Nature Canada

Executive Director

Nature Canada connects the dots between local action and systemic change. For more than 80 years, we have been Canada’s voice for nature. We work to ensure that solving the biodiversity crisis is a government priority. We advocate on behalf of other species for habitat protection and good policy. We facilitate mobilization among our extensive network of partners and individual nature-lovers to achieve our shared goals and generate the political will for needed transformation.

Nature Canada is committed to equity and anti-racism and acknowledges that achieving reconciliation, racial justice and gender equality is an ethical imperative and essential for effective conservation of our shared resources. Our goal is to take an intersectional approach which considers how power is exercised across issues of gender, age, class, ability, and culture, as well as race.

Nature Canada is working to advance many of the most critical conservation issues of our time, including, among other things, working to: halt and reverse nature loss, expand protected areas, protect endangered species, encourage nature-based climate solutions, restore forest habitat, support Indigenous-led conservation and save bird lives. We also work to encourage immersion in nature and create opportunities for people to explore the natural world.

We have three strong tools to reach our goals: our Nature Nation of more than 250,000 members and supporters; our Nature Network of 900 nature-related organizations; and our Nature Policy influence on Parliament Hill and other levels of government.

Sounds intriguing?

Nature Canada is currently seeking its next Executive Director to lead our vibrant, strong and sustainable organization of over 30 staff. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the successful leadership and management of Nature Canada, working to realize the organization’s goals as laid out in the Strategic Plan. Working with the Deputy Executive Director and the management team, Nature Canada’s Executive Director has vision, imagination, the ability to focus simultaneously on strategic and operational issues, has excellent organizing and campaigning skills, solid experience in communication and management, and a passionate commitment to the natural world. The successful candidate will have a commitment to inclusivity, equity and reconciliation, a record of fundraising success both with foundations and governments, experience working with a volunteer Board of Directors, and at least 10 years leading a diverse team.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for ensuring quality programs and services through strategic leadership, collaborative and supportive people management, and is responsible for:

  • Strategic vision and organizational culture: Passion for Nature Canada’s vision, strong commitment to equity anti-racism, lead on organizational development and problem-solving.
  • Communication, networks, and government relations: Build and maintain networks and partnerships, lead on government relations and brand development, act as spokesperson for the organization.
  • Fundraising and management: Lead on organizational fundraising both institutional and from foundations, oversee financial and administrative systems to ensure financial health of the organization, responsible for annual budgeting.
  • Governance and Planning: Lead strategic planning, collaborate with the board, responsible for risk management and legal compliance.
  • Campaign and movement building: Build and strengthen campaigns, connect with grassroots networks of nature organizations, and understand the role of advocacy and movement building.
View full list of responsibilities →

What we are looking for

The Executive Director provides visionary leadership to Nature Canada to build and expand the impact of the Nature Nation to protect, restore and defend Nature for future generations by inspiring strategic, concrete, sustained and effective action.

The ED is committed to reconciliation, experienced in identifying and developing new strategic directions, developing programs out of emerging opportunities, and growing and expanding the reach of the organization. The ED is able to see emerging trends in conservation in Canada and more broadly and will be able to position Nature Canada for success.

The Executive Director is an excellent communicator (bilingualism is an asset), has experience building and maintaining successful relationships with funders, strategically develops and leads government and foundation partnerships and fundraising, and is committed to movement building and to equity and anti-racism.

Working Conditions

The Executive Director is based fullt-time in Ottawa within a strong value-­based organizational culture. This position requires a high level of team collaboration, yet also requires significant autonomy. Nature Canada offers a competitive work package including a salary range of $110,000 to $130,000 with comprehensive health benefits.

We encourage applications from individuals who self-identify as members of equity-seeking groups. Nature Canada is committed to decolonization and a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and intimidation where everyone can participate safely, freely and confidently.

We thank all candidates for their interest, but we will only contact those selected for an interview.

Apply now

To express your interest in the position, please send us a cover letter telling us about your reasons for applying to this position, and a brief articulation of why you are excited about Nature Canada and how you envision Nature Canada’s impact growing. Please combine your letter with your résumé in one pdf and send it to Sabine Dietz, Board Chair, via edsearch@naturecanada.ca, by November 30th, 2022.

Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.

Donate

Executive Director Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Equity and anti-racism: A strong commitment to human rights and the values of equity, diversity, reconciliation and anti-racism.
  • Organizational Development: Support business and strategic plans to advance organization’s goals; develop and refine systems to improve impact and efficiency.
  • Change Management: Design and develop systems to support staff in achieving goals and creating lasting systems change within the organization.
  • Strategic Vision: Ability to navigate complex environments and direct organizational work strategically.
  • Communications: Clear, direct, professional communicator with ability to adapt communication to audience.
  • Adaptability: Able to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while remaining effective and efficient.
  • Problem Solving: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Passionate: Demonstrates passion for and commitment to Nature Canada’s mission. 

Governance and Planning

  • Strategic Plan: Implement the strategic plan.
  • Board Support: Attend Board and committee meetings, provide required reports, and support board recruitment and orientation activities.
  • Risk management: Identify and mitigate risks, seek opportunities for enhancing program/service delivery outcomes, and ensure ongoing implementation of organizational objectives.
  • Legal: Ensure organization is maintained in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency, ensure compliance with Employment Standards.

Management

  • Budgets: Develop and maintain sound financial practices, including all aspects of budgeting, financial reporting and banking.
  • Fund Development: Apply for and support grant applications; support donor and sponsorship development; support team members in actively participating in fund development; negotiate contracts for services.
  • Fundraising: Develop and support organization fundraising plan including events and third party support; builds and maintains relationships with foundations and other funders.
  • Financial systems: Support the management of financial systems, integrated accounting processes, invoicing, and contracts.
  • Bookkeeping: Support bookkeeper/ administrator in maintaining accurate records for all accounts and ensuring sound systems for efficient financial management of organization.

Communication, networks, government relations

  • Networks and Partnerships: Support and maintain networks and partnerships that advance the organization's goals.
  • Brand Development: Steward communications and marketing to build a consistent, strategic organizational brand identity. 
  • Promotion: Act as spokesperson for the organization at conferences, presentations and public events, and media inquiries.
  • Government relationship: Develops, maintains, and supports strong and strategic government relations.

Campaign and movement building

  • Building campaigns: Supports training on campaign development and management, understands the role of campaigns in implementing the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Grassroots organizing: Understands and implements grassroots organizing approaches, supporting a network of nature organizations across the country.
  • Advocacy: Understands advocacy in a charitable context, knows how and when to use the organization's role as advocate to its fullest.

Team Leadership

  • Human Resources: Ensure that bi-weekly payroll and benefits plans are effectively managed; Develop job descriptions and annually review and adjust, if necessary; Facilitate annual performance review process for all staff; Facilitate grievance process.
  • Hiring: Lead and or support hiring processes including interviews and reference check; ensure staff are effectively on-boarded and oriented.
  • Files: Support the maintenance of complete and secure employee files and contracts. Ensure incidents are documented and appropriately retained.
  • Team Building: Support staff in developing project and personal goals; maintain a positive and productive team culture based in collaboration and cooperation; ensure all team members have a clear, common vision; support regular staff meetings.
  • Evaluation: Support annual evaluation of project and organizational goals; support staff and board in reflecting on work and adapting approach based on evidence gathered through organizational evaluation strategy; lead collaborative process to develop and update annual program plans.
  • Office Systems: Develop and maintain a modern infrastructure that supports records management, financials, and communications with membership and stakeholders.