New Orleans, LA

Director of Environmental Programs, Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF)

The Organization

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has been a trusted philanthropic leader in the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region for nearly 100 years. Our vision is to create a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all, and our mission is to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership, and action. As a community foundation, our resources are comprised of more than 900 charitable funds established by individuals, businesses, and organizations with a passion for charitable giving and a deep commitment to the Greater New Orleans region. As a civic leader, we bring together passionate people from nonprofits, business, government, and philanthropy to address our region’s greatest challenges.

The Foundation is an inspiring, engaging, challenging, thought-provoking, diverse, and dynamic place to work and advance your career. We pride ourselves on investing in high-quality staff members and encouraging success by allowing individuals the opportunity to both contribute and enhance their skills and talents as well as to share their unique perspectives as we address community challenges. Our workplace environment nurtures a diverse team and results in a broad base of staff knowledge and talent.

Position Overview

Director-level positions at the Foundation are exciting, multifaceted roles that include a mix of strategic leadership over important local and regional issues and tactical execution. Our Directors operate as civic leaders within their area of focus; they build coalitions, leverage their content expertise, influence change in the public sector, and secure funding to allow the ecosystem’s work to flourish. They lead local and regional initiatives, designing programs, driving high-quality evaluation, and serving as a key public voice in their area of focus. More than just great thinkers, our Directors are doers. They not only conceptualize the ideas that drive us forward, but they implement them as well.

The Director of Environmental Programs (DEP) will lead core programs critical for advancing our theory of change, including sustainability and resilience, urban management, and the acute coastal land loss challenges facing Louisiana. The DEP should bring a strong understanding of these topics and the broad scope of environmental issues, including climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as utilizing a racial equity lens in grantmaking. You can learn more about the Foundation’s environmental programs and initiatives here.

The Director of Environmental Programs reports directly to the Vice President for Programs and is supported by one Program Officer and Program Associate who provide cross-functional support for the Programs Department, with additional support available pending the programs funded at the time.

Principal Duties

Environmental Strategy and Programs

  • Establish and maintain a deep understanding of rural and urban environmental concerns in the Greater New Orleans region, including the severe effects of climate change on the coast and in our cities.
  • Design and recommend environmental strategies for the Foundation and support environmental strategy development as part of the Foundation’s overarching strategic planning processes.
  • Lead the development, implementation, and monitoring of environmental programs, program elements, and projects. Ensure proactive identification of opportunities.
  • As appropriate, perform technical and administrative duties to support the implementation of program activities.
  • Design, facilitate, and report on convenings with nonprofits, grantees, and cross-sector partners.
  • Identify and lead fundraising and resource development efforts that fund the Foundation’s Environmental Programs, in collaboration with the Vice President of Programs and Foundation’s Development Department.

External Relations & Communications

  • Connect with leaders in the Gulf Coast region and across the country, and regularly meet and work with organizations, leaders, and experts on environmental issues.
  • Use existing tools and protocols to collect, analyze, and interpret information to effectively communicate about the environment and the Foundation’s Environmental Initiatives to diverse audiences.
  • Develop, write, and maintain a variety of reports, documents, correspondence, and records related to areas of assigned responsibility. Conduct presentations regarding these materials and other matters related to the environment on behalf of the Foundation.
  • Staff and manage the environmental committee of the Foundation’s board and stakeholders in collaboration with the Vice President of Programs.
  • Represent the Foundation on boards, committees, and advisory groups locally, regionally, and nationally.

Cross-Program and Cross-Departmental Collaboration

  • Establish and maintain a broad understanding of all areas in which the Foundation works, including grantmaking and programs, and, under the supervision of the Vice President for Programs, actively seek opportunities for collaboration and cross-area work.
  • Seek opportunities for creating “synergies” or collaborations between areas, avoiding the isolation of working in a silo.
  • As a member of the Foundation’s Programs Department, provide occasional support for special projects and initiatives in other program areas or departments.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Department in efforts to share knowledge and information with external audiences, with the Development and Donor Relations Department in fundraising and donor relations efforts, and with the Finance and Administration Department to complete relevant requests.

Remain Flexible about Work Assignments

Because of the fluid and evolving nature of work at the Foundation, the Director of Environmental Programs may, from time to time, be asked to take on other assignments not covered in this position description. The Director of Environmental Programs is expected to demonstrate openness and flexibility when asked to take on these new assignments.

Required Qualifications

  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including the ability to simplify and effectively communicate complex topics.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to work closely with outside vendors and monitor project budgets, deadlines, and deliverables.
  • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with MS Office.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate with and lead a team.
  • Strong growth and entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Receptiveness to feedback and course correction, and willingness to learn.
  • Steadiness and resilience under changing internal and external circumstances and needs.
  • A preference for a quick pace of work, while maintaining high levels of detail-orientation and accuracy.
  • Ability to operate as both a leader and a doer, executing programs in a “small shop” environment.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Experience & Education

  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s strongly preferred)
  • 7+ years experience working in environmental resilience or related areas. Gulf South experience preferred.
  • History of successfully engaging diverse audiences in conversation about the environment.
  • Experience working with low-income communities, rural communities, and grassroots organizations.
  • Understanding and agility in navigating varied political environments, including management priorities, staff roles and responsibilities, and external factors impacting the Foundation.
  • Experience with fund development, including grant-writing, reporting, budget development, and prospecting.
  • Experience with program design, grantmaking, evaluation, and research.
  • Experience and strength managing partnerships and coordinating across initiatives.
  • Salary commensurate with experience.

How To Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary expectations to Only complete applications will be considered. A writing sample will be requested for candidates who advance to late-stage interviews.

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