Executive Director at CalWIld

Executive Director


For 47 years, CalWild (formerly known as California Wilderness Coalition) has protected and restored California’s public lands and wild waters for communities to enjoy and nature to thrive. With over 47% of California public lands managed by the federal government CalWild represents California interests such as: wildfire management, river restoration, and national monument declaration, among many other things to keep these spaces natural and open for everyone. We continue to grow our organizational capacity to meet the challenges of conservation. CalWild’s priorities include: balancing climate resilience, recreational and commercial access, biodiversity loss, and connecting people to nature and building strong, diverse partnerships.

CalWild is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization into a new era of environmental conservation in California, and represent California interests in Washington D.C.. The position is a full-time, salaried CalWild employee based in California. The position will require travel to visit our program areas, meet with staff and attend events. CalWild staff, consultants, and volunteers all work remotely and are located throughout the state.

Executive Director Position Overview

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will provide strategic guidance, clear leadership, and vision for CalWild. Priorities include staff management, program oversight, day-to-day management, ensuring financial compliance, meeting income targets, and engaging and growing the board. The ED will develop deep knowledge of CalWild’s areas of expertise and operations, and be responsible for developing its next strategic plan in late 2024. The ED will work closely with staff and partners to continue to grow CalWild and increase capacity.

The diversity of work within this position will allow the right person to craft the position to their strengths and help to grow CalWild to creatively meet the conservation challenges facing California.

Responsibilities include:
● Influence federal and state policies that potentially impact conservation in California.
● Ensure the success of CalWild’s individual fundraising efforts including major donors and members.
● Develop, maintain, and grow relationships with key institutional funders especially with conservation-minded foundations.
● Ensure the continued reputation and efficacy of CalWild’s programs including managing program evaluations in collaboration with the Policy Director.
● Develop and maintain strong media connections to address the public about our conservation efforts and to grow the brand’s reputation.
● Develop, monitor, and strategically adjust the organizational budget regularly.
● Ensure the proper management and administration of CalWild including compliance with all relevant laws.
● Provide management for all staff helping them achieve their professional potential and support staff retention and recruitment as needed.
● Support all aspects of communications by providing clear guidance on key messages and priorities.
● Prioritize engagement with and support for CalWild’s Board of Directors including fundraising by the Board, board recruitment/growth, and building board involvement with CalWild’s strategic direction.
● Develop and deploy creative ideas, tools, and mechanisms to ensure ongoing conservation gains.

Desired Qualifications:
● A strong, personal commitment to conservation and demonstrated passion for protecting California’s public lands.
● Successful fundraising experience including securing large grants from institutional funders including government agencies, and/or foundations, and growing organizational membership and a major donor portfolio.
● Strong working knowledge of the conservation landscape in California, including State and Federal policies and politics.
● Strong understanding of how to communicate effectively to different audiences, articulate vision, goals, and priorities.
● Proven ability to lead coalitions of stakeholders, partners, and members advance conservation goals.
● At least three to five years of experience as a senior leader of an organization or business.
● Success managing multiple staff members and supporting organizational diversity and inclusive culture.
● Success growing an organization and increasing brand awareness.
● Success working with a Board of Directors with ability to maintain relationships and recruit new members.
● Experience with strategic planning processes, thought leadership, board engagement.
● Community engagement experience a plus.
● Significant experience and skill as a public speaker highly desired.
● Campaign or conservation policy experience a significant plus.
● Strong commitment to resilient conservation and communities, and diverse, non- partisan partnerships.
● A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred, but not required.

Required Qualifications:
● A willingness to work collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds and interests.
● The ability to prioritize, manage, and meet many competing deadlines across multiple departments and areas of work.
● Ability to travel to see CalWild’s program work and attend events regularly.
● Capacity to be self-directed and self-motivated in your work.
● Demonstrated writing skills.

Salary Range (depending on experience): $95,000-$105,000

Other benefits: Health, dental, and vision benefits. Matching retirement benefits. Remote work stipend. Pro deals on many outdoor industry brands. Working with an amazing group of people.

How to Apply
Please send a cover letter explaining your interest in CalWild and summarizing key experiences, resume and a short writing sample to [email protected]. Also, please reference where you saw the job posting in your cover letter.


Julene Freitas
[email protected]