WildEarth Guardians

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Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management

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Deputy Director

Location: Remote with preference for Mountain or Pacific Time Zone

WildEarth Guardians seeks a dynamic, dedicated individual as a Deputy Director (DD). Reporting to, and closely partnering with, the Executive Director (ED) this new position will support Guardians as we continue our evolution and retain our resolve to drive systemic and durable change at this pivotal time. The DD will play a critical strategic leadership role in overseeing and guiding the organization’s programmatic and organizational efforts and will have the skills to operate on strategic, managerial, and hands-on levels. The DD will also partner with the ED and Development Director to secure funding to resource the vision and the work. The DD must bring high emotional intelligence and be committed to a culture of learning and growth. This permanent position is being created at WildEarth Guardians to support the organization in its next phase of growth and as it transitions (over the next two years) from an Executive Director who has served in the role for 20+ years to a new era of leadership.

Position Summary

The DD will be equal parts chief strategy officer and chief campaign driver and do both in close  partnership with the ED. Charting the future growth and strategic direction of WildEarth Guardians in a collaborative manner with other leaders is a key responsibility of this critical  leadership position. The DD will have both internal and external facing responsibilities, ranging  from project management to campaign development and oversight. The DD will play four key leadership roles in the organization which are: 1) being a strategic partner to the ED in vision  setting, strategic engagement and strategic planning; 2) working with Executive Team members  to identify opportunities and challenges and advance solutions; 3) partnering with and managing  the Conservation Director to guide the organization’s conservation work, and; 4) managing the  Legal and Organizing departments. Having the legal and organizing directors report to the DD underscores the importance of the DDs role in deploying these organizational resources—in collaboration with the Conservation Director—in service of conservation campaigns that seek durable outcomes.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Partner with the Executive Director, Conservation Director and Program Directors to  provide strategic capacity and guidance.
  • Develop thought leadership around specific topics/emerging practice areas.  • Analyzes needs, strategic plans and goals and participates in the development and  implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities in partnership with the  Conservation Director.
  • Support campaign, annual, and work planning.
  • Structure and lead teams to deliver outstanding conservation outcomes.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships both internally and externally.
  • Represent WildEarth Guardians in the western environmental advocacy space and other  public venues.
  • Play a key role in knowledge dissemination, reporting, and communications. Organizational support.
  • Partner with the ED and Executive team members in leadership activities (human  resources, administration, and organizational planning).
  • Ensure fiduciary accountability of programs, legal and organizing in collaboration with the Director of Finance & Operations.
  • Partner with Conservation Director to ensure effective staff deployment/workload  balancing and growth opportunities on the conservation program side.
  • With an eye towards current and future needs and realities, partner with Executive Team  members to identify and implement best practices and improve systems across all aspects  of the organization.
  • Contribute to the creation, implementation and roll out of plans for processes, internal  infrastructures, reporting systems and organizational policies for growth, inclusion and a  sustainably healthy culture.
  • Support internal communications to ensure transparency and appropriate information  sharing.
  • Partner with the ED and Development Team to cultivate and solicit select donors and  foundations.
  • Partner with the Executive Team on budgeting/finance duties.
  • Provide mentoring, coaching; be visible and approachable; be a sounding board/resource for staff and colleagues.


Strategic vision, emotional intelligence, integrity, and kindness are essential for this position. Additional preferred qualifications are listed below. However, we seek the right person, not a checklist of qualifications, and welcome candidates who show similar or alternative qualifications. We also enthusiastically encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, and candidates with diverse lived experience to apply.

  • 10+ years in a management position in a nonprofit organization, foundation, or government agencies, though we may consider candidates with fewer years of experience but exceptional potential.
  • Highly intelligent and sincerely curious, advanced degree a plus.
  • Knowledge and understanding of political, social, economic, conservation, and ecological dynamics in the American West.
  • Track record of achieving positive results, earning respect and trust, and success in leadership roles.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and execute on multiple tasks.
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain authentic relationships with a wide array of people – junior and senior, conservation partners, donors, communities, volunteers, etc., and from diverse backgrounds.
  • Eagerness to hear others’ ideas and engage in discussions aimed at inclusive and effective problem-solving and strategy development.
  • Commitment to learn from mistakes and work on areas of weakness.
  • Ability to work effectively both in teams and independently.
  • Commitment to ensure our equity, inclusion and justice values are woven into the organization’s work and culture.
  • Willingness to stand resolute in the face of opposition.
  • Ability to respond to changing circumstances with flexibility.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills that include understanding the importance of transparency, tact, discretion, and diplomacy and when to deploy them.
  • Passionate about WildEarth Guardians’ mission and impact.
  • Some fundraising experience a plus, but willingness to learn fundraising cultivation and solicitation skills is a must.
  • Self-starter, self-disciplined, delivers work in timely fashion, and communicates when flexibility is needed.
  • Demonstrated teamwork, solidarity, accountability, courage, tenacity, trust-building and innovation.
  • Grit and the ability to remain focused in the face of pressure and urgency.


$100,000 – $110,000 (commensurate with level of expertise)


WildEarth Guardians offers a flexible and generous benefits package for staff. Benefits for full-time staff include 100% medical and dental employee coverage paid for by the employer, vision, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment, paid and unpaid health and family leave, a sabbatical policy, sick leave, three weeks paid vacation to start, and fourteen holidays including 5 floating holidays to be taken at any time. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees to correspond to the employee’s schedule: holiday, vacation, sick time, 403(b) retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment. Part-time employees are not eligible for health coverage or sabbatical leave.

To Apply

Please apply to the link on this page and fill out our application. No telephone calls, please. If you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please email apply@wildearthguardians.org.

Deadline to Apply

The application deadline has passed and we are no longer receiving new applications. All submitted applications are now in review. Thank you.

Equal Opportunity Employer

WildEarth Guardians is an Equal Opportunity Organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family/marital status, religion or other protected classes. We strongly encourage applications from historically excluded communities.

ADA Statement

WildEarth Guardians committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with our commitment, WildEarth Guardians, will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to fully participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact apply@wildearthguardians.org.

About WildEarth Guardians

Founded in 1989, WildEarth Guardians is a west-wide environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Santa Fe, NM. The organization has offices in Denver, CO, Missoula, MT, Boise, ID, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Tucson, AZ, as well as several remote staff. We have a 33-year history of securing durable environmental protections that preserve endangered species and other wildlife, advance pioneering supply-side climate policy, ensure living rivers and protect public lands. We do this by pursuing innovative and sustained legal campaigns, bold and creative policy and legislative solutions at both the state and federal levels and by mobilizing grassroots and grasstops constituencies. All this work is in service of our mission to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health in the western U.S.

For more information, please visit www.wildearthguardians.org/about-us

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