Application Process: Please send cover letter explaining how your experiences and skills match this position, résumé, and three recent and relevant references, including one person you worked closely with for at least two years. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Organization: Sky Island Alliance is the only organization dedicated to conservation of the biodiversity of the Sky Islands through science, citizen engagement and advocacy. We cross borders to connect landscapes, people and wildlife. After 27 successful years of conservation work, we seek to advance international conservation of the Sky Island region as we continue to fight climate change and other critical threats.
We seek a personable professional with a hunger for solving big problems, who loves working in a collaborative team setting and is interested in shaping the future of the Sky Island region. The Program Director will play a critical role in integrating diverse initiatives (including initiatives in Mexico) into a comprehensive program of work to achieve our strategic plan.
Major initiatives include: conservation of connected open space to provide for wildlife and sustain biological diversity; protection and restoration of critical water sources to increase water availability for the environment; promotion of ecosystem resilience to address the impacts of climate change and other drivers of change. This individual will provide collaborative leadership and scientific expertise to achieve large-landscape transboundary conservation. We accomplish this through citizen-science monitoring, policy initiatives, climate-smart restoration of ecosystems. This person will collaborate with a diverse number of organizations and individuals to promote the appreciation of the uniqueness of the Sky Islands among local residents.
Program leadership, and management
- Provide vision and direction to develop a comprehensive program that advances the strategic plan and integrates varied projects for collective impact.
- Support and implement the strategic plan by working with the ED and staff to develop annual plan of work, staffing, budgeting, and scheduling to achieve intermediate goals.
- Meet on a regular basis with staff to advance work, mentor, and discuss progress.
- In cooperation with CFO and ED, develop and manage yearly program budgets and provide fiscal accountability and transparency of program areas and project work.
- Stay abreast of, and communicate relevant information regarding federal, state, and local policies to program staff that might impact or enhance work.
- Represent the organization in partnerships and working relationships with government agencies, foundations, collaboratives, and advisory committees.
- Provide leadership and coordination for large-landscape planning efforts.
- Proactively apprise ED, staff, and Board of Directors of program and project status.
- Develop successful relationships, and be an effective ambassador for Sky Island Alliance.
Staff development and management
- Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values critical reflection, learning and a commitment to quality.
- Ensure staff have clear performance expectations, tools and information necessary to complete work independently, and ensure they understand how their work contributes to our larger vision.
- Recommend hiring, firing, salary adjustments and professional development for staff.
- Develop training paths and succession plans to ensure staff advance and grow.
- Monitor staff workloads, and coordinate schedules to ensure program work is covered.
Program fundraising and development
- Actively contribute to fundraising to support program work through grants, cooperative agreements and other means in the amount of $250,000- $500,000, annually.
- Maintain grant record keeping and reporting with assistance from necessary staff.
- Provide leadership and training to program staff to support grant fundraising.
- Assess program’s financial and strategic performance with CFO, ED and Board.
- Work with staff to ensure Sky Island Alliance’s work is communicated through our website, newsletter, annual report, media, and fundraising materials.
- Assist with management of donors.
- Demonstrated ability to develop strategic direction at the organizational level; manage program staff; and develop and implement organizational strategic plans, work plans, shared agreements and best practices.
- Academic and professional background in conservation, natural resources management, or related field, including Master’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
- At least five years of experience in science-based collaborative conservation or similar, including program management, preparation of budgets, and personnel management.
- Demonstrated track record of successful grant writing to fund programmatic initiatives.
- Familiarity with environmental policy, conservation biology and ecological restoration.
- Must have a good working knowledge of water, climate change adaptation, public and private lands conservation, large-landscape conservation, wildlife connectivity, and biological diversity.
- Ability to convey information clearly via excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Ability to travel within Sky Island region to conduct field weekends and multi-day trips.
- Strongly preferred: Fluency in Spanish; demonstrated understanding of conservation approaches and strategies appropriate to achieve conservation goals in Mexico.
Characteristics for Success
- Proven leadership: success in managing and growing teams, effective team leader and team member, proactive manager and communicator, develops positive interpersonal relationships. Good judge of talent: can assess people’s strengths and limitations including his or her own; motivates, empowers, and develops staff to achieve results.
- Analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking and doing. Applies forward thinking and problem solving skills to identify potential challenges and proactively address them; can create breakthroughs and solutions to complex problems.
- High level understanding of current social and political situation, particularly related to crossborder conservation between US-Mexico.