Website Consultative Group on Biological Diversity

The Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, based in San Francisco, CA, is seeking an Executive Director.

The Organization

Founded in 1987, the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (CGBD) is a professional association of grantmaking foundations working together to fulfill a vision of a just, healthy, and sustainable future for all life on Earth supported by an effective philanthropic sector. The organization’s mission is to support and grow a community of biodiversity grantmakers that pursues complementary and collaborative strategies.

The CGBD has 80 core foundation members, a budget of $1.8M and a staff of ten including an intern and a consultant. A Board of Directors composed of representatives from ten member foundations governs the organization. The CGBD supports a growing set of member-driven programs including Marine Conservation, Conservation Science, Land and Freshwater Conservation, the Climate and Energy Funders Group, International Connections, the Gulf of California/Mexico Funders, and Funders of the Amazon Basin.

In addition to members, an additional 50 foundations are actively involved in the work of these programs. Each year, the CGBD organizes a four-day annual members meeting, at least six other multi-day funder meetings, dozens of webinars and conference calls, a monthly online newsletter, and a continually updated website.

The CGBD recently completed a brand refresh and is transitioning to a new name, the Biodiversity Funders Group. More information about the CGBD can be seen at

Executive Director

The Executive Director will work with a dedicated Board of Directors and a Leadership Team that includes co-chairs from all its programs, relevant staff, and key foundation personnel. The Executive Director will lead the CGBD’s activities to inform and advance the critical and ever-evolving domestic and global biodiversity funding priorities of its members. The Executive Director’s overall responsibility is to ensure that the work of CGBD’s leadership and members is supported in a way that is timely and effective, and that thoughtfully reflects member values, history, traditions, learning, and aspirations.

Specifically, the Executive Director will be charged with these goals and objectives:

  • To serve as a champion for the vision, mission, direction, and activities of the CGBD, by building, strengthening, and maintaining relationships with essential stakeholders, donors, partners, and other constituencies in this field.
  • To provide organizational leadership for the CGBD, implementing established program priorities and nurturing a culture that recruits, retains, and serves members and top-level professional staff.
  • To increase the likelihood of a vibrant future by continuing to cultivate, develop, and make best use of the CGBD’s Board of Directors, members, and partners.
  • To develop, raise, and manage the annual budget and ensure the overall financial, operational, and administrative health of the organization.
  • To provide regular, relevant information to the Board and members about key issues; organize and manage outstanding strategy and information sessions on topics of interest to members; and facilitate communication among members.
  • To work with an annual meeting planning committee to choreograph and execute CGBD’s signature annual event so that it is rigorous, useful, and fun; and to oversee professional staff who implement other recurring and one-off gatherings.
  • To work with a Horizon Committee to identify emerging trends and issues, and organize seminars, briefings, and other forums to distribute information and otherwise support members in crafting new collective philanthropic strategies.
  • To lead the International Connections Program in cross-cutting educational and collaborative initiatives for members funding outside the United States.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Executive Director will have key professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Responsive leadership style, with the capacity to amplify and deploy the CGBD’s many assets while ensuring that members drive the organization.
  • Leadership and business acumen; a proven record of organizational effectiveness, engaging and fully utilizing a Board; superb attention to detail; competence and sensitivity with staff management, budgeting, and stewardship of financial resources.
  • Experience recruiting, directing, motivating, and developing personnel while building a nimble yet effective infrastructure needed to support a member-based organization.
  • Experience building effective networks, partnerships, and/or coalitions; logistical savvy that includes planning and facilitating excellent meetings and convening.
  • Ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas, demonstrating intellectual curiosity, approachability, and openness to input from diverse staff and members.
  • Superb organizational and interpersonal skills combined with a demonstrated ability to prioritize demands diplomatically. Willingness to scan continually for needs of staff and members, and pitch in to undertake administrative or other tasks, as needed.
  • Familiarity with tools and trends to enable satisfying collaboration despite geography.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, with an advanced degree or equivalent strongly preferred.
  • The highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.
  • Willingness and ability to travel is required.

Personal Attributes:

  • Evidence of a deep commitment to the vision, mission, and constituencies of CGBD.
  • Ability to inspire trust, lead, and facilitate with strong interpersonal skills that help move people and organizations, individually and collectively, from ideas to action.
  • Ability to stay grounded, be responsive but not reactionary, and give credit and recognition to others.
  • A servant leader’s tenacity, clarity, humility, empathy, positivity, curiosity, and humor.
  • Derives professional satisfaction from helping members connect with each other and outside experts to enlighten, inspire, inform, and enable timely action.


This is a full-time position based in San Francisco, CA. The CGBD offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with experience. The salary range for the Executive Director position is $150,000-$170,000 per year.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter explaining how their goals, skills, and background fit this position, the names of at least three references familiar with their relevant professional history, and a current resume to

Your cover letter, reference list, and resume should be compiled into a single PDF file. We will not contact references without prior notice. Priority will be given to complete applications received by September 18th, 2017, with first screening to begin soon thereafter and interviews with finalists to be scheduled in early November.

The Consultative Group on Biological Diversity is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages a diverse candidate pool for this search.

To apply for this job email your details to