Sanctuary Director – Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Topsfield, MA
Sanctuary: Ipswich River

Mass Audubon is seeking an experienced, passionate, inspirational leader with a strong background in non-profit management, fundraising, environmental management and environmental education to serve as Sanctuary Director of Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield.  The Sanctuary Director encourages innovation and creativity and inspires staff, donors, and volunteers to work together to achieve the sanctuary’s strategic goals through its programs and facilities.  The Sanctuary Director will lead Mass Audubon’s conservation, education, and advocacy efforts at Ipswich River and its satellite properties in surrounding communities. The Sanctuary Director provides a dynamic and welcoming presence as Mass Audubon’s representative in the communities surrounding Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses nearly 2000 acres and 12 miles of trails through forests, meadows, wetlands, and riverfront and supports a rich diversity of wildlife.   With over 30,000 visitors and 16,000 program participants each year, Ipswich River is a vibrant, welcoming environmental educational program center for children, families, and adults.  Programs include a summer camp program, natural history-themed special events, travel programs and a licensed nature-based preschool located at Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary in Wenham, MA.


The Sanctuary Director is responsible for all aspects of Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and its satellite properties and programs; including: 

  • Hiring, training, and supervision of full-time and part-time staff;
  • Development, operation and management of environmental education programs including school programs, summer camp, natural history programs and trips for families and adults; and a licensed nature-based preschool;
  • Land conservation and resource stewardship in coordination with Mass Audubon Land Protection Program and Conservation Science Department;
  • Development and implementation of long-range strategic goals;
  • Development and monitoring of annual plans and budgets;
  • Fundraising for annual operations and capital campaigns in coordination with the Mass Audubon Philanthropy Division;
  • Increasing community visibility through social media and marketing in coordination with the Mass Audubon Division of Marketing and Communications;
  • Community outreach including a focus on underserved populations;
  • Ongoing coordination with Mass Audubon headquarters staff regarding programmatic, operational, and human resources policies and procedures;
  • Successfully engaging and sustaining a large cadre of adult and youth volunteers;
  • Providing project management on longer term programming opportunities and facility maintenance, renovations and upgrades; and
  • Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with neighbors, local partners, educational institutions, and federal, state and local officials. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, environmental education, planning, biology, non-profit management or related field or equivalent work experience (advanced degree preferred);
  • Eight years’ experience in non-profit management, program coordination, environmental education, or environmental management, at least six of which are in a supervisory capacity;
  • Experience in leading and managing a large, multi-faceted organization;
  • Ability to support, supervise, and inspire staff and volunteers and develop a strong working team;
  • Experience in developing and implementing strategic goals for a multi-faceted operation;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including experience in public speaking;
  • Successful track record in fundraising;
  • Experience developing and implementing annual program plans and budgets;
  • Ability to relate to a diverse range of people and exercise cultural competence and inclusion;
  • Passion for the mission of Mass Audubon
  • Computer skills including word processing and spreadsheets
  • Ability to establish an effective Mass Audubon presence in surrounding communities related to conservation and biodiversity of urban, suburban and rural areas.
  • Successful candidates must pass a CORI, SORI, and driver’s record check and successfully complete First Aid and CPR Certification upon hire. Valid driver’s license.

Compensation and Benefits

Competitive salary commensurate with experience; includes full benefit package.

Additional Comments

No phone calls please.

How to Apply

Send cover letter and resume to:

Elaine Kile, Assistant to VP of Conservation Programs
Job# 2939