Vice President of Conservation Programs

Northeast Wilderness Trust Published: April 4, 2024
17 State Street, Ste 302, Montpelier, VT
Second Location
Northeast Region, VT 05602, United States of America
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director / Natural Resources/ Restoration / Program Management

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Northeast Wilderness Trust’s (NEWT) mission is to conserve forever-wild landscapes for nature and people. We safeguard over 82,000 wild acres across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Northeast Wilderness Trust is the only regional land trust focused exclusively on rewilding through forever-wild conservation. We believe in the immense value of wilderness, both for its intrinsic value and for its unique role to reverse the biodiversity crisis, mitigate climate change, and provide solace to the human spirit. 

A new position, the Vice President of Conservation Programs has overall responsibility for leading Northeast Wilderness Trust’s Land Protection, Stewardship, and Wildlands Ecology programs.  Working as a collaborative leader that ties these critical programs together, the VP of Conservation Programs is responsible for managing a staff of three direct reports and overseeing programs that have a growing staff.

  • Position: Vice President of Conservation Programs
  • Reports to: President/CEO
  • Position Type: Full-time, salaried
  • Location: Montpelier, VT strongly preferred–an office/work-from-home hybrid system.  Remote from other locations in the Northeast, with required quarterly travel to Montpelier, will be considered. 
  • Starting Salary: $105-000-$115,000 D.O.E.

The Opportunity:

The Vice President of Conservation Programs will arrive at a time of remarkable growth and opportunity at Northeast Wilderness Trust.  The Wilderness Trust has grown from a small grassroots effort to a regionally recognized and respected organization with staff across four states working to dramatically increase the pace of wilderness conservation and champion the wilderness idea.  The organization is currently working towards a goal of protecting an additional 100,000 forever-wild acres by 2030. 

The VP of Conservation Programs collaborates with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other senior staff to develop and implement the organization’s strategic plan.  In doing so, the VP of Conservation Programs provides leadership and direction for the success of the organization’s core programs by establishing, maintaining and evaluating long range objectives and strategies for accomplishing those objectives.   The VP of Conservation Programs will initially develop deep knowledge of each program, program operations and systems, and will focus on the following three areas: program leadership and management, external relations, and knowledge management. 

The ideal candidate is someone who has a deep commitment to wilderness and the value of such places in the modern context, as well as management experience to lead a dynamic and growing team.

What You Will Do:

Program Leadership & Management:

  • Provide direction and oversee the Land Protection, Stewardship, and Wildlands Ecology programs;
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance;
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth;
  • Work with staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management;
  • Serve as a member of the leadership team;
  • Support the CEO in board management and relations;
  • Enhance, flesh out, and implement organizational vision as established in Northeast Wilderness Trust’s Strategic Plan;
  • With a focus on Staff Values, strive to maintain continuity throughout growth phase.

External Relationships:

  • With a focus on expanding programs, serve as an exemplary Northeast Wilderness Trust advocate across New England and New York;
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders and constituencies, including, but not limited to, funding organizations, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations.

Knowledge Management:

  • Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge that is generated by the teams and across programs;
  • Develop systems to share organizational learning with a broad range of communities;
  • Ensure that key project outcomes are evaluated and leveraged for maximum organizational impact;
  • Work collaboratively with the senior management team to integrate cross-program activities and functions.

What You Will Bring:

  • At least 10 years of successful experience managing multiple teams across an organization at a land trust or conservation organization;
  • A passionate commitment to wild nature and a deep understanding of wilderness values;
  • A commitment to candid and transparent communications;
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and team-oriented work environment;
  • Willingness to work outside of your job description and work collaboratively with the team on changing priorities and a variety of projects simultaneously;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with a variety of staff and partners.


Northeast Wilderness Trust offers competitive and progressive benefits including: medical, dental and vision insurance; 401k retirement plan with 4% employer match, life insurance, generous paid time off, parental leave, flexible scheduling; and sabbatical leave.  A moving stipend is available. 

Anticipated Start Date: Spring/Summer 2024

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a one-page cover letter, resume, three professional references, and answers to the questions below, as a single combined PDF to with the subject “Vice President of Conservation Programs.”  Application deadline is March 31, 2024, with review and interviews happening on a rolling basis.

Please limit responses to no more than 250 words per question:

  1. Why are you interested in working for Northeast Wilderness Trust?
  2. Why does conserving forever-wild land in the Northeast matter to you?
  3. Please describe your experience relevant to the position’s three core responsibilities.

Northeast Wilderness Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a just and equitable world and workplace.  We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.

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