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27 Mar 2017

Full-Time Executive Director

Montana Audubon – Posted by kittlemansearch Helena, Montana, United States

Job Description


Founded in 1976, and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1982, Montana Audubon works toward its conservation mission through programs in public policy, education, and conservation science. At the time of its founding, local National Audubon chapters in Montana came together to establish an independent organization that could work directly on important conservation issues across the state.  Chapter leaders were especially interested in affecting policy change by lobbying the Montana Legislature.  Thus, Montana Audubon (MT Audubon), a 501(c)3 nonprofit independent from both National Audubon and its local chapters, was born. Much of the work of Montana Audubon is grassroots-based, with participation and partnership opportunities with Audubon chapters located throughout the state.

National Audubon Chapters tend to engage in localized conservation projects as well as education and outreach efforts.  Montana Audubon seeks to protect wildlife and landscape with a statewide focus.  Participating Chapters donate a percentage of their membership dues on a voluntary basis.  In return, in addition to its statewide work, Montana Audubon contributes expertise and staff time to chapter-level projects.

Montana Audubon has had a lobbyist at the Montana Legislature since 1981.  In its public policy efforts, Montana Audubon works strategically at the local, state and federal levels.  At the Legislature, Montana Audubon has successfully passed numerous pieces of legislation to protect wildlife species and habitat including efforts to reform the state’s subdivision laws to curb uncontrolled development, and safeguarding Montana’s native wildlife from exotic animal species.  More recently, Montana Audubon has focused on issues regarding conservation policy, renewable energy, public lands’ management, streams and wetlands protection, as well as sagebrush and grasslands conservation.

Bird conservation work is centered on Important Bird Areas (IBA), bird monitoring, citizen science, and partnership projects. The first IBAs were designated in Montana in 2002. Today, 40 IBAs, encompassing 11 million acres, have been officially designated in Montana. Another focus of bird conservation work is the Montana Audubon River Initiative addressing the need for riparian habitat conservation across the state.  Montana Audubon citizen science efforts focus on specific bird species or  habitat highlighted by the Long-billed Curlew Initiative, annual Breeding Bird Surveys, and other conservation efforts.

Montana Audubon’s education program is currently focused on the Audubon Center in Billings. From its beginnings as a school field trip destination, this site on the Yellowstone River has developed education programs designed to connect people with nature, providing them with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to take informed action for the protection of birds and other wildlife. The programming offered at the Center reaches approximately 4,000 people through preschool, K – 12, and afterschool programs; summer and school break camps; adult workshops and programs; teacher workshops; family programs; and special events.  The Center’s site is a 54-acre former gravel mine.. Restoration work began in 1998 and continues today.  Montana Audubon also hosts the annual “Wings Across the Big Sky Bird Festival” as well as several Birding Tours each year.

Montana Audubon has approximately 4,400 members and supporters, making it one of the largest conservation organizations in Montana and, one of the only that has members in nearly every legislative district in the state.  Montana Audubon currently has a budget of approximately $1M, is led by a 24 member Board of Directors, and as a current staff of eight regular, full-time professionals as well as several part-time positions.


The Executive Director of Montana Audubon will be provided the opportunity to substantially shape the long-term future of a statewide conservation organization with a trusted reputation, dedicated staff, engaged Board of Directors and substantial financial resources. Specifically, the Executive Director will be charged with enhancing organizational and program efforts across the organization. Critical strategic opportunities exist for Montana Audubon to expand its impact in policy, conservation, and education. The Executive Director will be supported by a motivated, dedicated Board of Directors seeking to build upon a strong foundation and grow the organization with ambition.


The Executive Director leads the staff of Montana Audubon and is the public representative of the organization.  The Executive Director has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the strategic directives of the Board are effectively completed and is charged with guiding the overall success of the organization at all levels.  Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the mission and core values of Montana Audubon are put into practice
  • Overseeing implementation of overall organizational strategy and direction
  • Fostering a high-energy, goal driven, team-oriented, accountable organization
  • Managing, inspiring, mentoring, evaluating, and hiring staff
  • Providing strategic leadership and vision related to the organizational goals
  • Cultivating relationships with community leaders, major donors, and foundations
  • Developing finances and ensuring sound fiscal and budget practices
  • Acting as the chief spokesperson and external face of Montana Audubon


Montana Audubon seeks a candidate with vision who will chart meaningful organizational growth for the organization, while maintaining a strong and sustainable foundation.  An accomplished leader who demonstrates keen understanding of and passion for the organization’s unique mission, this person must be ready to join with the Board to lead Montana Audubon in developing and pursuing a comprehensive strategic vision in conservation, policy, and education through a proven ability in strategic planning, management, program planning and evaluation, collaborative ventures, fundraising and constituency building.  The ideal candidate will be both an analytical and strategic thinker who will leverage a background that includes organizational, financial and staff management combined with an understanding of complex environmental issues.   Specific experience and/or familiarity with conservation issues affecting Montana or Western states is preferred but is not required.

Demonstrated success, enthusiasm, and innovation in fundraising and a track record of cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major donors is highly preferred. The successful candidate will exhibit exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively interact with Board, staff, environmental advocates and policy leaders, governmental officials, donors and other key stakeholders. The Executive Director must be able to passionately articulate the mission of Montana Audubon to a variety of constituents and establish effective and efficient internal communications. This individual must be confident, bright, and possess an even temperament and sense of humor to work in a collegial and collaborative manner.

The ideal candidate will be a strong and effective leader; a strong listener with an inclusive, team-oriented management style that inspires, empowers, motivates, and develops staff.  The candidate will have a keen ability to establish and maintain a productive and positive organizational culture with all stakeholders (i.e. staff, board, donors, members and partners).  A genuine and authentic connection to nature and the outdoors is required.

Candidates with executive level achievement in fields of environmental education, advocacy, policy, research, business, law and/or related fields are encouraged to apply.  Proven experience and success in fundraising is highly desired.

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required; a Master’s degree is desired.  Degrees in environmental conservation, conservation biology, wildlife management, or related fields are encouraged but not required.  Individuals with policy, natural resource management, and business backgrounds will be considered.

To apply, please send a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at

For more information about Montana Audubon, visit



How to Apply

To apply, please send a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at  

Job Categories: Conservation. Job Types: Full-Time.

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