Audubon seeks a dynamic Executive Director to build on Audubon Nebraska’s (ANE) rich history and expand its contributions to conservation in Nebraska and throughout the entire Central Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success.
The Executive Director will be the chief executive officer for Audubon Nebraska 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 ANE’s leadership in Audubon’s Water and North American Grasslands work. 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 Nebraska Board of Directors 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 Central Flyway Vice President.
Audubon Nebraska has a staff of 20 (includes part-time and seasonal staff) and an annual budget of nearly $1.6 million, which includes multiple facilities and programs across the state. Audubon Nebraska works with a network of four independently funded and managed, affiliated local Audubon Chapters, and approximately 10,000 grassroots members, plus various conservation organizations, government agencies, and other public and private entities to protect birds and their habitats. Audubon Nebraska 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.
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 prairie and grassland habitat and watershed conservation; Important Bird Areas, urban conservation and community outreach and education. In conjunction with senior management explore opportunities and the feasibility of expanding ANE’s leadership in the Central Flyway.
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 Nebraska’s staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.
Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement. Leverage the impact of Audubon Nebraska’s Centers and Sanctuaries to achieve state and Flyway goals.
Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff.
Fundraising and External Relations
Represent Audubon Nebraska throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
Along with appropriate development staff, lead Audubon Nebraska’s fundraising to cultivate and solicit major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies for Audubon Nebraska and to significantly increase contributions. Play an active role in helping to promote fundraising for regional priority projects across the Central Flyway working with other state directors, the program managers and other supporting staff.
Work closely with the Audubon Nebraska Board of Directors to support the efforts of ANE 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska’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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska and the National Audubon Society.