Executive Director

Walker Basin Conservancy

Reno, NV, United States 🇺🇸

Scion Executive Search has been retained to lead the search for a full-time
Executive Director for the Walker Basin Conservancy, a Nevada-based nonprofit
conservation organization. This exciting position leads an expanding
conservation organization in fulfilling its mission to preserve Walker Lake
by protecting and conserving watershed resources throughout the Walker River

This impactful role will have the opportunity to help shape and execute the
future of the organization’s growth both strategically and operationally.
We are seeking an entrepreneurial leader experienced in establishing, leading
and directing successful organizations with ability to lead this organization
in acquiring and managing land, water and related property interests;
managing public conservation partnerships; and exuding a great passion for
the work of the Walker Basin Conservancy.

This full-time role is located onsite in the organization’s Reno, Nevada
office and will require regular travel to its Yerington, Nevada office as
well as other locations in Nevada and out of state when necessary.

The Walker Basin Conservancy (WBC) was established in 2014 with a grant from
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to support development and
implementation of the Walker Basin Restoration Program (Program)
(www.walkerprogram.org). The nascent and dynamic nature of the WBC and its
diverse management obligations provide unique opportunities to develop
operations from the ground level up, working closely with NFWF and WBC staff
who are passionate about their mission.

The WBC was initially established to assist NFWF with land and water
stewardship activities on properties acquired by or associated with the
Program. The WBC on behalf of NFWF currently manages thousands of acres of
land and assets in the Walker Basin. Planning activities are also underway
for all acquired properties to assess public use opportunities, conservation
values, long term land ownership and stewardship, and revegetation and
restoration needs. The role and scope of the WBC continues to expand, and
under the new Executive Director it is anticipated that the organization will
soon take on the full spectrum of Program implementation responsibilities.

Reporting to the Board of Directors (Board), the Executive Director will lead
the WBC in implementing a comprehensive strategy to refine and strengthen its
mission. The Executive Director will work directly with key NFWF staff to
ensure appropriate alignment with the Program and the guiding legislation.
The Executive Director will be tasked with ensuring that the WBC achieves its
mission through effective implementation of its strategy, with overall
responsibility and accountability for all Program areas. The Executive
Director will lead high performing staff and the Board to effectively
leverage the power of relationships across private, public and corporate
sectors to strengthen existing and develop new sources of funding. The
Executive Director will be responsive and nimble, responding quickly to
opportunities and changing circumstances.


Strategy, Vision and Leadership
•    Lead the WBC in implementing a comprehensive strategy that results in a
broadened organization that is operating efficiently and effectively in its
core stewardship role, while strategically taking on additional Program
•    Work closely with the Board to insure effective implementation of the
Program strategy and WBC operations as a whole. Ensure there are clear lines
of communication and appropriate delegation of authority.
•    Run and manage all Board meetings and Board communications. It is
anticipated that the Board will be expanded and the Executive Director would
be tasked with its growth and relationships.
•    Act as the leading face and voice of the WBC and enhance, develop,
recommend and implement policies, procedures, and systems that improve the
overall operation and effectiveness of WBC.

Administrative, Personnel and Legal Management
•    Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that
values learning and a commitment to quality.
•    Manage a team of up to fifteen staff members in two locations and oversee
all personnel matters and the efficient, secure and effective day-to-day
operation of the organization.
•    Create systems that encourage innovative thinking among staff and Board
and provide direct avenues for receiving their feedback, suggestions and
•    Work closely with the Board to identify and evaluate risks to the
organization’s staff, volunteers, property, finances, goodwill and image;
implement measures to control these risks, working with Program counsel,
insurance agents and auditors as the need arises.
•    Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach;
assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor
and evaluate results.
•    Manage key consultants to assist in overall Program implementation
including legal and technical services.

