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Position: Executive Director
Organization: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) – Southern Alberta Chapter
Location: Calgary/Southern Alberta


The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water, and to ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within them. CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1967, CPAWS Southern Alberta chapter has led conservation efforts to protect areas in Banff National Park, Kananaskis, the Whaleback, and the Castle, among many other areas.

CPAWS Southern Alberta is one of 13 not-for-profit chapters across Canada. As a volunteer-supported, grassroots organization, CPAWS Southern Alberta maintains a focus on the creation and protection of provincial and national parks. The chapter has expanded its mandate over the years into the areas of landscape-scale wilderness conservation and environmental education. Since 1997, CPAWS Southern Alberta has become a recognized leader in conservation education. Our classroom and outdoor programs connect youth and adults to nature, and inspire stewardship and support for conservation. CPAWS Southern Alberta’s curriculum-linked education programs have won provincial and national awards and have served more than 130,000 participants.


CPAWS Southern Alberta (CPAWS-SAB) is seeking an Executive Director (ED) to join our team in Calgary, Alberta. This is the most senior position in the organization, directing all operations, managing the core leadership team, and working with national office and other chapters. The ED is accountable to the CPAWS-SAB board of directors.


The ED will be responsible for ensuring the chapter meets the five objectives laid out in the chapter’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan:

  1. Achieve effective and timely conservation of Southern Alberta’s lands and waters.
  2. Be a leader in conservation education.
  3. Build new and existing relationships to strengthen conservation.
  4. Strengthen and grow constituency and support for conservation.
  5. Operate with integrity.

(More detail on the strategic plan can be found on the CPAWS-SAB website here


  • The ED will oversee the management and operations of CPAWS-SAB, which includes:
    • the development of and reporting on the annual operational budget
    • maintaining and updating risk assessment and incident reporting procedures
    • maintaining efficient administration of the chapter
    • maintaining compliance with personnel management policies and procedures
    • providing staff with direction, support, guidance, coordination, and feedback
    • hiring, training/coaching, supervising, evaluating, and managing staff
    • leading the implementation of the chapter’s strategic plan, including annual operational plans, evaluation, and reporting
    • adhering to all legal obligations of the chapter
    • serving as an ex officio member of the board of directors, and as a member of the board’s Executive Committee
    • assisting the board with the Annual General Meeting
    • providing the primary communication link between staff, board, and national office
    • reporting to the board and being accountable for all operational aspects of the chapter
    • supporting team development and positive organizational culture.
  • The ED will have a strong understanding of CPAWS-SAB’s work and will provide the direction and support to staff to maintain a solid reputation, ensure efficiency, and further strengthen the chapter. These duties include:
    • representing the chapter regionally and nationally, and fulfilling any roles and responsibilities as per agreements with National CPAWS
    • ensuring CPAWS-SAB is an influential and respected presence in the conservation community and in the southern Alberta political landscape
    • maintaining regulator liaison with other conservation-minded organizations in the region to encourage closer collaboration
    • ensuring CPAWS-SAB maintains a solid financial foundation, including the creation and implementation of a robust fund-development plan
    • leading the stewardship and development of major donors
    • supporting volunteering, engagement, communications, media relations, education, and conservation campaign design and development
    • maintaining open communications and build relationships with all levels of government.


1. Thinking and acting strategically

Thinking conceptually about the “big picture” and in which direction the organization is/should be headed; developing long-term plans to achieve the desired outcomes and linking daily work to long-term vision.

2. Resource & process management

Efficiently managing resources (people, funding, materials and space) and processes to achieve organizational objectives.

3. Development

Working genuinely to build capacity and foster individual, team, and organizational development.

4. Relationship building

Identifying, building, and maintaining formal and informal relationships and networks that add value to others, support the achievement of role-related objectives and further the interests of CPAWS-SAB.

5. Accountability for performance & results

Taking ownership and accountability for delivering desired results in the right way and improving individual, team, and organizational contributions.

6. Change & innovation

Leading change and improvement to move the CPAWS-SAB chapter ahead and enhance organizational results. Developing the skills, attitudes and behaviours neededto produce new or improved programs, services, outputs and strategies to meet current and future needs and gain competitiveadvantage.

7. Influence

Developing influencing skills helps to communicate the organization’s vision or goals, align the efforts of others, and build commitment from people at all levels. Ultimately, influence allows leaders to get things done and achieve desirable outcomes.

8. Learning agility

To be an active learner, and demonstrate the ability to value and seek out the lessons of experience. This involves recognizing when new behaviors, skills, or attitudes are needed and accepting responsibility for developing them.


  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a relevant field.
  • Three years of relevant work experience in a leadership role.
  • Familiarity with the conservation community in southern Alberta.


Send a cover letter (maximum two pages), CV, and a list of at least three references to:
In your cover letter, please describe how your experience and qualifications are specifically suited for successful leadership in the conservation community in Southern Alberta.

The posting will remain active until the position is filled.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date publiée : Oct 1 2019    Numéro : 54448