Director of Conservation

Job Locations
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 approximately 450 local chapters, 120 campus chapters, 17 state and regional offices, 34 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. 



Position Summary

Audubon South Carolina is seeking a seasoned and visionary leader to serve as Director of Conservation for the South Carolina office of the National Audubon Society, helping advance its mission to protect birds and the places they, and we, need to thrive using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.


Reporting to the Vice President and Executive Director for Audubon South Carolina, the Director of Conservation will help bring National Audubon’s conservation strategies and priorities to life in South Carolina by developing a comprehensive vision and science-driven, landscape-level with conservation goals to guide Audubon’s conservation work in the state— with a particular focus on increasing climate resiliency through restoring and protecting critical coastal, marsh and forest habitat and mitigating the impacts of climate change through sustainable forestry and agricultural practices.


The Director of Conservation will define measures of success, develop implementation plans, track conservation activities, report on progress toward goals, and manage and grow the state conservation team to support these efforts. They will work closely with natural resource agencies, other conservation organizations, and stakeholders across National Audubon and Atlantic Flyway offices to ensure the successful planning and implementation of Audubon South Carolina’s conservation programs. This includes coordinating with members of Audubon’s Science, Network, and Policy teams to ensure alignment between state and national conservation science, engagement programs, and policy agendas to enhance Audubon’s conservation impact at every level.


They will also work closely with Audubon’s Fundraising and Finance teams to secure funding and shape sustainable income streams to support Audubon South Carolina’s conservation priorities, with responsibilities to include cultivating and stewarding donors; developing and managing funding proposals for foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals; and creating a culture of philanthropy among Audubon South Carolina’s conservation team.


Audubon South Carolina is committed to building equitable, resilient, and healthy communities in which every member benefit from the joy and value of nature. The Director of Conservation is expected to embody these values in his/her/their direction and vision.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as a core member of Audubon South Carolina’s management team, leading the development of a conservation vision to guide Audubon South Carolina’s conservation objectives and programs in alignment with and support of National Audubon’s conservation and programmatic priorities to ensure maximum conservation impact.
  • Develop an implementation plan for Audubon’s Coastal Carolina’s Blueprint, which seeks to restore, protect, and steward South Carolina’s most important coastal bird habitat through creative and high-impact resiliency projects, key partnerships, and creative community engagement programs.
  • In collaboration with Audubon South Carolina’s Director of Land Conservation team, supporting strategic efforts to identify, prioritize, and increase implementation of bird and climate-friendly forestry practices in South Carolina; leverage bird-friendly forestry already occurring on Audubon South Carolina’s 26,000+ acres of land; and restore, manage, and protect habitat required by priority forest bird species.
  • Provide strategic oversight of Audubon South Carolina’s community science and research efforts, helping guide, evolve, and/or better leverage existing efforts, analyze data, incorporate findings into adaptive management strategies, and resolve how data can be used to measure success of conservation programs.
  • Work with Audubon South Carolina’s Policy Director to ensure state and national policy priorities and related advocacy activities are developed in support of Audubon’s conservation goals and informed by the latest conservation science.
  • Serve as a compelling, enthusiastic, and widely visible spokesperson for Audubon South Carolina and its conservation vision and programs with members of the media, lawmakers, regulators, donors, and other stakeholders, helping grow Audubon's profile as a conservation leader throughout the state.
  • Develop and sustain partnerships and coalitions with relevant NGOs, academic institutions, corporations, and natural resource agencies at the local, state, and federal levels to advance Audubon’s conservation priorities.
  • Research and secure public and private funding opportunities and support the Executive Director and development team with fundraising activities including solicitation of gifts and prospect development. Specific activities may include but are not limited to leading site visits and giving presentations to existing and prospective donors.
  • Manage and mentor the conservation team and coordinate with policy, education, and communications staff not under direct supervision in the planning, monitoring, and implementation of Audubon South Carolina’s conservation programs— ensuring these efforts are aligned with and integrated into Audubon’s Atlantic Flyway and National conservation plans and goals.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, respectful communication, inclusive leadership, and effective teamwork--exhibited through an ability to collaborate with others and to incorporate new and differing perspectives in decision-making.

Qualifications and Experience

  • B.S. in conservation biology, wildlife management, forestry, natural resources, avian ecology, ornithology, or a related field, advanced degree preferred.
  • 10+ years of experience in natural resources management, biology, or related environmental or conservation work and at least 3 years of management experience, specifically leading professional teams.
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • Understanding of significant conservation issues in South Carolina, e.g., climate adaptation and resiliency, sustainable forestry and agriculture, afforestation, restoration, coastal management, marsh migration, etc.
  • Demonstrated record in project management and experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including managing budgets, metrics, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to synthesize and communicate complex technical information to both technical and nontechnical audiences, as well as public speaking experience

EEO Statement

The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

Accessibility Statement

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID Policy

Beginning September 15, 2021: Audubon requires all staff either to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or, if they cannot provide such proof for any reason, to wear a mask while working indoors, including in all Audubon facilities and offsite, and while working outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing. In addition, at this time and until CDC recommendations change, all staff in counties the CDC identifies as having “substantial” and “high” COVID transmission ratesmust wear masks indoors (unless alone in a closed office) and outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing regardless of vaccination status. 


This policy covers national and state offices, centers, and sanctuaries, as well as Audubon employees working offsite. Should you be selected for this position, you will be asked to acknowledge you have read the above policy and provide your vaccination status.


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