Alaska State Director

  • The Wilderness Society
  • Anchorage, AK, USA
  • Dec 26, 2018
Full time Administrator/Executive Advocacy and Policy Business Development Communication - Public Outreach Conservation/ Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation - Guides- Trails - Wilderness

Job Description

General Description 

The strongly preferred location for this position is Anchorage, AK

The Wilderness Society (TWS) seeks a motivated, highly collaborative, strategic, campaign-oriented individual to lead The Wilderness Society’s work in Alaska. The person in this position will have the opportunity to help set strategic direction and vision for the organization’s work in Alaska, engage and lead a cross departmental team, and build respectful, authentic partnerships aimed at achieving shared goals and building political influence. 

While Alaska is home to some of the largest tracts of wildlands in the world, it’s also the site of some of the greatest wildland threats. Dual pressures of climate change and resource development have placed many of Alaska’s wildlands at great risk - from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the Tongass National Forest. However, Alaska also provides one of the last remaining opportunities on earth to conserve whole, intact tracts of lands where wildlife and human communities have survived and thrived for millennia. Our current work is primarily focused on defending areas in the Arctic. Working in coalitions we invest in science, policy/legal, organizing, media and advocacy tools to defend iconic natural areas so that their ecological and cultural values endure for future generations. 

TWS is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We believe public lands belong to and should benefit everyone and that our organization and its work must respect and embody the cultures and perspectives of people and communities across our nation.

Position Overview

The Alaska State Director is a senior member of The Wilderness Society’s Conservation team. The Director will develop and lead the organization’s work in Alaska and is responsible for developing strategic partnerships, fundraising, directing and/or leading campaigns, and managing staff and budget. In addition to directly managing staff in the Anchorage office, the Director also provides support, strategic guidance and direction to additional staff, within and outside of the regional office, who contribute to work in the state. The Director plays a critical role in cultivating and managing relationships with a wide range of partners (including Alaska Native and conservation groups) as well as with federal, state, and tribal officials and their staffs to advance conservation outcomes and other shared goals developed with partners. 

The ideal candidate for this position is an experienced leader and strong project manager who works collaboratively and will ensure The Wilderness Society’s Alaska conservation work is well integrated across all parts of the organization. This person will bring strategic focus in helping to achieve the organization’s priorities in Alaska and ensure we approach our conservation work in a manner that is equitable in terms of who benefits from conservation outcomes and inclusive in terms of the partners we engage.

The Alaska State Director plays a critical role in establishing and reinforcing an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes. TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization. This leader will integrate these priorities throughout our work in the state, from expanding our partnerships to bringing an equity lens to all facets of the job. Across our team, we aspire to be campaign -oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset. 

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute strategic program priorities for the state in furtherance of TWS’ overarching goals and vision.
  • Lead and oversee implementation of campaigns in Alaska, striving to position TWS as a trusted collaborator with partners and decision makers.
  • Manage Alaska program staff and provide leadership to multi-disciplinary teams of TWS staff contributing to Arctic and Alaska work.
  • Ensure TWS’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is part of all of our work in Alaska, including having equity embedded into the development and implementation of our in- state goals.
  • Cultivate existing relationships and further build a network to educate and influence Alaska decision makers and opinion leaders on TWS’ state and national conservation priorities. 
  • Help secure major gifts from philanthropic foundations and major donors in close coordination with Philanthropy staff. 
  • Ensure program plans effectively incorporate national and Alaska perspectives and insights, with effective coordination between staff in Alaska and elsewhere in the organization.
  • Responsible for day to day management of the Alaska conservation budget. 
  • Interact with and inform senior management on Alaska-specific issues.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organization with the media and other audiences.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


Experience, Competencies, and Education

  • Extensive experience working on or leading issue advocacy or political campaigns and/or work to advance public policy changes at the local, state or federal level. 
  • Proven cultural competency working with communities of color, particularly Native American or Alaskan Native communities, is strongly preferred. 
  • Solid communication and interpersonal skills that can be applied to complex conservation issues, partnerships and coalitions.
  • Strong staff management experience and competency in cross-organizational collaboration. 
  • Experience leading and managing teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives. This includes a track record of successful recruitment, cultivation, and retention of highly skilled staff across race and gender.
  • Experience building and maintaining strong relationships and networks among key stakeholders, government officials, donors, and partner organizations.
  • Strategic thinking and demonstrated ability to craft a compelling vision and set goals and priorities.
  • Good time management skills, with the ability to aptly balance short- and long-term demands.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to speak effectively in public, with donors, partners, elected officials, and the media. 

Desired Characteristics

  • An effective leader, capable of working with a wide range of audiences, including industry. 
  • Commitment to supporting others in accomplishing our goals in an equitable and inclusive manner.
  • Excellent strategic instincts and long-term vision.
  • Ability to manage a complex array of personnel, programmatic, and organizational demands.
  • Trustworthy and dedicated.

The Wilderness Society offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; a sabbatical program; and a retirement plan. TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair treatment of our employees and constituents across culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

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Job Level



Nonprofit- NGO


90000.00 To 110000.00 (USD) Annually