Vice President (Water Conservation)

Audubon Society

Washington, DC, US


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 nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

The Vice President for Water Conservation will serve on the national conservation leadership team at the National Audubon Society and lead a conservation portfolio that includes specific strategies on Western Water, Western Saline Lakes, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River and the Everglades.  This large and diverse portfolio is focused on landscape scale conservation working with the public and private sectors and in coalition with other nongovernmental organizations, to accomplish lasting conservation results that contribute to the full life-cycle conservation of birds and the habitats on which they rely.

Reporting to the Chief Conservation Officer/Senior Advisor to the CEO, s/he will work closely with all parts of the Audubon network including state offices, the National Policy and Science teams, development, marketing, legal and communications’ offices.  The Vice President will direct the organization’s Water Conservation Strategies by leading or guiding conservation staff at the national, state, and local levels to ensure the successful delivery of program outcomes.    

This position will also serve as a thought-leader for the National Audubon Society. In this role, s/he will provide strategic advice to the Audubon leadership on cutting-edge water conservation issues and solutions that can benefit the portfolio, advise partners on strategies and tactics to achieve conservation wins at scale and participate in forums and conferences to share best practices, highlight challenges and showcase solutions.  


Candidates should also submit a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as a strategic leader for the organization and develop innovative water and associated habitat protection solutions and mobilize the Audubon network as needed to advocate for those pragmatic solutions; oversee existing water conservation programs in a matrixed organization; and create new water initiatives beyond the portfolio described above that can help drive Audubon to its goals.
  • Manage staff and budgets and align policy and science teams, state offices and other partners to materially contribute to the goals of the water agenda.
  • Collaboratively lead and organize staff and resources across multiple national divisions, state offices and chapters; ensure that NAS maintains its focus on critical tasks and strategic goals while successfully executing campaign plans.
  • Represent NAS by serving as its public spokesperson on water issues.
  • Act as a change agent by advancing solutions at the local, state and national levels; continuously engage the Audubon Network in achieving national, state and local policy victories.
  • Work closely with the CCO and the organization’s Development professionals to support fundraising efforts that contribute to water conservation priorities; develop and help to maintain relationships with funders; and coordinate with conservation and development team members, as needed.
  • Keep the CEO, NAS Board, and other relevant staff informed on water issues as needed.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree and 10-15 years’ progressive, professional experience in government relations, advocacy, and/or public service, including time spent leading successful conservation campaigns, required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Expertise in water conservation issues and policies, as well as strong connections with leading experts in the field and with funders of water conservation work.
  • Firm grasp of conservation issues, trends, and critical elements.
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex and multiple projects in a matrixed environment to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and communicating and coordinating closely with key staff and partners.
  • A self-starter, one works collaboratively with staff on multiple career levels; must also possess excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at all levels.
  • Proven track record of success in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • Technically savvy, including proficiency in Microsoft Office suite applications and various web-based technologies. Experience with Salesforce a plus, but not required.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to effectively represent NAS.
  • Must have a flexible approach to work, with a willingness to travel nationally as needed.
  • Demonstrated commitment to conservation and passion for the mission and programs of the National Audubon Society.