Job Title: Senior Director of Urban Forestry
Department: Conservation Programs
Reports to: Vice President of Urban Forestry
FLSA Status: Exempt
Updated: June 7, 2019
SUMMARY: The senior director of urban forestry is responsible for planning and overseeing the implementation of American Forests’ urban initiatives. The equivalent of a chief operating officer for all urban forestry work, responsibilities include:
– Directing Community ReLeaf capacity-building initiatives in cities nationwide
– Directing Tree Equity: Career Pathways initiatives
– Directing Tree Equity: Climate & Health initiatives
– Directing Vibrant Cities Lab (vibrantcitieslab.com) updates and additions
– Supporting Federal urban forestry policy efforts
– Supporting urban forestry fund-raising efforts
– Communicating the work and values of American Forests to diverse audiences
– Developing new initiatives and other duties as assigned
Currently, three employees, contractors and a remote program fellow report to this position.
REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS: Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in urban forestry, natural resource management, forestry, environmental science, landscape architecture or related field. Working knowledge of the urban forestry discipline is required. Master’s degree in a relevant field and ISA Arborist certification are favorable.
REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: The ideal candidate is a self-motivated, interdisciplinary thinker with a passion for urban resilience and sustainability, entrepreneurial motivation, and attention to detail. The candidate should have strong personnel management, project management, and written / verbal communication skills. A minimum of five years of experience in the field of urban forestry is required. A combination of education and professional experience will be considered in determining relative candidate qualifications.
WORKING CONDITIONS: This position is mandatorily based at our headquarters in Washington, DC. Regular travel will be required outside of the Washington, DC area, including speaking at outdoor events and conferences. Most work will be in a general office environment, with some local meetings outside of the office.
A. Community ReLeaf City Partnerships (25 Percent)
American Forests’ place-based work focuses on implementing a comprehensive change model and tests innovations in select cities nationwide. This process includes developing partnerships, planning guided by science, advocating for policy and developing innovative financing, implementing tree planting and innovative land restoration projects, and communicating and replicating best practices.
Working closely with the senior manager and manager of Community ReLeaf, as well as other departments, develop and implement strategies to significantly increase urban forestry capacity in each Community ReLeaf partner city. Launch initiatives in new cities as needs and opportunities arise.
B. Tree Equity (30 Percent)
Access to a robust, healthy tree canopy and rewarding careers is valuable for all communities, but too often lower income and communities of color have disproportionately lower tree canopy.
Working closely with the senior manager of Tree Equity and other departments, develop and implement initiatives that increase low-income people of color’s access to and retention in urban forestry and other green careers. This includes publishing and promoting a Career Pathways toolkit and expanding national movement leadership and place-based impact.
Working closely with the Rhode Island Climate & Health Fellow, oversee implementation of a new initiative focused on expanding tree canopy in communities of the need for maximum climate and public health benefits. Deliverables include GIS-based analyses, forestry guides for climate optimization, Learning Lab workshops to train municipal urban forest managers, increasing capacity and markets for City Forest Credits (cityforestcredits.org), and developing a Tree Equity Score rating system.
C. Vibrant Cities Lab (vibrantcitieslab.com) (10 percent)
Vibrant Cities Lab is the curated online hub of urban forestry expertise and best practices. American Forests developed this resource with the US Forest Service and National Association of Regional Councils. We are primarily responsible for its ongoing management.
Working closely with the senior advisor of urban forestry and other departments, develop and implement a strategy for gathering and updating content, adding new features, promoting the site to target audiences, and securing ongoing funding to support site management.
D. Federal Urban Forestry Policy (5 percent)
American Forests is the leading organization advancing national urban forestry policy. Working closely with the Policy department, aid in the development and implementation of innovative strategies for increasing federal support for urban forestry, through legislation, diversified agency support, and increased funding levels for the Urban & Community Forestry program. Actions will support citizen advocacy, educating lawmakers, writing grant proposals, and working within the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (sufc.org) to raise the profile of urban forestry.
E. Fund-Raising and Communications (15 percent)
Working closely with Development and Communication departments, help develop and implement strategies and resources to increase funding for American Forests’ urban forestry work and to promote the work and values of American Forests through social media, speaking engagements, and publications.
F. Budgeting, Reporting and Other Duties (15 percent)
Working closely with the vice president of urban forestry and the chief operating officer, manage program budgets and reporting requirements. American Forests programs are always evolving and pushing new innovations, so this position will also be responsible for helping develop new initiatives and other duties as assigned.
American Forests is an equal opportunity employer.