Portland Audubon – Executive Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
FLSA Status: Exempt
Motus Recruiting and Staffing is proud to partner with Portland Audubon in its search for a new Executive Director.
ABOUT PORTLAND AUDUBON
Portland Audubon’s volunteer-empowered and growing community has loved and advocated for Oregon’s wildlife and wild places for more than 100 years. Through collaboration with a vast network of advocates, nature enthusiasts, and partners, Portland Audubon inspires and connects people to nature through a variety of programs that are grounded in science and learning.
Mission: To inspire all people to love and protect birds, wildlife, and the natural environment upon which life depends.
- Protect: Using a suite of conservation methods, we work to protect imperiled species, reduce threats to birds across the Oregon landscape, preserve high-priority habitat, fight climate change, and advocate for equitable access to nature for all Portland-area residents.
- Learn: Our expert educators provide world-class environmental education programs – both locally and abroad – that inspire more than 12,000 children and 3,000 adults a year to better understand and connect with the natural world.
- Rehabilitate Wildlife: The Wildlife Care Center is the state’s oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility, treating more than 3,000 injured and orphaned native animals and responding to more than 10,000 wildlife-related inquiries a year.
- Steward: Our wildlife sanctuaries in the city, mountains, and coast model healthy ecosystems, offer safe havens to wildlife, and provide people with places to connect with nature.
Portland Audubon is committed to building an equitable and inclusive environment, reflecting the diversity of our community in its board, staff, volunteers, and members; ensuring its internal culture, business practices, and programs are welcoming and advance its diversity goals; and empowering staff to make positive changes in their environment and in Portland Audubon’s culture. All Portland Audubon employees are expected to serve diverse audiences and help advance our strategies for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Through skillful and confident leadership, Portland Audubon’s executive director will work in collaboration with the department leaders to develop a cohesive wildlife conservation, education, and stewardship strategy grounded in equity, while also providing public policy leadership and fundraising oversight. In addition, the executive director will work closely with the board of directors to execute the strategic plan, values, and mission of Portland Audubon. At the core, this role is an incredible opportunity to guide and inspire the future of the organization with intentionality, purpose, and heart.
The executive director will play a key role in increasing public and private support for Portland Audubon’s mission through engagement with major donors, corporations, foundations, and the media while offering support to staff as they maintain existing relationships and foster new ones. Portland Audubon is committed to actively collaborating with more diverse audiences including communities of color, people with disabilities, people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and other historically marginalized communities. This role is an opportunity to continue the legacy of a dynamic and committed organization while establishing new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships with organizations and individuals from diverse backgrounds. As such, we seek an executive director who views advancing equity and inclusion as central to their practice, and who has a strong, demonstrated commitment to working with communities who have been historically disenfranchised.
The executive director will work with the leadership of other organizations to enhance Portland Audubon’s reputation through coalition building and uniting key stakeholders within the Oregon conservation and non-profit community. In alignment with the mission, the executive director will increase and promote environmental education, wildlife and habitat protection, and the organization’s reach with diverse communities through education and engagement. The executive director will leverage Portland Audubon’s programs to expand membership, leading to even greater potential to protect wildlife and habitat across the Oregon landscape. While the organization's primary focus is local, Portland Audubon is also active and influential in state and national conservation issues.
Strategic Planning and Leadership
- In partnership with the board and staff, develop the organizational vision and execute the operating strategic plan and budget inclusive of philanthropic goals and annual conservation plans. Create an annual review of the organization, as well as an annual work plan for the board to adopt.
- In collaboration with the Development Director, actively participate in high-level fundraising activities such as major gift solicitations, grant proposal development and special event sponsorship. Lead the organization through funding initiatives that will be undertaken to sustain growth and financial stability.
Stakeholder Relations and Advocacy
- Develop formal mechanisms for and maintain ongoing practices of deep community engagement and relationship building to ensure that the organization’s strategies are executed.
- Develop and maintain strategic relationships with nonprofit leaders, public and private stakeholders, and funders; building reciprocal trust with conservation advocates and leaders; serve as a facilitator, convener, and coalition builder to further the organization’s strategic goals.
