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.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 13,000-acre nature sanctuary in Southwest Florida. It includes 2.25 miles of boardwalk, the Blair Audubon Center, Nature Store and Gallery Café, as well as education, research and resource management programs. More than 100,000 people visit Corkscrew each year and the Sanctuary enjoys the support of a dedicated sustainability board and many volunteers. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary serves as an anchor for Audubon Florida’s policy advocacy in the Western Everglades and is a living laboratory for the study and restoration of Southwest Florida’s freshwater wetlands.
The Sanctuary is currently conducting a capital campaign to implement our reimagined campus and staff have raised $6M with a capital goal of $12M.
The Senior Director, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, will be responsible for advancing Audubon’s science-based conservation mission protecting the Sanctuary and its watershed. Working in partnership with the Audubon Florida’s Executive Director, they will set the strategic direction for the center and sanctuary and will play an important role in carrying out the mission of Audubon Florida and the National Audubon Society. In conjunction with relevant stakeholders, they will work to develop programming that includes elements of Audubon’s core approaches to conservation—science, education, public policy and direct habitat management. The Senior Director will be responsible for maintaining and expanding Corkscrew’s facilities, staff and programming, while simultaneously restoring and protecting the ecology of the Sanctuary. To ensure the Sanctuary’s financial stability and continued expansion, the Senior Director will work closely with Audubon Florida’s development team to identify, cultivate and solicit donors, and with center staff to maximize earned income and manage expenses.The Sanctuary Director is a key Audubon spokesperson for the conservation of the Western Everglades, and works closely with Audubon Florida’s Director of Everglades Policy, state Director of Policy, and Corkscrew Leadership Team to achieve Audubon’s conservation goals in the region.This role reports to the Executive Director for Audubon Florida and has five direct reports including several senior-level positions leading research, land management, center operations and maintenance. Overall, the Sanctuary employs 25 regular staff and has an annual operating budget of about $2 million.
Leadership and Staff Management Provide dynamic, collaborative leadership for the Sanctuary’s mission, strategy, core program areas, and operating departments consistent with National Audubon’s strategic plan. Engender a mission-oriented culture that values teamwork, inclusion, equity, diversity, belonging. Bring joy and purpose to the important work of the centers. With staff, help grow an active volunteer and intern program and adhere to National Audubon Society guidelines and supports sanctuary and center goals. Involve staff and key partners in developing measurable goals and action plans, as well as a process for monitoring and assessing progress. Preserve and cultivate a culture of mutual respect, individual initiative, collegiality, and diversity; collaborate with staff to identify and implement best practices and evaluate outcomes, where applicable. Cultivate and maintain a thriving advisory board for the Sanctuary.
Finance and Development - Balance Sanctuary expenses and revenues, and ensure resources for capital improvements, maintenance and habitat management. Partner with Audubon Florida’s Finance Director and other programmatic and operations staff to develop and deliver required budgeting and financial reporting for the Sanctuary. In collaboration with Audubon Florida development staff, create and implement a financially sustainable development plan for the Sanctuary that cultivates and maintains relationships with current donors while identifying and expanding new funding sources. In collaboration with development team, oversee the successful completion of Corkscrew’s $12M capital campaign. Enhance existing sources of earned income, including program revenue, camp and school program tuition, store sales, rental income, admissions, at the Sanctuary. Seek new revenue opportunities, write grants, ensure grant reporting and compliance; assist with and staff special fundraising events at the Sanctuary.
Facilities Management - Lead the implementation of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s capital campaign-supported reimagined campus to modernize and centralize facilities for our staff and operations. Oversee the management and implementation of a facilities plan for preventative maintenance of facilities and equipment.
Resource Management -In collaboration with the Director of Restoration, oversee the creation and regular updates of a land management plan for the ecological health of the sanctuary and its habitats. Ensure Corkscrew team conducts timely resource management of the Sanctuary’s habitats as prescribed by the best available science. Oversee Director of Research’s work to ensure data collection and research assess and inform resource management and local and regional conservation policy efforts.
Communications and Engagement - Work with the Center Director to ensure visitor experiences and education programs advance and support Corkscrew and Audubon Florida missions and engage diverse audiences. In collaboration with Associate Director, oversee the development and implementation of a center, education and visitor experience strategy. Serve as a public representative of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the Audubon Florida team which may include presentations, public speaking, meeting participation and/or other interactions with agencies, NGOs, Audubon chapters, and landowners to both gather and disseminate information. Seek opportunities both with Florida and national communications teams and externally to raise the profile and disseminate information about the Sanctuary to a broad audience through printed, spoken, and electronic media.Partner with Audubon staff to incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into the Sanctuary programming. Collaborate with Audubon Florida Executive Director to identify and acquire key inholdings. Collaborate with policy staff for conservation work on habitat protection, imperiled species protection, water quality, invasive species.
• Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Non-profit Management, Environmental Studies, or related field required;
Master’s degree strongly preferred. A combination of education and experience will also be considered. 10+ years progressive leadership experience in multi-function nature centers, research centers, field studies programs, or conservation organizations to include staff, budget, and program management. • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills that can be adapted to reach a wide range of individuals and used to build consensus. Ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences.• Experience with fundraising including annual giving and major gifts cultivation. Capital campaign experience referred.• Exceptional project management skills, including but not limited to setting and implementing effective goals and objectives, problem-solving, time management, contract, and grant management, creating and maintaining collaborations with other organizations, developing public awareness activities, preparing reports, etc.
• Strong business acumen, with the ability to think strategically and creatively, manage multiple tasks,
meet deadlines, and work in a dynamic environment and effectively manage change.• Experience working with multigenerational audiences and diverse cultural communities and a commitment to increasing equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging as a core component of our work.• Experience managing grants and budgets.• Successful track record of hiring, managing, and mentoring staff, as well as supervising volunteers.• Proficiency with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other key Microsoft Office and web-based products.• Knowledge of the ecology of Southwest Florida and its conservation challenges a plus.• Experience growing organizations/programs in staff, budget, and sophistication.
• Self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment.• Willing to travel, work evenings, and weekends as the job demands.• Ability to lift up to 30 lbs. and traverse at least 3 miles in a variety of weather conditions with or without accommodation.• Ability to obtain a Florida Driver’s License.
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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