Vice President, Natural Solutions & Working Lands

Job Locations
US-DC
Type
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Executive/Senior Management
ID
2020-4410
State/Province
DC

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. 

 

The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion, and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

 

Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Conservation Officer, the Vice President, Natural Solutions and Working Lands is a new Audubon position focused on advancing strategies that protect and enhance bird habitat, while promoting the economic viability of working lands (specifically ranchlands, rice fields, and forests). The position is one of five strategy leaders who will direct our grassland and forest conservation work across the entire Audubon network.  The VP will be responsible for building a national strategy for advancing emerging natural climate solutions, innovative public policies, and the use of market-based approaches to achieve working lands conservation.     

Working lands is one of Audubon’s five strategic priorities focusing on landscape scale efforts to collaborate with landowners, industry, and government to increase the quality of habitat on privately managed lands. In addition, the strategy is focused on public policies, including the Farm Bill and state-based legislation and administrative action. With the emergence of nature-based solutions to climate change and emerging carbon sequestration markets, the VP will be responsible for building these new opportunities into our existing work and shaping new market-based programs. 

Natural solutions - land management practices that increase carbon sequestered in soil and vegetation - is an emerging strategy to protect habitat and enhance the management of private lands. These solutions contribute to both carbon reduction targets and create habitat beneficial to birds. New science suggests that the conservation and enhanced management of grasslands, forests and wetlands can contribute up to a third of carbon emission reductions needed to reach 2030 goals. Given the nexus of habitat for birds and solutions that reduce carbon, Audubon has embraced natural climate solutions as a key pillar of its climate and working lands strategies.

Position Priorities:

  • Develop and drive a national natural solutions and working lands strategy that addresses the loss of birds in priority landscapes dominated by private lands, including grasslands and forested lands. Develop high leverage partnerships with governments, corporations and other NGOs working in this space in support of our priorities, as well as collaborate with our International Alliance Program on working lands strategies in Latin America.
  • Lead the working lands strategy team, and coordinate with state-based staff working on these issues, to advance natural solutions, regenerative agriculture and bird-friendly practices on range, rice and forested lands.
  • Improve Audubon’s existing landscape scale initiatives by bringing value added science, policy and resource support. Elevate this work to influence natural solutions, regenerative agriculture and working lands policies as well as emerging market opportunities to benefit these and other important bird habitats.
  • Though Audubon’s working lands strategy is primarily focused on private land management this position may work to develop strategies and policies to accelerate implementation of natural solutions on state and federal public lands.

 

Essential Functions

  • Develop an overarching Audubon natural solutions and working lands strategy using science, partnerships, policy and emerging markets to reduce the loss and restore working lands across the United States.
  • Lead a working lands team focused on grasslands and forests habitat protection and restoration.
  • Serve as a spokesperson on our working lands agenda for the organization with donors, decision-makers and board members.
  • Develop high-leverage partnerships with government, industry, landowners, producers and other NGOs to elevate the impact of our work on the ground, contribute to emerging carbon markets, and advance public policy.
  • Develop market-based approaches, creative partnerships and collaborations with landowners, governments and industry to drive natural climate solutions, enhance bird habitat and improve working lands productivity and profits.
  • Examine opportunities for Audubon and its network to advance and elevate our working lands programs in existing priority landscapes including the Central Valley, Northern Great Plains, Sage ecosystem and Eastern Forests.
  • Shape and leverage state and federal agricultural and forest policies to advance conservation solutions on private working lands, as well as public lands in collaboration with Audubon’s public lands and climate teams.
  • Provide expertise and support state-based working lands programs climate campaigns and federal policy that focus on natural climate solutions.
  • Support the development team to raise funds for the Audubon’s working lands agenda.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, ecology, political science, wildlife biology, business, natural resource economics or management required; graduate degree preferred.
  • 10+ years of experience in an NGO or government setting or within an agricultural and/or forest policy, conservation, climate policy, partnership development, or landowner engagement.
  • Solid experience leading and developing teams.
  • Outstanding strategy development, analysis and research skills.
  • A history of fundraising success both in stewarding donors and helping to secure large gifts.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills with proven ability to attract funders and partners by communicating a compelling and inspired sense of purpose.
  • Thorough knowledge of current working lands trends in the U.S. as well as familiarity with scientific and/or economic issues pertaining to agriculture and conservation.
  • Strong entrepreneurial capabilities and ability to foster innovation.
  • Demonstrated leadership and strong professional network within the agriculture, forestry, producer communities and with policy leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and within collaborative and matrix team environments.
  • Strong commitment to Audubon’s mission and values.

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