Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

  • Chief Board Relations Officer

    Job Locations US-NY-New York
    Posted Date 4 months ago(2/12/2018 10:02 AM)
    Job ID
    # of Openings
    Institutional [205000]
  • Overview

    The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.


    Position Summary:


    The Chief Board Relations Officer (CBRO) manages the Board of Trustees and provides a wide variety of professional advice and support to NRDC’s President. The CBRO advises the President on relationships including Trustees, potential Trustees, as well as provides extensive professional assistance, project management, and recommendations on organizational issues and strategy.


    The CBRO is responsible for driving the effective management and engagement of the Board. This includes conceptualizing and executing quarterly Board meetings, staffing key Board committees, managing governance processes, and developing individual engagement strategies. The CBRO collaborates with the development department, particularly around fundraising and donor relations strategy development for Trustees and potential Trustees.


    The CBRO reports directly to the President. He/she fulfills a strategic coordinating role to ensure the President and Board Chair are effectively positioned to fulfill the work of the NRDC Board. The CBRO will provide issues identification, strategic advice, leadership on special projects, and facilitation. In specific, the CBRO will:


    • Manage and strengthen relationships with the Trustees; increase Board engagement; serve as nexus between Board and staff;
    • Serve as a sounding board and trusted advisor to the President on institutional strategy and development;
    • Work with the Chief Development Officer and President on high-level Trustee/donor engagement strategy;
    • With the President and Chair, conceptualize, plan, and execute agendas for four quarterly Board meetings and biannual Board retreats; staff key Board committees (Executive, Governance, and Nominating); monitor other Board committees and their staffing;
    • Manage all issues related to the Board including committees, Board agendas, meetings, and special projects;
    • Work collaboratively, as needed, with the Chief Development Officer on Trustee matters related to fundraising and donor relations;
    • Partner with the Corporate Counsel to ensure that the Board’s activities comply with all legal requirements and conform to sound governance practices.

    Please send applications or nominations to Jane Phillips Donaldson and Susan Meade at 


    First-Year Priorities:


    • Meet with each Trustee and develop strategies for strengthening engagement and service;
    • Develop plan for executing strategies and vision of Board Chair and President;
    • Plan and execute 2018 Board Meetings and create plan for 2019 Board Retreat;
    • Work closely with Committee Chairs to support the work of the Board committees;
    • Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and other staff.


    Ideal Profile:

    • An intellectual curiosity and passion for the mission of NRDC; a strategic thinker;
    • A proven track record of relevant experience working with complex boards and senior-level individuals; experience building relationships with high-net-worth people;
    • Ability to navigate complex organizations successfully and be comfortable dealing with ambiguity;
    • Politically savvy – both internally and externally; able to monitor the pulse of Board and staff
    • Exceptional organizational and implementation skills;
    • Collaborative – builds rapport with others and establishes credibility; a good listener;
    • Diplomatic, patient, and discreet, but self-sufficient and decisive;
    • Strong written and communications skills;
    • Bachelor’s degree required along with significant relevant experience, preferably with some nonprofit involvement.

    Please send applications or nominations to Jane Phillips Donaldson and Susan Meade at


    NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion.  We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.  We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment.  Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.


    Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


    If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.


    For further information about NRDC, please visit


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