Job Summary 
The CNPS Education and Stewardship Director will lead the implementation of innovative programs that create opportunities for people to connect with native plants, increase community and youth engagement, and reduce barriers to access to nature’s benefits. CNPS is forming a new Education and Stewardship department to enhance synergies between existing staff sections focused on education, community science, horticulture, and restoration.

The director will lead a talented and dedicated team of professionals with expertise in education (youth and collegiate/professional programming), community science, horticulture, and restoration. The director will manage and mentor eight staff, including two direct reports (a seasoned Manager for Horticulture and Stewardship and a new (pending hire) Manager for Community Science and Education) to deliver accessible, inclusive, and relevant programming that advances CNPS’s mission and vision.

This work includes educational programming that engages people in learning about and forming deeper connections with native plants; community science that meets the needs of communities and addresses gaps in biodiversity science; and stewardship activities that promote the responsible use and protection of native plants and their habitats, with a focus on native plant horticulture and habitat restoration. CNPS’s horticulture team is driving a “habitat revolution” that is enhancing the biodiversity benefits of native plants in California’s built environment, supported by public engagement and education, workforce training, and new platform features and enhancements of Calscape – CNPS’s native plant database that already attracts over 1.4 million visitors annually.

The director will be responsible for building a cohesive education and stewardship team, strengthening collaboration with other CNPS departments, and aligning with a network of chapter volunteers to deliver exciting programming that creates opportunities for inclusive professional and recreational experiences with California native plants.

Additional Information

  • This is a hybrid, full-time, exempt position. The primary work location is based in midtown Sacramento at the CNPS Headquarters
  • Work time is generally Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM, with some flexibility
  • A valid California driver’s license is required
  • Periodic travel to locations throughout California is required (work travel is reimbursed)

What You’ll Do
Build an inclusive and effective team

  • Mentor E&S staff and guide day-to-day work by defining clear objectives, providing active feedback on projects, supporting professional development, and conducting meaningful annual performance reviews
  • Develop processes and protocols to enhance synergies within E&S and between E&S and other staff sections
  • Strengthen collaboration between staff and volunteers to support successful chapter activities in areas of E&S oversight

Lead and deliver high-impact programming

  • Direct the ongoing design and implementation of CNPS programming and resources in education, community science, horticulture, and stewardship, ensuring that programming aligns with the CNPS Strategic Plan and priority Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) actions
  • Lead development and implementation of grants and contracts. Education and stewardship are areas of strategic opportunity for CNPS, and the director will be expected to collaborate with the CNPS Development team to aggressively pursue funding opportunities from foundations, organizations, and government agencies to support education and stewardship programs and initiatives
  • Oversee planning and execution of the triannual CNPS Conference, leading a team of staff, volunteers and consultants to deliver a high-quality program that brings together preeminent voices, research, and timely conversations in the native plant movement
  • Oversee the development of a vision and plan for a future CNPS Public Education Center to enhance the delivery of CNPS education programming
  • Lead annual departmental action planning and budget development

Strengthen partnerships and coalitions

  • Lead CNPS engagement in strategic partnerships and coalitions focused on the widespread availability and adoption of native plant use in landscaping and gardening
  • Lead the development of partnerships with educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations supporting native plant education and workforce development
  • Support CNPS participation in coalitions that promote ecologically sound land management practices and Indigenous co-stewardship of public lands

Who You Are

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher, with a background in education and natural sciences
  • 8-10 years of related professional experience, including 4-6 years of supervisory experience
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and experience leading diverse teams towards the achievement of collective goals and outcomes
  • A proven track record of managing large-scale and complex education and engagement programs that involve diverse partners and audiences
  • Demonstrated experience developing and managing action plans and program budgets
  • Demonstrated experience successfully planning large events or managing highly complex projects to completion
  • Commitment to advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, and demonstrated experience with managing organizational change
  • Solid understanding of best practices in education and interpretation
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal), visioning, and problem-solving skills
  • Familiarity with California native plants and plant communities
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite and the ability to connect effectively with others using hybrid/remote technologies

Preferred Qualifications
While CNPS recognizes that not every individual will exhibit all of these characteristics, the successful candidate will possess at least one – and ideally more than one – of the following:

  • Master’s degree or higher
  • Bilingualism (Fluency in more than one language commonly spoken in California.)
  • An understanding of California conservation challenges and opportunities, and familiarity with local organizations and government agencies working on these issues
  • Previous experience facilitating engagement with Indigenous partners and communities
  • Knowledge of CNPS

Physical Requirements
This job can require prolonged sitting and use of a computer and mouse. It may require participation in field trips on uneven trails with variable grades. These requirements are representative, and reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

CNPS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

What You’ll Get

  • Annual starting salary from $105,740.17 – $109,768.23
  • 100% of employee premiums for health (Kaiser or Anthem), life, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with up to 6% matching contributions, eligible immediately
  • Optional flexible spending account (FSA) / health savings account (HSA), dependent care account (DCA) and/or transportation savings account (TSA)
  • Annual paid leave benefits include 13 holidays, 12 sick/wellness days, and 15 paid vacation days
  • 16 weeks paid parental leave, after 12 months
  • A CNPS-issued laptop, $750 home office stipend, and $60/month telework stipend
  • Attendance at biannual staff team building events

About California Native Plant Society

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit conservation organization (www.cnps.org) founded in 1965, with almost 13,000 members in 35 chapters across California and Baja California Mexico. The mission of CNPS is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through scientific study, education, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship.