Senior Director, Conservation
Audubon Delta (AD) is a regional field office of the National Audubon Society. AD manages Audubon's conservation and network priorities in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This geography includes 81 Important Bird Areas covering more than 16 million acres and over 42,000 Audubon members and supporters, many of whom belong to one of Audubon's 21 local chapters.
Reporting to the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Delta, the Senior Director of Conservation will lead the development and implementation of landscape-level conservation goals for the implementation of Audubon's five priority conservation strategies in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi for the benefit of birds, communities, and the places they need to thrive. The Senior Director of Conservation will collaborate with natural resource agencies (federal, state, county, municipal, and tribal), private conservation organizations, and Audubon chapters to effectively implement their work across the landscape. The Senior Director of Conservation will work closely with national, flyway, and state fund-raising, science, engagement, and policy and communications teams to create sustainable income streams, conservation science strategies, equity in conservation goals, and policy/engagement strategies to further Audubon's conservation goals in the region.
The Senior Director of Conservation will design and lead the implementation of all conservation goals in the region, manage the conservation and science staff, and track conservation outcomes and measures of success. They will develop funding proposals for foundations, corporations, agencies, and individuals. This role will also be responsible for identifying and securing funding opportunities and managing the funding relationships with natural resource agencies at multiple governance levels and some funder and donor relationships as assigned.
- In collaboration with the VP & Executive Director, develop and implement conservation strategies for the benefit of birds and communities in the Delta region.
- In collaboration with national and state leadership teams, design and direct the conservation programs in the region to be fully aligned with National Audubon's strategic plan, maximizing Audubon's impact by integrating work across the full suite of Audubon's national and regional science, conservation, network, policy, and development teams.
- Further Audubon's reputation by building partnerships and coalitions with a network of land and wildlife management agencies, NGOs, and community partnerships.
- Develop and oversee priority conservation, including water, climate, and bird-friendly-communities projects supporting Audubon's hemispheric bird conservation initiatives and priorities.
- Manage staff and engage volunteers across three states to implement Audubon's conservation programs.
- Using a lens of bird conservation and community equity, design, implement, and direct measures of success focused on birds and habitat across priority landscapes.
- Build and support the team's capacity to provide technical expertise related to birds and habitat in the region to internal and external audiences and partners.
- Support the Vice President with development activities, including solicitation of gifts and prospect development. Specific activities may include but are not limited to leading bird walks, giving presentations to general and technical audiences, and existing and prospective donors.
- Research and secure public and private funding opportunities to support conservation programs.
- Collaborate with regional science, policy, education, and communications staff not under direct supervision to guide planning, monitoring, and conservation implementation in the areas overseen by Audubon Delta.
- Oversee the incorporation of community science engagement in Audubon's conservation work and the analyses of these data and those collected by Audubon staff to inform adaptive management strategies and understand outcomes of conservation action.
Qualifications and Experience
- B.S. in ornithology, avian ecology, forestry, natural resources management, hydrology, wetland ecology, or a related field. M.S. in one of these fields is preferred. Experience will be considered in place of education.
- 10 to 15 years of experience in the natural resources field, focusing on landscape conservation design and implementation is a plus.
- At least 3 years of management experience, specifically leading professional teams is preferred.
- Must be well‐versed in conservation, biology, and avian ecology.
- Excellent understanding of the value and previous experience supporting community science, especially in the realm of adaptive management.
- Deep understanding of conservation issues, partners, and agencies in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Lower Mississippi River region.
- Demonstrated record in project management, including managing grants (writing proposals, coordinating with funders, completing reports, administering contracts), writing articles, and stewarding other relevant projects.
- Fund-raising experience, specifically from public agencies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors.
- Demonstrated experience working with public agencies (federal, state, county, municipal, and tribal) and coalitions.
- Must be self‐motivated and able to work in a flexible, non‐structured environment.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non‐technical audiences.
- Excellent leadership and collaborative ethics, as demonstrated in previous work.
- Excellent interpersonal and social skills with a positive attitude.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office, working knowledge of GIS technology preferred.
- Candidate must be willing to travel (overnight) 25-30% of the time (post-pandemic) in cars, airplanes, boats, and other vehicles, and be comfortable with working evenings and weekends as the job demands.
- Valid driver's license required.
- Ability to work outdoors, in all weather conditions and on varying terrain, with or without accommodation.
- Ability to move field equipment, with or without accommodation.