Program and Staff Development
•    Work with staff on property plans and long-term vision of WBC. Develop
strategies for land stewardship, ownership, management and disposition of
assets to reduce WBC’s long term funding commitments and liabilities.
•    Collaborate with staff and the Board to develop clear annual plans
focused on WBC’s mission and current strategic plan.
•    Work with staff to ensure programs are getting the support they need and
implemented in a coordinated and clear manner.
•    Provide feedback and guidance on Program vision and participate in
Program events as needed.
•    Work with Program directors to develop their managerial and leadership
skills through direct mentorship and by promoting continuing education.
•    Provide oversight to ensure successful implementation and completion of
•    Provide oversight and direction with Human Resources on policy
development and ongoing staff recruitment.

•    Establish and maintain good working relationships and collaborative
agreements with agencies, community groups, funders and other organizations
in the Walker Basin, across the eastern Sierra region, and at both state and
national levels to help achieve the goals of the organization.
•    Work with diverse stakeholder groups including local agricultural
partners, community members, elected officials, public agencies, community
and grassroots leaders, business executives, academic thinkers, and media to
advance WBC’s mission.
•    Oversee the development of communications materials and strategies
related to WBC and the Program.

Fundraising and Donor Engagement
•    Leverage existing Program funds by developing a comprehensive fundraising
strategy that includes major donors, foundation and government grants,
corporate sponsorships, partnership investments, and other financial
•    Strategically diversify organizational funding over time through
development and implementation of new fundraising strategies.

Financial and Operational Management
•    Work closely with the Director of Finance and Operations to ensure proper
financial reporting/controls, legal compliance and HR management of the
•    Work with Director of Finance and Operations to provide financial reports
as requested by the Board.
•    Work with the Director of Finance and Operations to develop annual and
long term budgets, refine costs and identify opportunities to more
efficiently run operations.
•    Oversee audits, funding proposals, cash advance requests, subawards,
contracting, procurement and all other WBC financial matters with an emphasis
on Federal funds.

•    6-10 years in senior nonprofit leadership and supervisory roles with
progressively increasing responsibility and impact, in areas including
responsibility for developing and executing business plans and successfully
implementing new projects and/or growing existing major projects.
•    Bachelor’s degree in applicable field and MBA, Master’s degree or
equivalent preferred.
•    Ability to lead an organization and team making land and water
acquisitions, managing and stewarding those resources, and managing public
conservation partnerships with particular emphasis on local agriculture and
•    Highly independent, proactive and entrepreneurial leader with experience
in building, managing, and growing a “startup” organization.
•    Prior experience in conservation or a passion for WBC’s mission and
helping local water challenged regions, and the acquisition and management of
properties preferred.
•    Previous experience with financial management, with a preference for
experience managing federal funds.
•    Strong oral and written communication skills.
•    Mediation and negotiation experience is a plus.
•    Excellent computer skills and proficient in Excel, Word, Outlook, and
•    Team player with a strong work ethic and a desire for new challenges.
•    Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and
indirect reports and peers.
•    Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational
change and development within a growing organization.
•    Previous experience with real property transactions for conservation
purposes a plus.
•    Ability to work in a remote region.

This exciting position offers the opportunity to lead an expanding
organization with an enthusiastic and experienced team of program,
operations, and conservation professionals and offers a competitive starting
base salary between $125-150k depending on experience. Also included are
comprehensive benefits including: a full health package of medical, dental,
vision, generous paid leave, retirement plans, and a wonderful working
atmosphere, flex scheduling, promotion of work/life balance, and a job and
mission that will inspire you.

Equal Opportunity Statement – Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal
opportunity employer. WBC does not discriminate against any employee,
applicant, director, officer, contractor, or any other person with whom it
deals because of race, creed, color, disability, age, sex, veteran status,
religion or political affiliation. WBC complies with all federal and local
statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment.

For immediate consideration please send your resume, letter of interest, and
salary requirements to [email protected], using the subject title:
‘Executive Director – WBC’. All questions regarding this search should
be directed to Scion Executive Search.

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executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and foundations
across the country. Cultivated in the nonprofit sector, we provide expert
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Disclaimer – The statements contained herein are intended to describe the
general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these
positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive
list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each
position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and
management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties,
and skills at any time.