- In collaboration with the Director of Conservation, ensure Portland Audubon maintains a strong external leadership presence in the local and statewide conservation communities through participation in relevant local meetings and legislative activity, initiative activities (e.g., policy work, legal work, partnerships, research, trainings, convenings), and engagement with emerging conservation opportunities.
- In collaboration with the Director of Education, ensure Portland Audubon acts as a dynamic and inclusive platform for engaging people of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds in birds, nature and the outdoors, and support the development and expansion of initiatives that actively broaden access to our programs in collaboration with historically marginalized communities.
- Provide leadership and oversight for additional Portland Audubon programs and operations such as Sanctuaries, the Nature Store, and the Wildlife Care Center.
- Collaborate with the organization’s staff to cultivate and support a strong practice of engaging on critical organizational goals.
- Provide guidance and oversight of the staff and leverage staff experience and insights.
- Create a culture of trust and partnership by leveraging emotionally intelligent leadership.
- Ensure the hiring, onboarding, supervising, development, and evaluation of all paid staff to meet organizational goals and outcomes. Support the volunteer coordinator as needed with volunteer recruitment and management.
- In collaboration with the chief operating officer, develop and monitor operational budgets based on agreed upon strategic objectives. Ensure an adequate reserve fund as defined by policy to provide financial stability and advance the organization’s mission.
Board Relations and Communication
- Establish and maintain regular and clear communications with board members on policy and program issues.
- Assist the board with development activities including board member recruitment, orientation, training, evaluation, and recognition.
- Assure adequate staff support for the board member activities and committees.
- Report at least every other month to the board on the organization’s financial status and operations.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND EQUITY
Portland Audubon believes that inspiring all people to love and protect nature is best achieved when we embrace diversity as a value and practice. In the same way an ecosystem needs many types of plants and wildlife, an organization thrives when it includes a diversity of people and perspectives. We recognize that inequities are widespread and create gaps between our present reality and our aspirations.
Portland Audubon is committed to:
- Reflecting the diversity of the community in our board, staff, volunteers, and members.
- Ensuring our internal culture, business practices, and programs are welcoming and advance our diversity goals.
- Empowering people to make positive changes in their community and environment.
Portland Audubon is nearing completion of the 5-year strategic plan (2017-2022) and plans to move forward with iterative strategic planning. A core priority moving forward is to infuse equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) into all of the goals and work of the organization. This position will play an important role in achieving the organization’s EID goals through engagement with staff, board members, donors, volunteers, and the public. We recognize that in order to serve diverse communities we must also have diversity represented in our staff. The next executive director must:
- Offer personal interest and commitment to working in a diverse and inclusive work environment that places a high value on equity.
- Participate in promoting a positive workplace culture of collaboration, innovation, and respect. Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish effective working relationships in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment.
- Effectively engage with underrepresented communities on the importance of habitat and wildlife protection and the economic & environmental impacts on those communities.
- Understand the historical and political impact that conservation policy has had on diverse communities.
PREFERRED COMPETENCIES, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCE
- 10+ years of experience in fields relevant to non-profit management, staff leadership, stakeholder relations/advocacy, and fundraising.
- Demonstrated ability to translate strategy into action, with a proven record of success in developing and implementing innovative strategies and solutions with the engagement of others.
- Demonstrated understanding of lived experiences of diverse Oregonians and strong relationships with relevant communities and nonprofit partners.
- Strong grasp of disparities experienced by BIPOC communities and of structures and systems that impede equitable conservation participation. Ability to identify high-impact leverage points to achieve sustainable change.
- Experience in the conservation field or similar discipline. Demonstrated ability to evaluate and determine whether a conservation policy is consistent with the mission of Portland Audubon.
- Significant experience in successful development and fundraising activity. Proven knowledge of best practices and methodologies leading to strong donor partnerships.
- Experience leading a multifaceted team with exceptional collaborative and facilitative management skills.
- Desire to build a workplace and organizational culture that is fair, inclusive, and representative of diverse experiences and cultures, with the expectation that Portland Audubon will attract, develop, and retain diverse staff, board members, volunteers, and donors.
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills, interpersonal awareness, and excellent listening skills; a communication style that reflects clarity, authenticity, transparency, executive leadership, and approachability. In addition, a willingness to challenge conventional thinking coupled with the ability to collaborate effectively and encourage dialogue.