Senior Vice President, International Alliances Program – Conservation

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 12 July 2019

Job Description


The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need today and tomorrow. Throughout the Americas we use science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation to create a world in which people and wildlife thrive. By connecting the work of the Audubon network—chapters, nature centers, national and state staff, volunteers, U.S. and international partners, and other supporters along each of the flyways of the Americas - Audubon weaves a seamless web of conservation across the hemisphere.

Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced rapid economic growth in recent years, and global demand on natural resources, as well as a changing climate, will bring unprecedented changes to how people in those areas live. If conservation efforts are not well-integrated into the region’s demands for economic growth and development, it will have a devastating effect on the environment, and will limit the possibility of sustainable economic growth and improved quality of life for its people. At stake is more than 40 percent of the world’s biodiversity, including more than 4,200 species of birds. At least 380 of these bird species are neotropical migrants shared with the United States that spend half or more of their entire lives in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Audubon seeks to protect birds during every point of their lifecycles throughout the Americas. We know bird conservation cannot be effective if it focuses only in one place during their migration. As the National Audubon Society seeks to achieve its vision of full life-cycle conservation of birds, we realize that we must build an international team that advances these goals through international collaboration.

Audubon’s international program seeks to achieve lasting conservation across six million acres of critical habitat that spans many boarders. Efforts such as the Migratory Bird Science Initiative are underway and will raise the awareness about the threats of migratory birds and identify those habitats that are in most need of protection to save them. This Initiative will naturally draw Audubon to places outside the United States, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean where North American migrants spend the majority of their lives and where the threats are mounting. This project will help direct investments to the places that matter most to birds and create a biological context for our international work. Today we are focused in six countries outside the United States – Canada, Colombia, Panama, Chile, Mexico, Bahamas – but where we focus and what actions we plan to take with our international partners will be informed by the Migratory Bird Initiative in the future.

We recognize that Audubon must significantly scale up and increase investments in international on-the-ground and policy related conservation to be successful. We further recognize that it will be critical to leverage existing partnerships, develop new ones, and build international policy work to influence conventions, national governments and funding mechanisms in order to stabilize declines in bird populations and to protect other wildlife and biodiversity.

Position Summary

Title: Senior Vice President, International Alliances Program – Conservation

Location: Washington, D.C.

Reports to: David O’Neill, Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO

Team: National Conservation

The Senior Vice President for International Alliance Programs is a vital part of the conservation leadership team at Audubon. This position will re-build and lead Audubon’s international programs, forge partnerships with international partners and institutions like International Development Bank and the Global Environmental Facility, and drive programs that significantly contribute to Audubon’s hemispheric objectives.

The Senior Vice President is responsible for developing, implementing and stewarding Audubon’s alliances program. Predominant focus will be in Latin America and the Caribbean countries, but we will continue to build our presence in the Canadian Boreal. A significant portion of the Senior Vice President’s time will be spent setting a vision for the Audubon’s international program, fundraising and developing public and private partnerships in Latin America at all levels to further the conservation goals of Audubon and its partners in the western hemisphere. The Senior Vice President reports to the Chief Conservation Officer and will help build a team to support this important strategic work.

The overall goals of the International Alliances Program are to provide leadership and work closely with Birdlife International and other partners throughout the hemisphere in the following areas:

  • Quality: Provide essential technical and scientific information that can inform decisions and drive conservation solutions across the Americas;
  • Capacity: Build the capacity of our Birdlife International Partners and other organizations that are critical to the Audubon mission;
  • Programming: Shape, help fund and implement conservation programs in targeted countries that are essential to the protection of North American migrant birds, as well as iconic local endemic bird species;
  • Engagement: Contribute to coalitions working to develop and implement critical international frameworks such as, United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Paris Climate Agreement; the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
  • Alliance Building: Support local efforts to identify, conserve and promote a global network of important sites for birds and biodiversity in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.
  • Outreach: Implement strategies to engage people in bird conservation including eco-tourism programs, citizen science, and education programming.


Strategic leadership

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership to the International Alliances Program and serve as Audubon’s primary liaison to BirdLife International’s America’s Region. Work with Audubon’s Flyway and landscape initiatives to incorporate cross border conservation goals.
  • Participate in developing indicators of success for Audubon’s mission in other countries.

Fundraising / External Engagement

  • In conjunction with Audubon’s development team, cultivate and secure public and private funding sources to ensure the adequate annual and ongoing financial support for the International Alliances Program and to support partner organizations. These efforts will support the organization increase is $2.2M budget by 10x.
  • Build a wide range of creative and enduring alliances and promote linkages across the Audubon network including Chapters, State offices, and national conservation programs to leverage resources and build capacity for conservation priorities and partner organizations in the Americas.

Global Capacity & Alliance Building

  • Identify and facilitate opportunities for Audubon’s staff leaders in science, education, public policy and direct on-the-ground conservation to assist in building the conservation capacity of partner organizations in Latin American and the Caribbean. Assist partners in planning, training, and fundraising and encourage collaboration and the mutual sharing of expertise.
  • Improve communication among organizations and individuals working for bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere. Help provide understanding of international bird conservation issues and build partnerships and networks for bird conservation.

Team Leadership & Operational Effectiveness

  • Provide leadership and management to the Chief Conservation Officer and develop annual and strategic goals for this position in conjunction with the Director of the Bird Life Secretariat.
  • Inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and partners.


  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required.
  • Minimum of 10-years of proven results working with private, government or non-governmental organizations outside of the United States, at least five years of which were in Latin America, Central America, and/or Caribbean countries.
  • Knowledge of conservation, ornithology, or management needs of birds in the Americas in Latin American or Caribbean conservation.
  • Proven track record in fundraising and partnership building.
  • Demonstrated outstanding stakeholder relations skills; an ability to work with and develop partnerships with a wide range of individuals, government agencies, communities, donors and other non-governmental organizations on a local, national and international level.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on complex projects and to coordinate and ensure cooperation among a wide range of partners.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel extensively.
  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in science, biology, environmental policy law or a natural resource-related conservation field is highly desirable.


  • A deep commitment to the Audubon mission
  • Proven effective cross-cultural skills and existing global relationships.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit coupled with strong management skills and ability to work in a matrixed work environment.
  • Alignment with our belief in working with a range of political stakeholders.
  • An engaging leader; an individual who inspires and motivates staff, volunteers, donors, and partners.
  • An enthusiastic executive, skilled in marketing and fundraising for conservation programs from individual donors, foundations, corporations and international development agencies.
  • Ability to engage a diverse array of people, communities and organizations.


How to Apply:

Candidates should contact our search partners, Koya Leadership Partners. Click here to read the complete position profile.

Koya is a leading retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. Koya delivers measurable results by finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of client organizations and ensures that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them.

A founding hallmark of Koya Leadership Partners has been the focus and intentionality of creating an environment of inclusion, not only through the search process, but throughout our entire organization. We embrace the fundamental notion that diversity, equity and inclusion enhance the abilities of institutions to achieve their missions and have a profound impact in their communities. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement can be found here for your further review.

We very much welcome and encourage candidates of protected groups of people to come forward and apply. Nicole Kamaleson, Managing Director of Global Search of Koya Leadership Partners will be leading this pivotal hiring process. Please submit your compelling application that will include both a cover letter (addressing your personal motivation and suitability per the role specifications) and your CV/resume details your career history/ accomplishments here.


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