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Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands-First Nations Development Institute

Position Title: Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands 

Reports to: Vice President – Administration and Programs 

Job Level: Exempt 

Supervises: Senior Program Officers & others 

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is a 40-year-old Native American controlled nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. Stewarding Native Lands is an emerging program intended to catalyze Native ecological stewardship and improve Native control of tribal and ancestral lands and natural resources. The Director of Programs is instrumental in guiding the direction and strategy of this emerging program. The Director will work to advocate on behalf of Tribal communities and engage in critical conversation and research to advance Tribal ecological stewardship and natural resources management in Indian Country. This position will build on existing partnerships and projects in addition to engaging new partners and stakeholders to generate new opportunities and investments in Indian Country. 

  ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/RESPONSIBILITIES · Provides thought leadership and visibility for First Nations’ strategies and actions with external audiences, partners, and communities. This includes designing new programs and strategies, participating as a keynote speaker, and serving as a resource nationally, as well as serving as a member of industry panels and other activities in areas directly related to mission and work of First Nations. · Assists First Nations’ team in developing a comprehensive program strategy that ensures alignment with the conservation and stewardship priorities of Native communities, Tribes, and partners. · Advises First Nations’ team in setting priorities for collaborative work and partnership development. · Stewards crucial partnerships to effectively implement key strategies and communicate success among multiple audiences. The Director will also be expected to generate new work and new partnerships in the specified program areas. · Assists with the development of marketing and communications materials and social media and reviewing donor communications with program messaging. · Assists with strategic fundraising and relationship building related to program areas (in coordination with the senior leadership team), including grant writing. · Guides or conducts research on key issues related to ecological stewardship of Tribal lands and natural resource management. The Director serves as a research and evaluation expert for First Nations and provides input to other staff and programs on any research and evaluation projects as needed. · Develops and delivers a new training curriculum as identified. · Provides oversight of all projects under the program portfolio and manage some projects directly. Project management activities may include but are not limited to: o Development of overall project plan, including key milestones, assigned resources, and timelines.

o Designing of evaluation plans and tools. o Management or implementation of all aspects of one or more complex projects to include integrated evaluation, monitoring, and reporting. o Design of agendas for sessions and workshops at annual conferences and convenings. o Design, implementation, and delivery of training and technical assistance curriculum through onsite and offsite trainings and workshops at conferences and by phone. o Engagement and management of consultants/field staff working under projects. o Oversight of project financials, which may include multiple funding sources. o Timely and accurate reporting to funders. · Manages assigned direct reports by setting goals, providing feedback and coaching on performance, conducting annual performance evaluations, and ensuring professional and career development and training, as appropriate. · Manages assigned program officers and senior program officers by also providing direction and support. 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS · Master’s degree in ecology and conservation, forestry, natural resources management, environmental science, or related field · Scientific and traditional knowledge of ecosystem function and potential threats to those systems on Tribal lands · Understanding of conservation and ecological stewardship in association within Indigenous cultures, values, and economic development · Knowledge and experience in revenue development · Understanding of potential land acquisitions and environmental threats from current and historical land uses · Knowledge of ecology, forestry, natural resources management, environmental science, or related field · At least three years of successful management/leadership experience in the field of ecological stewardship · Adept at integrating program and development strategies to drive funding · At least three years of related work experience or equivalent combination of experience and research, project management, and/or policy development functions. · At least three years of experience managing and mentoring direct reports and leading an effective team · Frequent travel required, two to three times per month · Demonstrated competency in strategic planning and new program/concept design · Mastery of strategic relationship building · Exceptional customer service skills · Strong conceptual analytical skills and the ability to apply and adapt theory · An entrepreneurial attitude toward the generation of new work and new partnerships · Knowledge of American Indian and Alaska Native policy issues · Knowledge of government regulations and the legislative process as they pertain to Indian affairs and Tribal lands

· Proactive, adaptable, and resourceful in resource limited environments

· Exceptional communications skills – written and verbal for a range of audiences

· Patience, thoughtfulness, and a sense of humor


· PhD in ecology and conservation, forestry, natural resources management, environmental science, or related field

· Five or more years of relevant experience at an executive level

· Experience working with Native American communities

· Portfolio of published work and an established network in the publishing industry and/or academia

· Strong understanding of American Indian economies


· Expansion of the emerging Stewarding Native Lands program, measured by new projects established along strategic focus areas

· Establishment of strategic relationships that benefit First Nations

· Program timelines and expectations are met

· Budget parameters are met

· Effective program resource allocation (as measured by Supervisor)

· Teamwork and collaboration with all colleagues

· Direct reports receive:

o Frequent feedback and appropriate coaching

o Annual performance evaluation

o Training and development


Employer matched 403b Retirement Plan; Employer health insurance contribution; Health benefits package; Flexible Spending Plan; Paid Time Off; Holidays


To be determined


Submit a cover letter, resume and 3 references to Please note Program Director in the title of the email.