Causes Calendar logo

National Audubon Society

Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon Arizona

Company Overview:


For more than a century, Audubon has championed the protection of birds and their habitat. Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity. With nearly 700 staff, 23 state programs, 465 local chapters, 43 centers and sanctuaries, and close to half a million members throughout the United States, Audubon achieves its mission by engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education, and on-the-ground conservation action.


In the fall of 2011, Audubon adopted a new strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on the biggest and most important opportunities for addressing critical threats to birds and their habitat.  At the core of this plan is a focus on flyways: each year, more than 10 billion birds use major flyways to travel up and down the continent and to points beyond. Underneath these flyways are migratory rest stops and the homes for non-migratory birds that are critical to birds’ survival.  These places form a web that represents the richest veins of biodiversity across the Americas.  They are the tipping point places that connect people to birds and ecosystems—and where birds thrive, people prosper.  By mobilizing and aligning Audubon’s unparalleled network of chapters, centers, state programs, and Important Bird Area (IBA) programs to focus on the four major migratory flyways in the Americas (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific), the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  Within each flyway, Audubon will sharpen its focus on the most critical species and places, working only where there is a theory of victory for delivering measurable conservation impact at scale.  As part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in more than 100 countries working to protect a network of IBAs around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. Critical to Audubon’s conservation success will be engaging a growing and more diverse audience to take conservation action.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


Position Summary:


Audubon seeks a dynamic Executive Director to build on Audubon Arizona’s rich history and expand its contributions to conservation in Arizona and the Central Flyway, leading the organization to its next level of programmatic and financial success.  This is a high-profile, pivotal opportunity for a conservation professional to be an environmental entrepreneur in representing one of Audubon’s oldest state programs. 


The Executive Director will be the chief executive officer for Audubon Arizona and will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing statewide conservation policy, initiatives, and public programming. Additionally, the Executive Director will head up the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, a community nature center in Phoenix that welcomes thousands of schoolchildren and visitors annually, and will supervise the staff responsible for planning, operating, and managing the day-to-day operations, as well as the implementation of the long-term natural, cultural, and historic reserves, habitat, and public outreach goals at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center.  The Executive Director will oversee Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch, an ecological field station dedicated to the preservation and study of southwestern grassland ecosystems. The Research Ranch has become a nationally known center for environmental education and research; partnering with several universities, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and numerous other organizations.


With an annual budget just over $1 million and a staff of twelve, Audubon Arizona works with a network of nine affiliated local Audubon Chapters and over 26,000 grassroots members, plus various conservation organizations, government agencies, and other public and private entities to protect birds and their habitats.  The successful candidate will have the passion and leadership skills necessary to articulate, develop, and implement Audubon’s conservation goals and strategies in the state, while working closely with the Audubon Arizona Board of Directors and staff, and the Vice President of the Central Flyway 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 the Central Flyway.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions:


The Vice President/Executive Director – Audubon Arizona will perform the following and other duties as assigned:


Strategy Development and Organizational Leadership

  • Aligned with Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies, develop strategic goals and initiatives that result in the organization’s increased statewide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats.
  • Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff, including a team of dedicated program directors in the priority areas for Arizona (freshwater conservation, bird conservation, and education) to reach the goals in Audubon Arizona’s strategic plan, the Central Flyway and the National Strategic Plan.      
  • Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage priority projects, including policy development and public engagement around Arizona’s rivers as part of the Western Rivers Initiative, grasslands and Important Bird Areas conservation, and other state initiatives. 
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the state office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with Arizona’s staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met. 
  • Direct and provide oversight to the staff at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center and Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch who are responsible for the day-to-day management and operations, programs, and facility-related activities, to include maintenance, new construction, and resource management; ensure the financial and administrative sustainability as well as the implementation of short and long-term goals, and the achievement of conservation results at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center.


Fundraising and External Relations

  • Represent Audubon Arizona throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
  • Lead Audubon Arizona’s fundraising to cultivate and solicit major donors and foundations for Audubon Arizona’s and to significantly increase contributions.
  • Work closely with the Audubon Arizona Board of Directors to support the efforts of Audubon Arizona in continuing the development of a strong statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.  
  • Inspire and provide guidance to the Chapters in Arizona to help them realize their potential for on-the-ground conservation and education.  Work to strengthen the statewide presence of Audubon and support these organizations in their local efforts.
  • Further engage Arizona’s diverse population in Audubon programs through strategic outreach efforts.
  • Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • 7-10 years’ progressive professional experience, to include 3-5 years at a senior management level with comparable staff and budget responsibilities; non-profit background strongly preferred.
  • Proven track record of success in fundraising, in particular extensive experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • Exemplary 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.
  • Effective at coaching and mentoring staff toward greater achievement.
  • 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.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the board, local, regional, and national 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.
  • Effectively handles concurrent assignments with a relentless, proactive and enthusiastic attitude.
  • Ability to exercise extreme diplomacy, balance and flexibility when dealing with various personalities and sensitive situations to develop cohesive solutions and negotiate successful outcomes.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon Arizona to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.  Candidates bilingual in English and Spanish strongly desired.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of, as well as connection to Arizona and its environment, conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies.
  • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of Audubon Arizona’s work.
  • Experience developing diversified approach to engage and influence the broader public to champion an issue or cause.
  • A strong commitment to the mission, values, and programs of Audubon Arizona and the National Audubon Society.
  • Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required.

To apply, please visit:

  Share webpage     Website     All open jobs  

Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon Arizona

Date Posted:  03/06/2015
Experience Level:  Executive
Career Group:  Executive
Cause Type:  Animals

Phoenix, AZ 

Administrative Tasks
for Nonprofit Jobs:
Edit job details

  Full map and directions     Printer friendly page     Back