Director of Urban Engagement

Westchester Land Trust Published: October 3, 2022
Location
Bedford Hills, NY
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
Planning / Land Use / Program Management

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Description

Westchester Land Trust (WLT) works with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity and to enhance the natural resources in Westchester and eastern Putnam counties—a densely populated region under persistent threat from the pressures of development.

Founded in 1988, WLT has preserved 9,000 acres of open space. More than 1,000 acres of land are owned by the organization which are free and open to the public year-round. WLT was one of the first land trusts in the nation to receive accreditation through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Westchester Land Trust is committed to persistent learning, educating, and training about race, bias, and systemic racism.

We are proactively adjusting our organizational systems, structures, and policies to increase equity, address opportunities for growth, and expand the spaces in our organizational culture for those who have not been historically included. Westchester Land Trust is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Diverse candidates and candidates with nontraditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

The Opportunity

This is a time of remarkable growth and opportunity at WLT, and the creation of the Director of Urban Engagement position reflects this exciting phase in organizational development. The Director of Urban Engagement (Director) will be at the forefront of establishing WLT as a leading urban conservation partner. They will develop strategies, programs, and projects that create or enhance community access to parks, trails, gardens, or other green spaces as guided by residents and local partners in historically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods.

The Director will be responsible for defining WLT’s long-term urban conservation strategy, developing key partnerships with public and private agencies and organizations, and creating a roadmap for the ultimate implementation of nature-based solutions in a way that provides social, economic, and environmental benefits, particularly in oppressed communities facing increased threats from climate change.

The ideal candidate will be an engaging leader, community organizer, strategic thinker, and influencer, who is passionate about increasing access to urban green spaces and excited to have a leadership role at WLT. The Director of Urban Engagement will report to the President and will be supported by staff who manage grants, land stewardship, land protection, and fundraising.

Location: The position is full-time, partially remote, based in Westchester County, NY with headquarters in Bedford Hills. Extensive local travel (up to 60%) which will be primarily in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop long-term urban conservation strategy and annual implementation plan. The plans will include the addition, enhancement, and permanent preservation of parks or other greenspace in selected communities, procedures for authentic community engagement, and collaborative initiatives that address community-guided environmental, economic, and social objectives. Develop metrics for success and evaluate regularly with leadership.
  • Develop a programmatic budget that can provide financial support for the intermediate and long-term implementation of the strategy. Work with WLT staff to ensure that public and private funds are raised, including the development and management of complex grant proposals.
  • Initiate outreach and cultivate relationships with pertinent partners at all levels (community and neighborhood levels to municipal officials, federal agencies and national funders).
  • Identify and secure participation opportunities local, regional, and national forums to showcase WLT’s approach, values and accomplishments in urban conservation and its partners.
  • Plan engagement, educational, and fundraising events and workshops with WLT staff and conservation and community partners.
  • Liaise with WLT’s Board of Directors, leading strategic discussions and providing progress updates.
  • Collaborate with communications staff to develop compelling annual and periodic reports for funders, interested parties, and partners.
  • Author thought-leadership pieces for WLT publications and local and regional media. Identify and message case studies that showcase urban conservation accomplishments, and the advancement of equity, inclusion, diversity, justice, and community leadership.
  • This position may eventually manage multi-disciplinary staff, with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development.
  • Work with WLT’s President, Vice President, and the Board to identify and problem solve around environmental injustice and inequity, and to expand access to, and protection of, green spaces in urban communities including Yonkers, New Rochelle, White Plains, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Port Chester, and others.

Qualifications

Required / Diverse candidates and candidates with nontraditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Director will have:

  • A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Affinity for work that combines social and environmental justice, community organizing, environmental and climate protection, economic advancement, and a commitment to working to achieve greater equity and respect for all.
  • A fervent belief in the importance of open spaces to the fabric of urban communities.
  • Experience in strategic planning, especially for early-stage endeavors.
  • Demonstrated mastery of persuasive written and verbal presentation skills.
  • Proficiency in developing and managing departmental or programmatic budgets.
  • Demonstrated program and project management capabilities.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications such as Teams, Word, and Excel; familiarity with digital platforms for social media and web application; basic understanding of online communications and project management platforms such as Zoom, Slack, and AirTable.
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines. • Substantial self-motivation and a commitment to working collaboratively.
  • 5-10 years of direct experience in urban conservation, community development, local or regional conservation planning, or local government program management.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends, and ability to travel for work (including a valid driver’s license, insurance, access to transportation). Business mileage is reimbursed.

Preferred:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience in community organizing.
  • Familiarity with Westchester County and its urban communities.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $100,000 - $105,000 Westchester Land Trust offers a collegial and supportive work environment, with a competitive benefits package, including merit bonuses, health insurance, retirement plan with employer match, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below to email cover letter and resume, with “Director of Urban Engagement” in the subject line.
  • No phone calls please.
  • Application Deadline Position open until filled. Expected start date of 1/2/2023
  • Applications received without a cover letter will not be reviewed.

WLT is an equal opportunity employer and acts in accordance with applicable law in all of our hiring and employment practices.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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