Chief Operating Officer Posted Mar 29
Island Conservation , Santa Cruz, CA
POSITION TITLE: Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Santa Cruz, CA, Full Time

Island Conservation (IC), a global leader in the conservation of threatened island biodiversity, is working to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. In collaboration with regional partners, IC designs and implements conservation projects which ensure native species protection and demonstrate cutting-edge invasive species removal techniques. IC also supports on-the-ground research to optimize the success of invasive vertebrate removal. Our mission is focused, and our conservation outcomes are tangible and measureable. Since its founding in 1994, IC’s conservation efforts have saved 399 species from extinction. IC is based in Santa Cruz, California with projects and/or offices in Hawaii, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Palau, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Galapagos, Ecuador. For more information, please visit

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will join the organizational Leadership Team at Island Conservation, and will be based in Santa Cruz, California. The COO will be responsible for providing the leadership, management and strategic vision necessary to effectively run the organization, ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. The COO will oversee Island Conservation’s financial affairs and provide expertise and insights to help the organization make well-informed, and sound business decisions. This position will report to the Chief Executive Officer and will serve as a key leader and thought partner on the organizational Leadership Team.

Key attributes include:
• Proven leadership in financial and operational management
• Experience and understanding of international non-profit finance
• Demonstrated experience with U.S. federal grants and contracts, multilateral, and bi-lateral funding sources
• Demonstrated experience conducting and analyzing forecasts and building financial and operational staffing capacity models
• Ability to design, implement, and manage financial, legal and operational systems which are appropriately scaled to Island Conservation
• Exceptional ability to manage a small team, and communicate effectively with peers
• Proven ability to manage organizational change constructively and sensitively
• A deep commitment to the mission of Island Conservation
• Impeccable integrity

Financial and Operational Management
• Understand and manage fiscal health of organization and investment of reserves
• Act as the organization’s key financial leader, decision-maker and approve spending of organizational resources
• Present information on the organization’s financial health to the Board of Directors, Board committees, and staff.
• Review and evaluate current budget and financial processes and make suggestions for changes as needed
• Plan and forecast financials
• Assess feasibility of revenue and modeling growth and costs/revenues
• Manage yearly audit
• Facilitate alignment of operational systems across organization
• Oversee organization’s domestic and overseas human resources, insurance and risk management
• Communicate with Island Conservation’s Board Finance Committee, lawyers, and CPAs
Team Management
• Guide team on financial decisions
• Oversee general organization finances including departmental overlaps, such as in budgeting processes and protocol (e.g., finance, human resources, philanthropy)
• Oversee staff on the Finance/Administration team
Organizational Leadership
• Guide and support CEO on organizational decisions
• Operationalize CEO vision around initiatives such as organizational health, leading and demonstrating organizational behavior and values, etc.
• Partner with CEO on aspects of leadership management and coaching
• Coordinate and liaise with the Board of Directors
• Support and oversee internal communications
The COO ideally should embody the following professional qualifications:
• Minimum 7+ years in similar financial and organizational development management role with increasing levels of responsibility
• Bachelor’s or MBA (preferred) degree in business, finance, or accounting
• High-level experience in international non-profit or business sector preferred
• Experience with multi-national, multi-lateral, multi-agency accounting issues
• International accounting and contracting experience preferred
• Strong communication skills and excellent written and spoken English language skills; Spanish language skills a plus
• Proven managerial talent as a visionary, strategic, and collaborative leader of organizational finance and operations
• Excellent ability to act as a coach and guide for the team by utilizing critical thinking and creative solutions skills with regards to finances and operations
• Advanced computer skills including in-depth experience with QuickBooks, Adobe, and Microsoft Office; experience with Salesforce is desired
• Experience with federal and international funders such as National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Global Environment Facility (GEF) a plus
The COO ideally should embody the following personal attributes:
• Proven team player and leader, able to motivate and inspire staff as well as colleagues to work well as a team - a leader not a boss
• Superlative interpersonal skills, including a willingness to listen to internal and external constituents and learn from their best ideas
• Exceptional analytical, strategic, and tactical ability, as measured through execution of projects and/or processes that meet and surpass expectations
• Intellectual curiosity, approachability, and openness to input from all levels of staff
• High energy level, personable, trustworthy, diplomatic, respectful and in possession of impeccable integrity
• Articulate, with proven ability to write effectively and speak persuasively
• Thrives in a fast-paced environment and effective multi-tasker
• Strong cultural fit: Able to work with self-motivated, mission driven staff in flexible workplace
• Willingness and ability to work through peak activity periods, as required
• Willingness to travel internationally and work across different time zones

We desire a start date as soon as is feasible; however, the position will remain open until a suitable applicant is found.

Island Conservation is an equal opportunity employer. Island Conservation offers a salary and benefits package that is competitive with other international not-for-profit conservation organizations.
• Principals only. Recruiters, please do not contact this job poster.
• Please, no phone calls about this job!
• Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Interested candidates should prepare an application as one PDF that includes the following: a cover letter, CV, two references, and salary expectations. Please label your application as LastnameCV-COO.pdf

Email your application to at Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, who is coordinating the recruitment process. Please include IC COO 2018 in the subject line. We will be reviewing candidates starting April 6, 2018 and continue to accept applications until the position is filled.