Want to work for CPAWS? Find our current opportunities here.

« Back to jobs

Executive Director - CPAWS Northern Alberta

Job Opportunity: Executive Director - CPAWS Northern Alberta

Position: Executive Director

Organization:  CPAWS Northern Alberta

Application Deadline: 3 May 2017, 11:59 pm Mountain Time

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

CPAWS Northern Alberta is seeking an enthusiastic, highly organized, environmentally focused person to fill the challenging role of Executive Director.

CPAWS Northern Alberta is celebrating 50 years of promoting conservation and protection of wildlife and wilderness.  The Executive Director (ED) position is a key member of the leadership team of the CPAWS, Northern Alberta Chapter (the Chapter) along with the Board of Directors (the Board), striving together to ensure the health and relevance of the Chapter to society and to achieve its conservation vision.

The ED provides strategic conservation leadership to the Chapter, implements conservation priorities, and manages the day-to-day operations to realize the Chapter’s mission, vision, organizational values, and strategic plan. This role is to be accomplished with the authority granted to the ED by the Board. The ED is vital to the efficient and effective functioning of the Chapter.

The ED is accountable to the Board. As such, the ED must ensure that all actions align with the Chapter’s mission, vision, operating values, strategic plan, and relevant CPAWS National Office and Chapter policies. The Board encourages an open and collaborative two-way approach to communication and values a relationship with the ED that is built on trust to achieve chapter priorities.

The ED dedicates the majority of their time to implementing the Chapter’s conservation program priorities, representing the chapter to stakeholders and the broader community and to strategic decision-making and planning as required. This includes relationship building and engagement with a range of stakeholders, including elected officials and other NGOs. The ED is also responsible for managing the Chapter’s small staff, overseeing ‘key-role’ volunteers, and maintaining the chapter’s organizational requirements. 

The roles and responsibilities of the Executive Director are described through seven functional areas organized into two categories. These together provide the foundation for the Chapter’s work. Due to the small size of the organization, the ED’s day-to-day priorities are weighted towards implementing the chapter’s conservation programs and priorities.  

Category A – Conservation Priorities and Engagement (65%)
Conservation Strategy and Implementation

  • Provide strategic decision-making support and leadership to the Chapter’s conservation work.
  • Develop operational and campaign plans to implement the conservation objectives in the Strategic Plan. Work with the Board to determine annual priorities based on workload and staffing capacity. As part of this conversation identify clear objectives and deliverables. Link these priorities/deliverables to a monitoring mechanism to ensure the Chapter remains responsive and effective over the year. 
  • Participate in on-going ENGO and multi-stakeholder collaboration opportunities as prioritized by the ED and Board (e.g. CBFA, a future RAC, Y2Y). 
  • Work collaboratively with CPAWS National and other chapters to effectively implement the Coordinated Conservation Implementation Plan as required. Priorities in this area should be linked with the annual operating priorities/capacity discussion to ensure the Chapter remains effective in its work. .  
  • Community & Stakeholder Engagement
  • Build mutual trust and constructive working relationship with organizations/companies, institutions, First Nations, and government departments where CPAWS has either a stakeholder relationship in their work, or they have one in CPAWS’ work. Prioritize these relationships as part of the annual operational conservation priorities discussion with the Board. 
  • Work through traditional and non-traditional channels of communication to raise awareness about CPAWS campaigns, programs, and policies as outlined in the Communications Strategy.  
  • Support the Communications and Engagement Committee by providing input into their process and limited logistical support, and by attending events where appropriate.

Category B – Organization Management & Fund Development (35%)
Strategic Planning, Policy, & Board Relations 

  • Participate with the Board in defining, developing and monitoring the Chapter’s strategic plan and identifying organizational-development priorities annually. 
  • Work with the board to refine/maintain the Chapter’s policy and procedural framework guiding operations.
  • Report to the Board on operations of the Chapter to keep the Board apprised of the overall health of the organization.
  • Provide input to Board meeting agendas to help ensure productive meetings.
  • Seek support from the Board to address Chapter challenges as required.
  • Be a non-voting participant at the Board meetings.
  • Be accountable to the Board for all operational aspects of the chapter.
  • Assist the Board to be accountable to membership at the Annual General Meeting and through on-going communication as defined by the Board and ED.

Fund Development

  • In collaboration with the Board, design and implement fundraising programs in accordance with relevant Chapter policies and the strategic plan in order to grow the Chapters funding base. This work includes identifying conservation funding priorities, framing projects, building relationships, and identifying and pursuing opportunities. 

Human Resources

  • Account for the management of all people (other than the Board), working on behalf of the Chapter.
  • Provide the primary communication link between staff and the Board.
  • Encourage, sustain and promote volunteering for the Chapter in coordination with the Chapter’s volunteer “Volunteer Coordinator.”
  • Hire, train/coach, supervise, regularly evaluate and dismiss Staff.

Financial Management and Asset Protection

  • Coordinate the preparation of an annual budget and oversee the allocation and distribution of resources, ensure sound bookkeeping practices and quarterly financial reporting to the board.
  • Ensure adherence to legal obligations of the Chapter.

CPAWS Network

  • Represent the Chapter on monthly ED meetings and to the National Executive Director and attend the bi-annual national conservation meetings.
  • Fulfill any roles and responsibilities as described in the National/Chapter Agreements.
  • Align government relations work with CPAWS National and Southern Alberta.
  • Participate in CPAWS National requests. Any substantial requests should be brought to the Board for discussion and prioritization.
  • Actively work to build and maintain a strong and effective working relationship with CPAWS National and other chapters. 


The ideal candidate will possess a post-secondary degree in the fields of environmental sciences and will demonstrate knowledge of environmental sociology, education or non-profit business development/management, and have effective communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.

This includes:

  • Enthusiasm for wilderness, conservation and the ability to communicate effectively with elected members of various levels of government, corporate executives, representatives of other organizations and the general public;
  • Previous experience in non-profit management, financial management and supervision of staff;
  • Previous experience with volunteer management and volunteer management programs an asset
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as necessary

Applicants must be:
A Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or person legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial / territorial legislation and regulations.

Work Dates: Commencing as soon as possible

How to Apply: Please forward (1) A resume or CV and covering letter (pdf format preferred) and (2) a 500 word short story or essay on any topic of your choice (pdf format preferred) by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, May 3, 2017, to patrick@chansolutions.com with the subject line "Application for CPAWS NAB Executive Director."