Program Manager (Great Lakes)

Bloomington, MN, US


This position will manage strategic development and implementation of the Foundation’s Great Lakes programs including Sustain Our Great Lakes. S/he is responsible for developing strategies and programs, securing funding opportunities, managing applicable funding sources, managing advisory committees, interacting with existing and potential grant/contract recipients, coordinating proposal reviews, providing technical assistance to grantees, coordinating with the project administration team to assure the effective implementation of the Foundation’s grant administration policies, drafting recommendations for staff and Board action, and closely coordinating program efforts with the Director, Central Partnership Office (Director) and other Foundation staff. S/he is also responsible for other duties as assigned by the Director.


  • Expand and strengthen the NFWF presence/reputation as an essential leader in Great Lakes conservation and restoration issues.
  • Create conservation strategies for NFWF in the Great Lakes. Design and implement the Foundation’s Great Lakes programs including Sustain Our Great Lakes in coordination with the Director, various advisory committees, Foundation Program and Science staff, GREAT, contractors, agency liaisons and the Board. 
  • Establish program priorities; work with program advisory committee to solicit, review and approve grant awards; negotiate strategies and milestones with grantees; and establish systems to monitor progress of each grantee (using Foundation technical and financial tracking databases).
  • Manage applicable funding source(s) as appropriate, including preparation of grant applications and amendments, preparation and submission of financial and programmatic reports and coordination with agency project officers.
  • Actively and diligently seek and secure additional funding for Great Lakes programs (including subgrants) and the operations of the Foundation.
  • Serve as spokesperson for the Foundation with regard to this program, its conservation objectives and accomplishments. Coordinate the Great Lakes program activities with others involved or affected by project decisions.
  • Establish and maintain networks with the myriad of organizations and interests engaged in Great Lakes work.
  • Keep abreast of scientific and policy developments that may impact Great Lakes restoration efforts.
  • Seek opportunities for information-sharing among grantees and with policy makers about lessons learned and accomplishments of grant-funded projects.
  • Assure compliance with all requirements of cooperative agreements and assure that all activities are communicated and coordinated with the Director, other Foundation staff as appropriate and Foundation agency liaisons.
  • Track and monitor proposals and active grants/contracts in coordination with the project administration team.
  • Coordinate the program’s external technical review of proposals in accordance with Foundation policy.
  • Prepare briefing materials and recommendations to support decision making by the Foundation’s staff and Board.
  • Prepare and/or assist in the preparation of various descriptive and evaluative reports as directed.
  • Subject to programmatic objectives and budgetary considerations, propose and conduct site visits in accordance with Foundation policy.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Director.


  • Recommend new processes where needed to improve existing processes.
  • Recommend and lead efforts to improve existing processes.


  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience with concentration in ecology, conservation science or biology preferred.
  • Professionalism and leadership qualities.
  • Thrives in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Strong listening and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and reasoning skills.
  • Experience in building coalitions.
  • Three years experience in program management.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising or program development.
  • Experience working with federal resource agencies, with experience managing cooperative agreements preferred.
  • Grants management and administration experience preferred.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Strong attention to detail and follow-through skills.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Computer proficiency.


Commensurate with experience.


Bloomington, Minnesota

Equal Opportunity Statement – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation 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. The Foundation complies with all federal and local statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment.

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.