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Feb 11 / BARD CEP

Executive Director – Palo Alto, CA

Organization: Committee for Green Foothills (CGF)

Position Title: Executive Director

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Hours & Compensation: Full-time, competitive based upon fit with essential requirements.

Position Dates: Start April 8, 2013.

Application Deadline: March 8, 2013.

Posted On: February 8, 2013.

Organization Overview: 

Committee for Green Foothills (CGF) is a vocal and well-respected conservation organization that has played a vital role in protecting much of the open space and natural beauty of the San Mateo and Santa Clara counties through advocacy, education, and grassroots action. We are rooted in the communities in which we work, and use a highly local, neighborly approach to effect change. We believe our impressive 50-year track record of success has benefited the quality of life of everyone who lives in the Bay Area, as well as that of generations to come.

Advocacy is the mainstay of CGF’s work. We are a crucial and consistent voice for strong General Plan policies, zoning regulations, and controls over development to ensure protection of open spaces and sensitive habitats. Advocacy mobilizes the public, helps our leaders make educated and conscientious decisions, and mitigates or halts destructive development proposals. The Bay Area’s land trusts and open space agencies directly benefit from CGF’s work.

CGF is a member-based organization that has a robust yearly calendar of programs including farm and watershed tours, lectures and presentations on special topics of interest to our members, and an annual fundraising and membership event, “Nature’s Inspiration.”

The next several years will provide the incoming Executive Director with a rewarding leadership opportunity in a relatively small, but highly credible organization that works with a variety of community and environmental organizations in the Bay Area. While advocacy is the major focus of our work, organizational leadership, fundraising, and effective collaboration to support advocacy are the primary areas of focus for the Executive Director.


Committee for Green Foothills is seeking a collaborative leader with a personal or vocational commitment to preserving open space and the natural beauty of our area. She or he should have a proven track record in attracting and sustaining foundation and individual funding. Effective communication, community collaboration and day-to-day management skills to support a sustainable nonprofit are also essential for this position. The incoming Executive Director will bring informed political insights, strategic thinking, integrity, flexibility, and tenacity to their work.


Starting with a deep support for our mission, and together with our committed membership base, talented staff, dedicated board, and supportive community leaders, the next Executive Director will work in partnership with the Board and staff to:

  • Continue to deliver consistent, well researched, ”local, vocal, and effective” environmental advocacy in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties with a focus on sustainable land use and resource policies, environmental education, community engagement, and effective partnerships.
  • Systematically strengthen the structure and sustainability of the organization through diversification of our Board, membership, fund-raising and communication strategies.
  • The development of a strategic plan to support these priorities will be overseen by the new Executive Director within the first 6-9 months of his or her tenure.

The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and for the achievement of the major strategic objectives in partnership with a 12 member Board of Directors and a staff team of 5 full time and 3 part-time/contract positions. The Executive Director maintains strong relationships with local and regional environmental and conservation organizations, members, funders, and community and political leaders. As noted above, although advocacy is a major focus of the organization, it is not the focus of this position, which is one of overall leadership of the organization and its advocacy role.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate expertise in many of the following areas:

  • A strong commitment to CGF’s mission of protecting open space, natural resources, and agricultural lands, with experience providing leadership on similar issues with elected officials at a policy level
  • The ability to work in partnership with the Board, staff, and members to lead the entire organization to shared visions and new directions in response to changing land use needs and opportunities
  • Proven communication skills including speaking, writing, meeting facilitation, and consensus building
  • The ability to effectively represent CGF and its positions among the diverse stakeholders in the community
  • The ability to attract, develop, retain, motivate, and lead staff, volunteers, and Board members resulting in a high level of performance and effective utilization of talent
  • A proven track record in attracting and sustaining major gifts and foundation support (Planned giving experience helpful.)
  • Experience managing a budget of comparable size with a variety of revenue streams
  • Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of five years successful senior management experience in a sustainable nonprofit or public organization

In addition, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Effectively utilize computer technology, database management, and social media
  • Be available to work occasional nights and weekends as needed to support Board and community events. (CGF offers a flexible work schedule and time off to accommodate these obligations outside of the conventional work week.)
  • Provide own transportation and show proof of automobile insurance and a valid CA driver’s license or other means of travel throughout the Bay Area
  • Pass a background check

How to Apply: Email (Word or PDF document) cover letter summarizing interest, qualifications, compensation requirements along with a current resume to: with “CGF ED Search” in subject field. Resumes must have a cover letter to be considered. Inquiries from candidates are welcome.

Contact Information: 

Margaret Donohoe, Consultant to the Board, (408) 979-0572.

Committee for Green Foothills, Peninsula Conservation Center, 3921 East Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303

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