October 28 application deadline for new Executive Director/CEO

Earlier this year The Wildlife Society’s current CEO and Executive Director, Ken Williams, announced that he will be retiring effective July 1, 2017.

Over the past few years, Williams has recruited talented staff in many key areas of the operation, improved communications and transparency with both Council and TWS members, and has dramatically improved the Society’s financial state–setting the foundation for a bright future for the organization.

Williams will continue to provide leadership for the Society for the next 10 months. Council has taken the first step in his succession by launching the search for his successor. Applications will be accepted through October 28, 2016 with a projected start date in June, 2017.

The complete posting is shown below, but can also be downloaded by clicking here.


Full-time position located in Bethesda, Maryland with a projected start date in June, 2017.

The Wildlife Society – a scientific and educational society of professionals in wildlife management and conservation – is seeking an Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (ED/CEO).  Founded in 1937, The Wildlife Society now has a membership of over 9,000 wildlife professionals.

About The Wildlife Society

The Wildlife Society (TWS) has a proud history of promoting and supporting science-based management of wildlife resources. Our mission is to enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve biological diversity, sustain ecosystem productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society.

A not-for-profit organization, The Wildlife Society represents and serves the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners, and others who work to study, manage, and conserve wildlife and habitats worldwide. We encourage the growth in professionalism through certification, publications, conferences, working groups, mentoring, networking, and leadership training. We also encourage the development of science-based natural resource laws and regulations through active engagement with policymakers.

The Wildlife Society’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland has approximately 15 full-time and 10 part-time and contract staff organized into 4 departments:  Publishing and Communications, Government Affairs and Partnerships, Operations, and Finance/Administration. Varying numbers of interns and volunteers assist with programs and special projects. The ED/CEO manages an annual budget of about $3 million.

Units of The Wildlife Society include 8 regional Sections (7 U.S. and 1 Canadian); numerous State, Provincial, and Student Chapters; and more than 30 Working Groups.  The Wildlife Society is governed by a board of directors known as the Council, consisting of 4 executive members elected by the entire membership, 8 members elected by and representing the regional Sections, and a student liaison.

Key governance documents include the Bylaws and Strategic Plan, which are available on the Society’s website, www.wildlife.org.

Position Appointment

Reporting to Council, the ED/CEO will provide strong, innovative, and collaborative leadership for The Wildlife Society in fulfilling its mission and achieving measurable progress on goals and objectives identified in TWS’s Strategic Plan.  The ED/CEO will have responsibility for The Wildlife Society’s staff, programs, growth, financial stability, and execution of its mission.

The ED/CEO will maintain accountability for overall operational and fiscal integrity of the Society in accordance with The Wildlife Society Bylaws, policies, and directions set by Council. The ED/CEO will strive for continuous improvement in The Wildlife Society operations and outcomes by establishing performance measures, monitoring progress, evaluating results, and recommending and implementing improvements.

The ED/CEO will seek to expand and enhance The Wildlife Society by growing its membership and securing new sources of revenue and support for TWS programs and activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Membership: Provide a high level of service and value to The Wildlife Society members, building TWS as an organization that enhances the professional experience of members and contributes substantially to wildlife conservation.  Maintain effective outreach to Sections and Chapters and identify ways to improve member benefits and services.

Administration and Finance: Ensure that The Wildlife Society operates within budget and maintains an effective blend of revenue streams including membership dues, subscriptions and other publication income, investments, donations, grants and contracts.  Seek new revenue sources to support growth of The Wildlife Society programs and activities.

Government Affairs and Partnerships: Enhance the reputation and effectiveness of The Wildlife Society as a mainstream scientific organization offering specialized expertise in wildlife management and conservation policy.

Communications: Ensure that the quality, reputation, and impact of The Wildlife Society publications are maintained and enhanced.  Realize continuous improvements in The Wildlife Society’s website and other communication portals.

Conferences: Ensure that planning and organization for The Wildlife Society’s Annual conference and the International Wildlife Management Congress produce successful and cost-effective meetings.

Council Support: Support and maintain communications with The Wildlife Society Council and assist with Council planning and meetings.

Human Resources: Ensure that The Wildlife Society staff functions as a cohesive and productive unit with clear understanding of responsibilities and expectations while maintaining a positive team environment.

Cooperation with Organization Units: Support and enhance cooperation with and among The Wildlife Society’s organizational units through communications, meeting participation, and development of forums for effective interactions.

Qualifications: The successful applicant will be known and respected in the wildlife and conservation communities.  They must display the vision, passion, and abilities to advance The Wildlife Society as a professional society.

The applicant should have:

  • a university degree (required),
  • post graduate training/education in wildlife conservation, natural resources, organizational or nonprofit management or a related discipline,
  • at least 10 years of required experience in wildlife biology/management, natural resources conservation or management, or executive leadership in a nonprofit organization,
  • an excellent grasp of current issues affecting wildlife and wildlife professionalism, and a record of demonstrated commitment to science-based wildlife conservation,
  • demonstrated capacity to learn and adapt in a science-based strategic environment,
  • capacity to identify with and effectively communicate among wildlife management and research professionals,
  • excellent organizational skills and recognized strengths in leading and motivating people,
  • extensive experience in fund-raising and partnership building,
  • experience in successfully managing personnel and finances for an organization, and
  • demonstrated abilities to lead by example with the highest level of personal and professional integrity.

Strong communications and inter-personal skills and demonstrated ability to build collaborative partnerships are essential. Standing as a Certified Wildlife Biologist is a desirable characteristic.

Location and Compensation

This full-time position is located at The Wildlife Society Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The Wildlife Society offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To Apply

To be considered for this position, interested candidates must submit their résumé or curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating why they should be considered.  Applications must be submitted electronically to edsearch@wildlife.org by October 28, 2016.

The Wildlife Society recognizes the value of human diversity in representing and serving the community of professionals who study, manage, and conserve wildlife and its habitats worldwide.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including individuals from under-represented groups among Executive Directors of science-based organizations.

Header Image: ©Neville Nel