Chief Executive Officer
Rainforest Trust works with local communities and conservation leaders to save endangered species by protecting at-risk rainforests and tropical habitats through land purchase and the designation of protected areas.
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The Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Trust reports to its Board of Directors and is ultimately responsible for managing all aspects of the organization. The key challenges for the new CEO include:
Vision and strategy
Lead Rainforest Trust Board and staff in developing a new strategic plan with clearly defined priorities, goals, funding expectations, and measures of success. Especially important will be to determine how best to identify opportunities for growth and scale, and to emphasize areas that have the greatest mission aligned impact. Once the plan is in place, the CEO will be expected to galvanize and coalesce staff, Board, and other stakeholders in ensuring its successful implementation.
Development and donor engagement
Cultivate and steward existing and new donors for Rainforest Trust. Serve personally as a dynamic and active fundraiser for the organization and ensure a strong and well-supported development team.
Communications and public representation
Champion Rainforest Trust’s vision, values, achievements, and potential to broad audiences, including donors, project partners, policymakers, and private sector leaders. Raise the profile of the organization and strengthen its messaging and media presence.
Organizational leadership and management
Serve as an inspiring, accessible, and supportive staff leader, promoting an organizational culture that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse, highly talented team. Reinforce rigor, quality, clarity, and transparency of communication and decision-making. Promote constructive and collegial collaboration among departments.
Ensure the organization’s fiscal sustainability and continue its record of disciplined, lean financial management. Following upon strategic planning, assess its structure, operations, policies, staffing, business model, and funding requirements and make adjustments as appropriate. Strengthen and creatively leverage the use of technology in all aspects of the organization’s work. Ensure exceptional stewardship and hold to very high standards to ensure the integrity of the organization’s operations on behalf of its public trust.
Reinforce and extend Rainforest Trust’s partnerships with in-country NGOs and governments, helping organizations working at the community level to design and implement projects that are rigorous and will succeed and endure. Build productive collaborations, where appropriate, with other international conservation organizations in such engagements as the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Partnership and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Engage the Board in helping to set organizational vision and serving as ambassadors for Rainforest Trust. Keep Board members well informed and energized about the organization’s ongoing activities and provide them with concise information to exercise sound policy and fiduciary oversight. Reinforce the important role of Board members in helping to cultivate potential donors.
Qualifications and Experience:
For this pivotal CEO role, Rainforest Trust seeks a leader and spokesperson who is passionate about the organization’s mission and legacy, committed to its standards of excellence, and farsighted about its future potential. Rainforest Trust welcomes a CEO who is prepared to take calculated risks, will lead by example, and will make hard choices. At the same time, the organization requires an inspirational and diplomatic leader who will motivate, support, and coalesce staff, encourage a culture of transparency, and will ensure an operationally high-performing and fiscally strong organization. The CEO must be sufficiently knowledgeable about wildlife conservation and land protection to be a highly credible representative of Rainforest Trust with its partners and donors worldwide.
An ideal candidate for the CEO position at Rainforest Trust will bring many of the following
professional experiences and personal attributes:
- 15+ years of work experience, ideally in wildlife conservation. Experience working
on-the-ground outside the U.S. preferred. Experience negotiating land purchases or
designations would be a distinct asset.
- Record of senior leadership and effective management within a complex organization.
Experience managing growth and change. Proven business acumen, including discipline
and focus in setting priorities and meeting or exceeding goals. Strengths in recruiting,
developing, motivating, and retaining high-potential staff.
- Fundraising skills. Ideally significant experience raising funds from a variety of sources,
especially individuals and private foundations. Without question, an enthusiasm for
fundraising and willingness to be actively engaged in development.
- Very strong communication and presentation skills, including in public speaking. A keen
sense of marketing. Experience with media, including social media, would be an
- Track record of building and participating in successful cross-sector partnerships.
- Experience working with or reporting to a volunteer board would be an advantage.
- Demonstrated commitment to and experience in advancing diversity, equity, and
- An outgoing, open personality. Authenticity and approachability. The ability to connect
with people at all levels, across cultures and communities.
- Entrepreneurial spirit and drive.
- High integrity, gracious self-confidence, and good humor.
- B.A. required; relevant postgraduate degree strongly preferred.
- Willingness to travel internationally as much as 30-50% of the time, to field locations, to
meet with donors, and to otherwise represent the organization.
How to Apply:
Inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including resumes and 1-3-page letters of interest responding to the objectives outlined above) should be sent electronically to:
Karen Wilcox and Tatiana Oberkoetter
263 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Applications will be held in strict confidence.
In the administration of its employment policies and practices, Rainforest Trust does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status, matriculation, political affiliation or genetic information.