The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is seeking a strong, innovative Texas State Director as we execute on our ambitious conservation goals. A trusted name in conservation within the state and beyond, The Nature Conservancy in Texas has worked since 1964 to protect the state’s cherished landscapes and develop sound science to support ecology, economy, public health and equity. With a strong and talented staff of 69, a diverse Board of Trustees comprised of 31 members from all over the state, 16 remote offices and a resilient, robust program in place, this role offers a unique opportunity to design and implement a strategic approach to Texas’ conservation priorities—and to help shape a resilient, equitable future for the Lone Star State.
As a leader in the Texas conservation movement, the State Director plays a primary role in working with partner organizations, government agencies, elected officials and other key decision-makers to build alliances and shared agendas that advance science driven conservation outcomes in Texas and around the world.
The Conservancy has worked in Texas for over 50 years, protecting nearly one million acres of land, establishing 40 nature preserves, a trusted partner in state and regional land and water management initiatives, and safeguarding more than 200 miles of stream and river habitat. These efforts include partnerships with state and federal agencies to create and expand state parks, national parks and wildlife refuges such as Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Big Bend National Park, Caddo Lake State Park and national wildlife refuges along the Texas Gulf Coast. The State Director plays a key role in helping further this impactful work by leading the chapter staff, developing new and existing donors, forming partnerships and building a broader constituency for conservation across the state. The State Director is accountable for the chapter’s success in implementing TNC’s global conservation approach, producing measurable results and maintaining and strengthening organizational values.
The key role of the State Director is to lead, manage, and inspire the chapter staff and trustees to collectively achieve the maximum contribution to the organization’s mission. They ensure success in conservation and fundraising programs and contribute intellectual, financial and human resources to priority, cross-boundary initiatives. They support alignment of activities by securing, coordinating and configuring resources, capacity and programs to address the most critical conservation priorities of the organization at multiple scales. They are responsible for collaborating with others across the division and throughout the organization on the procurement and application of resources in Texas as well as in areas beyond their span of authority.
The Texas State Director oversees fundraising and marketing and works with staff to secure increased private support for conservation, engaging with major donors, corporations and foundations and supporting staff in donor cultivation. The Director approves budgets and sets priorities that dictate private and public fundraising goals. They serve as the primary statewide spokesperson for TNC to internal and external audiences (including staff, volunteers, the Board of Trustees, public and private donors, government agencies and officials, community leaders and other partners) and cultivate those audiences to support and promote TNC’s mission and vision.
Though the empowerment of other managers, the Director develops and supports the chapter staff to meet the conservation priorities of the chapter and of the global organization. The State Director reports into the North America Region and works closely with the state’s Board of Trustees.
RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE
Overall responsibility for conservation results, philanthropy activities and goals of the Texas Chapter, and for integration of regional and global priorities;
Manages the development and execution of the chapter’s strategic conservation plan, three-year budget and financial plans, and annual work programs, all delivered on time and within budget;
Demonstrates a strong understanding of on-the-ground land management conservation;
Incorporates organizational values and competencies as foundational elements in all aspects of work;
Ensures recruitment, management and development of high quality and effective staff;
Provides leadership in public policy efforts within the chapter and the region;
Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards and legal requirements are met;
Presents and represents the chapter’s and TNC’s vision in a compelling and engaging manner to internal and external audiences as lead spokesperson;
Delivers effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on complex topics to employee groups, managers at all levels, board members and outside organizations;
Demonstrates a willingness and ability to travel routinely throughout the geography and globally as required;
Works flexibly, sometimes beyond the normal workday, including weekends, as necessary, during deadline periods;
Participates in the Division Leadership Team, North America Senior Leaders Team, and collaborates on innovative, cross-boundary projects;
Directs, prepares, presents and/or participates in negotiations of project proposals with governmental, bilateral and/or multilateral agencies; and
Works well under pressure.
Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 7 years of experience as a leader in the conservation arena, non-profit sector, advocacy or related for-profit area;
Extensive and proven management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage the performance of a large multi-disciplinary team;
Superb communication and presentation skills required, with experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences including donors, board members, employees, outside partners or equivalent preferred;
Experience in fundraising and budget management, with preference for such work in a large, complex organization;
Written and verbal fluency in English (Fluency in Spanish is a plus).
Strategic Leadership and Collaborative Management:
Appreciation for the important role that science plays in the design, implementation and measurement of land and water conservation and stewardship. Demonstrates a curiosity for the complexity of our conservation work. An ability to “zoom in, zoom out” from regional view to local view and experience leading and participating in strategic planning efforts to influence large, complex systems;
Ability to inspire and be inspired by a board of trustees, donors and partners, and staff working to align vision and strategy for greater impact. Proven fundraising and/or sales experience with private individual donors, foundations, government agencies and business;
Understanding and interest in working with government agencies and the legislative process, especially in the realms of agriculture, natural resources, energy, climate, water, the environment or related fields;
Experience managing a portfolio of successful (and at least one unsuccessful) initiatives that utilized cross functional teams, as well as some experience serving as the champion/leader who was accountable for outcomes;
Understanding and experience with strategic financial management, including long-term sustainability and complex budget management: grants, donations, endowments, indirect costs, personnel costs and benefits, etc.; and
Ability to attract, develop and retain diverse staff talent, trustees and donors critical to mission success. Success building workplace climates that are fair, inclusive and equitable, where every staff member feels they belong and can offer their maximum contribution to the Shared Conservation Agenda and all TNC’s operations. Ability to diagnose needs of staff and support different leadership, management and work styles within a learning organization.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
Exposure to various cultures, geographies, nationalities, ethnicities and points of view, appreciating the basis of each person’s worldview;
Exposure to various economic sectors in order to appreciate the vastness of experience and expertise of others outside their field of interest, such as financial, health, manufacturing, technology, government, bioscience, education, etc.;
Demonstrated respect for committing to local, on-the-ground involvement with people, communities and cultures, with awareness and sensitivity to their economic realities; and
Understanding of Texas’ unique history, heritage and culture; aptitude and capability to work closely with communities large or small, rural or urban, etc.
Interpersonal Communication Skills:
Active listening skills, including awareness of body language and physical-mental-emotional linkages. Curiosity for the motivations of all parties, seeking intersections among differing perspectives and viewpoints;
Capacity to advocate successfully using science and data, communicate with authenticity and credibility and exert influence by being a role model for people, programs and ethics. Ability to engage others through dynamic, empathetic and articulate presentations and dialogue, conveying contagious enthusiasm that engenders a shared vision for the future; and
Ability to communicate love of nature and passion for conservation in an inspiring, motivating and positive way.
Internal Number: 48695
About The Nature Conservancy in Texas
Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.