Managing Director of Conservation

Lowcountry Land Trust Published: May 17, 2018
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Policy / Program Management /

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~ Founded in 1986, Lowcountry Land Trust (LLT) is committed to conserving the place we love, forever. LLT is one of the largest holders of conservation interests in the state with over 138,000 acres of protected lands comprised of 500+ protected properties. ~

The South Carolina coast inspires like few other places. The Lowcountry is internationally renowned for its rich history, natural beauty, and unique cultural heritage. The Lowcountry is defined by its diverse landscape – one that includes thriving cities and towns, pristine beaches, bustling resort communities, snaking salt and freshwater river systems and myriad forest habitats. Working farms surround small rural towns, and wild areas offer endless marshlands, meandering waterways, and abundant wildlife. More than any single element, it is the interplay of these outstanding resources that makes the Lowcountry special.

The Opportunity

LLT staff and its Board of Trustees are committed to taking a leadership role in proactive, comprehensive regional conservation. Over thirty years of conservation success has solidified LLT’s reputation as a dynamic organization working to achieve tangible, holistic outcomes across our coastal plain communities. Ultimately, the Lowcountry is defined by the relationship between people and the land, and our success in nurturing this land ethic both supports our work and charts our future.

The Lowcountry is rich with opportunity – from motivated landowners possessing the land ethic for perpetual conservation, to communities working together to protect their cultural and historic assets, to businesses seeking conservation outcomes to support sustainable economic growth. We value all of the relationships that sustain our community. The Managing Director of Conservation position is critical to the successful execution of the Land Trust’s conservation goals.

As a member of the staff Leadership Team, the Managing Director of Conservation works closely with the President & CEO and other team members on the strategic direction of the organization. Collaborating with the Director of Conservation Operations & Outreach, and the Director of Science & Stewardship, this position is charged with managing the overall acquisitions and stewardship programs. She/he also provides strategic development and management support, as well as coordinates the work of the conservation team with policy, communications, outreach and philanthropy.

The Job

The Managing Director of Conservation will be responsible for management and oversight of our acquisition program including: conservation easement transactions, fee simple transactions, mitigation projects, multi-sector partnerships, and public policy. This position is also responsible for providing high-level guidance to the science & stewardship and outreach programs overseen, respectively, by the Director of Science & Stewardship and Director of Conservation Operations & Outreach.

The Managing Director of Conservation will be a skilled negotiator, strong communicator, have the ability to work with diverse stakeholders, and effectively manage a dynamic, highperforming team by setting objectives and measuring performance. The candidate is committed to LLT’s mission, self-motivated, collaborative, is a energetic leader and emotionally intelligent. The candidate should have strong written and oral communication skills to convey complex information in concise and effective ways; a demonstrated capacity to build strong, diverse relationships; success as a team leader through direct supervision and/or project leadership, as well as the ability to work independently. This full-time position reports to the President & CEO.


Conservation Department Responsibilities:

  • Define and direct the Trust’s conservation initiatives
  • In partnership with the President & CEO and Board of Trustees, develop comprehensive conservation plans
  • Lead process for investigation, analysis, identification and development of conservation focus areas and projects
  • Oversee development of acquisition/land protection projects for the Trust, including:
    • Prepare and implement acquisition and protection strategies, negotiate donations and purchases of conservation easements, draft conservation easements, and oversee the management of all projects to completion with Project Managers
    • Provide strategic outreach to private landowners, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other resource managers and stakeholders, with an emphasis on priority conservation areas identified in the Trust’s conservation plan
    • Ensure thorough due diligence investigation and documentation to the highest standards of conservation ethics
  • Represent the Trust in a wide range of conservation partnerships and public presentations
  • Ensure appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place in the acquisition of conservation easements or fee land, utilizing appropriate legal and other outside professional advice
  • In concert with the President & CEO and the Board of Trustees, develop public policy that strengthens conservation efforts
  • Oversee and lead program staff
  • Work with a committed staff to deliver on the strategic goals of the organization Organizational Management Responsibilities
  • Serve as a member of the Trust's leadership team and help grow and guide the organization
  • Supervise acquisition and protection, science and stewardship, and outreach staff by working collaboratively to set objectives, measure performance, and encourage professional development
  • Inspire and train acquisition and protection, science and stewardship, and outreach staff
  • Collaborate with Leadership Team to develop organizational policies and ensure organizational compliance with said policies
  • Create budgets and organizational thinking related to overall organizational goals and programs
  • Ensures compliance with national standards and practices for all aspects of the organization
  • Prepares and oversees the land trust accreditation renewal process


