Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of approximately 450 local chapters, 120 campus chapters, 17 state and regional offices, 34 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.
The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
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The National Audubon Society seeks a passionate Vice President and Executive Director to strengthen Audubon Texas’ rich history and expand its conservation contributions in Texas and throughout the entire Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success. The Vice President and Executive Director will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing and executing statewide conservation policy, initiatives, and public programming. The Vice President and Executive Director will also work with senior management in exploring opportunities and the feasibility of expanding Audubon Texas’ leadership in Audubon’s Gulf Coast, as well as emerging opportunities addressing water issues in Texas. The Executive Director will lead a skilled and passionate team to advance overall conservation goals, strengthen and mobilize our bipartisan network, and deliver long-lasting policy solutions across the region.
The successful candidate will have the passion and leadership skills necessary to articulate, develop, and implement Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies across the state, all while working closely with the Audubon Texas Board of Directors and staff, and Audubon’s key national conservation leaders to continue to develop the state program in tandem with strategic regional and national priorities. The Executive Director will routinely collaborate with center and chapter Board leadership, including staffed chapters in Houston and Travis counties. The Executive Director will hold the title of Vice President within the national organization and will report directly to the Mississippi Flyway Vice President.
Key strategic initiatives for the Executive Director during their first 12-18 months include:
Create, in close partnership with state, national staff, and advisory boards, a 3-year conservation vision and strategic plan for the state that is grounded in sound business practices to lead to fiscal growth and sustainability
With a systems view across the Audubon network and Texas, support staff and volunteers in prioritizing efforts with the greatest potential for conservation impact at a local and state level, while aligned to national priorities,
Create and strengthen major donor relationships, as well as expand the donor pipeline across the state, and
Grow chapter membership and increase engagement and activation for policy, fundraising, and/or conservation efforts, in partnership with the Engagement Director (to be hired).
Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership
Aligned with Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies, lead in the design and implementation of the strategic goals and initiatives that result in the organization’s increased statewide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats. Priorities include coastal habitat, prairie and grassland, and watershed conservation; urban conservation, and community education. Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff.
Secure and focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement.
Leverage the impact of Audubon Texas’s centers and sanctuaries to achieve state and flyway goals.
Manage the day-to-day operations of the state office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with Texas’ staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.
Fundraising and External Relations
Represent Audubon Texas throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
In partnership with Audubon’s development team, lead Audubon Texas’s fundraising to cultivate and solicit major donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies for Audubon Texas and to significantly increase contributions. Play an active role in helping to promote fundraising for regional priority projects across the Mississippi Flyway and Gulf Coast working with other state directors, the program managers, and other supporting staff.
Through the engagement of the advisory board of Audubon Texas and its centers, support the development of a deep statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.
Support and provide guidance to the Chapters in Texas to expand Audubon’s capacity for on-the-ground conservation and education at scale. Work to strengthen the statewide presence of Audubon and support these organizations in their local efforts.
Continuously seek out ways to engage Texas’s diverse population in Audubon programs.
Develop partnerships with government agencies and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.
The Executive Director will lead a team of roughly 21 employees. The senior leadership team for the region reports to the Executive Director. The team includes: Director of Conservation Strategies, Policy Director, 3 Audubon Center Directors, Communications Manager, e Director of Engagement and an Office Manager. There are eighteen state or regional Executive Directors across the national Audubon network that the ED may regularly turn to for peer and strategy support. Further, national development, marketing, conservation, equity and inclusion, and network teams are available for further counsel and support. It is preferred that this position be based in the State Headquarters in Austin.
Qualifications and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree preferred.
10 years’ progressive professional experience, to include 3-5 years at a senior management level with comparable staff and budget responsibilities. Strong leadership skills, with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong business and management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and potential partners a must.
Demonstrated results in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
Seasoned organizational leader with an array of experience in public policy development and advocacy, campaigns, lobbying, and/or involvement in the state legislature and in working with members of Congress.
Demonstrated ability to succeed in a highly matrixed, complex organization—strong ability to influence and persuade others required.
Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the local, regional, and national levels.
Tech-savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, budgeting systems, and donor databases. Comfort with an interest in leveraging technology to enhance conservation impact and network engagement.
Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon Texas to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
Knowledge and appreciation of, as well as connection to Texas and its environment, conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies.
Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required.
A strong commitment to the mission, values, and programs of Audubon Texas and the National Audubon Society