The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.
Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.
Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
The Director of Conservation will lead the development of conservation objectives and implementation of conservation strategies throughout Texas, ensuring alignment with the goals and objectives of the National Audubon Society, Central and Mississippi Flyways, and other strategic priority programs and projects. The Director will oversee Audubon Texas Conservation programs, collaborating with external partners such as natural resource agencies (federal, state, county, and municipal), non-profit conservation organizations, local Audubon chapters, universities, and commercial entities.
The Director will manage the conservation staff and project managers and collaborate closely with the Texas Executive Director and Vice President to develop conservation priorities and policies for the region. The Director will develop funding proposals to foundations, corporations, agencies, and individuals, and be responsible for identifying funding opportunities and managing funding relationships with natural resource agencies at multiple levels of governance. Reporting to the Texas Executive Director and Vice President, the Director is a senior leadership team member who will play a crucial role in developing and executing conservation priorities and measures for the Texas strategic plan. This highly organized and effective conservation leader will bring a collaborative drive, inspirational energy and proven programmatic development and execution skills to the role, leading a dynamic portfolio of conservation actions across Texas grounded in efforts to address the growing threats of biodiversity loss.
$110,000 – $115,000 / year
- In close collaboration with the Texas Vice President & Executive Director, and staff, establish Audubon Texas as a trusted conservation partner that effectively stewards, conserves, and restores habitats in the state of Texas for the benefit of birds and people. Develop and implement conservation strategies that meet Texas habitat-level goals and objectives to benefit birds, other wildlife, and ecosystem services.
- Design and direct conservation programs in Texas that align with the National Audubon Society mission and state-level strategic goals, maximizing Audubon’s impact by integrating work across the full suite of Audubon’s national and regional science, conservation, network engagement, communications, policy, and development teams.
- In collaboration with Texas staff and the Audubon Science team, identify priority bird species in Texas and develop data management, science, monitoring, and conservation programs to support population recovery.
- Collaborate with partners to increase the acreage of bird habitat strongholds that Audubon protects and stewards in Texas in partnership with other conservation practitioners.
- Further the National Audubon Society’s brand awareness and reputation by building and leading partnerships and coalitions with a network of land and wildlife management agencies, NGOs, research organizations, and community scientists. Act as a spokesperson for Audubon’s state level conservation work in regional consortia, the media, and other public forums.
- Coordinate with policy, education, engagement, and communications staff not under direct supervision to guide planning, monitoring, and conservation implementation in the areas overseen by Audubon Texas. Integrate these efforts into Central/Mississippi Flyway conservation plans and goals.
- In close coordination with Audubon Center leadership and staff, develop and aid in implementing Audubon Center and community level conservation and habitat management plans; ensure local efforts align with Texas and Audubon strategic plans and metrics.
- Incorporate community science engagement, university research, and data/geographic analysis to inform adaptive management strategies and help Centers and communities realize conservation impact outcomes.
- Expand urban conservation action and community science programs, and partnerships in cities and communities across the state in collaboration with the Audubon Texas engagement team, local Audubon chapters and Audubon Centers.
- Work with national and Texas staff to develop urban conservation strategies in certified Bird Cities in Texas. Provide technical expertise related to birds and habitat in the region to internal and external audiences and partners.
- Manage and support the work of Texas Coastal Conservation and Working Lands/Audubon Conservation Ranching teams.
- In close collaboration with the Texas Coastal Program Senior Program Manager, expand Audubon Texas coastal restoration, protection, and adaptation partnerships to make rookery islands and onshore bird habitats resilient to climate change, human use, and infrastructure development.
- Lead and expand Audubon Texas’s working lands conservation and landowner engagement programs in Texas across priority grassland habitats.
- Develop feasibility recommendations and timelines for the potential of new Texas conservation programs in other critical bird habitat regions, such as the Rio Grande Valley, West Texas, and East Texas Piney Woods.
- Design, implement, and direct measures of success focused on birds and habitats across priority landscapes.
- Manage and actively participate in teams working on development activities, including solicitation of gifts, prospect development and grant writing. Specific activities may include but are not limited to drafting budgets and scopes of work, writing proposals, leading site visits and bird walks, and giving presentations to existing and prospective donors.
- Work with Development staff on proposals
Qualifications and Experience
- B.S. in wildlife science, ornithology, avian ecology, natural resources management, conservation biology or a related field. M.S. or Ph.D. in one of these fields strongly preferred. Experience will be considered in lieu of education.
- 10+ years of experience in natural resources management, biology, or related environmental or conservation work and at least five years of management experience, specifically leading highly successful teams.
- Ability to identify birds across Texas by sight and sound, or a willingness to learn.
- A deep understanding of Texas habitats and ecosystems, ecological threats, and how to manage, conserve and mitigate.
- Demonstrated commitment to applying principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging, creating a positive, respectful, and collegial work culture, and supporting the ongoing professional and career development of staff.
- Outstanding interpersonal and social skills, solid judgment, a demonstrated ability to collaborate, build and lead coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations, and experience developing and growing programs over time.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to all audiences.
- Highly organized individual with experience in project management, including applying for and managing grants, including but not limited to writing grant proposals, coordinating with relevant partners and funders, completing reports, and administering contracts, and stewarding other relevant projects.
- Experience effectively managing a remote team across multiple regions and priority strategies.
- Experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success on-time and on-budget, including leading staff to achieve agreed upon goals; meeting financial goals, tracking metrics and project deadlines; and collaborating with partners.
- Fundraising experience, specifically from public agencies, preferably within conservation; experience working with public agencies (federal, state and local).
- Self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment.
- Ability to traverse uneven and steep terrain in inclement weather while carrying field equipment with or without accommodation.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office, data analytics software, and working knowledge and experience with GIS technology preferred.
- Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout Texas and nationally, as required. Must be comfortable with periodic day travel and occasional overnight travel, as necessary. Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
- This is a hybrid position at the Audubon Texas state office offering a combination of in-office, field, and virtual work.
The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
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