National Audubon Society
Mississippi Flyway Vice President
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, for today and tomorrow. Throughout the Americas, Audubon uses science, advocacy, education, technology and on-the-ground conservation to achieve its vision—to maintain a world in which both people and wildlife thrive.
Audubon protects birds and other wildlife and the habitats that supports them in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale, including its powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 22 state offices, 34 Audubon Nature Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and more than 700 staff across the country.
To achieve the greatest impact, Audubon organizes its work into five highly scalable core strategic priorities: coasts, working lands, water, climate and bird-friendly communities. These priorities cover the breadth of landscapes that birds need to thrive and the challenges that they face, including shorelines, lakes, bird-friendly cities, and habitat strongholds that will provide shelter to birds as the climate changes and their old homes disappear. Read the full strategic plan on Audubon’s website: http://strategicplan.audubon.org/
Audubon’s strategic plan places particular emphasis on the central role of its distributed and bipartisan grassroots network and on its unmatched passion, creativity, and expertise. It recognizes the importance of investing in the network’s growth and elevating and coordinating its essential work.
Over the last five years, Audubon has increased its budget to $130 million dollars annually and grown to over one million members. Working with key partners, it has achieved noteworthy victories, from congressional passage of the RESTORE Act that delivers $20 billion to restore the Gulf Coast, to saving the Greater Sage-Grouse by adding new protections on 67 million acres in the American West, and passage of landmark conservation bond initiatives from California to Florida.
Audubon enjoys a powerful legacy of conservation success, deep loyalty among its supporters, a widely respected centrist brand, and the clarity that springs from working for the benefit of birds and the places they need to survive and thrive.
Audubon is seeking a strategic, collaborative and innovative leader to serve as the Mississippi Flyway Vice President to help develop and support its powerful grassroots network of state offices, local chapters, nature centers, volunteers and partners. The Mississippi Flyway Vice President will work closely with two other Flyway Vice Presidents in the Pacific/Central and Atlantic Flyways.
The Vice President will be an exceptional communicator who leads by example and brings deep experience and humility in managing high-performing teams to the role.
The Vice President will drive the organization’s strategic direction as a partner and manager to the state executive directors in the Flyway. The Vice President will lead through integration: making the field offices more effective and efficient by helping them solve problems and creating more informed strategies and processes with the national office. As a key member of the management team, the Vice President will deepen coordination and communication between the state offices and national office.
The Vice President will improve the integration, operations, and execution in the organization by playing a key role in advocacy, conservation, campaigns, fundraising, and budgeting in the states in their region. Working side-by-side with the state executive directors, the Vice President will help them implement and fine tune strategies, establish and meet goals and benchmarks, and navigate organizational processes and procedures.
The ideal candidate is a confident leader with a proven record of success as a manager of people and operations, a history of innovative work, a sophisticated understanding of the political process in key states and experience inside a matrix organization.
This is an incredible opportunity to serve in the leadership of an organization uniquely positioned to win conservation victories in the states and to transform communities and protect birds and their habitats.
The Mississippi Flyway Vice President will report to the Senior Vice President, States. The Vice President will develop and maintain key working relationships in the national office with the Chief Conservation Officer, the Chief Operating Officer and the Strategy Leads for each of the five strategic priorities. The Vice President will also serve as a liaison with the human resources, legal and finance departments. The Mississippi Flyway Vice President will work as a team with the other Flyway Vice Presidents, drawing on the strengths of each other to meet their goals.
State executive directors will report to and work in partnership with the Flyway Vice President. Development and other leadership staff in the states will also work closely with the Vice President.
The flyways traveled by birds each spring and fall inspire Audubon’s model for organizational alignment and the states that the Flyway Vice President will be responsible for in their portfolio.
Candidates can see the regions: https://www.audubon.org/birds/flyways
The Vice President’s responsibilities are broken down into three major areas of work: integration, operations, and execution.
- Improve and promote communications between the state and national offices
- Ensure state goals and plans align with and support conservation strategies and goals
- Identify conservation, policy, network, and communications opportunities and needs in the field and build solutions in partnership with field and national leadership
- Work with national departmental leadership to ensure strategy and operations are better aligned with state capacity
- Ensure states understand and successfully navigate Audubon-wide processes including goal setting, business and conservation planning, budgeting, and resource and initiative management
- Develop plans to align Center and Sanctuary more closely with conservation goals
- Assist Strategy Leads in coordinating state resources to support conservation strategies
- Work with state offices to implement excellent operational and management practices
- Ensure the national office implements policies and procedures that support and advance state work
- Ensure that fundraising plans are clear, transparent and ambitious
- Partner with development and membership departments to support fundraising success, including both contributions and grants
- Manage personnel processes in states, including deepening the talent pool, training, transitions and evaluations
- Coordinate the development and evaluation of multi-year operational plans in states
- Advocate for and help ensure success utilizing state improvement investments made by the national office
- Develop plans to stabilize Center and Sanctuary revenue and operations
- Manage, develop and support state executive directors in the Flyway
- Problem solve on cross-strategy priority conflicts, capacity and resource challenges and other barriers to meeting goals
- Partner with Strategy Leads on delivery of strategic priorities
- Ensure each state meets revenue and expenditure goals
- Support leadership prioritization of states on specific strategies and ensure that state goals are met
- Ensure state teams have clear direction, information, resources and support to achieve goals
- Partner with human resources, legal and finance departments to prioritize state requests and ensure systems and processes are set up for success in states
- Identify state-driven innovations that have the potential to scale within the Flyway and Audubon-wide.
- Facilitate cross-state communities of practice (in partnership with other Flyway VPs)
The Flyway Vice President is a unique role, suited for a thoughtful and mature leader with strong management skills and the ability to get things done in a matrix work environment. Candidates could come from a range of backgrounds, but some or all of these qualifications would be great to see in the ideal candidate’s background:
- 15 years+ of leadership experience in NGOs, environmental justice, conservation, government, advocacy, or campaigns
- Demonstrated success in large, geographically distributed NGOs and networks, including building partnerships and capacity across a network
- Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders
- Strong experience supporting and managing high performing teams
- Proven expertise and ability to bridge long-term strategy with short-term goals
- Demonstrated experience overseeing complex and multiple projects in a matrixed environment, including meeting financial goals and deadlines, and communicating and coordinating closely with key staff
- Proven track record delivering significant impact in an NGO
- Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal
- Alignment with Audubon’s belief in working with a range of political stakeholders
- Ability to engage a diverse array of people, communities, and organizations
- Experience in or knowledge of the conservation movement
- Experience in distributed operations with geographically dispersed units
- Experience with retail operations (nature centers, zoos, museums)
- Commitment to the mission and programs of the National Audubon Society
- Ability to travel up to 60-70% of the time
The Mississippi Flyway Vice President can be located anywhere in their portfolio of states with access to an airport for frequent travel, with a strong preference for candidates who can work out of the following state or local Audubon offices: Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; St. Paul / Minneapolis, MN; Omaha, NE; or Dallas, TX.
Candidates can see the Flyway regions at: https://www.audubon.org/birds/flyways
To apply, submit a cover letter and resume online at https://grossmanheinz.com/jobs/. Your cover letter should be concise, compelling, and outline the specific ways in which you are the right person for this position. Only applications submitted through this website will be considered. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).