Executive Director

Executive Director, Society for Conservation Biology

The Executive Director (ED) leads, manages, and coordinates the programs and operations of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), an international organization of several thousand professionals dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving biological diversity.

The ED reports to the Executive Committee of the SCB’s elected Board of Governors (BoG), and supports the activities of all the committees of the Board. The ED, who serves as a nonvoting ex-officio member of the BoG and Executive Committee, liaises with all SCB boards, groups and committees to benefit SCB operations and development. The ED is based in the Washington, D.C., Executive Office of SCB and oversees and manages SCB’s professional staff and contractors at this office and at remote locations.


• Implement policies and directives of the SCB Executive Committee and Board of Governors (BoG) as directed and described in the SCB 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Manage SCB’s finances and operations in consultation with the BoG, including relationships with regional sections, identifying new projects and initiatives and implementing approved programs and priorities.

• Maintain and strengthen the membership of the Society and ensure that excellent services are provided to the global SCB membership.

• Support the work of SCB’s BoG committees, regional sections, local chapters, and topical working groups.

• Oversee the operations of SCB’s publications: Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters, including ongoing oversight of and coordination with editors and publishers. Manage affiliate publication relationships, such as with Biological Conservation and Pacific Conservation Biology.

• Ensure that SCB’s website is an effective tool for communication with and among members and SCB groups, and that the website accurately and effectively represents the Society to global audiences.

• Oversee the successful organization and staging of the biennial International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) as well as regional SCB Section meetings.

• Support and strengthen all SCB programs, for example, the Policy Program and the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program.

• Develop SCB’s annual budget (~ $3 million), staffing plans and annual operating plan, and make recommendations to the Board accordingly. Hire, supervise, and evaluate all SCB employees (currently 6 at the Executive Office and 3 remote contractors), subject to budget authorization for positions, adopted SCB personnel policies, SCB bylaws, and applicable employment laws.
• Lead fundraising and program development for the Society. Build and diversify the financial resources available to support SCB programs and activities. Take major responsibility for grant proposal preparation and writing. Manage reporting to foundations, corporations and private donors.

• Build partnerships with private institutions, corporations, foundations, and service agencies to advance the SCB mission.

• Represent SCB before diverse audiences, such as other scientific societies, conservation groups, and government agencies, including the international conservation community and other stakeholders such as industry groups with links to conservation.


The successful candidate should have:
• Substantial and demonstrated track record in program development, fundraising, and leadership abilities.
• At least one degree (PhD preferred) related to conservation. Working knowledge of conservation science-related field(s) and demonstrated ability to communicate with professional conservationists from around the world.
• Strong management, organizational and administrative experience, especially in managing a complex organization with semi-autonomous subunits, and in managing personnel.
• Experience with strategic planning and implementation, and ability to coordinate and prioritize among many tasks and responsibilities.
• Experience developing and managing annual budgets, and ensuring compliance with applicable fiscal and audit responsibilities.
• Experience in management of scientific societies or non-profit organizations, especially of organizations centered on membership services. Experience with diverse global boards (e.g. member, officer, or previous ED of a Board-led organization) and experience implementing a board-developed Strategic Plan.

• Excellent interpersonal skills, and strong oral and written communication skills. Strong ability to represent and promote SCB on a global stage. Must show ability to communicate the value of conservation science and its practice to diverse groups, including non-scientists and media outlets.

• Broad understanding of SCB’s mission and philosophies in the context of a global professional organization.

• Willingness to travel, as required.

Salary and Benefits

  • Starting salary commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include health/dental/vision, vacation and sick leave.
  • SCB is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity, and participates in a matching 401k retirement plan
Washington, District of Columbia
Society for Conservation Biology
Human Resources