Director of Conservation

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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:

The Director of Conservation-a newly created senior leadership position-will lead the development and implementation of landscape-level conservation objectives in the Mid-Atlantic region for the benefit of birds and the places they need to thrive and survive. This seasoned leader will bring inspirational energy and proven execution skills to the role, leading a dynamic portfolio of conservation work in Maryland and Pennsylvania that is grounded in efforts to address the growing threats of climate change and habitat loss in the region. They will supervise and support regional conservation staff and work in coordination with Audubon’s national and Atlantic flyway conservation teams to grow Audubon’s regional impact.

Audubon Mid-Atlantic's conservation work currently includes programs in forest and coastal habitats as well as efforts within the Delaware River Watershed through a special project that is led separately. In keeping with National Audubon Society objectives, much of our regional conservation work focuses on the deployment of natural infrastructure strategies to enhance habitats needed by birds throughout their lifecycles, build connectivity between those habitats, increase climate resiliency and mitigate carbon emissions through sequestration.

The Director will also work with regional and national staff to develop urban conservation strategies and will work collaboratively with the Director of the Delaware River Watershed program on habitat improvement and conservation projects within this watershed. Given the geography of the region, the Director is likely to spend much of their time on Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s forest stewardship and management efforts, working to grow Audubon’s Healthy Forests Initiative. This work involves the design and implementation of programs aimed at engaging private landowners, public agencies, land trusts, commercial timber companies, and the professional forestry community in promoting sustainable forest management techniques that create habitat for forest birds and other wildlife. The Director will also work with regional staff to develop additional forest conservation strategies for PA DCNR’s Conservation Landscapes, especially the Kittatinny Ridge—where Audubon already plays a role—and priority areas in Maryland.

The Director will collaborate with natural resource agencies (federal, state, county, and municipal), non-profit conservation organizations, and commercial entities for successful implementation of their work across the landscape in the Mid-Atlantic and the overall Atlantic Flyway. They will work closely with the executive director and other regional and national staff to build sustainable income streams, engagement efforts, and conservation science strategies, and will work with the Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s director of policy to develop and promote policy priorities that further Audubon’s regional conservation objectives.

The Director will report to the Vice President & Executive Director for Audubon Mid-Atlantic. This role is based in the Mid-Atlantic region including PA, DC and Maryland. The role is onsite as well as remote.


  • $110,000 to $115,000/year
Essential Functions:
  • In collaboration with Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s Executive Director and conservation staff, develop and implement conservation strategies that meet AMA's habitat-level goals and objectives for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and ecosystem services.
  • Design and direct the conservation programs in the Mid-Atlantic that align with National Audubon Society’s mission, maximizing Audubon’s impact by integrating work across the full suite of Audubon’s national and regional science, conservation, network, policy, and development teams.
  • Act as a spokesperson for Audubon’s regional conservation work in the media and other public forums.
  • Lead and grow current forest conservation work, including the Healthy Forest program, to create, manage, connect and protect habitat for birds and other wildlife. Help develop new strategies to support migratory birds along Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge.
  • Support the work of the region’s coastal conservation team.
  • Work with national and Audubon Mid-Atlantic staff to develop urban conservation strategies in Baltimore and Philadelphia (the latter will be done in close coordination with the Delaware River Watershed program).
  • Over time, consider and assess the potential for Audubon Mid-Atlantic to develop new conservation programs in other critical bird habitats, including grasslands and freshwater wetlands, over time.
  • Further Audubon’s reputation through building partnerships and coalitions with a network of land and wildlife management agencies, NGOs, and community scientists.
  • In coordination with Audubon's local environmental centers, incorporate community science engagement into Audubon’s conservation work, using analysis of these data and those collected by Audubon staff to inform adaptive management strategies and understand outcomes of conservation action.
  • In coordination with center and program staff, engage volunteers, as needed, to help implement Audubon’s conservation programs.
  • Design, implement, and direct measures of success focused on birds and habitat across priority landscapes.
  • Provide technical expertise related to birds and habitat in the region to internal and external audiences and partners.
  • Support the Audubon Mid-Atlantic Executive Director with development activities including solicitation of gifts and prospect development. Specific activities may include, but are not limited to, leading site visits and bird walks and giving presentations to existing and prospective donors.
  • Coordinate with policy, education, and communications staff not under direct supervision to guide planning, monitoring, and conservation implementation in the areas overseen by Audubon Mid-Atlantic. Integrate these efforts into Atlantic Flyway conservation plans and goals.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • B.S. in wildlife science, ornithology, avian ecology, forestry, natural resources management, conservation biology or a related field – an M.S. in one of these fields is 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 high functioning teams.
  • Ability to identify birds of the Mid-Atlantic by sight and sound or a willingness to learn.
  • A deep understanding of Mid-Atlantic habitats/ecosystems, their threats, and how to manage/conserve them.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build 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 both technical and non‐technical audiences.
  • Experience in project management, including managing grants (guiding grant writing proposals, coordinating with relevant funders, completing reports, and administering contracts), and stewarding other relevant projects.
  • Experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including leading staff to achieve agreed upon goals; meeting financial goals, metrics and project deadlines; and collaborating with partners.
  • Fundraising experience, specifically from public agencies and in conservation preferred.
  • 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, working knowledge of GIS technology preferred.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and ability to provide own transportation.
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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COVID Policy:
All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.