Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon Minnesota and Upper Mississippi River

National Audubon Society, Inc. - Saint Paul, MN3.8

Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society is one of the most venerable conservation organizations in the world. Audubon follows birds through ecosystems, conserving them for wildlife, for people, and for the earth’s biological diversity. Today, Audubon enjoys a widely respected centrist brand, a powerful legacy of conservation success, deep loyalty among its 1.4 million supporters, and the clarity that springs from working for the benefit of birds and the places they need to survive and thrive.

Audubon works to save birds through conservation and advocacy firmly grounded in science. As leaders in applied bird conservation science, Audubon engages in research and analysis to support the development of its programs, to build its authority as a science-led thought leader, and to inform and evaluate the work of Audubon and its partners.

Audubon’s powerful distributed network has an unparalleled reach. No other conservation organization matches the size, reach, scale, influence, diversity, and creative energy of its chapters, nature centers, staff, volunteer leaders, and US and international partners. At its best, the network has the knowledge and credibility to care for birds, and the places they need, in communities across the country - and it unites to tackle big challenges facing birds that cannot be solved by any single part of the network alone.

By connecting the work of the Audubon network - 463 Chapters, 41 nature centers and sanctuaries, 22 state offices, more than 650 staff members, 1.4 million members and volunteers, and U.S. and international partners - along each of the four major migratory flyways of the Americas, Audubon weaves a seamless web of conservation for birds and other migratory and non-migratory species. By working toward shared national conservation goals, Audubon is having greater local impact, and by coordinating resources, physical assets, and expertise, it is dramatically increasing its efficiency across the network to address the most pressing conservation issues of our time.

Audubon Minnesota and Upper MS River

Audubon Minnesota was established in 1979 as a field office of the National Audubon Society. Through conservation, advocacy, community involvement, and with the partnership of the 13 Minnesota chapters with 26,000 members, Audubon Minnesota has had a major impact on conservation and is regarded as a leader in conservation throughout the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Over the past decade, Audubon Minnesota has established 300 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) across 12 million acres of public and private lands throughout the state that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. The VP for AMN & UMR also executes Audubon’s priorities in Iowa, which includes 88 Important Bird Areas covering 1.7 million acres and over 4,000 Audubon members in 9 chapters. The program has an annual budget of $1.6 million and a staff of seven.

Audubon is developing an Upper Mississippi River initiative as part of its national strategy to protect clean water for the benefit of birds and people. Audubon Minnesota is the lead office in the development and implementation of this initiative, which spans the breadth of the Upper Mississippi River watershed. Coordinating closely with Audubon’s national policy, science, and conservation teams, Audubon Great Lakes, and the Audubon Center at Riverlands, Audubon Minnesota stewards collaborative on the ground conservation activities, policy and network objectives, and partnership for this work in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. In addition to this initiative, Audubon Minnesota plays an important role in policy and conservation actions in the Great Lakes, Upper Mississippi Flyway, and national landscapes.

Position Summary
Audubon is seeking a dynamic and proven leader to serve as the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota and Upper Mississippi River. With considerable potential for growth as Audubon prioritizes the Upper Mississippi River in its national strategic plan, this is an exciting opportunity to lead the organization to its next level of conservation and fiscal success locally and also have a voice in decision making at a national level. The leader will build on the rich history of conservation and expand Audubon Minnesota’s contributions to conservation across Minnesota and throughout the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Flyway.

The Vice President and Executive Director will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing statewide conservation strategies, initiatives, and public programming. This will include working closely with the Audubon regional Advisory Boards of Directors and staff, and Audubon’s key national conservation leaders to continue to develop the state program in tandem with strategic regional and national priorities, including Audubon Minnesota’s evolving role with the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River. It is anticipated that in the first year, this new VP & ED will focus 60% of their time on internal Executive Director tasks and 40% of their time externally, including working with the National Audubon network.

For more information or to submit your credentials, email All inquiries will remain confidential.

Essential Functions
Conservation & Policy Strategy Development

Develop strategic goals and initiatives integrated within Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies that result in the organization’s increased regional capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats.
Organizational Leadership

Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff while preserving open communication and recognizing the value of the management team.
Manage the day-to-day operations of the office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with local and national staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.
Fundraising and External Relations

Represent Audubon throughout the region and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
In collaboration with other Audubon offices and the national development team, play a key role in fundraising and ensure Audubon’s ability to cultivate and solicit individual major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies to significantly increase contributions.
Stakeholder Relations

Work closely with Audubon Minnesota’s Advisory Board as well as support and provide guidance to the chapters in the region to further the development of a strong regional organization and expand Audubon’s capacity for on-the-ground conservation and education at scale.
Prioritize engagement and activation of the region’s diverse population communities in the Audubon movement, including chapter leadership, advisory board participation, staffing, volunteers, program participation, and partnerships across the region.
Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.
Qualifications and Experience
The Vice President and Executive Director will bring strong internal and external leadership skills, the ability to partner with national development staff to increase local funding, and an entrepreneurial spirit to effectively execute Audubon Minnesota’s executive level business functions within a complex organization.

Desired Experience

Bachelor’s Degree with substantial and progressively responsible professional experience, including 3+ years as an enterprise executive with accountability over multiple programs and/or regions. A Masters degree is preferred but not required.
Experience in the field of conservation; knowledge of how conservation work is advanced in the region (Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri) and knowledge of key conservation agencies, coalitions, and NGOs is strongly preferred.
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, in organizations of similar or greater size.
Demonstrated success in fundraising; experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
An array of experience in public policy development and advocacy, campaigns, lobbying, and/or involvement in the state legislature and/or in working with members of Congress.
Demonstrated commitment to creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment; ability to build and lead a diverse team of staff, board members and supporters.
Desired Skills

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 ability to succeed in a highly matrixed, complex organization—strong ability to influence and persuade others required.
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.
Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
Desired Personal Characteristics

Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required. Travel is estimated at roughly 20% in the first year.
A strong commitment to the mission, values, and programs of the National Audubon Society.