Director, Southeastern Forest Restoration

American Forests

Remote, Remote

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 80,000-100,000
Deadline Jul 28, 2024
Required Experience 7+ years



American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restoring urban forests and forested landscapes for nearly 150 years.  

American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.  


The Forest Restoration team supports American Forests’ efforts to advance landscape-scale, collaborative, climate-informed forest restoration through place-based partnerships and workforce development.  The team consists of managers, coordinators, foresters, scientists, analysts, and partnership experts who work collaboratively to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders and land managers.  We are seeking an exceptional leader with significant experience with diverse teams covering large geographies, forest management, and partnership building.  

The Southeast Director will lead American Forests’ growing team in the Southeastern United States (roughly Virginia to east Texas) in creating resilient forest landscapes through collaborative restoration and resilience treatments. This includes both managing and leveraging a robust portfolio of restoration projects on public and private lands with public and private funds to accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration across the Southeast. In addition to developing and directing a portfolio of restoration focused field-forestry projects and programmatic collaborations, the position will be responsible for building and maintaining a reputation as a thought leader for artificial and natural reforestation and restoration in the region by coordinating with agency, industry, and university researchers and managers to help solve complex forest management problems. The position directly reports to the Senior Director of Forest Restoration, but success in this position will require constant and two-way communication with all members of the Southeast and Forest Restoration program teams.  

American Forests has a long history of partnering with the USDA Forest Service, state agencies, tribal nations, Conservation Districts, and others to implement restoration projects. This position will develop American Forests brand in the Southeast through authentic and need-driven problem solving and exceptional project and program execution while empowering both the team and Southeast partners. 


Project Development and Completion (35%)  

  • In collaboration with regional and national leadership, develop and maintain relationships and place-based projects with federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as universities, NGOs, and private land managers. 
  • Produce necessary proposals, plans, applications, contracts, and agreements to implement and manage regional projects and initiatives.
  • Function as the project lead and organizational regional lead on region-wide projects and assist region staff on projects which they are managing. 
  • Conduct necessary data analysis, working group meetings, writing, presenting, etc. as specified in project agreements. 
  • Ensure projects are fully executed, meeting expectations of the land managers, funders, and American Forests. 
  • Conduct site visits to evaluate restoration projects. 

Strategic Scaling & Program Development (20%)  

  • With the support of the Forest Restoration team, develop and implement a program area strategy for Forest Restoration’ work in the southeast focused on strategic growth of our programmatic impacts for community and ecological resilience.  
  • Build upon and grow the current Southeast portfolio to replicate regional models across forested regions as appropriate with both local ecological and place-based considerations. 
  • Guide the strategic direction of the portfolio by identifying and developing impactful projects in important landscapes to restore Southeast forests in partnership with state and federal agencies, local governments, tribes, and private entities. 
  • Align and secure public and private funds to support such projects and ensure program development goals align with American Forests’ climate-informed restoration goals, impact model, and other relevant plans and best available science. This includes providing strategic pathways through relationship building followed by guidance and review of contracts and grant applications wherever appropriate or necessary.  
  • Strategic Scaling and Program Development efforts should take place in partnership with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration as well as the Director of Forest and Restoration Science.

Team Supervision/Support & Project/Program Oversite (15%)  

  • Provide support for regional staff including developing and maintaining organization-required employee specific work and development plans, and ensuring staff have access to necessary tools and resources. 
  • Track and manage project financials, work closely with program and operations staff to find creative funding solutions and ensure financial stewardship and excellence in project financial management. 
  • Coordinate with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration to encourage cross-region consistency and collaboration mechanisms, ensure partner experiences and expectations are met, and identify and implement efficiencies wherever possible. 

Partner Collaboration & Communication (10%)  

  • Build, maintain, enhance, and grow relationships with nonprofit conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, tribal governments, and other public and private forest resilience stakeholders. 
  • Serve as an external spokesperson for the organization on matters of forest restoration. This will include speaking at conferences and meetings as appropriate. 
  • Gather and share information from forest restoration and resilience projects in partnership with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration and the American Forests team. This could include contributing to blog posts, magazine articles and other communications pieces. 

Administration (10%)  

  • Provide review and oversight of projects, including tracking project progress and documenting outcomes. 
  • Manage program budgets and financial reporting in close collaboration with the Finance and Business Operations team. 
  • Manage staffing and staff resource needs working closely with Human Resource and Finance teams. 

Other Tasks and Duties (10%)  

  • The incumbent will provide input and assistance on projects in other regions based upon their specific area of expertise.


While we do not expect any one candidate to possess all of these qualifications, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal skills and qualities: 

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in forestry, natural resources, environmental science, or another applicable field.  Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience communicating complex management and scientific topics to a variety of audiences. 
  • Extensive experience with southeast forest types and operational reforestation, restoration, and resilience treatments and planning 
  • Region- and expertise-appropriate licenses, certificates, and credentials are preferred (e.g., California Registered Professional Forester, SAF Certified Forester, Certified Soil Scientist, ISA Certified Arborist, etc.) 
  • Demonstrated commitment to safety and employee well-being.  
  • A proven track record in managing and guiding teams and an outstanding commitment to leadership. 
  • Demonstrated experience in risk management, financial overview, and creative program development. 
  • Experience developing innovative and creative initiatives. 
  • Ability to generate measurable, on-the-ground results improving forest resilience.


American Forests’ headquarters is located in downtown Washington, DC. This position is a remote position; however, it does require physical residence within the region, preferably Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, or East Texas. 

Subject to applicable laws, American Forests requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. We will consider requests for accommodation to this vaccination requirement during the recruiting process. Any requested accommodation(s) must be reviewed and approved (if applicable) in advance of your start date. 


Up to 15% of travel is required to engage with partners and colleagues, assess projects, and/or conduct fieldwork. The majority of time will be spent in a general office environment.  



This position will develop, support, and supervise staff required for the program of work in which the incumbent builds.  Additional positions are likely to be added to the program as workload and funding permit.  

American Forests is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. 

Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide access to all individuals along the continuum of human ability and experience.  


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In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English. 

Category Admin & Leadership, Forestry, Restoration
Tags Outreach