Executive Director

  • Audubon Society of Rhode Island
  • Smithfield, RI, USA
  • Aug 09, 2022
Full time Administrator/Executive

Job Description

Audubon Society of Rhode Island seeks a strategic, mission-driven, and proactive Executive Director to oversee the leading state conservation and environmental education organization.


About Audubon Society of Rhode Island

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI or Audubon) was founded in 1897 with the mission to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through conservation, education, and advocacy. ASRI is the largest private landowner in Rhode Island and protects nearly 9,600 acres of natural habitat with both fee-interest ownership and conservation easements. Audubon properties are in 30 communities in Rhode Island, and one in Southeast Massachusetts. 15 of their refuges are open to the public where ASRI manages trail systems. ASRI is an independent organization, not affiliated with the National Audubon Society, and has an operating budget of $3.4 million.


The Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium, located in Bristol, Rhode Island, is the organization’s largest facility and receives over 17,000 visitors each year. In addition, Audubon serves approximately 16,000 people annually through environmental education and programming for schools, the public, community groups, and summer camps. Beyond these formal programs and facilities, uncounted thousands enjoy the trails in the public refuges every year.


Audubon has a long history of rising to meet the challenges of the day. One of the primary examples highlighting their advocacy is the active state-level lobbying for sound environmental policy. This work has allowed ASRI to become a leading voice in statewide ecological issues. Audubon is committed to fulfilling its environmental stewardship through preservation and the protection of Rhode Island's natural heritage; they understand that they must play a leadership role in addressing the challenges of the climate crisis and new threats to our valuable natural resources.


For more information about Audubon Society Rhode Island, please visit https://asri.org/


ASRI Strategic Plan – Practice, Inspire, Mobilize - 2020-2025


The Board of Directors at ASRI approved a new strategic plan in 2020 that has four ambitious goals:


1. Protect birds and their habitat to support species survival and adaptation through climate changes.

2. Mobilize people from all backgrounds to take action on climate change.

3. Advocate for local and state government to invest with urgency in climate crisis responses.

4. Transform Audubon into an inclusive climate action organization.


The new Executive Director (ED) will work with the Board to ensure that the goals of this plan are met, and that ASRI continues to be a leader in land protection, environmental education, and advocacy for strong legislation to protect our natural world.


About the Position

The Executive Director serves as chief executive of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and, in partnership with the Board of Directors, is responsible for ASRI’s success. Together, the Board and ED make sure that the organization is meeting its goals while staying true to the ASRI mission, vision, values, and strategic plan. The Executive Director provides accountability to Audubon’s diverse constituents (community, donors, volunteers, etc.) and simultaneously maintains and strengthens existing community partnerships. Additionally, the Executive Director is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations of the organization.


The new ED will join Audubon Society of Rhode Island at a time of great impact, ambition, and momentum. They will lead an organization with an enthusiastic and highly committed staff, an involved and actively supportive Board, and a community of volunteers. Together, they will continue ASRI’s strong foundation of success, building its impact while offering the public inspiring and memorable experiences in the state and region for years to come.


Key Responsibilities

Mission, Policy, and Planning


• Partners with the Board to decide the values, mission, vision, and short- and long-term goals of ASRI to ensure ongoing relevancy, effectiveness, and impact.


• Keeps abreast of developments in not-for-profit management and governance, philanthropy and fund development, and in ASRI’s focus areas.


Management, Compliance, and Administration


• Provides general oversight of all organization activities, manages day-to-day operations, and assures a smoothly functioning, efficient organization.


• Oversees program quality and organizational stability through development and implementation of adequate standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular evaluation.


• Ensures the availability of quality information in all areas of operation, and keeps the Board fully informed on the condition of ASRI and on all the important factors influencing it, to facilitate decision-making.


• Manages a work environment that recruits, retains, and maintains accountability for staff and volunteers; negotiates professional contracts, and sees that appropriate salary structures and benefits are developed and maintained.


• Maintains and files legal and regulatory documents in order to ensure the organization is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.




• Supports the Board to fulfill its governance functions and assists the Board President in facilitating the optimum performance by the full Board, its committees and individual members to ensure that the long-range strategic issues of the organization are at the forefront of their work.


• Recommends volunteers to participate in the Board and its committees.


Fundraising and Finances


• Oversees programming and other activities to be sure that they are produced in a cost-effective manner, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality.


• Manages the fiscal activities of ASRI including budgeting, reporting, and audit to ensure that the organization is financially positioned to support short- and long-term goals.


• Ensures that fundraising goals are achieved by participating in planning, goal setting, donor engagement and solicitations with the Senior Director of Advancement and the Board.


Community Relations, Marketing, and Communications


• Facilitates the integration of ASRI into the fabric of the community by using effective marketing and communications activities.


• Serves as the chief spokesperson for ASRI, through proper representation to the community.


• Listens and responds to ASRI’s external stakeholders, and the broader community, to improve services and generate grassroots involvement.


• Acts as an advocate, within the public and private sectors, for issues relevant to ASRI’s values, mission, programs, and constituencies.


• Employs effective marketing and communications to build understanding and loyalty within target audiences.


• Maintains cooperative relationships with key constituents.


Performance Profile


• This is a high-functioning position with full responsibility for ASRI’s operations. The Executive Director handles detailed, complex concepts and problems, balances multiple tasks simultaneously, and makes timely management decisions.


• Plans and implements strategic initiatives. Establishes strong and appropriate relationships with Board, committees, volunteers, staff, donors, and other key stakeholders.

• Develops smooth and constructive relationships with executive colleagues, outside agencies, organizations, and individuals.


• Plans and meets deadlines. Maintains a flexible work schedule to meet the demands of executive management; hours may include evenings and occasional weekends.


• Conveys a professional and positive image and attitude regarding ASRI, the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. Demonstrates commitment to continued professional growth and development.


Key Qualifications

A minimum of five years in a management-level position , with clear demonstration of leadership excellence, business acumen, and competency in the following areas:


• Authentic commitment to ASRI’s values and environmental mission.


• Ability to effectively represent, manage, and administer a high-profile organization such as ASRI; confidence and presence as “the face of” the organization.


• Analytical, planning, and team-building skills to enable a continued positive working environment and culture.


• Management of organizational budgets and maintenance of fiscal health for ASRI.


• Track record of overseeing and participating in fundraising efforts that includes major donor solicitations, public and private funder engagement, and other engagement activities to raise philanthropic support for ASRI.


• Ability to effectively communicate with staff, board members, the public, donors, media representatives, and civic leaders.


• Proficiency in writing and communication skills to enable and deliver (1) clear presentations of executive summaries and management reports, and (2) effective correspondence with staff, board-members, media, civic leaders, and the public.


• A background in the environmental movement preferred


ASRI is a private non-profit unaffiliated with the National Audubon Society. ASRI is an equal opportunity employer; we welcome people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences and strongly encourage people of all traditionally marginalized identities to apply.


Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to audubonri@developmentguild.com.


For more information, please visit www.developmentguild.com.


Tracy Marshall


Development Guild DDI


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