Search Begins for AOK Executive Director

Posted Friday January 17, 2020

Audubon of Kansas (AOK) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, dedicated to advocating for wildlife and prairie conservation.  It is focused on Kansas as well as other prairie states in the Central Plains.  AOK is neither administered nor funded by the National Audubon Society.  Its mission is to promote the enjoyment, understanding, protection, and restoration of the state’s natural ecosystems with a focus on birds, other wildlife, and their habitat for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. AOK seeks to establish a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic in the central Great Plains.

AOK’s Executive Director (ED), who reports to AOK’s Board of Trustees, is responsible for the overall programmatic, administrative, and financial matters of the organization. He/she is the public face and spokesperson for the organization and works closely with ranchers, farmers, legislators, agency officials, educators, environmentalists, and others throughout the region. AOK’s Executive Director also works closely with its Board of Directors to fund the organization, to develop and set its policies, and to lead the programmatic direction of AOK.  Current aspects of AOK, which the ED would be expected to oversee, include AOK’s annual Celebration of Cranes, a network of sanctuaries, and the campaign to restore senior water rights to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.  

Central to AOK’s program and to the Executive Director’s work are:  

  1. Maintaining a vibrant communications culture, including providing material for e-news, website updates [], and AOK’s publication, Prairie Wings; 
  2. Advocating on major conservation issues, such as Quivira’s water rights, industrial wind-plant siting, prairie dog and black-footed ferret conservation, and control of Old World Bluestems; 
  3. Preparing timely financial reports and annual budgets for the Board of Trustees;
  4. Managing AOK’s network of sanctuaries; and
  5. Other duties as assigned by the board.

Amongst AOK’s long-range goals are the creation of a five-million-dollar endowment and establishing AOK chapters in every part of Kansas, involving every demographic. AOK also looks forward to developing a dynamic network of members and volunteers and to advancing the use of media to tell AOK’s story.


Essential Qualifications

  • A relevant academic degree 
  • Commitment to broad environmental concerns
  • Financial and budget management skills
  • Leadership experience in non-profit, business, or organizational management
  • Superior writing and communication skills, including public speaking
  • Ability to organize grassroots activities
  • Commitment to enhancing ethnic diversity within the environmental movement
  • Experience with environmental advocacy—on the agency, legislative, or grassroots level
  • Effective fundraising and grant-writing skills
  • Ability to take direction, to work constructively with diverse groups and individuals, and to lead in a collaborative manner
  • Creative thinking, diligent planning, and ability to follow through
  • Self-motivation and the ability to motivate others

Additional Desirable Qualifications

  • Degree in wildlife biology, prairie studies, nature education, or ecosystem restoration
  • Experience with land management
  • Experience with nature education
  • Experience with ecosystem restoration
  • Experience with or knowledge of regenerative agriculture



APPLY: Send electronic letter of interest and resume to the following three addresses:                           
Gary Haden, Chair-elect, Board of Trustees,
Margy Stewart, Chair, Board of Trustees,
Beth Schultz, Chair, Search Committee,
Review of applications will begin March 1, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.   The starting date is anticipated to be no later than October 1, 2020.

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