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National Forest Foundation

Explore Company PosterThe National Forest Foundation seeks to recruit an entrepreneurial and visionary leader to serve as President.

About the National Forest Foundation

Chartered by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) serves a unique role in restoring America’s National Forests as the partner of the U.S. Forest Service. NFF mission is: “To engage Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System (NFS), and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests.”

The NFF seeks to leverage public and private support to deliver measurable improvements in ecosystem vitality and resilience of key sites within the 193-million acre NFS at a meaningful scale. To support its focus on forest health, the NFF will engage communities in the stewardship and enjoyment of NFS lands and waters at high-priority sites. The site-based work is complemented by national level partnerships and activities focused on collaboration, ecosystems services, and natural capital. With a focus on outdoor experiences, the NFF seeks to enhance human enjoyment by helping to sustain and improve conditions for high quality recreational experiences. To carry out its mission, the NFF will ensure alignment with their principal partner, the U.S. Forest Service, in a critical point of intersection with civil society and the private sector.

Recognizing that meaningful human connections to places can be made through outdoor experiences, the NFF is also strategically focused on enhancing the experiences of all people on NFS lands, and creating increased opportunities for hands-on stewardship and ecologically sustainable recreation. The NFF grounds its work in site-based conservation, and then leverages its resources, learning, and nationwide network of partners to create a much broader, large-scale impact on NFS lands. NFF serves as a bridge between the Forest Service and communities, community-based nonprofit groups, the private sector, and collaborative organizations. NFF is a national organization that works directly on site-based conservation across NFS lands, and they also support partner organizations that achieve on-the-ground results across the nation. This national scope and wide breadth of site-based conservation work gives NFF an opportunity to identify lessons learned and best practices locally and share them across projects, forests, states, regions, and the nation, and educate Americans about their National Forests.

The NFF’s 2015 strategic plan maps a vision to carry the organization over the coming four years. The centerpiece of the strategy is a series of strategic goals. They represent benchmarks of excellence NFF hopes to achieve in advancing the mission and vision of the organization. The key goals are the following:

  • Deliver tangible outcomes on NFS lands across the country that will improve site conditions and allow the NFF to generate valuable lessons learned about forest health and outdoor experiences related issues that in turn, contribute to catalyzing public and private funding and engagement across a suite of sites across a targeted set of National Forests.

  • Develop additional sources of funding that will produce measurable results in revitalizing the health of our National Forests and supporting outdoor experiences. New sources will allow NFF to pursue a greater number of high-leverage activities within the NFF’s priority sites and be used to leverage public and private contributions and engagement.

  • Build the capacity of public and private sector partners to engage in collaborative stewardship projects that achieve goals for enhancing forest health and outdoor experiences on the NFS. Building this capacity strategically will set the foundation for increasing awareness and contributions for highest priority forest areas.

The NFF believe that communities should play a leading role in determining the future of our National Forests and Grasslands, so they focus their efforts on connecting these communities, and the people who comprise them, to the tools, knowledge, and funding to become active and devoted stewards of this incredible public estate. The challenges facing our National Forests and Grasslands are immense and complicated. But the NFF believe that the power of communities and collaboration can, and will, prove capable of meeting these challenges.

NFF’s strategic plan and legacy of work is built on the conviction that vibrant, healthy National Forests and Grasslands across America serve to sustain natural ecosystems, produce resources, and provide enjoyment for generations to come. The NFF has assets of 17.3 million, $2.8 million in a permanent endowment and a professional staff of 25. The organization is guided by a dedicated 25-member Board of Directors, who meet four times a year and sustain a 100% record of giving.

For more information about the National Forest Foundation, please visit www.nationalforests.org.

About the Position

The President will be a leader who inspires the organization and a growing array of stakeholders to engage in a deeply worthwhile mission. The President will possess the skills to shape the organization’s strategic direction and to greatly enhance the NFF’s fund raising resources. The President will be a person who has a keen desire to develop sustainable partnerships with other nonprofits, corporations, foundations, public policy leaders and individual donors. The President will thrive on the cultivation of genuine relationships with long-term potential to expand the NFF’s impact many fold. The President will bring an ability to create value for multiple stakeholders, reaching beyond ideological, partisan, or geographical interests. The President will be a forward looking person, seeing opportunities to create new ways to make the organization’s work even more impactful. In addition, the President will enhance the governance and leadership capabilities of Board through effective recruitment, training, and engagement. In the role as President, this person will also serve to carry NFF’s conservation message to critical national and state public policy leaders, elevating the importance of National Forests to our nation’s health, vitality, and future. The President needs to bring a genuine excitement and commitment about NFF’s mission. The current President is based in Missoula, Montana. However, the Board is open to exploring individuals who are not prepared to relocate to the Missoula. The broad goals and responsibilities for the President include:

  • To lead evolution and implementation of the NFF’s organizational vision, mission and strategic priorities.

  • To develop a vibrant future by continuing to cultivate, expand and make the best use of the NFF’s Board, volunteer leaders, staff and members.

  • To expand the financial base of the NFF, pursuing philanthropic funding sources and other creative sources of revenue for the organization.

  • To attract, inspire, retain, and manage a distributed team of professional staff who possess the capacity to fulfill the organization’s mission.

  • To expand the impact and value of the NFF as a strategic partner with the U.S. Forest Service.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes:

The new President should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Capacity to achieve results and lead, inspire and mobilize people -- particularly leaders, donors, partners and community-bases groups, in advancing NFF’s vision and mission.

  • A management style that is goal oriented, but flexible; that respects the capabilities and independence of volunteers and staff alike, but provides them with a clear sense of direction. • Demonstrated record of accomplishment and desire to lead a comprehensive fundraising program, including major donor, corporate and foundation solicitation, capital campaign activities, and other revenue generating programs.

  • Familiarity with fundamental concepts of land and water conservation, public lands management, and ecosystems integrity.

  • A solid grasp of how federal agencies work and how to maximize a special relationship with them.

  • Bachelor’s degree required with an advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred.

Personal Attributes:

  • A demonstrated passion for outdoor recreation and conservation.

  • Ability to think strategically, tactically and creatively.

  • A results-oriented individual, who possess a positive energetic commitment to the performance of a team.

  • Strong interpersonal skills.

  • An individual who inspires other with a “can do” approach to problem-solving, responsive, adaptive and resilient in the face of challenges.

  • Strong work ethic and willingness to travel extensively, often for weekend and evening engagements.


Compensation for the President includes a competitive salary and an excellent package of health and other employee benefits.

How to Apply

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

The National Forest Foundation is committed to diversity and invites individuals
who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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