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).
“The National Audubon Society has a dynamic and comprehensive commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the conservation movement. Diversity, equity and inclusion is not only a best practice for business, it’s a strategic imperative. Our business and conservation strategies are enriched and made stronger by the contribution of the experiences, perspectives, and values of diverse individuals and communities. Protecting and conserving nature and the environment transcends political, cultural and social boundaries, and so must Audubon in order to expand our network’s reach and engage more people in protecting birds and habitat.”
-Audubon Diversity and Inclusion Case Statement
“The conservation movement has spent too long talking about increasing racial and ethnic diversity in our ranks without enough to show for it. What matters is not our intentions or what we say – what matters is what we do. We need to operate differently, recruit differently, and hire differently. And to make that possible, we need to become the kinds of organizations that are truly open and inclusive, organizations in which people of all backgrounds see themselves represented, welcomed, and valued. We need to aim high, have the hard conversations, and demand more from ourselves. The future of our movement depends on it.”
-David Yarnold, President & CEO, National Audubon Society to Green 2.0
The Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (VP-EDI) leads Audubon’s ongoing work to be an organization that is relevant, welcoming, and responsive to all people – and therefore an organization that is more effective in achieving its conservation mission. A visionary and results-driven executive, the VP-EDI develops and implements strategies that shape Audubon’s people, culture, programs, and relationships. The VP-EDI reports to Audubon’s Chief Network Officer and will represent Audubon with a wide range of constituencies, chair Audubon’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Team, advise Audubon leadership and key stakeholders, develop strategic partnerships, raise funds, set goals, and evaluate progress.
The VP-EDI will lead the completion and implementation of an equity, diversity and inclusion plan that ties to conservation outcomes in Audubon’s strategic plan and to the annual goals of Audubon’s President and CEO. The plan will make Audubon’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement into a set of measurable practices and programs that affect Audubon’s staff, operations, community engagement, and conservation work. The plan will build on progress that Audubon has made to increase staff and board diversity significantly and to put Audubon into a leadership position in the environmental community.
The external-facing role of the VP-EDI includes creating strategic partnerships; identifying and recruiting volunteer and community leadership; advising Audubon’s network of chapters and partners; representing Audubon in a variety of venues and contexts; advising on messaging and communication; shaping development of conservation and engagement programs; fundraising; and expanding the connectedness, capacity, size, and diversity of Audubon’s unparalleled network.
The internal-facing role of the VP-EDI includes partnering with Human Resources on staff recruitment and development, supporting employee resource groups, identifying training needs and implementing solutions, advising leadership, and helping set goals and evaluate progress.
The VP-EDI will spend roughly 25 percent of her or his time focused internally on Audubon staff and operations and 75 percent focused externally and on Audubon programs. Specific functions include the following:
Lead the review, completion, and implementation of a results-oriented equity, diversity, and inclusion plan that will advance key organizational goals. This will require high-level vision, strong and integrated strategy, and metrics-driven operational leadership.
Cultivate and maintain effective partnerships with diverse organizations that lead to strategic programmatic and fundraising collaborations on conservation and engagement projects, including faith-based groups, civil rights and advocacy organizations, minority-serving institutions, and education, LGBTQ, and veterans organizations.
As an ambassador of the organization, co-host regional diversity recruitment consortiums with cross-sector partners and attend conferences, forums and other professional membership events.
Collaborate with leadership overseeing infrastructure groups and offer methods for improving how Audubon sources new talent and contracting opportunities.
Advise on Audubon’s programs, curricula, and other materials to ensure efforts and content are relevant to and inclusive of all people within focal geographies, communities, and populations.
Identify strategies for board member and volunteer leader recruitment and engagement and take on specific recruitment and cultivation goals.
Partner with Human Resources and hiring managers to attract and retain diverse talent to Audubon and generate interest for careers in conservation; evaluate and report on staff metrics; provide leadership in designing tools and programs to help managers with work culture and retention; and identify strategies to disrupt unconscious bias.
Continually identify talent and rising leaders; provide key staff members with professional development on effectively connecting conservation practices and policies with environmental justice and other equity, diversity, and inclusion issues.
Partner with Human Resources and senior management to lead cultural-competency development, including employee resource groups and Audubon’s Diversity and Inclusion Cohorts.
Chair the Audubon Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Team.
Qualifications and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree required, as well as at least 10 years’ equivalent experience, preferably in a decentralized volunteer or membership-based nonprofit organization, with 3-5 years at the senior level required. Experience in a conservation organization preferable.
Demonstrated commitment and passion for equity, diversity, and inclusion issues through research, activism, writing, and/or project development, etc.
Must possess extensive knowledge base about current trends, issues, and policies about equity, diversity, and inclusion; experience working with social and/or environmental justice a plus.
In-depth experience with community organizing, engagement and activism in diverse communities.
Clear track record of success in operational roles, from setting and achieving concrete goals to linking overarching business objectives to equity, diversity, and inclusion work.
Proven experience in networking, engaging and successfully cultivating diverse community partners and partnership projects from businesses, social justice agencies, non-profits, religious and educational institutions, corporations, etc.
Strong fundraising and grant design experience for projects that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Comprehensive experience in facilitating public meetings and other public forums that address equity, diversity, and inclusion issues and concerns.
Demonstrated ability to work with cross-functional teams and with leadership across a variety of groups.
Strong skills in big-picture and collaborative programmatic planning across multiple departments and industries and sectors and ability to synthesize different agendas into a common goal.
Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills.
Very strong public speaking and writing skills required.
Supervisory experience of direct reports as well as volunteers.
Successful management and planning experience with governing and advisory boards about diversity issues.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and web-based budgeting and database systems required.