The National Audubon Society (NAS) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and strategic Executive Director to build and lead our new regional office across the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Executive Director will lead a talented team to advance overall conservation objectives, strengthen and mobilize our bipartisan network, and deliver durable policy solutions across the region. The Executive Director will also serve as a Vice President of the National Audubon Society and work with their peers across the country to shape and deliver national objectives, initiatives, and processes.
The incoming Vice President and Executive Director must have demonstrated success in implementing innovative conservation, policy, engagement, and development strategies. Building on the success of the region’s well-respected conservation program, they must inspire collaboration among our conservation, legislative, and philanthropic partners to deepen our conservation impact and leadership across the delta and gulf region and inspire the region’s decision-makers, conservation partners, and philanthropic community to invest in Audubon’s conservation vision and strategic plan. Additionally, the chief executive for the delta region will oversee the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Mississippi, the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in Louisiana and the Little Rock Audubon Center in Arkansas.
This is a high-profile position with the potential to grow National Audubon Society’s reach and effect change at the local, regional, and national levels. The Vice President and Executive Director will report to Audubon’s Vice President for the Mississippi Flyway.
**This position can be located in an Audubon office in Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi.
**In order to be considered for this opportunity, please submit a cover letter.
Strategic Leadership and Organizational Management:
- Define a clear vision for the region that increases our conservation impact, distinguishes ARD from our conservation partners, leverages our current strengths, inspires donor investment and engagement of a bipartisan network.
- Deliver strategic and operational excellence through the leadership, management, and mentoring of a mature and diverse staff.
- Serve as a leader in infusing organizational decisions, policies, and programs with values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement.
- Leverage the impact of Audubon centers to achieve state, regional, and national goals.
- Build upon the strong foundation of programs and initiatives that are resonant and relevant for the Delta and Gulf Region’s diverse population.
- Manage the day-to-day operations of the office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, and analyzing results in collaboration with local and national staff.
- Ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitment, and legal/statutory requirements are met.
Conservation Strategic Execution:
- Craft and achieve strategic goals and initiatives that are integrated fully with the National Audubon Society’s conservation, network, and philanthropic priorities.
- Increase our region-wide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats. Priorities include:
- Protecting the iconic waters and habitats of the Mississippi River Delta for the benefit of birds and communities.
- Promoting bird-friendly natural solutions and land management strategies for advantage of forest bird species and for carbon and water storage through our healthy forest program targeting conservation efforts on both public and private lands.
- Inspiring our bipartisan network and decision-makers throughout the region to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
- Creating durable policy solutions that address the most critical threats to birds at the local, state, and federal level.
- Engaging the diversity of communities that make-up the population of the delta region in building sustainable conservation strategies and resonant education programs.
- Crafting and executing conservation, policy, and engagement strategies and programming at our three regional Audubon centers that advance Audubon’s local, state, and federal conservation priorities.
Fundraising and External Relations:
- Partner with Audubon’s development team to cultivate existing and solicit new major donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies to significantly increase contributions.
- Represent Audubon Delta throughout the region to raise the profile and visibility of our priorities and impact with funders, partners, policy makers, and the public, resulting in deeper donor investment.
- Strengthen the financially sustainable business and development plans for the region with a focus on expanding new funding sources, inspiring new donors, and cultivating strategic partnerships with agencies and other NGOs.
- Support fundraising for national priority projects with Audubon’s leadership and development teams. Collaborate meaningfully with other Audubon state programs and national development staff on donor strategies.
- Build and engage the a regional Board of Advisors to inspire their advocacy for conservation and programmatic priorities, individual philanthropy, and fundraising support.
- Support chapters in the region to expand Audubon’s capacity for on-the-ground conservation, policy change, and education at scale.
- Prioritize engagement and activation of the region’s diverse communities in the Audubon movement, including college chapters, chapter leadership, advisory boards, volunteers, and conservation partnerships across the region.
- Work with relevant governmental departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.
Personal Knowledge & Characteristics:
- Experience in the field of conservation and role of science in developing conservation strategies; knowledge of the conservation landscape and partners in the southern United States is strongly preferred.
- Understanding of the region’s political landscape; connections to policymakers and the regional conservation advocacy community preferred.
- Knowledge of funders and donors engaged in conservation philanthropy in the Delta/Gulf region preferred.
- Willingness and ability to travel routinely through the region and nationally, as required.
- A strong and demonstrated commitment to the mission, values, and programs of the National Audubon Society.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred.
- 10+ years’ experience in organizational leadership, preferably connected to conservation or civic engagement, including 3+ years as an enterprise executive with accountability over multiple programs and/or regions.