Chief Conservation Officer
Lincoln, MA, United States
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at massaudubon.org.
About This Position
About the Opportunity
The Action Agenda signals a dynamic new era for Mass Audubon and we are seeking a strategic, innovative, and experienced professional to lead our growing conservation team and to drive our conservation work—work rooted in rigorous science. The Action Agenda has spurred organizational innovation, a new level of collaboration, significant new investments, and a shared sense of urgency in tackling the great challenges of our time.
The Action Agenda sets ambitious, but achievable, goals that advance nature-based climate solutions across the Commonwealth, including committing to work with the state and partners to protect 30 percent of Massachusetts by 2026, restoring and managing 2,500 acres of coastal habitats, and managing and protecting significantly more acres of forests. We plan to invest more in the conservation of birds and their habitats and use birds as a lens to shape our conservation strategies.
We are activating and mobilizing our 160,000 members to advance nature-based climate policy solutions that complement and support our conservation priorities. And we will continue to publish important work that helps us understand the latest threats to nature and solutions to solve them.
The Chief Conservation Officer (CCO), a new position at Mass Audubon, will lead the organization’s efforts to protect and restore resilient landscapes, conserve wildlife, and drive nature-based climate solutions across the Commonwealth. The CCO will be a proven leader responsible for driving innovative conservation strategies and overseeing programs throughout the Commonwealth. The leader will have a track-record of accomplishments in the conservation field, a commitment to building strong partnerships with government agencies and other non-governmental organizations, seasoned organizational skills, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
The CCO will oversee our land conservation, conservation science, and bird conservation departments. Over the past year, these accomplished departments have doubled in size and now include a new ecological restoration unit and a coastal resilience program established to meet our ambitious land conservation and restoration goals.
The CCO will be a thought partner with the President on conservation strategy, and serve on the Executive Staff Team. The position will work closely with colleagues on the Executive Team to continue to elevate the full body of work at Mass Audubon and serve as a key representative of the organization’s conservation priorities with decision-makers, external partners, the philanthropic community, our membership, and the general public.
Mass Audubon has a long history working in Central America and the CCO will work with our international partners to advance shared conservation objectives as opportunities and needs arise.
- Lead development and implementation of Mass Audubon’s conservation strategies to achieve the objectives as defined in the Action Agenda, with an emphasis on the Action Agenda’s Resilient Landscapes goal
- Provide strategic leadership in shaping and supporting program development and coordination, and provide ongoing direction to advance conservation priorities across the Commonwealth
- Shape innovative strategies to advance nature-based climate solutions working with the Wildlife Sanctuaries and Programs team and the Policy and Advocacy team
- Manage Senior Directors for Land Conservation and Conservation Science, and the Director of Bird Conservation, providing leadership, direction, and mentorship
- Support Senior Directors of Land Conservation and Conservation Science in expanding strategies to protect and restore land, including growing the capabilities and accomplishments of our new ecological restoration unit and coastal resilience teams
- Advance Mass Audubon’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusive, Justice, and Access (DEIJA) objectives by fostering these values, integrating DEIJA principles into programmatic goals, and forming strong partnerships
- Serve as an external spokesperson for Mass Audubon’s conservation priorities with stakeholders, funders, partners, decisions-makers, and the public
- Partner with Finance and Development to help track and meet revenue goals, and ensure compliance and operational efficiency
- Work with the Chief of Staff to the President to manage goals and key performance dashboards, ensuring an efficient reporting system for reviews and reports
- Provide support for fundraising and business development opportunities, assisting with the cultivation of major donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies
At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:
- Degree in ecology, conservation biology, natural resources, or a relevant field and a minimum of 10 years of related experience, including 3- 5 years in a leadership role
- Strong leadership skills with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong business and management experience; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate
- Demonstrated ability to succeed in a highly matrixed, complex organization
- Demonstrated success in fundraising, including experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of organizations at the local, regional, state levels
- Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, budgeting systems, and donor databases. Comfort with and interest in leveraging technology to maximize conservation impact
- Strong commitment to Mass Audubon’s diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and access (DEIJA) principles and values
- A commitment to continued learning and improvement of one’s own understanding and delivery of a more equitable and inclusive workplace culture
- Flexibility to work long hours as the job demands
Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.
Mass Audubon’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice
Mass Audubon embraces diversity and equal opportunity in a serious way. We are dedicated to forming a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Mass Audubon’s mission is to “protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife” by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.