Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

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Chief Board Relations Officer

Chief Board Relations Officer

Job ID 
# of Openings 
Job Locations 
US-NY-New York
Posted Date 
Institutional [205000]

More information about this job


NRDC works to restore the integrity of the elements that sustain life – air, land, and water – and to defend endangered natural places. It combines the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 600 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to protect nature in ways that advance the long-term welfare of present and future generations.


NRDC was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. Today’s leadership team and Board of Trustees make sure that the organization continues to work to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.


With dedicated staff working in more than a dozen program areas, NRDC partners with businesses, elected leaders, and community groups on the biggest environmental issues we face today.


NRDC has a budget of approximately $150 million and 600 employees. It is headquartered in New York City, with offices in: Washington, DC; Chicago; San Francisco and Santa Monica, California; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing, China. More information is available at




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 




  • 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.



  • 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, 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