Executive Director

Lake Michigan Bird Observatory

Port Washington, Wisconsin

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $68,500 - $72,000 annually
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

The Executive Director is the key management leader of the Observatory and will drive strategic planning, fundraising, and stakeholder relationships to achieve the Observatory's mission and goals.  This position is responsible for overseeing the administration and organizational finances of the organization and staff supervision. Other key duties include program management and development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.  

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Responsible for the direction of the Observatory’s operations and programs. Ensures success of the Observatory’s pillar projects and future initiatives.
  • Responsible for planning and developing programs to support the Observatory’s pillar projects and partnerships.
  • Responsible for ensuring that services and funding relationships meet or exceed strategic goals and budget objectives with support from the Board. 
  • Ensure all tasks relating to grant compliance are completed promptly. Works with staff to complete programmatic responsibilities, including contributing to programming as needed. 
  • Evaluate existing and potential new initiatives, activities and partnerships to ensure they meet the goals and mission of the Observatory with particular attention to consistency with best available science.
  • Provides budget information and reports to the Board using standard accounting practices. Responsible for all staff management tasks.

Required Qualifications  

  • Minimum of an advanced degree, preferably in ecology or wildlife biology (or similar focus) with a preference for demonstrated ornithological background or experience.
  • Demonstrated managerial leadership in an environmentally focused organization.  
  • Must have demonstrated the ability to develop and guide the implementation of mission-centric research projects.
  • Dynamic team player with demonstrated experience working directly with prospective donors.
  • Proven strong financial skills including developing and managing budgets, generating new revenue streams, fundraising, grant-writing, management and reporting for a non-profit organization.
  • Proven organizational abilities, including planning, delegating responsibilities, program and staff development and task facilitation.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills and the ability to adapt messages to diverse audiences, along with a commitment to contacting and working with underserved communities. 
  • Strong work ethic with a high degree of energy to accomplish the various tasks and outreach necessary for this position.

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Three or more years of leadership experience with a scientific organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to use best available science to inform decision-making and/or program development.
  • Experience and skill in working with a Board of Directors, committees and organizational leadership.

This position is located in Port Washington, Wisconsin, where the office is located.  A portion of work may be hybrid work from home as approved by the Board. This position will require evening and weekend work as needed. The job requires the ability to walk three miles over uneven terrain and travel throughout Wisconsin and surrounding region as needed, a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. 


This position is a full-time exempt position and will require 40+ hours/week. 

Salary range    $68,500 - $72,000 annually. 

Vacation         20 paid days off, 10 paid holidays. 

The Lake Michigan Bird Observatory is an Equal Opportunity Organization and will not allow discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, socioeconomic background, or any other status prohibited by applicable law.  

About LMBO: The Lake Michigan Bird Observatory’s mission is to advance the conservation of birds in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes Region through coordinated research, monitoring, and education. The Observatory’s programs are in service of a vision of a day when knowledge of birds is widespread, decisions affecting them are based on good science, and citizens care about conservation and participate in it so that common species are kept common and imperiled populations are restored. 


To apply please send a resume and cover letter that describes your skills and experience to meet these job qualifications to applications@lmbo.org Applications will be accepted until a qualified applicant is found.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Wildlife, Ecology
Tags Outreach, Ornithology