National Director of EPIC Programs -American Conservation Experience (ACE)


American Conservation Experience (ACE)  is a dynamic non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding service opportunities to over 1,500 members (youth and young adults) each year, and does so with a skilled staff of approximately 150 employees across the U.S. ACE has a national reputation for providing professional development opportunities on a variety of conservation projects for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and numerous state and local land management partners, either with crew based work or with individually placed interns.

Job Title: National Director of EPIC Programs

Location: ACE Office Location/Remote Eligible (USA)

Department/Division: Emerging Professionals In Conservation (EPIC)

Status: Regular Full-Time, Salary (Exempt)

Schedule/Hours: Full-time, 40 hours/week with additional hours as needed. Typical work hours of 9:00 am-5:00pm, local time with some adjustment expected when needed to accommodate National Operations. Some evening and weekend hours may be occasionally required.

Reports To: ACE Chief Program Officer

Direct Reports: Three EPIC Division Directors (Divisions: National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management)

Travel: Yes, 15% anticipated, higher at start

ACE EPIC Program Summary:

ACE’s Emerging Professionals in Conservation (EPIC) program has a national reputation for providing young adults and recent graduates with hands-on, professional development individual placement opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers. The ACE EPIC Program, places and supports over 900 members in individual placement projects each year across the country in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as numerous other state, local, and nonprofit conservation agencies. EPIC Individual placement projects are wide-ranging, including but not limited to cultural resource management, wildlife monitoring, environmental education, interpretation, trail work, historic preservation, physical sciences, GIS, and many more.

Position Summary:

The National Director of EPIC Programs (NDEP) is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the ACE EPIC Programs. In close coordination with the ACE Chief Program Officer and EPIC Division Directors, the NDEP will develop and implement best practices across EPIC Divisions, support partnership development, and represent the EPIC Divisions within ACE Programming and across the organization.

Key attributes:

  • A love of learning and leadership development.
  • A belief that leadership begins with listening. An inclusive, collaborative and inspiring leader. A track record of building and leading creative teams, both direct reports and non-direct reports.
  • Experience in strategic planning and managing multiple priorities.
  • An exceptional communicator; someone comfortable making professional, persuasive presentations both internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated commitment to building a diverse and inclusive staff and culture at all levels.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Provide regular management and support of EPIC Division Directors. Provide direct support as needed to EPIC Division staff when a Division Director is unavailable. Act as primary organizational representative for EPIC Divisions.
  • With the Chief Program Officer and Division Directors, develop and monitor yearly budgets for EPIC Divisions; Reforecast budget with Directors quarterly and consults on adjustments as necessary.
  • Review EPIC Division grants and agreements that reach organization specified thresholds. Support EPIC Division Directors in capturing and monitoring required metrics in grants and agreements.
  • Support Division Directors in maintenance of existing and development of new partnerships in their agency portfolio.
  • With the Senior Program Leadership Team, work to support cross-geographic and/or programmatic opportunities with existing partners.
  • Identify and support opportunities for EPIC Division growth into new agencies.
  • Identify and support implementation of opportunities to share resources across EPIC Divisions that will improve efficiency of operations.
  • Facilitate weekly EPIC Division Director meetings. Regularly attend individual EPIC Division meetings.
  • Lead EPIC Division goal setting and coordinate with Program Department and ACE goals.
  • With the Chief Program Officer, recruit, hire and train new Division Directors as needed. Develop a standard onboarding, orientation and training program for EPIC Division Directors.
  • With the Senior Director of Risk Management and the Program Safety Manager, establish resources and tools for EPIC staff to successfully support members during incidents with specific attention to the delineation between ACE and partner responsibilities.
  • With the Senior Director of Risk Management and the Program Safety Manager, assure that EPIC staff regularly review incidents and implement recommended changes in practice to improve member safety.
  • Act as needed within the ACE Incident Management System hierarchy.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Management Team to identify  and provide relevant training and professional development opportunities for EPIC Division staff.
  • Support the External Affairs department in targeted outreach, grant proposal development, partnership, and public engagement activities.
  • As needed, facilitate meetings by developing agendas, managing logistics, documenting discussions/outcomes, and ensuring follow-up and accountability.
  • Assist in developing, and adhere to, ACE safety policies and procedures. Monitor EPIC compliance with these procedures and protocols. Report any unsafe or harmful conditions, incidents and/or accidents immediately.
  • Foster a culture and environment that positions ACE for success and ensures that ACE is the program of choice for partners, members and staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • Proven experience in managing national scale program/operation elements, especially facilitating processes, preferably within a nonprofit environment.
  • Must be able to take initiative and participate in collaborative efforts.
  • Project management experience overseeing multiple projects and teams working in different locations.
  • Experience with developing and managing budgets, preferably in excess of $1 Million.
  • Experience with federal agreements, grants, and partnership development.
  • Understanding of and/or experience working with young adults in national service preferred.
  • Ability to work remotely and independently with minimal supervision.
  • Highly competent in using a variety of software and database systems.
  • Willingness to travel long distances away from work location.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to work in an organized and professional fashion, respecting deadlines and confidentiality.
  • Ability to proactively and professionally communicate and receive instructions and feedback and facilitate a positive and productive work environment.
  • Professional verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong time management skills.

Other Requirements:

  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record; comfortable driving ACE/agency vehicles as needed
  • Proficient in English
  • Ability to pass a federal criminal background check
  • Willing to abide by ACE’s Drug Free workplace policies. ACE reserves the right to drug test at any time
  • Willing to abide by ACE’s healthy workplace policies.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talks and hears. Manual dexterity required for use of computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves  up to 10 lbs., occasionally moves  up to 25 pounds.
  • Environmental: Mainly indoor, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Travel: This position may require domestic travel.

Compensation: Starting annualized salary of $90,000 (assuming 40 hours/week for 52 weeks/year)

Benefits: ACE offers competitive medical and ancillary plans (health, mental health, dental, vision and other supplemental benefits). ACE Staff members are also eligible to participate in ACE’s retirement plan with a 2% employer contribution.

Holidays, Vacation, and Sick Time: As an ACE staff member, you will be eligible to accrue up to 80 hours of paid vacation time annually during your first two years of continuous employment, then it increases to 120 hours annually. ACE observes 13 paid annual holidays (floating holiday flexibility). ACE provides 10 days (or 80 hours) of paid sick time annually.

Outdoor Perks: As an ACE staff member, you will be eligible to receive pro deals which include deep discounts on outdoor gear providing 30 – 50% off retail prices on 100s of established outdoor gar brands.

Phone Provided or Reimbursement Option: You have the option to select one of the following options: ACE work phone device/number provided or monthly phone reimbursement for personal device/number use.

To Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter describing your relevant experience and why you are a good fit for this position. Please submit your application to the listed online application link. Qualified applicants may be contacted directly to schedule an interview. All application materials must be submitted to be considered for this opportunity.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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