Center Director

Job Post Information* : Posted Date 2 months ago(10/18/2023 2:18 PM)
Job Locations
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Executive/Senior Management


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 towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters.

North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community.

Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon brings new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary

For over 40 years, Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary (Rowe) has protected critical habitat within the Platte River Valley for birds and other wildlife that depend on it. Rowe Sanctuary encompassed approximately 3,000 acres of prairie and riverine habitat, which is managed for Sandhill Cranes, the endangered Whooping Cranes, shorebirds, and grassland birds. Every spring, the Sandhill Crane migration provides rich opportunities to engage an international audience of more than 30,000 people who visit the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center (Center) on Rowe Sanctuary. The strong partnership between Rowe Sanctuary and local communities provides significant income for the Center and is an important local economic driver.


The Center Director at Rowe must be an innovative leader who can work in partnership with key internal and external stakeholders. The Center Director will ensure alignment with Audubon’s national strategic plan, lead the implementation of Rowe Sanctuary’s Strategic Plan, and share the vision and mission of Rowe Sanctuary widely. The Center Director will deliver the highest possible value to the central Nebraska community by cultivating strong partnerships with local community leaders, state and federal agency representatives, educators, researchers, surrounding landowners, and Central Platte Valley conservation partners. The Center Director will advocate for sustainable water use for Platte River conservation and expand Rowe’s conservation impact, in part by reaching out and engaging a variety of audiences.


Reporting directly to the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Great Plains, the Center Director is the administrative lead for the Center, managing all aspects of Center operations including oversight of the land, habitat, facilities, trails and grounds, management of volunteers and contractors and management of capital projects. The Center Director will oversee the Center’s budget, and multiple revenue streams and fundraise in partnership with members of the Development Team. The Center Director will supervise an education team, a conservation team, and an operations manager, and receive support from nationally based finance and development staff. Optional Onsite housing is available for the Center Director.



$85,000-$87,000 / year

Essential Functions

  • Responsible for bird conservation along the Platte River for birds today and tomorrow through adaptive sanctuary habitat management, by facilitating learning, and by supporting collaborative conservation partnerships.

Habitat, Land and Facilities Management

  • Oversee and support the implementation of Rowe’s 50-Year Vision, and associated Sanctuary Habitat Management Plan which prioritizes the conservation of Rowe Sanctuary target birds.
  • Collaborate with Platte River conservation partner organizations to ensure Audubon’s sanctuary contributes to larger Platte River ecosystem conservation plans.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with surrounding landowners, identify opportunities for collaboration and conservation across fence lines, share best practices, and enhance learning.
  • Oversee all capital improvement projects, including landscaping and center renovation projects, striving for energy conservation and carbon neutrality at the Center whenever feasible.
  • Oversee facility management, maintenance, and ensure safety standards are upheld. Manage safety and maintenance of trails for visitors.
  • Oversee all operational aspects of the Center’s facility rentals program and special events, including but not limited to promoting and growing the rental program, scheduling, staffing, and planning for programs and events.

Program Development, Coordination, and Delivery

  • Align current, new center and local community programming with Audubon conservation goals, and Rowe Sanctuary’s Strategic Plan. Work closely with Audubon Great Plain’s Platte.
  • In partnership with the River Program Manager and Communications Manager expand Platte River conservation activities and engagement beyond Rowe Sanctuary.
  • Support the Center Volunteer Coordinator to build the volunteer program.
  • Oversee Crane Season planning and delivery, including but not limited to tours, educational programming, gift shop, volunteer training, schedules, and on-site housing.
  • Expand community conservation programming for underserved audiences.
  • Regularly evaluate programming with staff and develop new or refreshed programming as appropriate.
  • Ensure the creation and dissemination of content and conservation opportunities that are accessible, welcoming, and reflective of the international audience the Center serves.

Leadership and Staff Management

  • Recruit, hire, and effectively manage staff and interns.
  • Form and manage relevant committees made up of local, state and federal partners, stakeholders, educators, and other community leaders that can provide advice on and connections to the local community.
  • Establish and regularly review and update Center priorities and procedures, including Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) and emergency preparedness and response policies.
  • Conduct regular staff meetings and promote clear, open information exchange to support and advance program goals.
  • Monitor the performance of all positions directly supervised and conduct annual performance reviews.
  • Support staff professional development and training opportunities consistent with program needs and budget.
  • 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.
  • Facilitate Rowe Sanctuary Stewardship Board meetings, create board reports, engage board members to utilize their expertise for Rowe mission advancement.

Budget and Fundraising

  • Work with the Executive Director and Finance Manager to develop and deliver required budgeting and financial reporting. Oversee expenses to stay within the budget.
  • With the guidance of development staff, meet with donors and host donor events at the Center.
  • Build on existing sources of earned income, including program revenue, camp and school program tuition, store sales, rental income, and admissions.
  • Effectively and enthusiastically communicate the case for support of the Center’s program.
  • Seek new revenue opportunities, write and manage grants, and assist with and staff special fundraising events.

Qualifications and Experience

  • 10+ years’ experience in land/facility management, community organizing/advocacy, public administration, recreation management, wildlife conservation, ecological restoration, or related field required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as environmental studies, biology, public administration, recreation management, or other related field required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • Basic knowledge of building maintenance, and public outdoor safety concepts preferred.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and presentations, and the ability to build consensus among a wide array of individuals.
  • Experience and passion for working with multigenerational audiences and a commitment to increasing EDIB as a core component of our work.
  • Ability to both give and receive support from Audubon colleagues.
  • Strong project management skills, including but not limited to setting and implementing effective goals and objectives, problem-solving, time management, creating and maintaining collaboration with other organizations, and preparing oral and written reports.
  • Strong business acumen, with the ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, work in a dynamic environment, and effectively manage change.
  • Tech-savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, and ability to learn new software.
  • Willing to work outside of standard business hours during Crane Season and, for events and meetings occurring on weekends, weekday mornings, and/or weeknights.
  • Commitment to the mission and vision of Rowe Sanctuary and the National Audubon Society.

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.


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