Vice President and Executive Director

Audubon Society

New Orleans, LA, US

Overview:

For more than a century, Audubon has championed the protection of birds and their habitat.  Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity.  With nearly 700 staff, 22 state programs, 463 local chapters, 41 centers and sanctuaries, and close to half a million members throughout the United States, Audubon achieves its mission by engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education, and on-the-ground conservation action.

In the spring of 2016, Audubon launched a new strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on the biggest and most important opportunities for addressing critical threats to birds and their habitat.  At the core of this plan is a focus on flyways: each year, more than 10 billion birds use major flyways to travel up and down the continent and to points beyond.  Underneath these flyways are migratory rest stops and the homes for non-migratory birds that are critical to birds’ survival.  By mobilizing and aligning Audubon’s unparalleled network of chapters, centers, state programs, and Important Bird Area (IBA) programs to focus on the four major migratory flyways in the Americas (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific), 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.  As part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in more than 100 countries working to protect a network of IBAs around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.

Our 2016 strategic plan builds on the strong foundation established by our 2011 plan. It creates a roadmap for the next five years, guided by two ideas:  By focusing on the needs of bird species, the scale and ambition of our conservation work can match the complexity of 21st century demands; and to do so, Audubon needs to become the most effective conservation network in America.  We are setting our sights on large-scale conservation goals and taking the needed steps to ensure that Audubon has the strong partnerships and capacity to achieve them. We will focus on five cross-cutting conservation strategies including climate, coasts, working lands, water, and bird friendly communities. We are building durable public will for conservation by broadening and deepening our support base, with a clear-eyed understanding of the benefits of diversity. We are investing in the skills and capacity of our unparalleled distributed network. Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

 

 

 

Audubon Louisiana

 

Audubon’s presence in Louisiana dates back to the earliest days of the conservation movement.  Among Audubon’s assets in the state is the 26,000-acre Rainey Sanctuary, established in concert with the adjacent McIlhenny family (founders of Tabasco) in the 1920’s.  It is the organization’s oldest and largest statuary and the centerpiece of a unique conservation alliance among the region’s landowners.  Audubon has two active chapters and 3,600 members in the state.  The 2010 Gulf oil spill crisis put Louisiana once again in the national spotlight (as had Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005). The silver lining in this tragic event is that Louisiana and its unique and valuable coastal resources and the challenges that face them are receiving needed national attention and billions of dollars that will help to restore these natural resources. Audubon Louisiana is both working to restore these natural resources and working hard to ensure these funds are used efficiently and effectively to benefit birds and coastal resilience. In 2012, Audubon established a state office and hired its first Executive Director. We are now searching for the next Executive Director who will build on the foundation and successes of the past four years.

 

Position Summary:

Audubon seeks a dynamic Executive Director to build on Audubon Louisiana’s rich history and expand its contributions to conservation and restoration in Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and throughout the entire Mississippi Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success.  This is a high-profile, pivotal opportunity for a conservation professional to be an environmental entrepreneur in representing Audubon’s mission in Louisiana, across the Gulf and throughout the Mississippi Flyway.  

The Executive Director will be the chief executive officer for Audubon Louisiana and will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing statewide conservation policy, initiatives, and public programming. The Director will also work with senior management in exploring opportunities and the feasibility of expanding Audubon Louisiana’s leadership in Gulf Coast restoration and conservation efforts.  The successful candidate will have the passion and leadership skills necessary to articulate, develop, and implement Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies in the state, all while working closely with the Audubon Louisiana Advisory Board 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 hold the title of Vice President within the national organization and will report directly to the Vice President of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Flyway.

Audubon Louisiana has a dedicated and professional staff of 13 and an advisory board of 14 individuals representing the diversity of interests of Louisiana and surrounding regions. The annual budget is approximately $3.0 million which includes several offices and programs across the state and the Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary. Audubon Louisiana works with a network of three affiliated local Audubon Chapters, and thousands of grassroots members, plus various conservation organizations, government agencies, and other public and private entities to protect birds and their habitats.  Audubon Louisiana is a critical part of an extensive network of 22 National Audubon Society state offices that advance state and local conservation policies, conduct on-the-ground work and educational programming and contribute to the goals of hemispheric-scale conservation priorities of the organization.  

 

Essential Functions:

Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership

  • Aligned with Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies, develop 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 the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, the Rainey Conservation Alliance, coastal stewardship, water resource management, climate change adaptation, and bird friendly communities. In conjunction with senior management explore opportunities and the feasibility of expanding Audubon Louisiana’s leadership in the Gulf South states   
  • Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff.
  • Focus financial and intellectual resources on the most critical, high-leverage conservation strategies and initiatives, such as the Lower Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. These priorities will leverage  the impact of the Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary, the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, and the Rainey Conservation Alliance.  
  • 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 Louisiana’s staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.  

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Represent Audubon Louisiana throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
  • Along with appropriate development staff Development, lead Audubon Louisiana’s fundraising to cultivate and solicit major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies for Audubon Louisiana and to significantly increase contributions.  Play an active role in helping to promote fundraising for regional priority projects across the Mississippi and Gulf Coast Flyway working with other state directors, the program managers and other supporting staff.
  • Work closely with the Audubon Louisiana’s Advisory Board to support the efforts of the state office in continuing the development of a strong statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.  
  • Work closely with, support and provide guidance to the Chapters in Louisiana to expand Audubon’s capacity to 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 Louisiana’s diverse population in Audubon programs.  
  • Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.
 

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • 7-10 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 success 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 and interest in leveraging technology to maximize 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana and the National Audubon Society.

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED