Full-Time Director, Advocacy and Engagement
New York City Audubon seeks a dynamic Director of Advocacy and Engagement to lead campaigns that inspire New Yorkers and protect the city’s wild birds and urban biodiversity. The ideal candidate will combine government relations experience with a commitment to conservation and sustainability, and the ability to think both strategically and tactically about advocacy campaigns and outreach. Leading grassroots campaigns, building productive relationships with elected officials, and supervising the organization’s public programs and education, the Director will move New Yorkers to take action to create a sustainable future for the City.
About NYC Audubon
Founded in 1979, NYC Audubon works for the protection of wild birds and habitat in the five boroughs, improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. NYC Audubon’s conservation and science activities, education and public programs, and advocacy and outreach efforts on behalf of urban and migrating birds and wildlife are more critical than ever due to climate change effects and the devastating, steady loss of the natural environment in the City over many decades.
NYC Audubon serves a diverse community of 10,000 members, with a team of 14 full-time and part-time staff, supported by seasonal scientists, hundreds of advocates, and thousands of volunteers. We are a grassroots membership-based organization that is independent from but affiliates as a chapter of the National Audubon Society.
It’s an exciting time to join the NYC Audubon team. The organization recently announced plans to change its name as part of its effort to include all New Yorkers in conservation and protecting urban biodiversity. (More information about our name change here: nycaudubon.org/audubon-name)
NYC Audubon’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
NYC Audubon believes all people have the right to a close connection to the natural world and the right to a healthy environment. Preserving our environment is only possible if we all feel that connection. We recognize that inequities in our society are widespread and hinder access to nature. Only by embracing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility as values and striving for them in practice will we begin to foster a love of nature in all people and inspire them to be active stewards of the environment. We further believe that to thrive as an organization and effectively advance our mission and vision, the diversity of New York City’s people must be represented in, and welcomed into, our leadership, staff, and membership. The expertise, values, and perspectives of a diverse and inclusive organization are fundamental to expanding the reach and impact of our conservation, advocacy, and educational efforts. We commit to building an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible NYC Audubon, dedicated to protecting nature for all of New York City’s people and its wild birds. (More information on how we center EDIA in our work here: https://nycaudubon.org/about-us/edia-initiatives)
About the Position
The Director of Advocacy and Engagement is an exciting new position at NYC Audubon, responsible for crafting and executing broad and impactful strategies to engage New Yorkers in protecting urban biodiversity. As a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, this position will report to NYC Audubon’s Executive Director, lead the Advocacy and Engagement department, and partner with the organization’s conservation, communications, volunteer, and fundraising staff as well as several committees of the organization’s board of directors.
The Director will craft impactful strategies to engage all New Yorkers in policy issues including bird conservation, green roofs, urban sustainability, bird-safe urban design, safe wind power siting, and more. They will also oversee NYC Audubon’s staff who manage public programs including bird outings, lecture series, festivals, and our Governors Island seasonal nature center.
- Develop and implement strategic advocacy plans and direct campaigns to protect birds and urban biodiversity.
- Lead grassroots engagement efforts, including building a network of supporters, crafting compelling outreach campaigns, and organizing events.
- Lead “grasstops” advocacy efforts, including building and leveraging relationships with key stakeholders such as government officials, community leaders, and other non-profit organizations.
- Secure government funding from relevant city, state, and federal agencies, where applicable.
- Set strategies that move New Yorkers from engaging with birds and nature through our public programs, to volunteering and taking action to protect urban biodiversity and sustainability.
- Supervise and mentor two full time staff (a Public Programs Manager and an Advocacy and Engagement Associate) and lead the Advocacy and Engagement team which also includes seasonal interns and contract naturalists/educators.
- Support NYC Audubon’s re-naming process, by implementing an inclusive and robust community engagement process.
- Support efforts to engage New Yorkers in volunteer community science.
- Manage and lead NYC Audubon’s involvement in working groups and coalitions to strengthen help grow our reach and impact.
- Identify, build, and lead community partnerships and coalitions to strengthen NYC Audubon’s advocacy efforts and grow our reach and impact.
- Manage advocacy and engagement program revenue and expense budgets; prepare periodic, timely budget reconciliations and forecasts.
- Serve as staff co-facilitator for board committee on Conservation and Advocacy; support additional board committees as needed.
- Track important public policy, legislative, and governmental developments and make recommendations for NYC Audubon’s work.
- Assist with fundraising, reporting to funders, meeting with donors, and communicating the impact of the organization’s various programs to key stakeholders as needed.
- Other tasks as required.
- 7+ years of professional experience, including working with elected officials ideally in New York City and with the NYC Council.
- Knowledge of New York City, State, and Federal legislative process.
- Proven success securing funding from government agencies.
- Previous experience working with City agencies.
- Management experience, including supervising direct staff reports.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to build and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external partners, organizations, and consultants.
- Strong communication skills including written and verbal communication.
- Strategic grassroots organization skills, with ability to juggle competing priorities, multiple timelines, and diverse partners.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in policy, communications, community engagement, or similar field; master’s degree a plus.
- Knowledge of New York City’s geography, parks, and natural areas.
- Familiarity with environmental conservation and sustainability; experience working on wildlife-related issues a plus.
- Ability to travel to and work across all five boroughs.
- Comfort working effectively with people of varied backgrounds.
- Commitment to furthering organization’s goals in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in our advocacy and engagement efforts.
- Proficiency with Microsoft 365/Office, Google Suite, and Zoom required; familiarity with database and digital organizing tools a plus.
Job and Location Details
This is a full-time, exempt position with a “hybrid” work arrangement; NYC Audubon employees currently work in-person 2-3 days per week at our Manhattan office and other time working virtually.
The Director of Advocacy and Engagement should be comfortable engaging with the public and with elected officials in-person, and able to work some weekends and evening hours (compensatory time off will be provided).
All NYC Audubon employees must be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or medical necessity. If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless an accommodation for exemption is received and approved.
Compensation and Benefits
The Director of Advocacy and Engagement’s starting salary will be in the $85,000-$90,000 range. In addition, NYC Audubon offers a full benefits package, including a generous Paid Time Off policy; 100% coverage on medical, dental, and vision insurances for full-time employees; life and disability insurances; and a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match.
How to Apply
Send resume and cover letter in PDF format to [email protected], with “Director Advocacy and Engagement” in the subject line. No calls, please.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a projected employment start date in early summer 2023.
New York City Audubon Society provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all qualified employees and applicants for employment regardless of their race, color, religion, gender identity, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, and pregnancy), age, national origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, military or military reserve obligations, or any other class or status protected by law.
NYC Audubon is committed to building a staff that represents the diversity of the New York City communities we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds and abilities are encouraged to apply. Note that the NYC Audubon office is located on the 15th floor of a building with elevator access.