Director, Board Relations

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Audubon

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Washington, DC, United States

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30+ days ago

Overview:
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’s Director of Board Relations is responsible for developing a best-in-class board relations function and team at Audubon. They foster an effective and engaged National Board of Directors in support of Audubon’s mission. The Director acts as the principal liaison between the Board Directors and the CEO. They ensure that each Board Director’s service on the Audubon Board is highly beneficial to both the organization and the individual. They and their team provide best-in-class governance and administrative guidance and support to the CEO, Board Chair, and entire Board of Directors.


Reporting to the Chief of Staff, the Director is an important resource for the Board Directors and CEO and is responsible for developing, maintaining, and continuously improving the full suite of resources to assist the Board in their fiduciary, governance, and ambassador roles for Audubon. The Director will partner closely with the Audubon events team to design, plan, and host three Board Meetings annually.


The successful Director has deep experience with Boards of Directors, including knowledge of best practices in Board governance. They are also experienced in working closely with and in support of a chief executive. They possess a keen attention to detail and project management skills to oversee the planning, execution, and follow up to Board meetings. They will have experience navigating large, complex organizations through influence and collaboration. It is also essential that the person have experience in managing high-level relationships with discretion and in handling sensitive and confidential information.

Essential Functions:

Foster Effective Governance

  • Facilitate a strong, effective, and collaborative working relationship among the Board of Directors (including Committees and Chair), CEO, and the Executive Team.
  • Work with the Board to maintain, track, and safeguard up-to-date board policies and documents relating to effective operations and governance. Ensure these materials are available internally and externally as appropriate.
  • Provide guidance and support to Committee Chairs and staff liaisons to ensure that all Committees are managed with consistent practices and that Charters and annual objectives are aligned with Audubon’s strategic plan and budget. Attend Committee meetings as able.
  • Manage and track key dates and processes associated with board terms, legal requirements, nominations, elections, etc.
  • Facilitate assessments of the full Board collectively, Board Directors individually, Committees, and Board Officers.
  • Maintain working knowledge of latest and best practices in board governance.
  • Undertake special projects for the CEO and Board Chair.
  • Manage external advisors or consultants retained by the Board.

Design and Deliver Strategic Board Meetings

  • Assist the CEO and Board Chair in developing Board meeting agendas.
  • Prepare the CEO and Board Chair with briefing and resource materials for each Board Meeting.
  • Ensure the timely preparation and distribution of materials (e.g., agendas, board books) for Board meetings. Coordinate with other departments to provide high-quality content.
  • Advise and guide Audubon’s events team on all meeting logistics and events details, including dates, locations, travel arrangements, lodging, meal planning, field trips, etc.
  • Coordinate, in collaboration with the Executive Team and staff across Audubon, the preparation and delivery of staff presentations to the Board.
  • Manage all communications to stakeholders (e.g., Board Directors and their staff, and guests as needed) on meeting-related details.
  • Capture feedback from Board Directors on each Board Meeting and integrate that input into future meeting design.

Support Productive Board Engagement

  • Build and maintain close working relationships with Board Directors and facilitate all aspects of a Director’s board service.
  • With the Nominating and Governance Committee, actively participate in coordinating the onboarding, orientation, and continuing education of Board Directors, Board Officers, and Committee Chairs.
  • Provide on-call support for Directors regarding their engagement with Audubon.
  • Develop and implement a process for individual Director engagement plans; regularly track progress against the goals outlined in each plan.
  • Develop and implement a communications plan for the Board that optimizes the quantity, quality, and frequency of information distributed, including drafting updates on behalf of the CEO and Chair.
  • As needed, introduces new approaches to Board management to ensure a best-in-class Board experience.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of progressively responsible professional experience routinely working with a Board of Directors, chief executives, and managing administrative and strategic initiatives; advanced degree preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Experience in operations and/or governance of nonprofit organizations.
  • A strong commitment to the mission of Audubon and our values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Highly developed emotional intelligence with strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal).
  • Confident and comfortable communicating with high-profile individuals.
  • Strong organizational skills that reflect an ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail.
  • Results-oriented work style with strong strategic, analytical, planning, and problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully navigate within varying degrees of ambiguity in a fast-paced environment.
  • Highly proficient with office technology and a variety of business applications.
  • Unquestionable personal code of ethics, integrity, and trust with the ability to handle highly confidential information.
  • Intuitive mindset, creative aptitude, and effective use of discretion and independent judgment; able to look beyond the assigned task and consider tangential and collateral connections, problems, opportunities, and possibilities.
  • Ability to travel periodically throughout the year to Board Meetings.
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 Accommodations@audubon.org. 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.