Vice President and Executive Director, Audubon North Carolina

Job Type

Full Time





Application Deadline:



Chapel Hill
North Carolina
United States


The National Audubon Society has its roots in North Carolina and its history has always been linked to a passionate concern for birds, other wildlife and their habitats. It was this concern that led to the organization of the nation's first Audubon Society in 1886. In 1902, T. Gilbert Pearson organized the Audubon Society of North Carolina, which launched wildlife conservation in the state, and the official Audubon North Carolina state office was first incorporated in 1997. Today, the ANC state office is located in Chapel Hill, with additional field offices in Wilmington, Corolla and Boone to further Audubon’s conservation work across multiple regions. The current program, budgeted at approximately $1.4M, is run by a year-round staff of 10 professionals, seasonal conservation staff, and empowered volunteer leaders.

Today, the threats are far different from a century ago, but they are potentially greater in magnitude. Habitat loss and degradation because of human influences are the greatest threats to birds. Habitats for nesting, foraging, migration and wintering are essential, and the conservation of these areas is critical. Audubon North Carolina's 30,000 supporters and ten chapters comprise a growing force of grassroots power involved in conservation at every level. Audubon North Carolina’s opportunity to magnify its impact arises from the reach, scale, influence, and creative energy of its vast network of its staff, board, center, chapters, volunteer leaders, bird stewards, climate ambassadors, and partners, including BirdLife International partners.


Audubon seeks a dynamic leader to serve as the Vice President & Executive Director of Audubon North Carolina, leading the organization to its next level of conservation and fiscal success. The leader will build on the rich history of conservation and expand Audubon North Carolina’s contributions to conservation across North Carolina and throughout the Atlantic Flyway.

The Vice President & Executive Director will exercise broad leadership and management responsibility in developing statewide conservation strategies, initiatives, and public programming. This will include working closely with the Audubon North Carolina’s Board of Directors and staff, and Audubon’s key national conservation leaders to continue to develop the state program in tandem with strategic regional and national priorities, including Audubon North Carolina’s evolving role with the Atlantic Flyway.


Candidates should submit a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions

Conservation Strategy Development

  • Develop strategic goals and initiatives aligned with Audubon’s overall conservation goals and strategies that result in the organization’s increased statewide capacity to achieve the conservation of priority birds and their habitats. Priorities include:
  • Safeguarding coastal sanctuaries, protecting and restoring wetlands throughout the greater Currituck Sound ecosystem, and engaging the public about beach-nesting birds.
  • Working with federal and state organizations that manage lands and provide funding to private landowners to support environmentally sound practices, especially those that benefit birds.
  • Focusing on the protection of key sites and habitats via community engagement initiatives that are grounded in the best available science and proven conservation methods for birds, including utilizing native plants and lights out programs.
  • Mobilizing the ANC grassroots network and engaging federal and state lawmakers to develop solutions that work for both political parties and initiate mainstream conversations around climate to create a safe space for conservative lawmakers to take action. 

Organizational Leadership

  • Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to staff while preserving open communication and recognizing the value of the management team.
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the state office, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results, and taking corrective actions, in close collaboration with North Carolina’s staff; ensure that all Audubon financial standards, operating policies, programmatic commitments, and legal requirements are met.
  • Focus resources on the most critical, high-leverage projects and strategies, including policy development and public engagement, focused on North Carolina’s population centers.
  • Leverage the impact of Audubon North Carolina’s Center/Sanctuary to achieve state and Flyway goals.
  • Provide leadership in national level projects to move the entire organization forward using their particular skill set as a VP of the national organization.

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Represent Audubon North Carolina throughout the state and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners, policymakers, and the public.
  • Play a key role in fundraising and ensure Audubon North Carolina’s ability to cultivate and solicit major donors, foundations, corporations and government agencies to significantly increase contributions.
  • Play an active role in helping to promote fundraising for regional priority projects across the Atlantic Flyway working with other state directors, the program managers and other supporting staff.
  • Collaborate with other Audubon state programs and national Development staff on donor strategies under the One Audubon approach to members and donors.

Stakeholder Relations

  • Work closely with the Audubon North Carolina Board of Directors to support the efforts of ANC to further the development of a strong statewide organization through fundraising, program development, and conservation advocacy.
  • Work closely with, support and provide guidance to the Chapters in North Carolina to expand Audubon’s capacity for on-the-ground conservation and education at scale. Work to strengthen the statewide presence of Audubon, and support these organizations in their local efforts.
  • Prioritize engagement and activation of North Carolina’s diverse population communities in the Audubon movement, including chapter leadership, state board participation, staffing, volunteers, program participation, and partnerships across the state.
  • Work with government departments and non-governmental organizations to promote and prioritize bird science and habitat conservation.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Substantial and progressively responsible professional experience, including 3+ years as an enterprise executive with accountability over multiple programs and/or regions.
  • Experience in the field of conservation; ideally knowledge of how conservation work is advanced in North Carolina, including knowledge of key conservation leaders.
  • An array of experience in public policy development and advocacy, campaigns, lobbying, and/or involvement in the state legislature and/or in working with members of Congress.
  • 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, in organizations of similar or greater size than Audubon North Carolina.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising; experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • 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 and strong business and management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and potential partners a must.
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed in a highly matrixed, complex organization—strong ability to influence and persuade others required.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions with a wide range of individuals and organizations at the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Tech-savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, budgeting systems and donor databases, with a strong preference for Salesforce. Comfort with and interest in leveraging technology to maximize conservation impact and network engagement.
  • Excellent and persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal, including substantial public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively represent Audubon North Carolina to its members, state and federal elected officials, donors, and chapter leaders, as well as in traditional and social media.
  • Knowledge of North Carolina’s political and demographic reality with broad connections to partners and the philanthropic community strongly desired.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of, as well as connection to North Carolina and its environment, conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies.
  • Knowledge of funders and donors engaged in conservation philanthropy in North Carolina preferred.
  • Willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the state and nationally, as required.
  • A strong commitment to the mission, values, and programs of the National Audubon Society and Audubon North Carolina.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, conservation or related field required; advanced degree strongly preferred.


Full benefits package, to include retirement plan and paid time off.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply