The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks a proven and dynamic leader to serve as Executive Director, to advance the organization’s conservation and fundraising agenda in Maryland/DC, regionally and worldwide. The Executive Director will lead a staff of 33 with an annual operating budget of $6.1M. As one of the senior leaders within the organization, the Executive Director provides strategic leadership for TNC’s local and global conservation work and is an important contributor to and shares responsibility for conservation strategies, policies, programs and fundraising efforts across the entire organization.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Maryland/DC chapter, building on more than four decades of experience in land conservation and management, creates innovative, science-based solutions dedicated to a future where people and nature thrive together. Our work focuses on securing clean water for the Chesapeake Bay and increasing the resilience of our coasts and forests in the face of a changing climate. We leverage our core strengths: the places we own, science and on-the-ground expertise, and an extensive network of partners to achieve our ambitious goals.
In our region, achieving clean water is inextricably linked to the health and water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. This includes not only the Bay itself, but the miles of rivers and streams that flow to it from across nearly all of Maryland and Washington, DC. It follows that our efforts are focused on reducing the two largest sources of pollution to the bay: nutrient pollution from agricultural sources and stormwater runoff from urban centers. Our District of Columbia Urban Conservation program in particular represents a critical opportunity to address pressing urban environmental issues and at the same time encourage people to form a more sustainable relationship with nature.
The biodiversity of the Appalachian Mountains and the shorelines that ring the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This is a risk for nature, but it is also one for people. Our work focuses on improving our coasts’ ability to adapt to rising seas so that Maryland’s natural treasures and way of life continue to thrive in the face of climate change. And we are increasing the connectivity of the Appalachian forests so that wildlife and plants have healthy, resilient forests to call home even as they shift and adapt to a changing climate.
The principle role of the Executive Director is to lead and manage the Maryland/DC Business Unit for success in implementing TNC’s conservation and fundraising programs, maintain our core set of organizational values, and provide support for the realization of the Conservancy’s global Shared Conservation Agenda. The Executive Director represents The Nature Conservancy internally and externally, ensures successful outcomes for business unit priorities, and mobilizes intellectual, financial, and human resources for the development and execution of regional and global priorities. S/he supports alignment of activities by securing, coordinating, and configuring financial resources, capacity, and programs to address the most critical organization-wide projects, threats and strategies. S/he is responsible for collaborating with others on the procurement and application of resources to address the conservation priorities established by TNC, both in her/his operating unit and in areas beyond her/his span of authority. S/he serves as the
primary local spokesperson for TNC to internal and external audiences (including staff, volunteers, the Board of Trustees, public and private donors, government agencies and officials, community leaders and other partners) and cultivates those audiences to support and promote TNC’s mission and vision.
The Executive Director oversees fundraising, marketing and communications for the chapter, including approving budgets and setting priorities which dictate private and public fundraising goals. The Director supports philanthropy and government relations staff in the cultivation and direct solicitation of donors (private, bilateral and multilateral government) to meet fundraising goals. S/he is responsible for a significant portion of the Business Unit’s direct fundraising goal, often times in a major market area.
The Director is responsible for day-to-day management, guidance and support of five direct reports as well as the overall management of 33 staff members in three locations: Bethesda, Easton, and Snow Hill, Maryland. S/he reports to the Mid-Atlantic/Central Appalachians Division Director and works closely with a voluntary Board of Trustees. S/he is engaged as a team member with colleagues from around the world, sharing the lessons learned from the Maryland/DC experience, gathering ideas from others and actively contributing to TNC’s global strategies and solutions. This job requires flexibility to travel 35-50% depending on the season, and to participate in field trips.
Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 7 years of experience as a leader in the conservation arena, non-profit sector, advocacy, or related for-profit area.
Management experience including leading and managing a large multi-disciplinary team.
Written and verbal fluency in English is required and fluency in the predominant language of the operating unit if other than English.
Superb communication and presentation skills required.
Experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences including donors, board members, employees, outside partners, or equivalent.
Experience in fundraising and budget management.
7-10 years of experience as a proven leader in the conservation arena, non-profit sector, advocacy, or related for-profit area, including demonstrated experience producing results and meeting program/department goals.
Experience gained both in and outside the U.S. preferred. Demonstrated commitment to developing and practicing global literacy a must.
High energy, forward thinking, creative individual with high ethical standards. Outstanding leadership and visionary qualities and able to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization.
Proven technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment, and strong operational focus. Demonstrated operational, implementation and detail-oriented perspective.
Well organized and self-directed; politically savvy and a team player.
Successful experience in marketing or fund raising desired.
Written and verbal fluency in English required.
Deep commitment to conservation and nature.
Engaging and inspirational leader who serves as a spokesperson and motivator for staff, trustees, donors partners and the general public.
Strong people and project manager who identifies and nurtures talent and fosters a culture of accountability.
High energy level and emotional intelligence, personable, trustworthy, diplomatic, and of impeccable integrity.
Forward thinking, creative problem-solver with high ethical standards.
Well organized and self-directed; politically savvy team player.
Excellent listening skills and ability to learn with genuine interest and intellectual curiosity.
Proposes and implements procedures to enhance overall performance in accordance with short and long term objectives.
Participates in the formulation and evaluation of broad policies and/or long-term programs, or making decisions, which typically have broad organizational impact.
Directs major program of strategic importance to the Conservancy through management of multi-disciplinary teams.
Makes decisions independently with little or no opportunity for management collaboration or oversight.
Decisions may affect organization’s public image.
Decision may have maximum financial and/or legal impact on the organization.
RESPONSIBILITY/OVERSIGHT – FINANCIAL AND SUPERVISORY:
Recruits, retains, and manages high quality and effective staff.
Assumes overall responsibility for philanthropy activities and goals of the OU.
Accepts philanthropic responsibility for organization-wide project/programs.
Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.
Assumes responsibility and leadership for conservation results for local, regional and global priorities.
Ability to persuasively convey the mission & conservation priorities of TNC to diverse groups including major donors, corporate executives, board members, partners and others who are critical to the organization’s overall prosperity.
Cultivates and develops constructive and effective relationships inside and outside the Conservancy.
Communicates professionally with a wide variety of people of diverse cultural professional and economic backgrounds for the purpose of developing, negotiating and/or implementing programs and projects.
Presents and represents the program and TNC’s vision in compelling, engaging manner to internal and external audiences as lead spokesperson; practices the Conservancy’s core values.
Commands attention, can change tactics midstream, and manage group processes during presentations or discussions.
Delivers effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to employee groups, managers at all levels, board members, and outside organizations.
Exercises sensitivity to working in an advisory role with partner organizations.
Directs, prepares, presents and/or participates in negotiations of project proposals with governmental, bilateral and/or multilateral agencies. Works well under pressure.
WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL EFFORT:
Willingness and ability to travel 35-50% time throughout the state and elsewhere as required.
Flexibility to work long hours during deadline periods.
Work requires only minor physical exertion and/or physical strain. Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.