Director, Delaware River Watershed Program

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Audubon, PA, United States

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30+ days ago

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.
Position Summary:

Audubon Mid-Atlantic is seeking a Director for it's Delaware River Watershed Program to lead Audubon’s work across the Watershed and advance a comprehensive restoration and protection plan for the entire basin. This leadership position reports to both the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Mid-Atlantic and National Audubon Society’s Vice President, Water Conservation. The Director is charged with overseeing and building upon existing Watershed strategy that incorporates policy, conservation and public engagement work designed to increase support and funding for conservation and environmental protection efforts within the Delaware River Watershed, a critical habitat for millions of people and birds.

An experienced and credible environmental leader, the Director will serve as Audubon’s voice across the Watershed and will serve on Audubon Mid-Atlantic's leadership team, working collaboratively with conservation, policy, conservation education, communications and engagement staff throughout the Watershed as well as within Audubon’s national conservation and policy offices.

The Director will build upon existing Watershed habitat restoration programs, act as a spokesperson for the initiative, lead our coalition work in this area, represent Audubon at regional Watershed conferences and build strategic partnerships that advance Audubon’s objectives. They will help manage major grants and identify and cultivate promising new funding opportunities in collaboration with regional and national program and development staff. They will also build and manage a staff team to help plan and implement project initiatives.

Essential Functions:

Strategy Development

  • The Director will lead a comprehensive conservation strategy across the Watershed.
  • Coordinate science-driven policy, advocacy and on-the-ground conservation to advance a comprehensive strategy for the entire basin.
  • Help develop measurable goals for Audubon’s Delaware River Watershed program and track progress toward these goals.

Policy Work

  • The Director will lead a federal and regional Delaware River Watershed policy agenda, including critical water policy and engagement campaigns around the Watershed that advance the strategy’s goals and builds our advocacy network. They will collaborate closely with the Mid-Atlantic and New York policy directors as well as Audubon’s national policy office.


  • Work with Audubon’s national policy office to build and engage a bi-partisan Congressional caucus created in 2021 that is focused on the Delaware River Watershed. Work closely with congressional staff to develop caucus priorities and draft fact sheets, briefing materials and communications pieces designed to raise awareness of the Watershed’s importance and increase federal appropriations for its conservation. Caucus members include representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
  • Develop in-district events that raise awareness among members of Congress and their staff and other influential community decision-makers about the Watershed and advance Audubon’s policy goals.
  • Educate and activate Audubon’s membership network within the Watershed to help amplify the policy and conservation agenda.


  • Work closely with Audubon Mid-Atlantic and Audubon New York policy leads to build a state-based policy and advocacy campaign aimed at increasing funding and enacting legislative and regulatory action that will conserve and protect the Watershed. Engage partners in New Jersey and Delaware to do the same.
  • In collaboration with policy and network engagement staff, educate and activate Audubon’s membership network within the Watershed to help amplify the policy and conservation agenda.
  • Partner with other members of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed and the Delaware River Watershed Initiative to advance a common policy agenda.

Conservation Work

  • Help guide on-the-ground conservation work within the Watershed that is focused on projects that protect the places that birds and people need most.
  • Manage and/or coordinate with Audubon staff working on existing on-the-ground conservation work underway or in planning stages in New York State, Pennsylvania (including Philadelphia) and coastal Delaware.
  • Work with Audubon regional conservation staff and in collaboration with other environmental organizations to build upon current conservation work. Use data to identify critical bird habitats, design natural infrastructure solutions that will mitigate current and future threats, identify funding for the work and manage its implementation.
  • Strengthen and expand Audubon’s partnerships with non-governmental organizations, business and government leaders in the watershed and priority communities to best deliver on our conservation goals and leverage resources for greatest impact.

Education & Engagement

  • Collaborate with Mid-Atlantic communications staff to present clear, consistent public messaging for Audubon’s work and objectives in the Watershed.
  • Serve as spokesperson on Watershed issues and work with Audubon colleagues, subject matter experts and others to develop and implement communications plans.
  • Represent Audubon as an ambassador and help raise Audubon’s leadership profile and visibility with donors, partners, policymakers, and the public.
  • Advise the director and public program managers at Audubon’s conservation education centers in southeastern Pennsylvania—the Discovery Center and the John James Audubon Center—as they develop public education programming focused on the importance of the Watershed.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • A deep knowledge of water resources or wildlife conservation in the Delaware River Watershed.
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, diplomacy, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon to members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
  • Demonstrated success with fundraising, in particular with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • Willingness and ability to travel for key meetings with staff, funders and other important stakeholders to help advance the project.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and web-based applications required.
  • Experience developing an inclusive strategy that seeks to accomplish conservation goals while considering the needs of traditionally underserved communities.
  • Bachelor's degree and 7-10 years' progressive, professional experience in policy, advocacy, science and/or public service, including time spent leading successful conservation campaigns. Advanced degree preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Demonstrated commitment to conservation and passion for the mission and programs of the National Audubon Society, including our principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
EEO Statement:
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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