Executive Director
Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.

Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., (DWL) is seeking to recruit an Executive Director located in Townsend, DE.

About Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.

Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., is the State of Delaware’s oldest and largest land trust.  Since their founding in 1961, Delaware Wild Lands has permanently protected more than 31,800 acres of land, 21,800 acres of which they now own and manage for vibrant wetlands and wildlife habitat, clean air and pure water, and healthy farms and forests.  They support traditional uses of the landscape, including farming, forestry, and hunting, and are deeply committed to high quality stewardship and management of our lands to ensure their character, biodiversity, and natural beauty and bounty are safeguarded forever.

For more information on Delaware Wild Lands, please visit: https://dewildlands.org.

About the Position: Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, strategic plan, financial and real assets, workplace strategy and implementation of the organization. This includes directing and managing Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.’s program in Delaware, as well as those holdings in Maryland and Virginia, and assuring that it has the capacity to effectively protect priority properties within its areas of concern.

A key component of the Executive Director’s responsibilities is to oversee leasing of properties (farming, hunting, residential, trapping), contracts related to DWL’s activities (land management, timber harvests, restoration, research surveys, biological inventories, regulatory compliance, etc.), and how these leases and land management activities remain complementary and aligned so as to advance the mission of the organization. This will entail developing and implementing short and long-range plans, raising capital and operating funds, working with individual and institutional partners, carrying out land protection objectives, and supervising office and other staff to accomplish these objectives. These duties are carried out under the guidance and direction of the Board of Directors and are accomplished through close cooperation with landowners, corporations, universities, government agencies, and private organizations.

The Executive Director supervises the staff of DWL and will report directly to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director is based in Townsend, DE.

The broad goals and objectives for the Executive Director are the following:

  • Oversee all strategic messaging about DWL’s mission, programs, activities, and results; draft the content and/or supervise or assist the content development, writing, editing, and production of presentations, legislative testimony, talking points for key stakeholders (i.e., Board members), and publications, including press releases, newsletters, articles, reports, and web publishing.
  • Advise the Board of Directors and provide leadership to the staff in determining and prioritizing areas of significant natural value that should be protected and/or restored by the organization through acquisition or other means.
  • Ensure the overall financial health of the organization by preparing and recommending an annual budget for Board approval. Manage personnel and financial resources within the annual budget; monitor budgetary and financial procedures to ensure that generally accepted accounting practices are being followed. Responsible for procurement and administration of federal, state, and private (grant and foundation) monies to fulfill programmatic and organizational responsibilities and needs. Monitor management of endowment fund and investments.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization with stakeholders, legislators, the media, governmental agencies, contractors, partner organizations, donors, volunteers, and other audiences.
  • Raise funds for operations, land acquisition, and other programs, including major gifts, annual appeals, grant writing, and other means with emphasis on securing operational dollars. This includes cultivating and motivating donors and partner organizations and identifying new funding sources.
  • Report to the Board of Directors and serve as the principal advisor to the Board and its committees. Maintain a strong working relationship with the President of the Board. Serve as the liaison between Board and staff. Prepare and provide an annual/activity report and quarterly progress reports to the Board.  Maintain accurate and appropriate records of all proceedings of the Board of Directors.

The Executive Director should ideally embody the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree in natural resource or watershed management, ecology, biology, hydrogeology, marine science, or a related field and an advanced degree in business, public policy or related field is preferred.
  • Ability to represent DWL before many audiences and in a wide range of situations.
  • A capacity to build and sustain important public/private partnerships at the Federal, State, and local level.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and administering a comprehensive fundraising program including individual donors, corporate and foundation solicitation, capital campaign activities, and other revenue generating activities.
  • Experience and skill in working with a volunteer Board of Directors.
  • High level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
  • Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development.
  • Ability to effectively communicate the organization’s mission to donors, volunteers, and diverse communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff.
  • A history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  • Active fundraising experience and excellent donor or client relations preferred.
  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence such as funders, partner agencies, and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a team player and with grace and flexibility when faced with multiple time-sensitive priorities and a changing environment.
  • Superb writing and editing skills and strong interpersonal and professional communication skills.
  • Strong organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Strong financial management skills including oversight of budget preparation and analysis, decision making, and reporting.

Personal Attributes

  • Passionate commitment to Delaware Wild Land’s mission and its guiding principles; inspires respect and trust.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and public speaking and presentation skills.
  • A team builder who inspires collaboration; demonstrated success in collaborative work with external colleagues as well as internal ones.
  • Ability to solve problems with initiative, energy, and a positive attitude.
  • Adept interpersonal communications skills including ability to present complex ideas in a compelling manner and an ability to build trust and listen effectively.
  • An outstanding relationship builder, with a desire and capacity to establish broad and diverse connections to a global community.
  • Discretion with donors and a willingness to respect the relationship of trust that DWL has with its stakeholders and partners.


Compensation for the Executive Director includes a competitive base salary, and an excellent package of health and employee benefits which includes relocation package; health, life, vision, and dental insurance; life insurance and short and long-term disability insurance, 401k retirement plan with employer contribution; use of company vehicle; and paid time off.

How to Apply 

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter, responding specifically to the experience and qualifications required, to Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com.  Refer to DWL/ED in the subject line.  No phone inquiries please.

Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., is an equal opportunity employer and seeks a diverse pool of candidates in this search. Diversity is an asset essential to accomplishing their work. They value differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make employees unique. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

 All correspondence will remain confidential.