For more than a century, Audubon has championed the protection of birds and their habitat. Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity. With nearly 700 staff, 23 state programs, 465 local chapters, 43 centers and sanctuaries, and close to half a million members throughout the United States, Audubon achieves its mission by engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education, and on-the-ground conservation action.
In the fall of 2011, Audubon adopted a new strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on the biggest and most important opportunities for addressing critical threats to birds and their habitat. At the core of this plan is a focus on flyways: Each year, more than 10 billion birds use major flyways to travel up and down the continent and to points beyond. Underneath these flyways are migratory rest stops and the homes for non-migratory birds that are critical to birds’ survival. These places form a web that represents the richest veins of biodiversity across the Americas. They are the tipping point places that connect people to birds and ecosystems—and where birds thrive, people prosper. By mobilizing and aligning Audubon’s unparalleled network of chapters, centers, state programs, and Important Bird Area (IBA) programs to focus on the four major migratory flyways in the Americas (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific), 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. Within each flyway, Audubon will sharpen its focus on the most critical species and places, working only where there is a theory of victory for delivering measurable conservation impact at scale. As part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in more than 100 countries working to protect a network of IBAs around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. Critical to Audubon’s conservation success will be engaging a growing and more diverse audience to take conservation action.
Audubon seeks an Executive Director to build on Audubon Vermont’s rich history and expand its contributions to conservation in Vermont and the Atlantic Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success. This is a high-profile, pivotal opportunity for a dynamic conservation professional. As one of Audubon’s state programs with a significant leadership role in the Atlantic Flyway, an annual budget of $800,000 and a staff of 12, Audubon Vermont uses its statewide Forest Bird and Champlain Valley Bird conservation initiatives, educational programming, the Green Mountain Audubon Center, its four sanctuaries, seven affiliated local Audubon Chapters, and 3,000 grassroots members to protect birds and their habitats. The successful candidate will have the passion and leadership skills necessary to articulate, develop, and implement Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies in the state, while maintaining its leadership role in the flyway by working closely with the Audubon Vermont Board and staff, and the Vice President of the Atlantic Flyway to align the state program with strategic regional and national priorities. The Executive Director will hold the title of Vice President within the national organization and will report to the VP Atlantic Flyway; s/he will be jointly reviewed by the VP Atlantic Flyway and Audubon Vermont Board each year.
Audubon offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position will be located in Huntington, Vermont at the Green Mountain Audubon Center.
The Vice President/Executive Director, Audubon Vermont, will perform the following and other duties as assigned:
Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership
• Complete the development and lead the implementation of a five-year strategic plan for Audubon Vermont to grow the organization’s capacity across the state to achieve conservation of priority birds and their habitats.
• Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to a staff of 12 including a team of dedicated program directors in the areas of science, policy, and education to reach the goals set out by the National Strategic Plan as they relate to Vermont and the Green Mountain Audubon Center.
• Have a clear vision, passion, and commitment to leveraging the Green Mountain Audubon Center as a hub for education, science, and demonstration that is clearly and strategically integrated with state and flyway initiatives.
• Manage the day to day operations of the state, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with Audubon Vermont’s program directors.
Fundraising and External Relations
• Lead Audubon Vermont’s fundraising, working closely with Audubon Vermont’s development staff and program directors, the VP of the Atlantic Flyway, and the Chief Development Officer of the National Audubon Society to cultivate and solicit major donors and foundations for Audubon Vermont and Atlantic Flyway initiatives of which Audubon Vermont is a part to significantly increase contributions from diverse stakeholders.
• Represent and raise the profile and visibility of Audubon Vermont externally to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
• Work closely with the Audubon Vermont Board to support their efforts in continuing the development of a strong statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.
• Inspire and provide guidance to Audubon Vermont chapters to help them realize their potential for on-the-ground conservation and education, as well as within the larger organization’s Atlantic Flyway infrastructure. Work with the Chapter Assembly to strengthen the statewide presence of Audubon and support these organizations in their local efforts.
• Engage Vermont’s growing diverse population through strategic outreach efforts.
• Expand the geographic reach of Audubon Vermont programs both within the state and across the Atlantic Flyway.
Qualifications and Experience:
The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:
• Strong leadership skills, including an engaging and energetic demeanor and the ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and potential partners
• 7-10 years of experience (preferably in the non-profit sector), including 5 years at a senior management level with comparable staff and budget responsibilities
• Proven success in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders
• Experience managing institutional growth and change within a decentralized organization highly desirable
• Strategic thinker with the ability to transfer vision and strategy into aligned and effective programs and activities
• Demonstrated ability to partner with key stakeholders, such as Boards of Directors and management teams, all while acting as an ambassador for Audubon Vermont
• Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and an ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the local, regional, and national levels
• Persuasive communication skills and the ability to effectively represent Audubon Vermont to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapters leaders, as well as in traditional and social media
• Knowledge and appreciation of Vermont and its environment, its conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies, strongly preferred, as well as an understanding of the role that science, policy, and education cooperatively play in achieving conservation goals and outcomes
• Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required
• Knowledge of basic accounting protocols and ability to review finances with others to build consensus around priorities and monitor ongoing expenditures
• Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree in a relevant field preferred