Local recruitment: Great Lakes Program Manager

National Parks Conservation Association

Grand Rapids, MI, USA 🇺🇸

Traverse City, MI, USA 🇺🇸

Lansing, MI, USA 🇺🇸

Date: November 2021    Position Title: Great Lakes Program Manager             Grade: M

Job Status: Full-time    FLSA:  Exempt

Department:  Regional Operations             Location: Grand Rapids, Traverse City or Lansing, Michigan

Immediate Supervisor:  Senior Director, Regional Programs

Supervisor’s Supervisor: Vice President, Regional Programs

Incumbent/Newly Created Position:  Incumbent, Colin Deverell

Salary:  upper $50k’s – low $60k’s commensurate with skills and experience.

Primary Purpose of the Position: 

National Parks and lakeshores in the Great Lakes are among the Midwest’s crown jewels. The Great Lakes Program Manager’s role is to develop and implement strategic park campaigns that protect and enhance these parks and their surrounding landscapes, respect and empower communities, and improve park visitor experiences. NPCA highly values building authentic and reciprocal relationships with people in a way that contributes to our park protection goals.

The Program Manager’s primary focus will be on the systemic natural resource, climate, wildlife, and landscape conservation issues at Great Lakes national parks, with special emphasis on Sleeping Bear Dunes, Isle Royale and Pictured Rocks. Among their duties, the Program Manager will focus on water policy and Great Lakes funding as it applies to the national parks of the Great Lakes region.

NPCA’s Great Lakes park priorities include advocating to protect the Isle Royale ecosystem, including the wolf restoration program supporting an increase in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding in national park landscapes; ensuring that clean water policy is in force to protect land and water at Indiana Dunes; influencing National Park Service visitor management policies at parks with increased visitor impacts; and outreach focused on the Great Lakes Congressional delegation for their support of national park policy and funding.

The Program Manager will play a critical role in understanding, engaging with, and influencing many audiences, including members of Congress and other elected officials, government agencies, NPCA 

members and donors, community members, partner groups, sovereign nations, and others in developing 

and implementing NPCA’s program goals and policy agenda.

Essential Functions and percentage of time:

Develop strategic campaign plans, and strategic outreach and engagement strategies, identify resource and budget needs and implement campaigns for successful outcomes in the national parks of the Great Lakes, with special emphasis on Sleeping Bear Dunes, Isle Royale, and Pictured Rocks. 70%

Contribute to NPCA’s systemic national park issues and strategic priorities by participating on select national issue teams, participating in leadership for the Healing our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, assisting staff in other parts of the country by sharing unique skills and expertise, and communicating about campaign progress and milestones to internal and external audiences. Contribute to NPCA’s organizational goal of creating a culture of philanthropy by assisting with donor stewardship. 20%

Contribute to keeping a small office running smoothly. For example, assist with planning and implementing events and meetings (Regional Council, fundraising events and park tours); submit timely monthly report filings; conduct bill tracking, etc. 10%

Other: Promote policies that are sensitive to the needs of a diverse workforce. Respect employees regardless of their position or background. Participate in developing department goals, objectives, and systems. Participate in staff, team, and organization meetings, training programs, and attends other meetings or convenings as necessary to accomplish goals. Assist in developing vision, strategy, and activity of the region’s work as it relates to organizational goals. This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee in this position.  

Minimum Work Schedule: 37.5-hour work week. Flexible hours scheduled between 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Occasional weekend or evening work is required. 

Travel: Regional travel for meetings, events, and outreach (for example, visits to parks to meet staff and local community, and travel for regional staff planning.) Travel occasionally required for NPCA activities or functions, such as lobbying, retreats, etc.

Minimum Scope of Position: The Program Manager will work with other NPCA staff to develop and execute campaign plans for issues in national parks of the Great Lakes. Building genuine relationships with stakeholders to inform and support our advocacy positions will be an essential part of the work. The Program Manager will also work with the fellow staff in the Midwest region and may contribute to campaign work outside the Great Lakes parks and support other needs that arise within the context of a small regional staff with no dedicated support staff on site.

Minimum Qualifications, Competencies, Skills, Education, and Traits: 

  • Knowledge of Great Lakes issues, and the federal clean water and land use policies and funding sources in the region is critical.
  • Proven ability to convene and work well with people of diverse backgrounds, communities, ally organizations, government agency staff or elected officials is necessary. NPCA is committed to staff working toward justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion both internally and in our work with people outside of staff colleagues. 
  • Minimum work experience of 4-5 years in areas relevant to the job description. 
  • Experience in advocacy or lobbying, especially for federal policy, is preferred. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively on a team, to manage projects and meet deadlines, and to develop and execute results-oriented work is required. Must work collaboratively as part of a closely-knit team of professional colleagues. 
  • Excellent presentation, communication and writing skills are essential. 

Core ValuesNPCA employees have pledged to live, honor, and own the organization’s Core Values. These are:

  1. Commitment: We are passionate about NPCA and dedicated to achieving excellence through our work and mission. We seek to improve our performance by taking opportunities for professional and personal development and encouraging reasonable risk-taking and innovation. 
  2. Inclusion: We value diversity of thought, background, experience, and opinion. We create a culture of empowerment by welcoming and encouraging meaningful participation from all people and promoting an environment that embraces different perspectives. 
  3. Integrity: We hold ourselves accountable to each other, our members and partners, and our mission. We evaluate the impact of our work and strive for honesty and transparency across the organization. We operate ethically in the organization’s best interests. 
  4. Respect: We collaborate in results-oriented teams based on trust and consideration for each other. We promote harmony between our work and our personal lives. We foster a healthy and positive workplace culture and work collaboratively with external partners. 

Physical Effort and Dexterity:  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Physical Environment: The Great Lakes Program Manager will work in a shared office space or from home, to be determined when candidate is hired. The following is predicated on safe practices according to CDC, state orders, and NPCA policy: Travel within Michigan to national parks and gateway communities will be routine. Occasional travel to other parts of the region, Washington D.C or other parts of the country.  

Prepared by: Lynn McClure, Senior Director

Employer’s Rights:  NPCA reserves the right to revise this position description at any time.  This position description is not a contract for employment implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” relationship. Incumbent will be evaluated in part based upon the performance of the tasks listed in this position description.




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