Field Operations Program Director

Exemplary property stewardship is a defining feature of The Trustees of Reservations’ (The Trustees) legacy, and it remains a critical ingredient in our future success. We strive for a high standard of stewardship focused on our properties’ scenic, historic, and ecological resources and the facilities and other amenities that ensure an exceptional visitor experience. Maintaining this standard of care is not only fundamental to our mission, but it also allows us to grow and engage more people in our work. The beauty and integrity of our properties inspire our visitors to become deeply involved as members, volunteers, partners, and donors.

The Trustees own 109 reservations across the state, which are managed for public use and enjoyment as well as resource protection. Our wonderfully diverse reservations include farms, forests, community gardens, urban wilds, beaches, rare habitats, historic structures and collections. Across 25,000 acres we manage 320 miles of trails, 17 active farm properties, 500,000 square feet of structures, 5 National Historic Landmarks, and a variety of ecologically important communities and species. Our stewardship staff, who have specialized skills in horticulture, public gardens, organic agriculture, ecology, outdoor recreation, and conservation land management, employ a wide range of tools to protect our historic, cultural, scenic, and ecological treasures.

The Program Director for Field Operations (FOPD) works with regional property management and statewide program staff to articulate and implement a stewardship vision that supports the organization’s strategic objectives across our reservations. The FOPD develops and implements stewardship systems, policies, and strategies that yield clear standards that are flexible, efficient, and effective enough to be applied across diverse properties and geographies. Working as a member of a team of specialists with statewide purview, the FOPD has a unique opportunity to guide and influence a remarkable array of mission-related visitor engagement and resource protection objectives, as well as enterprises and external partnerships.

Essential functions of the Program Director for Field Operations include:

– Collaboratively lead a team of Operations Managers, field staff, resource specialists and volunteers in developing and implementing the stewardship vision, standards, and goals for the organization.

– Serve as a member of the Program Leadership team. In this capacity, provide a pivotal internal communication and coordination role that facilitates the integration of field operations priorities (regional and statewide) with those of statewide mission-based programs (land conservation, ecology, agriculture, cultural resources).

– Participate in (and in many cases lead) the development and implementation of policies, guidelines, and other organizational stewardship standards.

– Provide internal leadership in identifying and advocating for statewide stewardship priorities, opportunities, and needs. This includes developing and supporting data collection and management efforts that allow us to assess our work and track progress towards specific goals and outcomes.

– Provide oversight for management planning and GIS functions.

Additional responsibilities include:

– Represent The Trustees externally in the area of property stewardship.

– Provide a central interface and coordinating role with Finance and Administration staff to facilitate critical operational functions, which include capital budget expenditures and property-related safety and liability issues.

– Pursue strategies to ‘green’ our field operations.

– Pursue strategies to make our reservations universally accessible.

– Provide staff support for the Field Operations Committee, a subcommittee of The Trustees Board of Directors.

– Coordinate with Marketing/Communications and engagement staff to establish statewide protocols and standards that ensure a safe and engaging visitor experience.

– Provide information and support for fundraising opportunities, as needed.

– Support Operations Managers in carrying out specific regional goals and/or tactics, as needed.

– Oversee stewardship-related tasks and standards related to The Trustees’ accreditation status.

The Program Director for Field Operations reports to the Vice President of Program Leadership. The Program Director provides leadership and statewide coordination for, but not direct oversight of, the three regionally-based Operations Managers who manage the property stewardship staff across the state. The FOPD has active, collaborative roles with Program Leadership colleagues and the Finance & Administration, Development, and Engagement staff.

The FOPD has direct line oversight of property management planning and GIS functions. The FOPD interfaces regularly with lead stewardship volunteers and is the staff leader of the Field Operations Committee.

This is a salaried position that can be based at the Doyle Community Park in Leominster, Moose Hill Farm in Sharon, or Long Hill in Beverly. The position provides a competitive salary and benefits package. The candidate should have the ability to travel throughout the state using her/his own transportation.

Abilities, Skills, Qualifications

– An educational background in natural or cultural resource-based property stewardship, along with 8-plus years of progressively responsible management of staff, properties, and programs in the natural, cultural, and agricultural resources fields. Familiarity with the visitor service, recreation or tourism industries a plus, as is experience in managing small enterprises and partnerships.

– Proven success in staff and volunteer leadership and a successful track record of both motivating and working collaboratively with diverse teams.

– Must have a demonstrated interest in the fields of cultural, ecological, and agricultural resources as well as land conservation. Experience in these areas is a plus.

– Demonstrated understanding of and familiarity with the fields of property planning and GIS.

– Demonstrated comfort with or close knowledge of the value and approaches to fundraising, outreach and public education.

– Outstanding communication and presentation skills and the experience and proclivity to be a superb spokesperson and relationship builder.

– Must have excellent ‘people’ skills and an ability to work with committees, colleagues and others.

– Must have proven organizational skills as well as very strong computer skills.

– Must have a passionate commitment to the values, mission, and purpose of The Trustees.

– A working knowledge of equipment and vehicles associated with property stewardship is a plus.

TTOR’s Underlying Values

The Trustees of Reservations aims to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team and to reflect and effectively serve the diverse residents and communities of Massachusetts. We believe that people and communities are strongly connected to place; that it is our mission to foster stronger connections between communities and their natural and cultural heritage; that climate change is a serious threat to our mission and the sustainability of the landscape, and that we must work to catalyze widespread action to offset this threat. To succeed, The Trustees must be a broadly inclusive organization that engages and serves the many different communities of Massachusetts.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are committed to fairness and equity throughout our internal operations. Inclusion and diversity are priorities as we strengthen and continue to diversify our team and expand the constituency for all facets of our work.

About the Organization

The mission of the Trustees of Reservations is to preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. A small band of visionary volunteers founded the organization in 1891 and it has evolved into a complex organization with 160 year-round employees who are led by a volunteer governance structure and supported by over 45,000 member households. We care for over 109 properties which comprise more than 25,000 acres and monitor over 350 Conservation Restrictions protecting 17,000 acres.


The salary is commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package is offered.

To Apply

Candidates should submit their resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Director of Field Operations Search to Elizabeth Deliso by 3/30/13. No phone calls please.

Leominster, Sharon, or Beverly, Massachusetts
The Trustees of Reservations
Elizabeth Deliso