Executive Director

25 Apr, 2022


Executive Director

Washington Association of Land Trusts
Seattle, WA

The Washington Association of Land Trusts (WALT) seeks an exceptional Executive Director to help lead and serve a thriving statewide association of over 30 land conservation nonprofits. This is a unique opportunity to head a growing organization with a bold vision and a strong track record in delivering legislative victories, developing innovative new programs, and driving a culture of learning and growth.

WALT serves as the united voice of the private, voluntary land conservation movement in Washington State, working tirelessly to develop and advance land conservation policy, support a dynamic community of practice, and elevate the role of land in a bright future. To take us to the next level, we seek a strong leader with the strategic skills, relational savvy, professional dedication, and personal competency to elevate this broad network across the diverse landscapes we call home.

Who We Are

WALT’s mission is to increase the collective strength and excellence of the land trust community in Washington State, and it has served as the unified hub for Washington’s private voluntary land.

conservation organizations since 2008. Across the state, our 32 member land trusts are at the forefront of work to safeguard a diverse and connected natural world, support a vibrant working-lands economy, broaden access to the outdoors, and foster an ethic of engagement with the landscapes that sustain our quality of life. To date, our members have conserved well over a million acres of vital open space, and represent a community of staff, board members, supporters, and volunteers over 60,000 strong. Our vision is to be a united group of conservation champions, working with diverse local voices to safeguard Washington’s essential lands, waters, and wildlife for all time. Visit www.walandtrusts.org for more information about our work and programs.

Core Responsibilities

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, oversees a part-time Program Manager, and manages two dedicated contractors to achieve organizational goals. Core responsibilities of the position include:

Strategic Leadership & Management (25%)

The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s management, operations, and growth. This includes:

●   Leading the Board of Directors and membership in developing and updating a strategic vision;

●   Ensuring organizational sustainability through long-term financial health and implementing appropriate organizational policies; and

●   Overseeing implementation of strategic goals and ongoing programs through staff management.

Development & Fundraising (15%)

The Executive Director is responsible for helping to build the financial capacity of the organization in service of the membership. This includes, but is not limited to:

●   Seeking and obtaining foundation grants to support current work plans;

●   Developing relationships with individual donors;

●   Securing sponsorships for educational events; and

●   Working to expand organizational membership.

Government Relations (25%)

The Executive Director is responsible for building and growing the organization’s policy and advocacy program, which serves as a foundational part of the organization’s value proposition. This includes, but is not limited to:

●   Engaging members in the development of an annual policy platform and grassroots advocacy efforts to achieve policy goals;

●   Managing a dedicated contract lobbyist in support of legislative strategy;

●   Serving as a registered lobbyist and spokesperson on behalf of the organization with key decision-makers and elected officials; and

●   Developing and maintaining key partnerships and coalitions to help increase conservation funding opportunities or build new tools.

Education & Networking (20%)

The Executive Director is responsible for facilitating regular opportunities for conservation practitioners across the region to learn and grow together as a community of practice. This includes, but is not limited to:

●   Serving as the fiscal sponsor of the biennial Northwest Land Camp and manager of the contract Land Camp Coordinator;

●   Supporting the organization’s multi-year justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) learning initiative;

●   Hosting regional in-person meetings with opportunities for generative discussion and informal networking;

●   Supporting virtual learning through regular workshops and peer-to-peer roundtables on emerging issues.

Communications & Outreach (15%)

The Executive Director is responsible for helping to maintain open lines of communications with the land trust network and raising the profile of the land conservation movement among the general public. This includes, but is not limited to:

●   Maintaining an active website, e-news, social media, and listserv presence;

●   Developing outreach materials to help share success stories and collective impact;

●   Creating earned media opportunities to highlight important conservation issues; and

●   Leveraging creative partnerships to provide public exposure.

Desired Qualities and Characteristics

We are excited for a new Executive Director to bring their unique experiences and perspectives to this role, and value many different types of personal and professional experience as they relate to the core responsibilities of the position. We seek a strong complement of the skills and experience listed below, but some on-the-job training is expected and will be available. We encourage applicants to apply even if they have some, though not all, of the following qualifications:

●   Sincere commitment to WALT’s mission and vision, as well as a personal belief in the importance of voluntary, community-based land conservation.

●   Strong and purposeful decision-making, with a strategic focus that fosters inclusivity, collaboration, and adaptation.

●   Proven success in organizational leadership that involves wearing many different hats (i.e. program management, fundraising, public outreach, staff supervision, etc.).

●   Demonstrated experience in advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in organizational management and/or the land conservation movement.

●   Experience influencing legislation and funding at the State and Federal level, including policy development, grassroots mobilization, legislative strategy, and direct lobbying;

●   A track record of building strong, trusting relationships with public and private partners to address complex issues and develop innovative solutions.

●   Strong written communications skills, including demonstrated technical writing experience and the ability to communicate complex information in a digestible, engaging way.

●   Exceptional interpersonal skills, with an aptitude for forging meaningful relationships, finding connections among people, and facilitating productive conversations within groups.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a permanent, full-time, exempt position with a starting salary range of $80,000-$100,000 depending on experience. We may offer flexibility for this position to be less than 40 hours per week on a case-by-case basis. WALT offers:

●   Generous paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave

●   Employer-sponsored health insurance or health stipend

●   Retirement plan with up to 3% employer match

●   Statewide remote work flexibility

The majority of the time will be spent working on the computer and/or phone, or collaboratively with a wide variety of colleagues and partners. This position requires a valid WA driver’s license and involves travel throughout the state (1 trip per week on average), sometimes including overnight trips. In particular, regular travel to Olympia is necessary during the state legislative session, which is typically held in the first quarter of the calendar year. In addition, the full membership meets occasionally for in-person statewide meetings and smaller regional gatherings throughout the year.

Occasional field visits to project sites may occur and reasonable accommodations will be provided, as needed.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume with at least 2 references as a combined PDF to jobs@walandtrusts.org with the subject heading: Job Application: Executive Director – (your last name). In your cover letter, please address the following:

●   What do you consider your most important skills that qualify you for this position?

●   What is one area of the role that you would be most excited to grow into and why?

●   How would you draw on your lived experience and/or your commitments to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to expand the reach of WALT’s mission and impact?


Applications submitted by Friday, May 13, 2022 will receive priority consideration, but the position is open until filled.


WALT is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, political ideology, age, veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or any other characteristic prohibited by law.

Job posted: 2022-04-25