The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders’ work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands conservation; climate change adaptation; and wildlife-responsible renewable energy development. The Vice President is responsible for implementing Defenders’ conservation mission through these four integrated programs in accordance with Defenders’ strategic plan, including promoting science-based and sustainable wildlife and habitat management and policies; working to ensure sound management of federal lands, particularly national wildlife refuges and national forests; promoting wildlife conservation on private lands; facilitating environmentally-responsible renewable energy development onshore and offshore to mitigate for climate change while preserving our natural heritage; promoting policies to ensure that wildlife managers consider and address the effects of climate change; and raising public awareness about the importance of conserving and restoring biodiversity for current and future generations. Working closely with the President & CEO and Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, the Vice President serves as part of Defenders’ senior leadership team in providing leadership for the organization as a whole.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Work closely with the President & CEO, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, and other members of Defenders’ senior leadership, to provide leadership direction on matters involving Defenders’ organization, programs and culture.
- Provide senior leadership and supervision for the Landscape Conservation department. Working with department staff, prioritize and develop short- and long-range strategic plan objectives, organizational structure, and department staffing and budget requirements.
- In consultation with Defenders’ leadership and other departments, develop wildlife habitat conservation and management policy positions to achieve Defenders’ strategic goals and priorities.
- Manage Defenders’ programs to provide for the long-term conservation and sustainable management of federal public lands for imperiled species and other wildlife, focusing on the National Wildlife Refuge System, National Forest System and the Bureau of Land Management’s Public Lands.
- Work with federal agencies, Congress, state agencies, renewable energy companies, and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement national policies that promote the rapid buildout of renewable energy onshore and offshore while ensuring appropriate protection of wildlife and habitat.
- Work with federal agencies, Congress, state agencies and other stakeholders to ensure appropriate consideration of the effects of climate change on wildlife in management of federal public lands and in determining public policy to address climate change.
- Work with private landowners, land trusts, other nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders to promote sound wildlife conservation on private lands.
- Direct, coordinate, and/or assist Defenders’ advocacy efforts to influence legislation, regulatory processes, agency policies, and land management plans involving issues of landscape conservation.
- Research, write, and/or supervise the development of factsheets, reports, webpages, and other publications as necessary.
- Represent Defenders in public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, coalitions, and in general communications with public officials, legislators, the news media, Defenders’ membership, the donor community, and the public.
- Work with the Development and Marketing departments to raise funds for the Landscape Conservation department’s programs.
- Ensure optimum performance for individuals and group function. Recommend and implement techniques to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, and maintain state-of-the-art practices for the department.
- Ensure communication of duties and responsibilities to direct reports and monitor performance. Provide regular coaching and counseling. Identify training needs. Prepare and deliver salary and performance reviews; review and approve performance and salary appraisals as necessary. Working with the Human Resources department, resolve staff disciplinary issues.
- Perform all other related duties as assigned.
Education: Terminal degree in related field
Experience: 15 years; 7 years supervisory; 5 years managing 2+ layers
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Executive 1
- Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
- Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service
- Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
- Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
- Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
- Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
- Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
- Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
- Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work
- Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
- Strategic thinker with the ability to create high-level strategy, identify organizational-level impact, and translate strategy into relatable points and action steps.
- Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
- Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
- Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
- Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
- Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
- Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion
- Ability to create and implement programs, initiatives, and/or systems which will result in organizational-wide impact; assess specific needs; design oversee implementation; establish benchmarks and track key performance indicators; provide recommendations for improvements; advocate and champion the program internally.
Coalition and Community Engagement
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and/or the general public.
- Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate issues impacting Defenders’ mission and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
- Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.
- Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
- Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political, and ecological landscapes
Leadership and Management
- Ability to foster a team and organizational culture which models the tenets of the Commitment Statement
- Ability to connect employees and their work to Defenders’ mission
- Ability to set and maintain clear expectations, ensuring clarity of roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities
- Ability to ensure that staff have the skills and support required to perform at the highest level
- Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ business and people systems and processes
- Ability to create and maintain a diverse, inclusive, and high-functioning environment
- Ability to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in department and organizational-level decisions
- Ability to manage employee conflict and resolve escalations in an inclusive and healthy manner
- Ability to effectively lead and manage change
- Ability to develop mid-level leaders and staff to their highest capabilities, through delegation, coaching, empowerment, and professional growth opportunities
- Ability to provide effective feedback in real-time
- Ability to create and implement team and organization-wide strategies in support of Defenders’ Strategic Plan
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Vice President, Landscape Conservation
Experience with federal and state wildlife, land management and resource conservation agencies, and knowledge of wildlife and natural resource laws, regulations and policies.