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Position: Senior Vice-President, Conservation & Policy
Organization: Birds Canada (
Location: Hybrid / remote within Canada. If desired, possibility of being based / hybrid presence at one of Birds Canada's offices in Sackville (NB), Port Rowan (ON), or Delta (BC)

  • Position details: Full Time, Permanent
  • Reports to:  President & CEO
  • Direct reports: 4 to 6 direct reports, with a team of 22 staff


“Are you looking to channel your skills into meaningful, energizing work that will directly contribute to protecting our natural world? Do you want to work with an exceptional group of passionate and caring colleagues?

Birds Canada is the country’s premier national organization dedicated to bird conservation. Every day, our thousands of caring donors, 80+ dedicated staff, and 70,000+ outstanding volunteers are taking action to help us better understand, appreciate, and conserve birds and their habitats. Together, we are Canada’s Voice for Birds – will you join us?”


Birds Canada is seeking a visionary leader who will provide overall strategic policy and conservation direction for the organization and realize expansion opportunities to make a significant impact in applied protection for bird species. The Senior Vice-President, Conservation & Policy (SVP) will provide insight to the President & CEO while directing senior staff who oversee some of the organization’s major projects.

As a leading Canadian expert in bird science and conservation, Birds Canada is poised to play a pivotal role in the road to recovery for bird species and populations both in Canada and more broadly in the Americas.

The SVP has a deep understanding of how conservation happens in Canada. Leveraging this knowledge, as well as a strong network of decision-makers and conservation stakeholders, this senior leader is responsible for developing and delivering Birds Canada’s policy and conservation programs to make tangible gains for the conservation of birds and their habitats.



  • Lead Birds Canada in its conservation actions for birds and their habitats.
  • Accountable for programs representing approx. 40% – 60% of total organizational spending.
  • Strategically develop and oversee flagship place-based conservation programs and initiatives, such as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and support for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).
  • Ideate, implement and oversee impactful species- and bird-group based conservation initiatives, including where Birds Canada has existing monitoring / stewardship activities.
  • Support and oversee senior staff responsible for the “Migration Science & International Collaboration” program area, including the development of international conservation partnerships through Conserva Aves and Motus Wildlife Tracking System.
  • Provide thought leadership and represent the organization in high-level conservation partnerships, stakeholder and expert groups.
  • Work closely with the VP, Science & Monitoring to ensure that Birds Canada data is influencing conservation decision-making, including in industry.

Policy & Strategy

  • Lead Birds Canada in influencing policy in favour of bird conservation.
  • Accountable for the “Influence” pillar of the Birds Canada Strategic Plan
  • Maintain a portfolio and a strategy to advance policy asks for Birds Canada, based on in-depth knowledge and analysis of relevant federal policy, political priorities, and government investment streams.
  • Work closely with the VP of Science & Monitoring to develop strong science-based positions.
  • Determine when policy asks could benefit from the mobilization of Birds Canada supporters, and work jointly with Communications & Engagement to implement.

Advocacy & Government Relations

  • Develop high-level relationships and lobby key decision-makers in the federal public service, as well as political offices.
  • Support Regional Directors in developing strategies to advance policy asks for Birds Canada, based on relevant provincial / municipal policies, political priorities, and government investment streams.
  • Represent Birds Canada in high-level ENGO coalitions, partnerships, joint positions, and catalyze such initiatives when appropriate.

Program Oversight & Funding

  • Play a leading role in securing funds for conservation & policy initiatives at Birds Canada - ensuring income is optimally leveraged and matched and diversifying funding sources.
  • Develop, coach and oversee program staff’s policy analysis and advocacy capacity.
  • Coordinate with partners and across regional teams to ensure effectiveness and impact of programming.

Organizational & Financial Management

  • Build and oversee a team (currently 22 people and growing) to deliver on the responsibilities outlined above – including determining staffing and outsourcing needs, ideation of new roles, overseeing the recruitment, hiring, training, performance management and professional development of staff.
  • Accountable for overseeing an accurate Division budget (currently approximately $7.5m per year), and course-correcting as necessary throughout the year.
  • Sit on the Leadership Team and ensure that program perspectives are taken into account in cross-cutting organizational decisions and initiatives.
  • Support the President & CEO in bringing program matters to the Board and related committees.


  • Deep understanding of conservation policy and decision-making in Canada, typically from 10 years or more experience in a relevant field, as well as a proven track-record of delivering conservation results.
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience at senior levels of government relations or within government, with experience in developing strategies to influence decision-makers, as well as significant high-level experience in representation (e.g. presentations to Committees, developing relationships with cabinet ministers and their staff, etc.).
  • Background experience in the conservation sector, government, NGOs, private industry, or other relevant experience.
  • Proven track record of building partnerships across organizations (e.g. with other NGOs, academia, etc.), preferably with experience in initiating and / or leading consortia, steering committees, etc.
  • Experience supporting / working with Indigenous Nations towards conservation objectives.
  • Proven track-record of securing significant (typically over $250,000) funds for conservation.
  • Experience managing a team of professional staff (typically >10 years), as well as experience reporting to senior-level staff and / or Board of Directors.
  • Experience managing a budget, typically $1,000,000 or more annually.
  • English mandatory, French is a very strong asset. Ability to communicate to Spanish is also an asset.
  • Master’s degree in a related field or experiential equivalent.


Birds Canada is proud to offer an exceptional Total Compensation Package, including a competitive starting salary of $120,000 annually and 5% RRSP matching after 12 months of service. In addition, staff enjoy a primarily employer-paid extended benefits package including health and dental coverage, Basic Group Life Insurance, Group out-of-province travel insurance, Vision, ADD&D and short- and long-term disability coverage. We offer all staff 4 weeks’ vacation per year to start along with 12 personal health days and additional paid vacation days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.


Please submit your application by end of day June 30th, 2024, by emailing your cover letter and résumé to:

Please indicate you saw this posting at

Birds Canada is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We strongly support and value diversity in the workplace. Applications from all qualified candidates are welcome, and individuals from equity-seeking groups are encouraged to apply.

We thank applicants for their interest, however; only those advancing in the process will be contacted.


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: May 13 2024    ID: 71195