Senior Director, Nature in the City Program

Location: Lincoln, MA
Sanctuary: Lincoln Headquarters

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.

About This Position

Mass Audubon’s Action Agenda—our five-year blueprint for addressing the greatest conservation threats of our time—includes three linked and interdependent goals: Resilient Landscapes; Inclusive and Equitable Access to Nature; and Climate Change. To address these goals in our most vulnerable communities, Mass Audubon is launching its Nature in the City Program. The goal of the program is to increase the number of green spaces—parks, tree canopy, trails, green infrastructure—in under-resourced communities and communities of color to mitigate the effects of climate change, increase wildlife habitat, and address human health issues for residents living in communities that have historically lacked adequate and accessible access to nature.  

Mass Audubon is seeking a dynamic leader to help create and drive this program in communities across the Commonwealth. The leader will understand the importance and have experience in building authentic partnerships with grassroot organizations in the communities we serve. They will have experience in building new programs and managing teams. The leader will have a proven track record of accomplishing positive and measurable conservation outcomes in urban settings. The leader will have a deep network in the government and non-profit sectors, and strong relationships with funders who support urban conservation, climate resilience, and environmental justice. Lastly, the leader will have the experience and skill set to draw on the varied talents of Mass Audubon staff (public policy, land conservation and restoration, marketing and communications, environmental education, and engagement) and our community partners to advance program goals using a variety of tools including advocacy, on-the-ground restoration, environmental education, and land conservation.  

The Senior Director of Nature in the City Program is a strong, experienced professional who is passionate about nature and the benefits it offers society—from helping improve our mental and physical health, to absorbing greenhouse gases and cleaning our water.  This leader will play a crucial role in our work to advance inclusive and equitable nature for everyone, while advancing the organization’s diversity, equity, inclusion and justice principles.  

Over the next five years, Mass Audubon envisions executing its Nature in the City Program with grassroots and community organizations, government agencies, and others in seven cities—Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford/Fall River, Worcester and Springfield.   

The Senior Director of the Nature in the City program will have significant management experience, cultural competency, political acumen, fundraising experience, initiative, flexibility, and a willingness to adapt. but importantly it will work across the organization to draw on the talent and expertise of our policy and advocacy, land conservation and restoration, and wildlife sanctuaries and programs teams.  

This position will work directly with the President of Mass Audubon and the Vice President of the Wildlife, Sanctuaries, and Programs Division to design and initiative the Nature in the City Program, in collaboration with Regional Directors and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. The leader will work to create a replicable community engagement model, tailored community by community strategies, troubleshoot political hurdles, meet programmatic goals, raise resources, and facilitate organizational partnerships.  

This position serves on the Mass Audubon senior staff leadership team.  

Duties & Responsibilities

Community Engagement and Program Development   

  • Conduct Community Assessments with a goal of defining pathways in our targeted communities to achieve both community goals, as defined by our partners, and the goals of the Nature in the City program. The assessment will include a series of meetings with community and grassroots organization leaders, elected and government agency officials, and others to determine what the needs of the community are, how they align with Mass Audubon goals, and to help us determine what Mass Audubon can do to contribute to these shared goals. 
  • Recommend a staffing plan to meet the shared goals in each of the cities.
  • Based on the community assessment, work with our local partners to shape Nature in the City program work plans that include specific goals and measurable outcomes to track performance and to ensure we are accountable to our board, donors, and community partners. 
  • Work with Mass Audubon Division leaders in Wildlife Sanctuaries Programs (WSP), DEIJ, Policy and Advocacy, Land Conservation and Restoration, and Marketing and Communications work plans, alongside our community partners. Work most closely with Regional Directors to coordinate program implementation. Work with Regional Directors and other Mass Audubon staff to identify and build relationships with strategic partners within the targeted Nature in the City cities and neighborhoods including elected officials, other non-governmental organizations, schools, etc.   
  • Coordinate, in cooperation with other departments and our community partners, Mass Audubon’s Nature in the City program’s internal and external communications, including inclusive marketing and PR strategies. 

  Team Building and Community Partnerships  

  • Build community partnerships in each of the Nature in the City communities with elected officials, government agencies, community development corporations, non-profit partners, and other stakeholders. It is critical that we build, nurture, and expand partnerships in these communities and work collaboratively to advance the goals we share with our partners.  
  • Build Mass Audubon teams for each of the cities that have talents and expertise needed by Mass Audubon and our partners to successfully execute against our share goals. Members of the team may include community engagement managers, urban ecologists, land conservation specialists, urban policy expertise. 
  • Help build the capacity of community partners to enhance their ability to support and advance the goals of the Nature in the City Program and take what we are learning from our experiences and our partners and share those best practices in other priority communities. Build a virtuous loop of learning, sharing, growing together to achieve the program’s goals.  
  • Seek to hire staff who reside in the community in which we are operating. Closely coordinate all partnership development and building with WSP Regional Directors, many of whom have preexisting relationships and partnerships that must be managed carefully.   

 Securing Resources, Management, and Administration 

  • In cooperation with the Philanthropy Department, identify and secure funding support for the Nature in the City program development and operations from private and public sources. 
  • Develop and manage program budgets. 

Qualifications

At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don't believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Proven ability to develop, implement and manage a program including the writing of plans and budgets addressing some or all aspects of conservation, education, advocacy, environmental justice, or climate justice in an urban area. 

2. Proven ability to develop, implement, and analyze plans and budgets as well as to meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment. Ability to facilitate complex, multi-dimensional projects while managing other duties and responsibilities. 

3. Experience in the recruitment, management and development of diverse staff, especially among under-represented groups, and the ability to organize, inspire, and support people with diverse skills and backgrounds to create a common program or shared result. 

4. Master Degree or equivalent experience in relationship building, advocacy, community organizing, environmental education, environmental justice, community development, urban planning, biology or earth science or relevant field and at least eight years of related experience in program development and management. 

5. Strong computer and communication skills (written and oral) including representation of Mass Audubon in public meetings (including evenings and weekends). 

6. A valid driver’s license and the physical capacity to travel frequently and extensively within the state and region. 

Compensation & Benefits

This position’s base salary range is $120,000 to $135,000; actual salary will reflect level of experience and qualifications relative to position requirements.   

Benefits and Perks: 

Benefits eligible staff at Mass Audubon may elect to enroll in medical, dental, and vision plans. Mass Audubon also offers disability and life insurance plans, a retirement plan through MetLife, and Flexible Spending Account options. Mass Audubon employment also includes access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Reciprocity Agreement through the Consortium of Non-Profit Arts/Cultural/Environmental Organizations of New England. Mass Audubon employees also enjoy 12.5 paid holidays (holidays may shift annually due to where days fall within calendar). 

Additional Information

Other Requirements:

Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.

COVID-19 Considerations

Mass Audubon requires that all staff, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status. Proof of vaccination status will be required immediately upon hire. This should also include a booster shot if it has been 5 months since you were initially vaccinated.

Mass Audubon's Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

Mass Audubon's mission is to "protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife" by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How To Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to:

Criss Nickoloff, Operations Manager for Wildlife Sanctuaries and Programs
Job# 3632