Senior Director of Public Lands

National Wildlife Federation

Denver, CO, US

The National Wildlife Federation seeks a Senior Director of Public Lands that will oversee and manage a national public lands conservation program, provide thought leadership and campaign oversight and serve as a primary ambassador and fundraiser for the program. The national Public Lands program will be based out of the Denver office, but will form close internal partnerships and coordinate closely with staff from the National Advocacy Center (NAC) and other regions and departments to assure a coordinated and comprehensive approach to public lands conservation. The Senior Director will oversee multiple, complex and coordinated campaigns to protect and conserve public lands, wildlife habitat and water including defending against proposals to dispose of public lands or diminish environmental protections. Guided by the new NWF Strategic Plan and a vision for ‘One Federation’ built on strong affiliate relationships, the Senior Director will solidify existing and forge new funder relationships, bolster partner collaborations across campaigns, coalesce the power of diverse conservation voices (focused on hunters and anglers but broadening to include other constituencies), create synergy with our affiliates, and serve as a leader on public lands issues within and outside of NWF.

In this job you will:

  • Serve as primary campaign director and leader of an inter-departmental Public Lands team, working in tandem with a dedicated counterpart in the National Advocacy Center and collaborating with other regional offices and departments on issues affecting public lands.
  • Serve as primary fundraiser for the Public Lands program, including working with philanthropy to create and implement a more robust major donor and corporate funding strategy.
    • Lead the development of grant proposals and reports for the Public Lands program working with philanthropy and other staff as necessary.
    • Maintain and cultivate relationships with primary foundation funders, including building credibility and thought leadership.
  • Provide Public Lands campaign leadership and strategy, guiding Public Lands staff who manage and implement campaigns, and coordinating closely with other NWF internal partners.
  • Identifiy top program needs, build a budget that helps to address these needs nationwide and collaborate with other NWF departments to collectively meet those needs. This budget would take into consideration all of the moving parts of a national Public Lands program, including: Public Lands staff based out of the Denver office, government relations and policy in the National Advocacy Center and national public lands work taking place in other regions.
  • Continually develop and implement public lands strategies that lead to sustainable program growth and effectiveness.
  • Provide thought leadership and identify the best opportunities for NWF to be a leader in public lands nationwide.
  • Serve as overall leader and ambassador for the Public Lands program, including internally with other departments and externally with affiliates and other partners.
    • For example, the Senior Director would take the lead on program strategic planning, public lands affiliate caucus and targeted affiliate relations.
  • Manage key public lands staff.
  • Collaboratively build and oversee the implementation of an annual work plan for the national public lands program.
  • Represent NWF on high-level coalitions (including regular presence in Washington, DC as needed).

Minimum Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of ten years working in conservation leadership with a focus on public lands, with the resultant knowledge of issues, organizations and key decision makers needed for campaign success.
  • Demonstrated experience or clear capabilities in fundraising for conservation (preferably for public lands conservation efforts with established relationships with major public lands funders).
  • Demonstrated experience in program management and sustainable growth.
  • Experience effectively managing multi-disciplinary staff.
  • Experience with complex advocacy campaigns resulting in successful conservation outcomes.  
  • Demonstrated thought leadership in the conservation field.
  • Proven success with issue based advocacy campaigns
  • Demonstrated success leading and managing other professionals to achieve short- and long-term goals individually and as members of a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with other organizations and entities as well as within an organization.
  • Outstanding presentation, verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate effectively across disciplines.
  • Must possess exceptional people skills to build and maintain high-level relationships.
  • Must be a strategic-thinker and relationship-builder with demonstrated ability to set goals and achieve significant outcomes.
  • Ability to create and execute a shared vision for diverse grassroots advocates.
  • Demonstrated ability to balance collaboration and firm leadership.
  • High level of political intuition and relational skills.
  • Strong work ethic and project management skills.
  • The selected applicant’s workplace actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

This position will be located in the Denver office, but will be required to travel at least once a month (travel throughout Rocky Mountain West and to Washington D.C. as needed).

A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate.

Interested candidates should submit both a cover letter and resume.  We offer excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a flexible work environment.  The National Wildlife Federation is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply.  If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application.