The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.
The National Audubon Society is seeking a Program Director, Mississippi River Water Initiative to strengthen, expand and lead Audubon’s water conservation strategy across the River and key parts of watershed. Audubon’s water strategy is a key element of our strategic plan, focused on ensuring clean and abundant water in rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, and marshes in landscapes where this is paramount to birds’ survival. The Mississippi River Water Initiative seeks to coordinate existing strategies in the priority states of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi while developing new strategies to advance more comprehensive habitat protection and restoration efforts to benefit birds and the places they need. The Program Director is charged with coordinating and building upon existing Mississippi River Water Initiative policy on-the-ground conservation and public engagement work designed to increase support, delivery and funding for water conservation and environmental protection efforts. This position reports to the Vice President, Water Conservation.
An experienced and credible environmental leader, the Program Director will work collaboratively with national and regional policy, conservation, science, communications and engagement staff on water issues throughout the watershed, including staff within three regional Audubon offices: Audubon Delta, Audubon Great Lakes and Audubon Minnesota, Missouri and Iowa.
The Program Director will build upon existing Mississippi River water conservation programs, act as a spokesperson for the Water Initiative, lead our coalition work in this area and build strategic partnerships that advance Audubon’s objectives. They will manage large grants and identify and cultivate promising new funding opportunities in collaboration with national and regional program and development staff.
An active pursuit of racial equity is a moral and strategic imperative for Audubon. We are committed to becoming a workplace in which every employee feels valued, seen, and heard, and in which everyone has the opportunity to grow, thrive, and live their values. We know that a more diverse Audubon allows us to be more equitable and inclusive in how and where we work.
• Develop a comprehensive water conservation strategy across the Mississippi River Water Initiative in
collaboration with state and regional offices, designed to maximize the impact for birds and the places they need.
• In collaboration with the Vice President, Water Conservation, develop measurable goals for Audubon’s Mississippi River Water Initiative and track progress toward these goals.
• Lead implementation of a federal Mississippi River water policy agenda, including critical policy and engagement efforts that advance the initiative’s goals and build our advocacy network.
• Collaborate with regional offices to identify new opportunities and partners for on-the-ground water conservation work within the Mississippi River Water Initiative, with a focus on expanding natural infrastructure approaches to conservation.
• Collaborate with Audubon communications staff to present clear, consistent public messaging for Audubon’s work and objectives of the Mississippi River Water Initiative.
• In coordination with regional and national engagement staff, serve as an Audubon spokesperson/ambassador on Mississippi River issues and help raise Audubon’s leadership profile and visibility with donors, partners, policymakers, and the public.
• In partnership with the Vice President, Water Conservation and development team, help secure funds from individuals, foundations, and government agencies and develop partnerships and relationships with funders, donors, and strategic partners to support and grow Audubon’s capacity for a diverse set of Water Initiative programs.
• Manage grant deliverables and track grant spending related to the Mississippi River Water Initiative.
• Partner with Audubon staff to incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into the Mississippi River Water Initiative.
• Other duties as required.
• Knowledge of water resources or wildlife conservation in the Mississippi River watershed.
• Experience developing an inclusive strategy that seeks to accomplish conservation goals while considering the
needs of traditionally underserved communities.
• Demonstrated experience overseeing complex projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
• Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, diplomacy, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
• Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon to members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
• Ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences.
• Demonstrated success with fundraising, in particular with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
• Willingness and ability to travel for key meetings with staff, funders and other important stakeholders.
• Bachelor's degree in public policy, political science, biology, ecology, natural resources management, or related field required. Advanced degree preferred.
• 10+ years' progressive experience in policy, advocacy, science and/or public service. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
• Interest in conservation and the mission and programs of the National Audubon Society, including our principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
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.
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