Senior Vice President for Conservation

Location Remote, DC 20036
Date Posted September 14, 2021
Job ID 7764
Employment Type Retained

Scion Executive Search has been retained to conduct the search for the Senior Vice President, Conservation on behalf of the American Forest Foundation (AFF), an incredible organization with a mission dedicated to delivering meaningful conservation impact through the empowerment of family forest landowners.

The incoming Senior Vice President, Conservation is a leadership position which operates as the consistent point of accountability in establishing the conditions for teams to design and implement viable impact strategies which will effectively scale to the scope of evolving conservation needs. Reporting to the Executive Vice President of Operations, this phenomenal opportunity is for immediate hire and operates full-time on a remote basis or from the organization’s headquarters in Washington D.C. (non-remote) with the ability to travel up to 30%.

Across the U.S., forests are facing critical challenges that must be addressed if we are to continue to possess privileges such as clean drinking water, wildlife habitat and wood supply that all Americans depend on. Family forest owners with a passion for conservation can help! To promote the care and protection of U.S. forests, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) is actively working with partners across sectors on conservation projects in the most critical landscapes where intervention is needed. Taking on the most prominent issues, these partnerships are working toward the goal of significantly increasing the number of family and private landowners actively managing and stewarding their woodlands to ensure the health of these forests and the resources they provide.

Today, AFF is embarking on a bold new strategy for conservation impact across America’s family-owned forests. The entirety of the organization is in a mode of complex problem solving and rapid iteration, and all teams at AFF are progressively creating adaptive solutions to the root challenges within forest conservation issues and striving to develop viable and scalable models for impact based on evolutionary learning processes. AFF is driven by values of shared purpose, measurable and verifiable results, and ideals of continuous improvement to tackle abstract conservation challenges in the areas of climate change mitigation, biodiversity loss, threat reduction related to catastrophic wildfires, and the insurance of a sustainable resource economy for rural communities.

The American Forest Foundation seeks an enthusiastic servant leader with a passion for innovation in conservation practices to join their team as the Senior Vice President, Conservation (SVP, Conservation). In this essential position, the contributions of the incoming SVP, Conservation will make lasting impact within and far beyond the organization as AFF works to drive conservation impact by connecting landowners with a national network of markets, funders, donors, and partners. Providing leadership and coaching to product owners and team directors, the SVP, Conservation champions high-level strategy and mentorship; guiding a portfolio of conservation impact strategies that connect landowners with a national network of partners, funders, donors, and markets to address climate change, biodiversity loss, mitigate catastrophic wildfire risk, and provide assurance for sustainable forest product supply chains!

As a member of AFF’s Leadership Team, the incoming SVP, Conservation will nurture the continuous development of a culture which promotes learning and exploration as well as growth to further AFF’s mission impact. The SVP, Conservation is a role which acts as both an advisor and shepherd, guiding highly experienced teams through professional expansion and programmatic achievements as a highly knowledgeable and trusted thought leader! The incoming SVP, Conservation leverages expertise in global conservation and sustainability frameworks to consistently position AFF ahead of emerging trends. Serving as the face of AFF and presenting the organization’s mission on a world stage, the SVP, Conservation expertly spearheads the conscientious dissemination of information to the public through numerous strategic channels; the ideal candidate for this amazing role develops and maintains a highly visible profile in the conservation world to connect to a wider market of actors and broaden AFF’s mission impact.

As AFF’s strategic needs evolve, flexibility and credibility are crucial characteristics for the Senior Vice President, Conservation to possess! This position is responsible for creating the standards by which staff construct and apply feasible impact strategies to prioritized conservation demands.


  • Work with six team leaders to recalibrate milestones, budgets, and investment strategy; setting a course for measurable and verifiable impacts; ensuring the ability to scale and meet the conservation needs within a balanced financial model.

  • Partner with the Leadership Team to identify and solve organizational issues that are impeding implementation of the organization’s strategy.

  • Oversee a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) evaluation of AFF’s conservation programs to identify where unintended bias may be affecting beneficiaries of the organization’s work.

  • Build and enhance relationships with the leaders of national conservation partner organizations, Federal agencies, as well as leaders in the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention network.

  • Represent AFF at key events to convey the vision of the organization’s impact strategy and the vital role family forest owners play in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, mitigating catastrophic wildfire risk, and providing assurance for sustainable forest product supply chains.


  • Senior Leadership

    • Consistently engages with internal stakeholders as a member of AFF’s Leadership Team.

    • Acts as both supervisor and mentor to Program Directors; coaching and team leadership skills are paramount!

    • Champions financial planning and administration for multiple program and cross departmental budgets.

    • Consistently contributes to the development of a strong, diverse, and healthy organizational culture.

  • Conservation/Forestry Expertise

    • Proactively maintains knowledge to ensure conservation theory expertise is current.

    • Harnesses practical experience in forestry and forest product supply chains

    • Builds familiarity with global sustainable development frameworks and assurance systems.

  • Credibility & Profile

    • Serves as primary point of contact with the National Association of State Foresters, as well as senior leadership with the US Department of Agriculture.

    • Provides thought leadership through written articles and public presentations positioning AFF’s conservation impact.

    • Possesses demonstrated skill in working effectively and inclusively with partners from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, natural resource management, or relevant discipline.

  • 15+ years of progressive leadership experience in the natural resource management, public policy, or related field.

  • Advanced knowledge of US forests and experience working with forest conservation issues.

  • Supportive mentor, and natural coach with a genuine passion for leading nimble, high-powered teams to success in ever-changing environments; proven success overseeing influential programs, departments, and staff.

  • Experience successfully directing a major program or department; demonstrated ability to develop and implement both vision and strategy for large functional areas/departments and significant programs.

  • Expertise in synthesizing, interpreting, and communicating scientific information to diverse constituencies.

  • Demonstrated success in bringing diverse groups together for a common cause.

  • Proven ability to think strategically, analyze critically, and translate ideas into actions.

  • Previous budgetary oversight within a multi-million-dollar organization ($5M+).

  • Experience developing and administering Federal grants.

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and cultivate positive relationships with partner organizations as well as external volunteer networks.

  • Integrity to uphold stringent confidentiality protocols regarding sensitive matters with tact and discretion.

  • Expertise in critical analysis, strategic thinking, and translating concepts; constructing business reports, procedurals, and correspondences as well as presenting these materials to a range of stakeholders from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

  • Ability and willingness to allocate 30% of working schedule to travel.

In addition to a competitive base salary (DOE), AFF also provides employees with a generous benefits package which includes Health, Vision & Dental Insurance, FSA, HSA, EAP, life insurance, 401(k), short and long-term disability, a fitness reimbursement program, generous paid time off, paid sick leave, and 11 paid holidays per year!

American Forest Foundation has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter, formatted in Microsoft Word, via:

Please address applications to:

Elissa Dumiak, Senior Executive Search Principal
Scion Executive Search
(888) 487-8850

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

The American Forest Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity and equity in all facets of the organization’s work. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.

Scion Executive Search is a national award-winning executive search firm. Since 2006, we have had the pleasure of successfully placing hundreds of exceptional leaders to organizations with incredible missions and programs. Our track record and recruitment process has made us one of the top recruitment firms in the nation!

We are proud to be part of the Forbes lists of the Best Executive Search Firms and the Best Recruitment Firms in America. Additionally, we have been recognized as a recruitment leader by ClearlyRated, as well as a top recruitment firm by The Business Times for over ten years running; additional information about Scion Executive Search can be found online.

Scion Executive Search, a division of Scion Staffing, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and service provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or belief, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent.

This job has now been filled, visit our search page for more jobs like this.