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  • Associate Director/Sr. Programs Manager

    Michigan Audubon
    • Employer: Michigan Audubon
      Location: Michigan
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    SUMMARY: Reporting to the executive director, the associate director is responsible for building a strong field team, fostering a dynamic organizational culture, and strengthening our programs and impact. As a member of the senior leadership team, the associate director is a key liaison between programs, operations, and development. This new position interacts with all internal departments, leading all program-focused activities, and provides vision and strategy around future organizational needs while strengthening staff capacity and organizational culture. 

    The associate director leads efforts of developing, promoting, and executing Michigan Audubon’s conservation and research program and planning, including advocacy, outreach, and stewardship activities and initiatives on behalf of the statewide organization, its sanctuaries, and Whitefish Point Bird Observatory program and research site.

    The associate director will also assist with daily program operations, developing program policies, protocol, and procedures, conducting program assessment and evaluation, managing fiscal administration, and participating in strategic planning for the organization, with an emphasis on the organization’s conservation and research pillars. 

    This position is best filled by a person who thinks creatively and strategically, is able to manage multiple tasks with grace and skill, maintains positive, professional working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and has demonstrated expertise in ecological and human resources management. 


    The associate director assumes the following responsibilities under the direction of the executive director and in collaboration with other members of the team:

    Administrative & Program Leadership (40%)

    • Assist the organization in developing strategic plans related to fundraising, donor recognition programs, events for major donors, public events related to fundraising, and other endeavors as requested.
    • In collaboration with the executive director, staff, and board of directors, develop, prioritize, implement, and chart the organization’s course in meeting its conservation and research ends.
    • Develop criteria for evaluating and prioritizing advocacy issues relevant to the mission of the organization. 
    • Support communication and working relationships with the board of directors.
    • Monitor statewide legislative and/or policy issues and work with the executive director to develop appropriate position statements.
    • Develop and coordinate communications with Michigan Audubon members and the public on conservation and policy issues related to bird conservation and habitat protection in Michigan.
    • Represent Michigan Audubon at local and/or state government meetings and seek opportunities for constructive engagement.
    • Engage Michigan Audubon members, chapters, and the public through regular content coordination and/or creation. 
    • Provide technical expertise related to birds and their habitat to internal and external audiences and partners.
    • Contribute to the promotion of Michigan Audubon and bird conservation and research through information sheets, written articles and blog posts, and speaking engagements. 
    • Represent Michigan Audubon on mission-related topics to the public, media, and government agencies, where appropriate.

    Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Program & Research Management (40%) 

    Program & Personnel Management: 

    • Ensure timely delivery of project deliverables within the WPBO program.
    • Contribute program-specific goals and objectives to annual planning.  
    • Assist and support administrative systems that will allow for efficiency and smooth functioning of operations throughout the WPBO program, ensuring compliance with Michigan Audubon policies and procedures.
    • Support the hiring, training, evaluating, supervising, and strategic growth planning of field staff, interns, and/or volunteers. 
    • Serve as the primary point of contact for Whitefish Point Bird Observatory contracted field staff.
    • Attend WPBO events and program activities, including four to six visits to WPBO for orientation and end-of-season wrap-up for field staff. 
    • Assist in overseeing and providing support to communications and marketing efforts of the program, including writing occasional press releases, social media posts, emails to members, and other projects as needed and requested related to WPBO.

    Research Oversight: 

    • Coordinate and manage field studies, including scheduling, data collection, data entry, data management, and program reporting.  
    • Assist in facilitating the development, design, and review of research studies related to owl data repository. 
    • Perform data analysis for reports and manuscripts and write project reports, special use permit reports, etc.  

    Sanctuaries/Land Management Leadership (20%) 

    • Oversee land management planning and ongoing stewardship of Michigan Audubon’s bird sanctuaries network, including contractors and volunteers.
    • Develop and manage program-specific grants.
    • Help to source new funds to support conservation programs and projects. 


    To perform this new and critical position successfully, the associate director must be able to fulfill all of the elements of the job description to the highest standard and be able to work well with colleagues in a highly variable, collaborative work environment.

    • All employees are expected to contribute to ongoing growth and improvement in their departments via excellent job performance and proactive communication. 
    • Seasoned nonprofit professional with a minimum of five years of experience in a similar position.
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university required. Master’s degree in wildlife biology, conservation ecology, or natural resources management is strongly preferred.
    • Proven track record of effectively leading a direct service organization or program.
    • Strong management and decision-making skills, including the ability to influence, engage, and lead others to new levels of effectiveness and programmatic impact.
    • Strong emotional intelligence and ability to coach, mentor, relate, and listen to their team members.
    • Demonstrated ability to be an analytical and decisive decision-maker with the ability to prioritize and communicate to staff key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals.
    • Exceptional written, oral, and presentation skills with the ability to effectively interface with senior management, the organization’s board of directors, staff, and external stakeholders. 
    • Experience in program evaluation and knowledge in nonprofit evaluation methods and tactics. 
    • Superior project management, organizational, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. 
    • Demonstrated computer expertise with Microsoft Office tools, Google applications and email applications, and database systems. 
    • Demonstrated sensitivity to diverse issues and comfortability in multicultural environments. 
    • Self-motivated, results-driven, detail-oriented, and adaptable. 
    • Able to exercise good judgment, discretion, and confidentiality. 
    • Must submit to and successfully pass a criminal history background check. 
    • Must understand, support, and be able to articulate Michigan Audubon’s vision, mission, and values statement, as well as program-specific information. 
    • Well-versed in identification of local and regional (Eastern U.S.) bird and plant species.
    • Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences. 
    • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions and on varying terrain and be able to carry field equipment, with or without accommodation.
    • Possess a valid pesticide applicator certification or be willing to obtain certification.
    • Candidates must have a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle.

    WORKING LOCATION: Okemos and Paradise, Michigan. Michigan Audubon anticipates up to 40% of time spent in the office (in-state remote negotiable) and up to 60% of time spent at program sites throughout the state of Michigan.

    HOURS AND BENEFITS: This is a full-time, exempt position, requiring occasional weekend and evening hours when necessary to fulfill the duties of the position. Benefits include medical and dental insurance; vacation, holiday, and sick pay; and 401k type pension plan. Salary range is based on candidate meeting key qualifications; $50-60K annually.

    TO APPLY: Submit cover letter and resume as a single PDF document to office@michiganaudubon.org with the subject line: Associate Director/Sr. Program Manager application. This position will remain open until filled. 

    DISCLAIMER: The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, nor to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.

    Michigan Audubon is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Michigan Audubon does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, physical or mental ability, status as a disabled veteran, or any other classification protected by law.

    Job Posting _ Associate Director_Sr. Program Mgr.pdf

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