Director of Communications and Development


The Azuero Earth Project (AEP) [] is a United States tax-exempt organization (501-C-3). The organization is dedicated to connecting science and community to find practical, lasting solutions to major environmental challenges. AEP operates from a main office in East Hampton, New York and a center of operations in Pedasí, on the Azuero Peninsula, about 100km west of Panama City, Panama.

The mission of the Azuero Earth Project is to preserve the earth’s ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy communities by helping people to make informed decisions, take sustainable actions, and share knowledge.

The Azuero Earth Project facilitates connections among scientists, educators, students, planners, designers and communities to explore advanced concepts for appropriate land use with a focus on developing simple, replicable models for sustainable architecture, agriculture, and waste management. AEP does this through collaborations with educational, scientific, governmental and environmental agencies, an in house GIS mapping initiative, community outreach and education programs, and the Azuero Resource Center: a library and website that disseminates ecological information and connects people interested in sustainability.

Position Profile

Edwina von Gal, President, a landscape designer and environmentalist; Mark Wishnie, founder of Prorena ( Ovidio Diaz, Panamanian businessman and local landowner, and Vernon Scholey, Chair of the AEP Board and Director of the Achotines Laboratory, founded AEP as a response to their concerns about the environment, the incredible resources of science and technology in Panama, and the need for practical applications.. Their vision is to foster a community of research and applied ecological practices, a living laboratory, to explore sustainable solutions to major environmental challenges related to land and waste management, and to test the solutions and to share lessons learned with like minded organizations around the globe. AEP is now preparing to launch a USA initiative focused on promoting sustainable home landscapes. Through a strong network of relationships throughout the US and Panama, Ms. von Gal has attracted a committed Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, research and scientific partners, individual and foundation funders. And, through its local programs and activities AEP has created a firm foundation of strong community ties.

Having recently hosted a highly successful and widely publicized first benefit event, held at the East Hampton home of artist Cindy Sherman with music by Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Suzanne Vega, AEP is poised to enter a next level of fundraising to expand its programmatic capacity and educational reach thereby considerably ramping up its effectiveness.

AEP seeks to bring on an experienced and passionate professional to provide insight and organizational skills in developing strategies that will build on the considerable good will and track record AEP has established to date. The Director of Development, and Communications (DoD) will work closely with the president and the program director in Panama and be responsible for creating long and short term communication, social media and public relations strategies; developing mechanisms to track organizational success; cultivating external relationships and collaborations with educational institutions; and raising funds from individual, corporate, foundation, and government supporters. AEP has offices in the Azuero Peninsula and in East Hampton, NY. The Director will work from home in or near New York City (with regular travel to East Hampton), or in the East Hampton office. Candidates must have permanent legal work status in the USA. A minimum of two, one week or longer, trips to Panama per year will be expected of the DoD, plus attendance at relevant functions, conferences and seminars.

Primary Responsibilities

The DoD will be responsible for planning and implementing an annual communications, marketing, and fundraising strategy. Specifically, the MD will:

  1. Fundraising and Development 50%
    • Working closely with the President and with input from Program Directors, create a fundraising case statement to solicit support from various funders (individual, foundation, corporate, government)
    • Develop a campaign to reach prospective corporate and small business funders
    • Work closely with the President to solicit support and major gifts from individual donors
    • Develop bi-lingual collateral materials for fundraising initiatives and strategy for developing a Latin American/Panamanian donor base.
    • take responsibility for all grant reporting; conduct prospect research, prepare and submit applications and maintain a calendar of grant applications, and reporting
    • Manage ongoing communication with prospects and donors year-round
    • production and dissemination of quarterly and annual donor reports
    • Planning and coordination of a bi-annual fund raising event in East Hampton
  2. Communications/Marketing /Public Relations 25%
    • Create a bi-lingual communications plan and information kit to convey key messages to AEP’s constituencies, including the media
    • Manage the organization’s online presence through website maintenance, content development, and social media efforts
    • Design and manage local events in Panama and United States to raise interest and awareness among various audiences

3. Collaboration Development/Board Liason/Financial reporting 25%

  • Define and execute institutional policies including but not limited to personnel and internal communications policies, information-sharing and IT solutions, and document retention policies;
  • Work with president to prepare annual budget and projection for presentation to board and for use in annual reports; monitor cash flow and expenditures of grants and restricted donations; and lead development of quarterly and annual financial reporting to the Board of Directors
  • Serve as a liaison to the Board of Directors, provide regular reports, develop meeting agendas, manage meeting logistics, and encourage greater Board participation;
  • Collaborate with President on Board development and recruitment;
  • Build on AEP successes with students and scientists by forming more educational partnerships with target research institutions;


    The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of fundraising and marketing experience in the environmental non-profit sector and a strong personal passion for the environment.

We are seeking an individual with these qualifications:

  • A passionate, life-long personal and professional commitment to the environment
  • A fundamental understanding of a mission-driven community-based organization
  • Experience implementing an annual fundraising campaign to engage foundation, government, corporate and individual contributors
  • Knowledge of, and contacts within, environmental organizations and environment based philanthropy
  • Experience garnering media coverage in print, broadcast and social media outlets
  • Experience marketing and communicating through websites and social media
  • Experience implementing direct marketing, promotions and fundraising events
  • Experience working with executive boards and organizing committees
  • A branding point of view ; in other words, a fundraising strategy that can make the activities in Panama real and compelling to US-based donors
  • A strong desire to meet new people and develop relationships on behalf of AEP
  • Bi-lingual fluency is highly desirable; familiarity with Panama is a plus

    Personal skills and attributes include:
    • Creative, imaginative, and energetic, a good networker
    • Ability to formulate and execute effective strategies
    • A strong track record of building effective relationships in diverse environments among diverse constituencies
    • Excellent process manager, problem solver and decision-maker
    • Experience in start-up environments
    • Purposeful and compelling communicator in oral and written presentations;
    • Self-directed, organized and entrepreneurial; can work autonomously with confidence but also seeks out opportunities for collaboration to advance goals
    • Willingness to travel to meet funders, partners and local constituencies

Salary & Benefits

Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with background and experience. The organization offers a benefits package that includes medical insurance and vacation time.

Application Procedure

Email your application to:

Please submit a resume and a cover letter detailing your experience, (paying special attention to qualifications), match of skills to the position, knowledge of environmental philanthropy, salary requirements, and availability. No telephone inquiries will be accepted. All applications will be acknowledged. The Azuero Earth Project is an equal opportunity employer.

New York, New York
Azuero Earth Project
Human Resources