Washington State Director

The Washington State Director oversees administration of The Wilderness Society’s Seattle office and Washington-based conservation program. The State Director is responsible for leading, managing, and inspiring a team of staff in the conception, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs aimed at achieving statutory and administrative protections for high priority federal wild lands in Washington. The State Director provides guidance and direction to a larger cross-disciplinary team of staff who contribute to work in this state and serves as the leader of an office that houses communications, philanthropic, and research staff. Additionally, this position is responsible for promoting a positive organizational culture that is grounded in trust, accountability to shared goals and outcomes, and which is campaign-oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, adaptive, transparent, and supportive of staff.

The Wilderness Society has identified the lands and waters of the North Cascades as a high priority in Washington. The program’s focus is twofold: protect the last great wild places of the North Cascades and preserve and enhance opportunities for responsible recreation on our public lands. The State Director will oversee strategic planning efforts and provide the necessary creativity and vision to ensure the region grows and adapts to new conservation challenges while remaining effectively integrated and aligned with the rest of the organization and its core programs. The State Director must play a pivotal role in cultivating and managing relationships with key partners, as well as Members of Congress, state and federal government officials, regulatory agencies, and the media to maintain The Society’s strong and respected presence in the region. Substantial fundraising efforts are required of the position.


  • Provides leadership and guidance to all TWS staff working in Washington and serves as the face and voice of TWS with a range of partners, stakeholders, decision-makers and funders in Washington State.
  • In coordination with philanthropy staff, performs substantial fundraising duties with philanthropic foundations as well as major donors and supports a culture of philanthropy.
  • Responsible for oversight of all programmatic work to ensure strategic focus and effective advocacy campaigns that deliver on the goals and outcomes of the organization’s priority campaigns. Serves as a close partner to national campaign leads.
  • Manages personnel to ensure staff is inspired, well-supported, and performing at the highest levels, including: defining expectations, setting priorities, assessing results, encouraging professional growth, and cultivating a supportive, collegial team atmosphere.
  • Manages budget and works in partnership with campaign leads and finance on budget design.
  • Plays a leadership role in initiating, building, and maintaining collaborative relationships with key partner organizations as well as Members of Congress, state and federal government officials, relevant land management agencies, and the media ; all of which help build the support for conservation outcomes in Washington and nationally.
  • Maintains a deep and thorough understanding of land conservation efforts in the state, as well as key national efforts. Ensures the region’s perspective and insights are informing the organization’s work.
  • Travel as needed throughout the state and to Washington, D.C. to ensure current knowledge of the region’s wild lands, develop relationships with partners and key players throughout the region, and engage in national decision-making processes.
  • Cultivates strong, professional relationships with TWS Governing Council members, particularly those based in Washington.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Experience, Competencies, and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Graduate degree in relevant field preferred.
  • Extensive experience working in a leadership role on public land conservation advocacy, including campaign efforts in both the national and regional policy arenas.
  • Thorough and realistic understanding of federal legislative and administrative processes as they relate to public land conservation and strong knowledge of conservation issues in Washington.
  • Proven excellence and experience managing staff and programs related to land conservation; demonstrated success leading and inspiring staff, including a strong record of staff retention, ability to cultivate and advance staff, team-building skills, and capacity to bring out the best in staff.
  • A history of successfully developing collaborations, alliances, and partnerships with key leaders among diverse ethnic and racial groups, as well as other interests.
  • Proven track record of working effectively across all departments within an organization and with diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to advance strategic thinking, craft a compelling vision, and generate support for that vision, set priorities, and balance short- and long-term demands, as well as regional and national goals.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills that can be applied to complex conservation issues, difficult partnership and coalition dynamics, as well as sensitive personnel matters.
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to speak effectively in public.
  • Successful experience working with donors, foundations and corporations to raise money.
  • Extensive experience in effectively representing issues and positions to the media.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite.

Desired Characteristics

  • Must be a leader ; capable of operating effectively with a multitude of audiences and committed to supporting others in accomplishing our conservation goals.
  • Excellent strategic instincts and long-term vision.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and a sense of humor.
  • Integrity, trustworthiness, tact, and discretion.
  • Ability to manage a complex array of personnel, programmatic, and organizational demands.
  • Commitment to the protection of America’s wildlands.

The Wilderness Society offers a very competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; and a pension plan. TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

How to apply

Seattle, Washington
The Wilderness Society