Vice President & Executive Director, Audubon South Carolina

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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:

About Audubon South Carolina:

Audubon South Carolina (ASC) represents an ever-expanding flock, with nearly 28,000 members and supporters in every State County, two nature conservation centers/sanctuaries, and more than 30,000 acres of land that we own and manage using bird-and climate-friendly management practices. In addition, Audubon South Carolina also works with eight chapters and bird club partners across the state. Audubon South Carolina’s varied conservation work – and our passionate supporters – give the birds we love a fighting chance while creating a better future for us all.

People, Places & Policy:

Just as ecosystems are interconnected, so, too, is our work. Our efforts weave together South Carolina’s people, places, and policy to make a lasting impact.

As champions for conservation, our nearly 28,000 members and eight state chapters and bird clubs represent an extensive grassroots network that advocates for federal, state, and local policies that protect birds and the places they need.

Audubon South Carolina’s approach to advocacy connects our members, partners, and elected officials around the issues affecting birds and people in South Carolina. Whether supporting conservation partners and frontline communities with advocacy grants, hosting in-district bird walks with legislators or providing advocacy training to chapters, ASC always works to create a unified voice for birds.

ASC is focused on accelerating a clean energy future for our state, increasing coastal resilience through natural infrastructure, and protecting South Carolina’s most valuable habitats. We have worked extensively to increase the competitiveness of solar energy in the state, secure funding for resilience and natural infrastructure projects such as the restoration of Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary Island in Mt. Pleasant, and make resilience an important component of state planning and federal projects.

Healthy Forests
: We partner with landowners on land management practices that are both bird-friendly and profitable, with a specific focus on the restoration of critical Longleaf Pine and bottomland hardwood habitats. We also own and manage nearly 30,000 acres of land.

Coastal Resilience:
In 2022 we plan to release the Coastal Carolinas Initiative in collaboration with our North Carolina state office, which will serve as a strategic plan for our coastal work throughout the state, providing a meaningful mapping tool to help inform where we work and engage partners on strategic restoration and protection projects. The development stage of the initiative has already paved the way for an innovative coastal conservation strategy for the greater Cape Romain region. Over the next three years, we will spearhead several projects that will have incredible cultural and natural resource benefits for communities at increased risk from sea-level rise.

Audubon Centers & Sanctuaries:

Audubon’s centers are inclusive spaces that welcome our state’s diverse communities to learn about – and participate in – the transformational conservation efforts Audubon South Carolina leads while enjoying the beautiful wildlife these efforts support. Comprising 22,000 acres of vital habitat, Audubon’s Beidler Forest and Silver Bluff centers and sanctuaries serve as essential habitat life-rafts for hundreds of bird species and other wildlife and offer a place of respite and conservation education for thousands of visitors each year.

Audubon Centers & Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest:
This 18,000-acres bird and wildlife sanctuary features a 1.75-mile boardwalk through the world’s largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp as well as a grassland and woodland trail. As a designated site of significance within the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad - Network to Freedom program, Beidler is as much a historical treasure as it is a natural wonder.

Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary:
This 3,400-acre sanctuary overlooking the Savannah River features a pristine forest ecosystem, walking trails, 50 acres of lakes and ponds, 100 acres of grassland, archaeological sites, and all manner of birds and wildlife.

How to Apply:

This search is being conducted by Victory Search Group's Non-Profit Practice.
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to noting "Audubon" in the subject line.
Essential Functions:
The National Audubon Society seeks a dynamic Vice President and Executive Director to build on Audubon South Carolina’s rich history and expand its conservation contributions in South Carolina and throughout the entire Atlantic Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success. The Vice President and Executive Director will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing and executing statewide conservation policy, initiatives, and public programming. In addition, the Executive Director will lead a talented and passionate team to advance overall conservation objectives, strengthen and mobilize our bipartisan network, and deliver durable policy solutions across the region. Audubon South Carolina’s current team includes 17 staff and a combined FY2022 budget of $2.7 million derived primarily from individual, foundation, corporate, government grants, earned income, and investments.

The successful candidate will have the passion and skills necessary to lead the development, articulation, resourcing, and implementation of Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies across the state. All while working closely with Audubon South Carolina’s staff and key National Audubon 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 Vice President of Atlantic Flyway.

Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership

  • Lead in the design and implementation of strategic goals and initiatives that align with National Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies and increase ASC’s statewide capacity to conserve priority bird species and their habitats—primarily through the protection and restoration of coastal and near shore habitat and forested and freshwater ecosystems; effective climate and environmental advocacy and policies; and community education.
  • Serve as a leader and mentor to staff and infuse the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging throughout organizational decisions, policies, and programs.
  • Secure and focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage conservation, policy and public engagement projects and strategies.
  • Leverage the impact of Audubon South Carolina’s centers and sanctuaries to achieve state and flyway goals.
  • In close collaboration ASC staff, oversee day-to-day operations of the state office, setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, taking corrective actions in accordance with National Audubon’s financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements.
Fundraising and External Relations
  • Partner with Audubon’s development team to cultivate existing and solicit new major donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies to significantly increase contributed revenue for the state office.
  • Collaborate meaningfully with Audubon’s national leadership and development teams and other state programs to develop donor strategies and support fundraising for priority projects across the network.
  • Represent Audubon South Carolina throughout the region, raising the profile and visibility of the organization and its priorities among funders, partners, policymakers, and the public, resulting in greater conservation impact and deeper donor investment.
  • Strengthen the financial sustainability of the organization, with a focus on expanding new funding sources, inspiring new donors, and cultivating strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, NGOs and corporate partners.

Qualifications and Experience:
The incoming Vice President and Executive Director must have demonstrated success in implementing innovative conservation, policy, engagement, and development strategies. Building on ASC’s successes across the state, the Executive Director must set strategy to prioritize programming and identify opportunities for the greatest conservation impact, and align the network to achieve set goals and priorities. They must also inspire the region's decision-makers, conservation partners, and philanthropic community to invest in Audubon's conservation vision and strategic plan.

Successful candidate will possess the following education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • 10 years’ progressive professional experience, to include at 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.
Successful candidates will possess the following skills, competencies, and characteristics:
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex, multiple and/or geographically diverse 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, and the overall mission, values, and programs of Audubon South Carolina and the National Audubon Society.
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.
Accessibility Statement:
The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.
COVID Policy:
All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.