Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, 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. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).
Audubon Minnesota (AMN) is the local arm of the National Audubon Society. AMN manages Audubon’s conservation and network priorities the states of Minnesota and Iowa. This geography includes 145 Important Bird Areas covering 14.2 million acres and over 30,000 Audubon members, many of whom belong to one of Audubon’s 22 local chapters.
Based in St. Paul and reporting to AMN’s Executive Director, the Director of Engagement is responsible for regional efforts to engage and activate existing Audubon chapters and members while expanding the sphere of influence of the Audubon network in Iowa and Minnesota. S/he will also coordinate the strategy to engage Audubon chapters and members with an emerging Upper Mississippi River conservation initative, which a reach spanning six states. The Director of Engagement will be responsible for developing partnerships and providing training and capacity-building opportunities, tools, and mechanisms to build the connectedness, capacity, diversity, and size of the Audubon network in the region. The Director of Engagement will collaborate closely with the Director of Policy for the Upper Mississippi Flyway to successfully engage our bipartisan network and conservation partners for successful policy campaigns and conservation leadership. S/he oversees the development and delivery of AMN’s community engagement programs, with a specific focus in the next two years of building out a Bird City program across Minnesota.
The ideal candidate will be a skilled, experienced manager and a strategic thinker and have a background in working with communities, campaigns, and collaborative partnerships across Minnesota and the Upper Mississippi River watershed.
Lead the ongoing development and implementation of capacity building and partnership development with the Audubon chapter network, including (but not limited to) the following: developing programs, creating unique partnerships with high-capacity chapters, and overseeing channels of communication between Audubon and its regional chapters.
Build the collaborative capacity of Audubon’s chapters to engage with Audubon’s conservation programs, community science efforts, and advocacy priorities.
Launch Minnesota’s Bird City program beyond its pilot stage to reach at least 60 communities in the next two years
Lead the development of AMN’s urban engagement efforts to support new grassroots leaders in a diversity of contexts, geographies, and generations.
Partner with Audubon’s conservation and public policy leaders at national and state levels to recruit, equip, and engage advocates and volunteers for on-the-ground conservation work, conservation advocacy, issue campaigns, outreach, and influence building.
Develop and activate schedule of gatherings and other networking opportunities that deliver Audubon’s capacity-building program and foster peer-to-peer learning.
With the Director of Policy for the Upper Mississippi Flyway, develop and implement campaign strategy to maximize grassroots engagement and growth
Provide periodic updates and recommendations to regional board and staff to facilitate more productive integration at all levels of the organization.
Raise visibility of Audubon and its network throughout the region by elevating the capacity
Build and manage teams focused on education programs, chapter and member support, and urban engagement
In partnership with Executive Director and development team, secure funds from individuals, foundations, and government agencies. Develop partnerships and relationships with funders, donors, and strategic partners to support and grow Audubon’s capacity for a diverse set of programs. Develop and manage program and grant budgets.
Qualifications and Experience
Bachelor’s degree required and 8+years’ relevant experience in grassroots network building, grassroots advocacy, wildlife conservation, public service or related field, including at least 3 years managing staff and teams, required. A combination of education and experience will also be considered.
Exceptional leadership skills with the proven ability to oversee and mentor professional staff while working effectively in a team-based environment.
In-depth experience with community organizing, engagement, and activism in diverse communities.
Clear track record of success in operational roles a must – demonstrated experience taking ideas from concept to design to execution, and linking objectives and outcomes to strategic goals.
Proven experience in networking, engaging, and successfully cultivating diverse community partners and partnership projects.
Proven experience leading grassroots engagement in issue or advocacy campaigns and building the capacity of networks to successfully engage in advocacy.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills and the ability build consensus amongst a wide range of individuals. Comfort with presenting and engaging others in public-speaking events is also necessary.
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.
Thorough understanding of how advocacy, communications, and grassroots engagement components effectively work together.
Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions.
Technically savvy, to include proficiency with Microsoft Office suite applications and comfort using web-based engagement systems. Experience with EveryAction or similar voter/volunteer database desired.
Willingness to travel, including some occasional out-of-state travel, and comfort working evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
Demonstrated interest in conservation and commitment to the mission of the National Audubon Society.