Birds Canada is the leading authority on birds in Canada. As a national, non-profit, charitable organization, it is built on a longstanding foundation of scientific research and the enthusiastic contributions of thousands of caring members and volunteer Citizen Scientists. Our mission is to conserve wild birds through sound science, on-the-ground actions, innovative partnerships, public engagement, and science-based advocacy. Data (observations) collected through migratory tracking and Citizen Scientists, alongside targeted research projects, are used to identify significant bird population changes and help direct conservation action.
Our national headquarters is located in Port Rowan, Ontario, connected to the historic Long Point Bird Observatory, with regional offices from coast to coast. The President has traditionally been located at headquarters but other locations across Canada are possible.
Birds Canada is seeking a visionary leader who can provide overall strategic and operational leadership for the organization and realize expansion opportunities to make a significant impact in applied conservation for birds. The President will provide advice to the Board and direct the staff in all aspects of the organization’s work.
As the leading Canadian expert in bird science, Birds Canada is poised to play a pivotal role in the road to recovery for bird species and populations both in Canada and more broadly in the Americas.
The President serves as an advocate and effective spokesperson for Birds Canada through a wide range of media and in a wide range of fora, at national and international levels.
Leadership & Strategy
- Develop opportunities and provide overall direction for Birds Canada to achieve its mission and bring to life the Board-approved strategic plan for 2021-25 and beyond.
- Develop and enhance working relationships with key partners and funders of the organization, across all sectors: government agencies, non-government organizations, universities, foundations, corporations, and major individuals.
- Raise public awareness of Birds Canada to become top of mind with all Canadians when thinking about birds, bird conservation, and biodiversity.
- Provide visionary leadership to the organization of leading scientists, project leaders, and development staff located at the Port Rowan head office and regional offices across the country.
- Establish and maintain a recognized presence in the conservation community, at various scales: provincially, nationally, and internationally.
- Oversee development of strategic and operational plans, in consultation with the Board.
- Provide vision to help spark new programs, partnerships, and systems.
Fundraising & Development
- Oversee, working closely with the senior management team, a comprehensive, relationship-based fundraising strategy, including restricted/contract funding and other financing, to meet the current and longer-term need for operating and capital funds.
- Support and drive, through the senior management team, a strategy for fundraising, including restricted and unrestricted funding from a wide variety of sectors, to meet the organization’s operating and capital needs.
- Identify and help pursue strategies to secure donations, contracts, earned income, and other forms of financing to support all aspects of the organization’s work.
- Foster profitable working relationships with donations officers and senior executives of foundations and major corporations.
- Expand the large base of volunteers and grass roots donors.
Board Relations & Governance
- Present to the Board for approval results-oriented annual plans and budgets, and oversee their development and implementation with staff, supporters, and partners.
- Serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and its committees and ad hoc task forces, overseeing arrangements and participating in all of their meetings, in co-operation with the Chair and with the support of the President’s Executive Assistant.
- Work with the Board in the formulation of all aspects of organizational policy. Work closely with the Chair, and on the advice of the Governance and Nominating Committee, to ensure the effective functioning and development of the Board.
- Support the Board’s responsibility to address Board membership, by helping to identify gaps in expertise and representation, and by recommending suitable candidates.
- Ensure, with the assistance of a senior management team, that a cohesive and full-spectrum national organization is aligned in meeting the organization’s mission, strategic objectives, and outcomes.
- Advance science-based programs’ linkage to conservation outcomes and funding opportunities.
- Maintain and foster a strong, enthusiastic, and professional culture of planning, management, and accountability.
- Oversee management of land, buildings, information systems, communication networks, and other physical assets, seeking Board approval to acquire or dispose of major assets.
- Oversee, through a senior management team, human resource planning and management.
Finance, Administration & Legal
- Oversee, by working closely with the Chief Financial Officer, all revenue and expenditure, cost control, preparation of budgets for operating and capital, and provision of the financial information required by the Board, Committees, and auditors.
- Ensure, by working closely with the CFO and the Birds Canada investment counsel, optimal investment of financial assets, following a Board-approved investment policy and with advice from the Endowment Committee.
- Ensure that Birds Canada is managed in accordance with legal requirements, as well as managed within the by-laws, policies and resolutions of the organization.
- Serve as the most senior media spokesperson on the full range of traditional media inquiries.
- Support and participate in, by working closely with the communications team, a culture of engaging social media through select platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Communicate in a clear and compelling fashion.
- Demonstrated leadership, preferably in the non-profit sector, with experience in operational management, fundraising, and financial acumen.
- Experience in or an understanding of science-based conservation or some combination of relevant experience in research, stewardship, policy, environmental, or sustainability.
- Results oriented with ability to manage multiple priorities.
- Strategic planning and organizational development to meet long-term goals.
- Track record of developing and engaging in partnerships with a variety of organizations including government, industry, other non-government organizations, and universities.
- Fundraising and revenue experience, including relationship building for developing a network of funding support, creativity in securing funds including through contracts and other restricted funding, and managing a team to effectively raise funds.
- Knowledgeable about the mission and major programs of Birds Canada.
- Knowledgeable about current bird conservation priorities, policies, and programs in relation to social, cultural, economic, and political issues, particularly in Canada, but with a view to the United States and the wider Western Hemisphere.
- Experience networking nationally and/or internationally in the conservation/environment sector would be an asset.
- History of engaging productively with a Board of Directors, preferably in the non-governmental sector.
- Applied management of human resources, including long-term planning, team building, and conflict resolution.
- Business acumen and demonstrated skill in communications and management.
- A graduate degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience.
- Fluency in both official languages is a significant asset.
- An advocate who can communicate effectively across a wide range of audiences at all levels; with clarity, with a good choice of words, and with poise, both written and verbal.
- Ability to ensure a strong planning-management-accountability culture, with staff distributed across Canada.
- Initiative, judgement, effective interpersonal relationships, dependability, discretion, leadership, integrity, and persuasiveness.
- Leadership style that inspires and supports a culture of collaboration.
- Ability to put plans in action and deliver results.
- Possesses a self-assured manner and adaptable to various interruptions, diversions, and challenges.
- Positive, constructive, attitude in all interactions with the Board, staff, partners, funders, supporters, and the public.
- Willingness to engage and communicate in public, whether to donors or media, etc.
A competitive compensation package including base salary and benefits will be provided.
HOW TO APPLY
Please submit your application by end of day January 18th, 2021, by emailing your cover letter and résumé to: BirdsCanada@searchlightpartnersgroup.com
Birds Canada is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We strongly support and value diversity in the workplace. Applications from all qualified candidates are welcome, and individuals from equity-seeking groups are encouraged to apply.
We thank applicants for their interest, however; only those advancing in the process will be contacted.
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