Department: Resilient Forests
Reports to: Senior Director, Landscapes Integration
Location: Remote in the state of California
FLSA Category: Exempt
Post Date: May 11, 2023
American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restoring urban forests and forested landscapes for nearly 150 years.
American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.
Climate change is a major threat to the stability of ecosystems across the forested regions of California. Higher temperatures, exaggerated summer droughts, and an onset of pest/disease outbreaks are straining forest health and resulting in extended wildfire seasons – thus increasing the need for climate smart reforestation across high intensity fire scars at scale. Simultaneously, due to the scale at which reforestation is being considered as a restoration tool, we have the monumental task of scaling up workforce capacity, seed sourcing logistics, and removing pinch points across California’s complex Reforestation Pipeline. Managing these many overlapping projects in a way that honors place-based knowledge/partners while prioritizing climate science is the key to both ecological and social success during these times of rapid change and uncertainty.
The California State Director will direct American Forests’ growing California Team in creating resilient forest landscapes through collaborative conservation. This includes both managing and leveraging a robust portfolio of restoration projects on public and private lands with public and private funds and the overarching goal of accelerating the pace and scale of collective forest restoration across California. The position directly reports to the Senior Director of Landscapes Integration, but success of this position will require constant and two-way communication with all members of the CA Team.
A key focus of the State Director will be to support staff needs across the state and serve as the backbone for cross-state coordination while being responsible for the success of all California projects and programs. Ongoing collaboration amongst diverse partners, including state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, forest products industry and private landowners is necessary to continue to identify and develop opportunities to increase climate smart restoration treatments in the state.
American Forests has a long history of partnering with the USDA Forest Service, State of California, tribal nations, Conservation Districts, and others to implement restoration projects. Since 1991, the work has led to the planting of ~10 million trees in the state. This position will uphold the deep-rooted American Forests brand in California through authentic and need-driven problem solving and exceptional project and program execution while empowering both the team and CA partners to build back better!
Team Supervision/Support & Project/Program Oversite (60%)
- Conduct regular individual and team communications to ensure CA office culture, competency, and collaboration.
- Create and support individual work plans on an annual basis with multiple check-ins while creating or redirecting support tools as needed to ensure project/program goals are successful.
- Track GANNT charts, financial/program reports, and both invoicing and billing – in coordination with the CA Senior Manager and on-the-ground program leads in CA – to minimize risk tolerance and find creative funding solutions.
- Encourage cross-California consistency and collaboration mechanisms to ensure partner experiences and expectations are met while identifying and implementing efficiencies wherever possible in coordination with the Sr. Director of Landscapes Integration.
- Conduct site visits to evaluate restoration projects.
Strategic Scaling & Program Development (20%)
- Build upon and grow the current CA portfolio to replicate regional models across fire scars as appropriate with both local ecological and place-based considerations.
- Guide the strategic direction of the portfolio by identifying and developing impactful projects in other important landscapes to restore California’s forests in partnership with state and federal agencies.
- Align and secure public and private funds to support such projects and ensure development goals align with the organizations Climate-Smart restoration goals and impact model. This includes providing strategic pathways through relationship building followed by guidance and review of contracts and grant applications wherever appropriate or necessary.
- Strategic Scaling and Program Development efforts should take place in partnership with the Sr. Director of Integrated Landscapes as well as the Director of Forest and Restoration Science.
Partner Collaboration & Communication (10%)
- Build, maintain, enhance, and grow relationships with nonprofit conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, tribal governments, and other public and private forest conservation stakeholders. An emphasis should be placed on maintaining the keystone relationships that have been paved in the last 5 years.
- Serve as an external spokesperson for the organization on matters of forest restoration. This will include speaking at conferences and meetings as appropriate.
- Gather and share information from forest conservation projects in partnership with the Sr. Director of Landscapes Integration and the American Forests team. This could include contributing to blog posts, magazine articles and other communications pieces.
- Provide review and oversight of projects, including tracking project progress and documenting outcomes.
- Manage program budgets and financial reporting in close collaboration with the Finance and Business Operations team. Leaning on the Senior Manager of CA and reporting progress to the Senior Director of Landscapes Integration.
Education and Experience
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, natural resources, forest management, or another applicable field is required. While a master’s degree is preferred, equal work experience will be reviewed in lieu of.
- Experience in California forest conservation policy, and project and program activity.
- A proven track record in managing and guiding teams and an outstanding commitment to leadership.
- Demonstrated experience in risk management, financial overview, and creative program development.
- Experience developing innovative and creative conservation initiatives.
- Ability to generate measurable, on-the-ground results improving forest health.
Location & Working Conditions
American Forests’ headquarters is in downtown Washington, DC. This position is a remote position; however, it does require physical residence in the state of California.
Subject to applicable laws, American Forests requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. We will consider requests for accommodation to this vaccination requirement during the recruiting process. Any requested accommodation(s) must be reviewed and approved (if applicable) in advance of your start date.
Up to 15% of travel is required to engage with partners and colleagues, assess projects, and/or conduct fieldwork. The majority of time will be spent in a general office environment.
This position will support and supervise a growing team across the state of California including, the CA Senior Manager, a Northern and Southern Reforestation Manager, the Reforestation Pipeline Partnership Managers and the trickle-down Cone Corps as appropriate.
To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Forests is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.
If you are unable to submit your resume due to a disability, contact American Forests to request an accommodation or alternative application process.