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Nov 18 / BARD CEP

Executive Director – Albuquerque, NM

Organization: Cottonwood Gulch Foundation

Job Title: Executive Director

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Hours and Compensation: paid

Application Deadline: ASAP

Posted on: Nov 16

Organization Overview:

The Cottonwood Gulch Foundation sponsors educational wilderness expeditions and outdoor programs in the American Southwest that promote personal growth, scientific, historic, and cultural discovery as well as a knowledgeable environmental ethic among all those who participate.

About The Gulch:
Founded in 1926, The Cottonwood Gulch Foundation is an educational non-profit 501(c)3 organization that runs small group wilderness expeditions for 10-19 year olds and operates a nature preserve and environmental education facility (“base camp”) in northwestern New Mexico. At The Gulch, we believe that knowledge provides the basis for excitement; that to fully experience the wonder of the Southwest we must seek to understand it. Through our 540-acre preserve and our traveling expeditions across the Southwest, our program focuses on hands-on learning in art, ecology, and archeology.

Our summer programs (Treks) enroll 100-150 participants each year in wilderness expeditions ranging from two to seven weeks. The expeditions are equal parts adventure (backpacking, camping, rock climbing) and outdoor education. Our Trekkers are a diverse and national group, with 20% receiving financial aid. We have a loyal and active alumni base, which assists the Foundation in recruiting efforts and maintains generous annual support. The Foundation also provides courses in outdoor education for schools and other groups during the academic school year. The Gulch has a seasonal staff of 35 instructors, an annual operating budget of $500,000 and an endowment of $600,000.


The Executive Director will lead all operations of the Foundation, including program, staffing, development, fundraising, financial management and strategic planning. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees. Operationally, the Executive Director works with the Assistant Director and Office Manager on enrollment, hiring, program development, and base camp facility maintenance. The Executive Director will implement the current strategic initiatives of the Foundation, which include neighbor relations and ecological restoration at the base camp.
The position is based in Albuquerque, NM. Travel within the state and the US is required, as is summer residence at the base camp, situated 100 miles northwest of Albuquerque. We offer a competitive salary and benefits, including health insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, and paid vacation time.


We seek a highly responsible, dynamic, and visionary leader, who is passionate about the Gulch’s mission and who will maintain the pace of our progress. Successful candidates will have at least five years of leadership experience in a school or non-profit setting. The Executive Director must be able to work with various constituencies (Trekkers, staff, parents, neighbors, government agencies, boards, and alumni). The position requires a respect for tradition, an innovative disposition, and a desire to embody the Gulch standard of “seeing a job and doing it.” The ideal candidate will have environmental education experience, a record of motivating staff teams, a remarkable capacity for thinking on one’s feet, familiarity with the Southwest, and a proven ability to create a fun and challenging environment for all program participants.

How to Apply:

Introduce yourself and your interest in a one to two page letter. Send letter along with resume to Open until filled; deadline for application is December 15, 2011. Visit to learn more. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

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