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Dec 2 / BARD CEP

Director of Urban Forest Initiatives- Washington DC

Organization: American Forests

Position Title: Director of Urban Forest Initiatives

Location: 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC, 20005, US

Hours and Compensation: full time $45,000-$53,000

Application Deadline: start date as soon as possible


Organization Overview

American Forests protects and restores forests, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.


The director of the urban forest initiatives is responsible for the following: 1) managing all urban forest-related activities, including promotion of the value of urban forests on the national level; 2) the Community ReLeaf Program; 3) directing all activities associated with federal, corporate and foundation grants associated with urban forest initiatives; 4) acting as the in-house expert on urban forestry issues; 5) collaborating with other departments on activities related to urban forests; 6) initiating, building and maintaining relationships with public and private partner organizations; (7) assist in raising funds to support the program.


A.  Direct the urban forests program.

    1. Create, maintain and grow American Forests’ urban forests program.
    2. Serve as the lead on all urban forest-related grants and grant activities, ensuring all deadlines are met and all grant requirements are fulfilled.
    3. Direct all urban forests projects and activities.
    4. Build partnerships and relationships with urban forest organizations and leaders across the country, identifying key areas and strategies for promoting American Forests’ vision of urban forestry across the nation.
    5. Work directly with the American Forests’ Science Advisory Board to enhance the urban forests program.
    6. Develop and maintain knowledge of current urban forest policy and management and act as staff expert on these subject areas.
    7. Manage grants, contracts, and budgets related to the urban forests program activities.
    8. Promote American Forests’ urban forests initiatives and outcomes at local and national meetings.

B.  Direct the Community ReLeaf Program.

  1. Develop and implement a nationwide process for project selection and grant making.
  2. Work with local stakeholders in each city to create urban forest ecosystem assessment projects, and develop communications and advocacy plans.
  3. Manage contracts and administer grants and related reporting processes, including coordinating with other departments.
  4. Plan, execute and manage community volunteer tree planting events in cities around the nation.
  5. Promote Community ReLeaf activities and outcomes at local and national meetings, including making presentations as appropriate.
  6. Work with the communications department to develop project materials, such as press releases, talking points, blogs, videos, and website materials.
  7. Ensure that all donor and reporting requirements are met and provide donor stewardship with the goal of maintaining their support.

C.  Planning and implementation of activities associated with federal grants associated with the urban forests program.

  1. Take the lead role in administering federal grants for all urban forest initiatives.
  2. Ensure execution and timely delivery of all federal grant activities regarding the urban forests program.
  3. Manage budgets and reporting, with a particular focus on federal grants administration.
  4. Comply with federal grant management rules and regulations.

D.  Collaborate with other departments.

  1. Provide review and technical assistance on Forest Restoration projects in urban areas.
  2. In coordination with the Communications Department, oversee the content development of the urban forests program website and draft popular communication materials related to urban forests.
  3. Collaborate with Public Policy staff to advance urban forests policy.
  4. Collaborate with the Individual Giving and Corporate Partnerships Departments in developing strategies, including taking a lead on drafting federal and foundation grant proposals for the urban forest program.
  5. Collaborate with Finance, including keeping the CFO updated on the upcoming plan of work for the program for the next quarter and year. Ensure that the narrative reports and financial reports work together to accurately express the results of the program to funders.

E.   Develop and maintain relationships with public and private partner organizations.

  1. Develop and maintain relationships with federal and state agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, and corporations involved in urban forest activities.
  2. Play a leadership role in urban forest coalitions and partners, such as the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition.
  3. Develop relationships with potential funders and seek additional funding.


REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS: Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, natural resources, forest science, public policy or urban planning, with preferences for an advanced degree in urban forestry or related field. Arborist certification is a plus, or willing to become certified.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: Minimum of four years’ experience in project or program activity related to environmental or natural resource issues, experience focused on urban forests and related issues is preferred.  Strong program management, federal and foundation grants management, verbal/written communications and computer skills are required.  Public speaking skills are a plus. Skills and experience in managing and interpreting natural resource data are required. Familiarity with spatial analysis or urban forest management, as well as experience with project management, is preferred. Grant writing experience is preferred.

How to Apply

Please send cover letter and resume to

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