Experience Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in Natural Resources or equivalent; graduate degree in law or business preferred
  • Experience with conservation planning
  • Experience managing staff and measuring performance
  • Demonstrated success in the development and management of large, complex land protection projects; expertise in systematically and thoroughly managing a dynamic portfolio of projects within defined quality assurance policies and procedures
  • Success in working with multiple partners on conservation projects
  • Experience conducting due diligence, negotiations, and structure of sophisticated financial, conservation and other transaction terms
  • Expertise in obtaining funds from public and private sources for land and conservation easement acquisitions
  • Success in cultivating and leveraging partnership opportunities for maximum conservation value
  • Demonstrated success in development and implementation of outreach strategies to cultivate and develop a pipeline of land protection projects
  • Must have a strong public presence — articulate, optimistic and energetic — with the ability to motivate and inspire people at all levels
  • Expertise in developing and administering budgets
  • A strong track record of collaboration and partnership with varying stakeholders in development of successful conservation projects
  • Experience working effectively with landowners, board members, major donors, volunteers and other conservation organizations
  • Conservation, not for profit organization, and/or public agency experience preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience that demonstrates: problem solving, resourcefulness, creativity, strategic planning and execution/implementation, and an ability to anticipate needs

Personal Characteristics - The Lowland Country Land Trust places a great deal of value in applicants that display the following personal characteristics:

  • Integrity – Is widely trusted and seen as a direct, truthful individual; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent her/himself for personal gain
  • Approachability – Is easy to approach and talk to; spends extra effort to put people at ease; can be warm, pleasant, and gracious; is sensitive to and patient with interpersonal anxieties of others; builds rapport well; is a good listener
  • Interpersonal Skills – Relates well to all kinds of people, inside and outside the organization; builds appropriate rapport; listens; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; truly values people; can diffuse even high tension situations comfortably
  • Negotiation Skills – Can negotiate skillfully in tough situations with both internal and external groups; can settle differences with relative ease; can win concessions without damaging relationships; can be both direct and forceful, as well as diplomatic; gains trust quickly of other parties to the negotiations; has a good sense of timing
  • Planning Skills – Accurately scopes out length and difficulty of tasks and projects; sets objectives and goals; breaks down work into the process steps; develops schedules and task/people assignments; anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks; measures performance against goals; evaluates results
  • Perseverance – Pursues everything with energy, drive, and a need to finish; seldom gives up before finishing, especially in the face of resistance
  • Problem Solving – Uses rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective solutions; probes all fruitful sources for answers; can see hidden problems; conducts honest analysis; looks beyond the obvious and does not stop at the first answers
  • Action Oriented – Enjoys working hard; is full of energy for the things he/she sees as challenging
  • Results Oriented and Accountable – Can be counted on to achieve goals consistently
  • Written Communication – Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that have the desired effect
  • Discretion – Is able to deal with sensitive issues and information in a professional and, as required, confidential manner
  • Team Oriented – works effectively with others; actively contributes to the achievement of group and organizational goals; accepts shared responsibility and ownership of projects.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below to email send a cover letter, resume, and references to Ashley Demosthenes.  
  • For questions, please contact Ellen Blake at 843-577-6510 ext. 682.

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

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