will also have leadership experience within political campaigns and/or within a 501(c)(4) or similar organization.  S/he will have experience managing a budget and staff as well as building new programs.  S/he will be a strategic partner and exceptional communicator capable of managing and integrating high-performing teams across departments and navigating organizational processes and procedures to meet goals and deadlines.


    The person arrives during an exciting time of organizational growth and innovation driven by its leadership and advanced everyday by dedicated, highly-collaborative Audubon team members in Washington, DC and across the country.


    Essential Functions

    The VP/ED will report to the Senior Vice President, Conservation Policy, who also serves as senior advisor for the Action Fund. The VP/ED will develop and maintain key working relationships with the Conservation, Campaigns, Network, Communications and Marketing teams, among others. The VP/ED will build strong working relationships with state-based leaders and teams that are critical to integration and execution of the advocacy work.


    Vice President, Political Affairs, Audubon 

    • Lead in developing and implementing an annual strategic political agenda to advance Audubon’s conservation priorities;
    • Work closely with Audubon’s bipartisan government affairs team and it’s issue campaign team to develop and drive execution of Audubon’s policy agenda;
    • Work closely with Audubon’s conservation strategies teams, including Climate, Coasts, Water, Working Lands and Bird-Friendly Communities, to remain aware of federal and state policy priorities and provide strategic advice on opportunities for advancement both legislatively or politically and/or any associated risks related to those priorities;
    • Build Audubon’s reputation and positioning in advancing bipartisan conservation outcomes at the local, state, and federal levels as well as building a bipartisan pipeline of decision makers who champion conservation priorities important to birds and people;
    • Have both a daily understanding of the political and government affairs challenges and a long-term view for success;
    • Engage in Audubon’s regular process to develop Audubon’s political, legislative and issue campaign plans;
    • Assist the Development team’s efforts to support Audubon’s advocacy work;
    • Implement and advance programs and strategies that reflect the communities served by Audubon and the Action Fund in alignment with the organizational values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Executive Director, Audubon Action Fund

    • Develop and manage the Action Fund’s strategic plan ensuring that outcomes are in place with appropriate annual metrics in coordination with Action Fund leadership as well as the Action Fund Board;
    • Successfully manage the staff and day-to-day operations of the Action Fund to provide for the sustainability and long-term stability of the organization;
    • Work with the Development team in developing the annual fundraising plan for the Action Fund and serving as a leader on fundraising, as needed;
    • Grow and develop the Action Fund’s Board of Directors including identifying and supporting recruitment of new members and managing board communication and meetings;
    • Serve as a key internal and external spokesperson for Action Fund as well as proactively lead efforts to enhance organizational visibility and awareness;
    • Ensure the maintenance of official records and documents consistent with Action Fund policies, and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree, as well as 10+ years of progressive professional experience, to include at least 3-5 years of senior level management experience overseeing teams and/or large-scale programs.
    • Forward-looking leader with experience as a senior executive having worked in a similar size organization, congressional office or agency requiring careful consideration of the political, strategic, and policy implications of recommendations, and a proven ability to seize opportunities to drive policy and/or political outcomes.
    • Thorough understanding of the political and legislative landscape at the federal level and outstanding legislative analysis skills.
    • Relevant 501 (c) (4), public policy, and/or political experience strongly preferred.
    • Team builder with a record of working collaboratively with both Democrats and Republicans.
    • Consensus builder among constituencies and ability to blend interests around a common set of goals.
    • Strategic thinker who sees the big picture and motivates staff, Board, donors, allies and key constituents toward a common vision.
    • Ability to foster trust, establish relationships and build a sense of a shared purpose and commitment with the Board, staff, allies, and key influencers.
    • A self-starter with demonstrated ability to work independently and effectively manage a complex workflow.
    • Willingness to travel out-of-state, and the ability and enthusiasm to work evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
    • Technically savvy including proficiency with Microsoft Office. Experience with a tracking database software desired.

    Personal attributes:

    • Interest in conservation issues and passion for Audubon’s mission, programs and policy agenda.
    • Exceptional judgement and tact with a commitment to impeccable integrity and strong work ethic.
    • Personal desire to build durable bipartisan public will for conservation issues, work with diverse stakeholders, and engage both Democrats and Republicans on Audubon’s policy interests.
    • An active listener with excellent and persuasive communications skills.
    • Outstanding political instincts.
    • Desire to be part of and contribute to a team effort, have a sense of humor, and possess a willingness to accept occasional setbacks with an eye on the next opportunity to drive success.



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