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Jobs at The Trust for Public Land

Among all national conservation organizations, only The Trust for Public Land focuses on conserving land for people. We offer challenging and rewarding careers for people who seek to leave a legacy of protected lands. Our staff of more than 300 committed and talented professionals works across the country.

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to the address listed at the bottom of each job posting. All job postings are current—positions are listed until filled. We strive to make our job postings accessible to all users. If you need assistance completing the application process, please contact us at 415-495-4014 or

Tennessee State Director

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Date Posted: 07-31-2017
 Summary:  The State Director is responsible for developing and managing The Trust for Public Land’s programmatic activities within a specific state.  The Director will have responsibility for developing a 3- to 5-year strategic plan that identifies future opportunities, programs, and projects for the region.
In all of this work, the State Director manages and mentors the operations staff and works in close collaboration with the State Directors of Philanthropy to raise funding to support the region’s programs and operating costs. The State Director is also responsible for working with public/non-profit partners, major donors, the local Advisory Board, and others within the TPL organization to enhance opportunities for success of the office and its program. The individual must demonstrate a proven track record working with key individuals in the philanthropic community.
35%    Philanthropy:  Funding support is derived primarily from private philanthropic dollars.  The State Director will work in close coordination with the local and national TPL philanthropy staff to cultivate and solicit major gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.  S/he will work in partnership with philanthropy staff to create and implement a fundraising plan.  Working with local philanthropy staff leadership, the State Director will manage the local Advisory Boards, and serve as the primary face of TPL in the donor community.
25% Program Development and Management:  The State Director will be responsible for directing staff and working with program partners, both public and private, to complete existing  projects and to develop new ones, specifically those that are region-specific.  This includes evaluating new project and program opportunities in conservation vision, conservation finance, conservation real estate, park design and development, and national programs like Climate Smart Cities, green infrastructure, and health among others.  In all of this work, the development and maintenance of positive relationships with key public and non-profit partners, as well as major donors will be paramount.  This position collaborates with senior leadership, finance and volunteer leaders in developing and implementing strategies that achieve mission delivery goals, and are compelling and financially viable.
15%    Management/Administration:  The State Director is responsible for supervising staff who report to her/him, and for creating a positive working environment for the entire office, strong staff morale and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff, including philanthropy staff who do not report to the Director.  The State Director is responsible for working with the finance team to develop the office budgets and taking necessary actions to meet or exceed the targets and maintain a work climate which attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.
25%    External Relations: The State Director will be expected to represent The Trust for Public Land and build the organization’s visibility in the local market.  This includes establishing sound working relationships with public officials and staff civic leaders, partner non-profits, the media, the donor community and others. 
Within the first year, the successful candidate will have:
  • Mastered a learning curve of the Trust for Public Land to effectively assume management of the future of the state office.  This includes an understanding of our core practice areas (PLAN, FUND, PROTECT, and CREATE), as well as national programs, and embracing a role in fundraising.
  • Built external relationships with our partners, especially members of the Advisory Boards, civic organizations, and governmental entities
  • In partnership with Directors of Philanthropy, develop a top 10-20 list of major donors in each market with a strong emphasis on individuals.  The State Director will be the natural partner for these donors.
  • Lead the development of a 3-5 year strategic plan
  • Become proficient in organizational financial systems to ensure a sustainable model
  • Identify new program and project opportunities.
  • Build and strengthen the advisory council.
  • Communicate effectively with the advisory councils and volunteer leaders – providing all information necessary for the council to function properly and to inspire their active engagement and support of local and national activities.
  • Responsive for maintaining and enhancing our image by being active and visible in the communities


  • A Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, urban studies, landscape architecture or related fields. An advanced degree preferred
  • At least 5 years’ experience in an organization focused on public urban work and/or land protection
  • At least 8 years of relevant non-profit work experience or the equivalent, including at least 5 years of staff management experience.  Experience serving as an Executive Director preferred.
  • Experience with interfacing with and effectively engaging diverse groups (staff, volunteers, stakeholders, politicians, agency partners, etc.)
  • Extensive experience working with fund raisers, raising mission support from public and private sources
  • Experience with public finance techniques, government funding practices and procedures, the foundation community, fundraising, marketing practices, best management practices and budgeting practices.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, energy, the capacity to lead, mentor and inspire others, the capacity to be both a high performer and a team player, common sense and a sense of humor.
  • Excellent communication skills including writing and  public speaking.
  • An ability and willingness to travel as required and to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule.
  • A passionate commitment to The Trust for Public Land’s mission of creating parks and protecting land for people.
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