Executive Director at Osa Conservation

Costa Rica (CR)
Aug 10, 2018
Oct 09, 2018
Job Level
Senior level
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

Executive Director Position Description

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Start Date: January 1, 2019

About Osa Conservation:

Osa Conservation (OC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the globally significant biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. This remote corner of Costa Rica harbors 2.5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet in less than a thousandth of a percent of its total surface area. For 15 years, Osa Conservation has hosted education groups, volunteers, conservation visitors, researchers and local students at our BioStation located in the Osa. This year, we are also launching new business lines that are geared towards promoting sustainable agriculture and conservation tourism. With an annual budget of around 2 million dollars, Osa Conservation has a growing staff of 25 in the Osa and 2 in the Washington DC office.

The Executive Director Role:

The Executive Director is the key management leader of Osa Conservation.  The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, businesses, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, partnership creation and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors. The position will be based in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. The job requires experience of and enthusiasm for living in the wet tropics and the capacity to work under difficult field conditions. Extensive travel related to fundraising will be required. Multi-tasking in a dynamic environment without a large support team is essential. Osa Conservation is in a growth phase and the position is ideal for a high energy, hard-working, ambitious and entrepreneurial individual who seeks the opportunity to lead, nurture and grow an organization in one of the most beautiful biodiverse places on our planet.



  • Lead Osa Conservation in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission, as defined by the Board of Directors.
  • Identify, assess and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization.
  • Financial Performance and Viability: Develop resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.
  • Fiscal Integrity: Submit a comprehensive annual budget to the Board prior the start of the fiscal year and prepare quarterly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Fiscal management: Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and in a manner that ensures maximum resource utilization and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.
  • Fundraise and develop other resources necessary to support the mission.
  • Organization Mission and Strategy: Work with board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community outreach.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain high-performance senior management team
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components to measure successes and effectively communicate these results to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Participate with the Board in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization.
  • Responsible for the enhancement of Osa Conservation’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.
  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives consistent with the overall mission of the organization.
  • Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its Board and funders. Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff.
  • Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations.
  • Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an ongoing basis and conducting an annual performance review.
  • Responsible for signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.
  • Identify and evaluate risks to the organization’s people (staff, management, clients, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill and image and implement measures to control risks.
  • Ensure that the Board of Directors and the organization carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage.
  • Ensures that the organization has a safety management system and instills a culture of “safety first” in all areas of the organization.

Professional Qualifications:

  • A relevant degree
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership
  • Management experience
  • Budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • Ability to convey our vision to staff, board, volunteers and donors
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to nonprofit sector
  • Skills to collaborate with and motivate board members and other volunteers
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Strong public speaking ability

Specific Job Responsibilities:

  • Fundraising, a 50-60 % commitment of effort, this requires extensive travel domestically (USA) and internationally
  • Preparation and operation of an annual budget.
  • Establishing employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit.
  • Serve as spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media and the general public.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations to strategically enhance Osa Conservation’s effectiveness.
  • Report to and work closely with the Board of Directors to seek their involvement in policy decisions, fundraising and to increase the overall visibility of the organization locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Supervise and mentor staff.
  • Oversee the organization of the Board and committee meetings.
  • Oversee marketing and other communications efforts.
  • Review and approve contracts for services.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Please read the job description carefully and assess your fit with the requirements realistically. Please apply only if you feel that you meet the qualifications as outlined in the description.

Applicants should send a CV, a list of references, and a letter of inquiry stating the following: 

  • The reasons for your interest in the job
  • Evidence that you are qualified for this particular position
  • A statement of your fundraising experiences and a brief outline of how you would go about fundraising for Osa Conservation
  • A description of your management style and philosophy
  • Your available start date
  • Your salary expectations

 Please send your application materials  to OCED2018@osaconservation.org
 (No calls please)


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