Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon Washington (NAS)

The National Audubon Society

 The National Audubon Society is one of the oldest, largest, and most influential conservation organizations in the United States. Since 1905, a passion for birds and nature has been the driving force behind Audubon’s legacy. The organization has played a critical role in some of the most significant victories for birds and the environment, including: the establishment of the first National Wildlife Refuges; the banning of DDT in 1972; landmark legislation like the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and the establishment of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Audubon advocates broadly for conservation through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.


Today’s Audubon is tackling the most pressing

conservation challenges of our time.

Audubon is a powerful distributed network with an unparalleled reach that includes more than one million members, 463 chapters, 22 state and regional offices (or field offices?) and 34 nature centers. In addition, Audubon works with dozens of international partnerships throughout the Western Hemisphere that also support protection of migratory birds and the habitats they need to thrive today, and in the future.

The National Audubon Society is a $140M+, 800+ employee, 1.65M member organization. In 2010, David Yarnold was appointed by the Board of Trustees and assumed leadership as CEO, with a goal of creating the most effective conservation network in the U.S. David and his executive team are achieving this goal, tackling the most pressing conservation challenges of our time. When developing a case study for nonprofit excellence in the fall of 2017, Harvard Business School selected David Yarnold’s leadership of Audubon and remarked, “It was the most impressive turnaround of a legacy organization we’ve ever seen.”

Audubon Washington

A field office of the National Audubon Society, Audubon Washington (AWA) works to protect the places and policies that birds need to thrive across the state of Washington. Within the network of connections that make up a healthy ecosystems, birds are uniquely positioned to act as an environmental indicator of the health of the landscape. We know that what is good for birds is good for entire ecosystems – including people.

To this end, we build and engage a diverse network of volunteers, communities, and conservation professionals. Together we address the greatest threats to birds, such as climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species. Our strategies are driven by cutting-edge science that informs where and how we work to protect birds and guides our policy objectives. The outcome of this approach is a reinforcing strategy that addresses the biggest threats faced by birds and people in our region. Together we are saving birds and improving the quality of life for the people of Washington.


Position Summary:

The National Audubon Society (NAS) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and strategic candidate to lead and grow our Audubon Washington office.  The successful person will lead a talented team to advance overall conservation objectives, strengthen and mobilize our bipartisan network, and deliver durable policy solutions across Washington. They also serve as a Vice President of the National Audubon Society and, with their peers, are responsible for shaping and delivering national objectives, initiatives, and processes. Over time, they will explore opportunities to expand the National Audubon Society’s reach and impact across the Pacific Northwest. 

Audubon Washington builds practical and durable conservation and policy solutions that benefit the birds and people of the state.  With chapters and members in every legislative district, Audubon brings an unparalleled grassroots network to take action on important issues for birds. In 2008, we expanded our reach by opening the Seward Park Audubon Center. With an emphasis on connecting Seattle’s diverse communities with nature, programming at the Center and in the park includes school, youth, community, arts in the environment, and special events. Guided by science and powered by a bipartisan grassroots network, our work spans from the coastal estuaries of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to the stagebrush steppe ecosystem of Eastern Washington to the legislative chambers of Olympia. Driven by science that demonstrates that climate is the greatest threat to North America’s birds, Audubon was a leader in the passage of the Washington’s 100% Clean Energy bill, SB 5116.

As we look to the future, we see opportunities to expand our impact across the Pacific Northwest in partnership with our conservation partners and more than 61,000 members and 39 chapters in the region to address the most important issues facing birds.

The incoming Executive Director and Vice President must have demonstrated success in crafting and driving innovative conservation, policy, engagement, and development strategies that inspire the region’s decision makers, conservation partners, and philanthropic community to invest in Audubon’s conservation vision and strategic plan.  Building on the success of the Audubon Washington’s  well-respected conservation program, they will inspire collaboration among our conservation, legislative, and philanthropic partners to deepen our impact and influence across the Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

This is a high-profile position with the potential to grow National Audubon Society’s reach and affect change at the local, regional, and national levels.  The Executive Director and Vice President will report to Audubon’s Vice President for the Central/Pacific Flyway. They will be jointly reviewed by the Flyway VP with input from the chair of the Audubon Washington Board of Advisors. 

Audubon offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position will be located in Seattle, Washington.

