Program Director, Chesapeake Program

Title: Program Director, Chesapeake Program

Summary: Working out of Washington, D.C., the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Chesapeake Program Director has overall responsibility for the successful management of the Foundation’s grantmaking and technical assistance programs focused in the Chesapeake Bay, including, but not limited to, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. The Program Director leads a dynamic, small and efficient team that manages between $9 million and $15 million in public and private grant funding annually, leads technical assistance programs focused on the most pressing challenges to the Bay’s recovery, and advances NFWF’s recently adopted Chesapeake Bay Business Plan.

The Program Director is charged with strengthening existing partnerships that currently include three federal agencies, five corporate partnerships and a variety of foundation relationships. The Program Director also works closely with the Eastern Partnership Director, as well as NFWF’s Science, Conservation, Development and Government Relations teams to deliver high impact conservation programs and to grow new public and private partnerships that further the goals in the Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Business Plan. The Program Director serves as NFWF’s spokesperson on Chesapeake Bay issues and represents the Foundation at meetings, conferences and other events. The Director will be a leader and knowledgeable on a range of Chesapeake Bay issues including restoration science, agriculture and urban stormwater issues and public policy.

The Program Director reports to the Eastern Partnership Office Director.


  • Plan and administer a $9 million- $15 million annual budget for Chesapeake Bay to support a range of key conservation priorities including, but not limited to, watershed restoration activities that directly support Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), innovative grants to advance agriculture and urban water solutions, targeted technical assistance to non-profits, local governments and other partners, and networking and information exchange programs.
  • In collaboration with NFWF’s science and conservation team and funding partners, develop annual funding priorities that simultaneously advance the goals of NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Business Plan, and the goals and objectives of our various funding partners, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
  • Work with NFWF colleagues, staff, grantees, contractors and program partners to proactively develop project ideas that advance the goals and objectives.
  • Oversee the grant solicitation, grant review and grant award processes, including facilitating grant review committees and coordinating with NFWF’s Grants Administration Department to ensure the successful execution of grants.
  • Serve as lead spokesperson on issues related to the Chesapeake Bay and represent NFWF at conferences, workshops and meetings.
  • Manage all applicable public and private funding sources as appropriate, including preparing grant applications and amendments, monitoring expenditures, submitting progress reports and final reports, and regularly checking in with agency project officers and liaisons to ensure expectations are being met.
  • Coordinate with the Director and Development staff to actively pursue new strategic partnerships that advance NFWF’s goals in the Chesapeake.
  • Develop briefing materials and participate in briefings that promote the continued growth of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and/or other NFWF conservation interests.


  • Recommend and lead efforts to continue to strengthen strategies needed to advance Chesapeake Bay Business Plan goals and to support the objectives of NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Partners especially the US EPA.
  • Recommend new strategies and approaches to improve and make more efficient existing grantmaking processes.


  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience with concentration in ecology, conservation science, or environmental policy preferred.
  • Expertise in watershed and estuarine management issues. Specific knowledge or experience related to conservation on agricultural lands and in urban environments in the Chesapeake Bay is preferred.
  • Knowledge of public policy issues facing the Chesapeake Bay, including water quality, fisheries and restoration science.
  • Minimum of five years experience in program management.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising and program development.
  • Experience working with federal resource agencies, with experience managing federal cooperative agreements preferred.
  • Ability to respond quickly and accurately to requests for information.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience building consensus and managing conflict among diverse partners.
  • Ability to work successfully managing and working with a small team.
  • Computer proficiency, including databases, spreadsheets, word processing, and graphics. Experience with web content management and Geographic Information Systems is preferred.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience.

Location: Washington, DC

How to apply

To apply, please send an e-mail, with attachments in Word format, containing your cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, resume, three professional references and your salary requirements to Marla Carter, Human Resources Manager, at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Washington, District of Columbia
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Marla Carter, Human Resources Manager