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Nebraska State Director

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Jun 14, 2021

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JOB TITLE Nebraska State Director

JOB FAMILY Executive

STATUS Salaried

LOCATION NEBRASKA (Omaha preferred)

DATE June 2021



Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been doing work you can believe in, protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to earth’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We recognize that conservation is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of widely diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities. Hiring and cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable staff is a reflection of our global character, the communities in which we work, and our collaborative engagement with partners. We promote a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellness, and flexibility needs of the people we employ by offering a competitive benefits package, including, but not limited to, health insurance, domestic partner coverage, matched 401(k) program, floating holidays, and paid parental leave. To learn more, visit and or follow @nature_organd @nature_ne on Instagram.


Since 1971, TNC has worked in Nebraska to preserve the state’s natural landscapes through the advancement of our land and water conservation work. Project managers across the state work within local communities to protect and conserve private lands and work with agricultural producers and companies on best practices. With a staff of 24, a Board of Trustees comprised of 23 members, and an annual operating budget $4.1M, the Nebraska Chapter protects more than 93,000 acres of land. This role offers a unique opportunity to help shape a resilient, viable future for all Nebraskans.

Our TNC Nebraska Chapter Objectives:

· Execute protection, management and conservation of resilient lands and waters at a pace and scale that matters.

· Steward TNC’s reputation as a leading conservation organization in Nebraska.

· Champion Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and private landowners to serve as conservationists of our soil and water resources.

· Broaden support for climate and conservation action in Nebraska to promote TNC objectives at the state and federal level.

· Build organizational capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver on all conservation outcomes at a pace and scale that matters.

· Advances a diverse and inclusive environment among staff, trustees, and with external partners through Conservancy projects.


The State Director drives our conservation strategy, public policy leadership, and fundraising, while working closely with our Board of Trustees. Together they shape the Chapter’s Strategic Plan in alignment with the Chapter Objectives, TNC’s Shared Conservation Agenda priorities, 2030 Goals, and TNC’s core values. The primary role of the State Director is to lead, manage, and inspire the operating unit’s staff and trustees to collectively achieve the maximum contribution to the organization’s mission. They ensure measurable success in conservation and fundraising programs and contribute intellectual, financial, and human resources to priority, cross-boundary initiatives. They support alignment of activities by securing and managing resources, capacity, and programs to address the most critical conservation priorities of the organization at multiple scales. They collaborate with others across the division and throughout the organization to raise and apply resources in Nebraska and, as needed, as in areas beyond their span of authority.


The State Director is responsible for the operating unit’s fundraising success and works with philanthropy staff to increase private support for conservation, engages with major donors, corporations and foundations; and supports staff as they foster new and existing donor relationships. The State Director sets the conservation priorities that dictate budgets, as well as private and public fundraising. The State Director also works with conservation staff to secure public funding for new and existing initiatives and programs. They serve as the primary statewide spokesperson for TNC to internal and external audiences including staff, volunteers, the Board of Trustees, public and private donors, government agencies and officials, community leaders and other partners. They coordinate with staff and trustees to cultivate those audiences to support and promote TNC’s mission and vision throughout the state.


The State Director develops and supports the Nebraska staff to meet the conservation priorities of the operating unit and of the global organization. They create and foster an open and inclusive work environment that upholds TNC’s organizational values, vision, and mission. They encourage staff development and training, including diversity, equity, and inclusion learning opportunities. The State Director reports to the Great Plains Division Director and works closely with the state’s Board of Trustees.


The Nebraska State Director will join an established program with multiple successful conservation objectives. The ability to promote existing successes while coordinating with staff and trustees around next steps for the operating unit to contribute to TNC’s organizational goals will be key to the Director’s success.


· Ensures measurable advancement of the stated objectives of the Nebraska operating unit.

· Manages the development and successful execution of the operating unit’s strategic plan, budget, financial plans, philanthropic goals, marketing and communications plans, and annual conservation work programs.

· Provides leadership in public policy efforts within the chapter and the region.

· Ensures recruitment, management and development of high quality, diverse, and effective staff.

· Demonstrates a strong understanding of on-the-ground land management conservation.

· Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met.

· Incorporates organizational values and competencies as foundational elements in all aspects of work.

· Promotes a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

· Presents and represents the operating unit’s and TNC’s vision in a compelling and engaging manner to diverse internal and external audiences as lead spokesperson.

· Delivers effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on complex topics to associate groups, managers at all levels, board members, key stakeholders, and outside organizations.

· Provides support of regional and global TNC priorities.

· Demonstrates a willingness and ability to travel throughout the geography and globally as required

· Works flexibly, sometimes beyond the normal workday, including weekends, as necessary, during deadline periods.

· Performs well under pressure.

· Actively participates in the Great Plains Division leadership team, collaborating on innovative, cross-boundary projects.


· Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 7 years of experience as a leader in the conservation arena non-profit sector, advocacy, or related for-profit area, or equivalent experience.

· Experience in leading and managing a large, multi-disciplinary team.

· Experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences, including donors, board members, employees, and policymakers.

· Experience and/or a strong desire to fundraise; and raise major gifts

· Experience in managing a budget.

· Experience overseeing complex conservation projects.


Strategic Leadership and Collaborative Management:

• Appreciation for the role of science in the design, implementation and measurement of our work;

• Curiosity for the complexity of our conservation work and an ability to “zoom in, zoom out” from regional view to local view;

• Experience leading and participating in strategic planning efforts to influence large, complex systems;

• Extensive and proven management experience, including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage the performance of a large multi-disciplinary team;

• Ability to inspire and be inspired by a board of trustees, donors and partners, and staff working to align vision and strategy for greater impact;

• Desire to fundraise from private individual donors, foundations, government agencies, and business. Success in raising gifts of $500,000 or more;

• Willingness to work with government agencies and the bipartisan legislative process, especially in the realms of sustainable development, natural resources, food, energy, climate, water, environmental justice, or related fields;

• Experience managing a portfolio of initiatives that utilizes cross functional teams, as well as some experience serving as the champion/leader who was accountable for outcomes;

• Experience with sophisticated strategic financial management, including long-term sustainability and complex budget management: grants, donations, endowments, indirect costs, personnel costs and benefits, etc.;

• Ability to attract, develop and retain diverse staff talent, trustees, and donors critical to mission success; and

• Success building workplace climates that are fair, inclusive, representative of Nebraska demographics, and equitable. Every staff member must feel that they belong and can offer their maximum contribution to the Shared Conservation Agenda, TNC’s 2030 Goals and all TNC’s operations. This includes the ability to diagnose needs of staff and support different leadership, management and work styles within a learning organization.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

• Exposure to various cultures, geographies, nationalities, ethnicities and points of view, appreciation for the basis of each person’s worldview.

• Exposure to various economic sectors in order to appreciate the vastness of experience and expertise of others outside their field of interest, such as financial, manufacturing, technology, government, natural resources, education, etc.

• Demonstrated respect for committing to local, on-the-ground involvement with people, communities, and cultures, with awareness and sensitivity to their cultures and economic realities; and

• Understanding of Nebraska’s unique history, heritage and culture; aptitude and capability to work closely with indigenous nations, urban municipalities, rural communities, etc.

• Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.

• Demonstrated level of awareness, understanding and the ability to communicate about systemic inequalities that affect the field of environmental conservation.

• Experience advancing justice and equity within the field of environmental conservation.

Interpersonal Communication Skills:

• Active listening skills, including awareness of body language and physical-mental-emotional linkages in person and over video conferencing platforms. Curiosity for the motivations of all parties, seeking intersections among differing perspectives and viewpoints.

• Capacity to advocate successfully using science and data, communicate with authenticity and credibility and exert influence by being a role model for people, programs and ethics. Ability to engage others through dynamic, empathetic, and articulate presentations and dialogue, conveying contagious enthusiasm that engenders a shared vision for the future; and

• Ability to communicate love of nature and passion for conservation in an inspiring, motivating and positive way.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.


HOW TO APPLY: The application deadline is July 11th, prior to 10:59 p.m. Central Time (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time).


External applicants: Please apply to Job # 49864 at Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact

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