Essential Functions:


  • Deliver operational and strategic excellence through the leadership, management, and mentoring of a mature and diverse staff while preserving open communication and recognizing the value of the management team.
  • Define a clear vision for Audubon across the Pacific Northwest that distinguishes Audubon Washington from our conservation partners and that builds on current strengths, a strong business case for investment, and engagement of a bipartisan network.
  • Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement, focused on population centers.
  • Leverage the impact of the Seward Park Audubon Center to achieve state, regional, and national goals.
  • Build upon the strong foundation of building a representative team and developing programs and initiatives that are resonant and relevant for the diverse population of the Pacific Northwest
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results and taking corrective action in close collaboration with local and national staff.
  • Ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitment and legal/statutory requirements are met.



  • Craft and achieve strategic goals and initiatives that are integrated fully with the National Audubon Society’s conservation, network, and philanthropic goals.
  • Increase our region-wide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats. Priorities include:
    • Advancing a healthy Puget Sound and Coastal Northwest conservation strategy
    • Inspiring our bipartisan network and decision makers throughout Washington and the region to take action to limit carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change
    • Create durable policy solutions that address the most critical threats to birds at the local, state, and federal levels
    • Establishing a Columbia Plateau healthy lands initiative that protects thesagebrush-steppe ecosystem through influencing public lands management, renewable energy siting, and wildfire management.
    • Engaging the diversity of communities that represent the population of the region to build durable conservation and policy strategies and resonant education programs
    • Integrate Seward Park Audubon Center into our conservation, policy, and engagement strategies



  • Partner with Audubon’s development team to cultivate existing and to solicit new major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies to significantly increase contributions.
  • Represent Audubon Washington throughout the region to raise profile and visibility of our priorities and impact with funders, partners, policy makers, and the public, resulting in deeper donor satisfaction and investment.
  • Strengthen the financially sustainable business and development plans for the state with a focus on expanding new funding sources, inspiring new donors, and cultivating strategic partnerships with agencies and other NGOs.
  • Support fundraising for national priority projects with Audubon’s leadership and development teams.
  • Collaborate meaningfully and significantly with other Audubon state programs and national development staff on donor strategies under the One Audubon approach to members and donors



  • Deepen the engagement of the Audubon Washington Board of Advisors to inspire their advocacy for our programmatic priorities and to inspire their individual and external fundraising capacity.
  • Work closely with, support and provide guidance to the chapters in the region to expand Audubon’s capacity for on-the-ground conservation, policy change, and education at scale.
  • Prioritize engagement and activation of the region’s diverse population communities in the Audubon movement, including college chapters, chapter leadership, advisory board participation, staffing, volunteers, program participation, and partnerships across the region.
  • Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.


Qualifications and Experience:


  • Experience in the field of conservation; knowledge of how conservation work is advanced in Washington and the Pacific Northwest and knowledge of key conservation leaders and partners is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience leading the execution of complex projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners, in organizations of similar or greater size.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising; experience with major donors, foundations, corporations and government funders.
  • An array of experience in public policy development and advocacy, campaigns, lobbying, and/or involvement in the state legislature and/or working with members of Congress is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment; ability to build and lead a diverse team of staff, board members and supporters.


  • Strong leadership skills, with an entrepreneurial spirit, solid business acumen and management operations skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors and potential partners a must.
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed in a distributed network and a highly matrixed, complex organization – strong ability to influence and persuade others required.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrate ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the local, regional and national levels.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors and chapter leaders as well as in traditional, social and digital media.

Personal Knowledge & Characteristics

  • Knowledge of the regional political and demographic reality with broad connections to partners and the philanthropic community strongly desired.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of, as well as connection to the Pacific Northwest region area and its environment.
  • Knowledge of funders and donors engaged in conservation philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest region preferred.
  • Willingness and ability to travel routinely through the region and nationally, as required.
  • A strong and demonstrated commitment to the mission, values and programs of the National Audubon Society.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred.
  • 10+ years’ experience in organizational leadership, preferably connected to conservation or civic engagement, including 3+ years as an enterprise executive with accountability over multiple programs and/or regions.

Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). 


To Apply:

Please upload a resume and cover letter in one document detailing your connection to the Audubon Washington mission and how your skills align to the position requirements to the following URL: //

Application deadline is 12/13. First round Zoom interviews will take place mid December through early January.  Second and third round interviews will take place mid January through early February.




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