DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE
JOB TITLE: Director, Northwest Program
SALARY: $82,000 – 98,000 annually
DIVISION/SITE: Seattle Office
DEPARTMENT: Field Conservation Programs
REPORTS TO: Vice President for Field Conservation Programs
LAST REVISED: March 2020
The Director of the Northwest Program is responsible for leading Field Conservation staff and programs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Director ensures effective on the ground implementation of imperiled wildlife and habitat conservation programs described in Defenders’ strategic plan. These programs involve a wide range of policy, legal, advocacy and scientific strategies to conserve wildlife and habitat throughout the region.
The Director is responsible for supervising and providing strategic direction to Northwest Program staff members, ensuring the effective implementation of the programs for which they are responsible, and efficiently and effectively managing the office. Priorities include conserving wolves, grizzly bears, southern resident orcas and other threatened and endangered species in the region; promoting coexistence efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflicts; influencing state administrative and legislative initiatives impacting wildlife, habitat, and other natural resources; working on federal and state land management issues impacting sensitive wildlife species; maintaining and enhancing the ecological integrity of priority wildlife habitat; reforming state wildlife agencies and commissions; promoting environmentally responsible renewable energy development; and maintaining and enhancing the conservation of biodiversity in general. The Director provides leadership and support for outreach efforts in the region, with a priority on implementing Defenders’ diversity, equity, inclusion and justice values. The Director works closely with the Vice President for Field Conservation Programs, other senior managers, field staff, and interdisciplinary teams on developing and coordinating strategies, campaigns, workplans, programs, projects, publications, coalitions, communications, organizational growth, educational materials, reports, and budgets.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Using Defenders’ strategic plan as a guide, develop and implement a comprehensive vision and long-term goals for Defenders’ field conservation work in the Northwest.
Oversee Defenders’ advocacy and wildlife conservation efforts regarding imperiled species in the Pacific Northwest, including grizzly bear, gray wolf, and Southern Resident orca.
Participate in strategically selected public land management planning activities and management decisions involving the Northwest Forest Plan, individual national forest plans and state land management plans (e.g. Washington Board of Natural Resources, Oregon Board of Forestry, etc.).
Encourage communities to respectfully share the landscape with predators and other wildlife by promoting and implementing non-lethal deterrents to minimize conflict and developing human-wildlife coexistence partnerships.
Influence federal, state and local wildlife policies through administrative, legislative, and judicial forums, using a range of strategies including but not limited to: grassroots and direct advocacy efforts with government officials, seeking policy and programmatic changes in relevant federal and state agencies, and recommending litigation where appropriate.
Keep informed of wildlife conservation trends and issues in the region and look for opportunities for Defenders’ participation consistent with the strategic plan.
Engage with state fish and wildlife commissions and agencies to develop and implement sound wildlife management strategies.
Internal and External Coordination
Represent Defenders in coalitions, public meetings, hearings, press events and in general communications with the media, Defenders’ membership, and the general public.
Cultivate and maintain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and policymakers influencing wildlife conservation, including other non-governmental organizations, high level state and federal government officials and state and federal legislators and their staff.
Build and maintain relationships with key Tribal officials and staff.
Promote and implement Defenders’ diversity, equity, inclusion and justice values as an intrinsic part of the programmatic and outreach work in the Northwest.
Assist Development and Marketing Departments in identifying and recruiting potential donors and members, preparing grant proposals and donation requests and promoting programs to the donor and member community.
Assist Communications and Marketing Departments by alerting them of critical issues that may require a response in a timely manner, writing and editing articles, and letters to the editors, and suggesting topics for press and member response.
Ensure integration of field and headquarters office activities by routine communications with relevant headquarters office staff. Look for opportunities to integrate activities between field conservation and policy programs, whenever possible.
Provide timely information to Defenders’ managers and staff on pertinent federal and state programs and issues in the region, alerting headquarters office of controversial state and federal issues and legislative and policy concerns.
Perform all other related duties as assigned.
Supervision and Office Management
Effectively supervise and manage staff – including multiple employees working remotely – by communicating duties and responsibilities to direct reports; monitoring performance; providing regular coaching and counseling; identifying training needs and providing opportunities for professional development; and preparing and delivering performance and salary reviews.
Recommend, review and approve employment actions, including interviewing, hiring, promotions and raises, in conjunction with Human Resources. Partner with Human Resources in the handling of disciplinary issues.
Supervise and manage temporary and seasonal contractors working on specific projects and activities in the region (e.g. ranger riders, outreach organizers, policy consultants, etc.)
Keep informed of Defenders’ program and administrative policies and ensure that decisions are made consistent with those policies.
Establish and maintain efficient office management and communication systems and comply with all applicable administrative procedures.
Develop, recommend and effectively manage the office’s annual budget.
Develop and implement short- and long-range operating objectives, organizational structure, and staffing requirements.
Ensure optimum performance of group function. Recommend and implement management improvement techniques to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, cut costs and maintain state-of-the-art practices.
· Advanced degree in Wildlife Management or Ecology, Public Policy, Conservation Biology, Natural Resources, Law, or related discipline
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed.
· 10+ years of progressively responsible, substantive conservation advocacy experience in at least one of the following areas: fish and wildlife recovery programs, federal lands management planning and land use, developing and implementing programs to conserve biodiversity, or implementing policy programs and campaigns for non-profit conservation organizations. Experience working with state and federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA / National Marine Fisheries Service, state fish and wildlife agencies and public land management agencies; knowledge of the laws and regulations for public land management and species and habitat conservation is essential for this position. Management and supervisory experience required.
Strong supervision, management, planning, and administrative skills
Demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking skills
Experience working in a decentralized organization
Strong analytical skills
Strong interpersonal skills
Strong writing and verbal communications skills
Demonstrated awareness of and experience with the concerns and needs of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations
Working knowledge of federal agencies, laws, and policies dealing with use and conservation of natural resources, particularly the Endangered Species Act.
Experience with federal and state land use planning and management.
Experience developing, implementing, and managing legislative and advocacy campaigns
Political experience, including a general understanding of lobbying and state and federal legislative processes
Experience with administrative advocacy, including before state regulatory bodies and in federal endangered species planning efforts.
Other relevant experience with legislative procedures, grassroots organizing, communications, editing, and/or development
General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.
All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.
How to Apply:
Interested applicants please apply with a cover letter through our jobs portal at
Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures. We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.
Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.
It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.