Now Hiring: Mississippi River Program Manager

Biodiversity Project seeks a full-time program manager with exceptional coordination skills to manage the Mississippi River program. Ideal candidates will have at least 2-3 years of experience managing coalitions, facilitating meetings and over-seeing broad strategy goals.


The Mississippi Program Manager manages the Mississippi River Network (MRN). The MRN is a coalition of 37 organizations dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mississippi River for the well-being of the land, water and people of the country’s greatest River. Biodiversity Project has managed this Network and its component communications and policy strategies since 2008.


Biodiversity Project is a nonprofit organization that designs, implements and evaluates communication, education and outreach initiatives that inspire people to make the connection between their values and environmental causes.  Our work motivates targeted audiences to take action to protect and restore the Earth’s natural resources and to use them sustainably.


The Mississippi Program Manager will work with Biodiversity Project’s Executive Director and Communications Manager to develop public communications and policy strategies. The Program Manager will then coordinate and implement these two parallel and interconnected strategies. The Program Manager will also coordinate the efforts of two MRN staff: the Mississippi Campaign Manager (who implements the public campaign strategy) and the Mississippi Policy Manager (who implements the policy strategy). The Program Manager will ensure that the Network’s communications and policy strategies are consistently moving forward and that all efforts complement each other.


The Mississippi Program Manager will follow the governance rules created by the Network members. The Network governance includes three standing committees: Steering, Policy, and Public Communications. The Program Manager will facilitate and encourage member engagement in all three committees as well as at the Network’s annual meeting. This job does require travel, approximately 8-15 times per year.


In addition to managing the Mississippi River Network, the Mississippi Program Manager will use approximately 15% of their time working on Biodiversity Project related programs. This work will require similar skills and include similar activities as those listed below.

Responsibilities for the Mississippi River Program:

  • Create agendas for and facilitate all committee meetings—Steering, Policy and Public Communications
  • Create agendas for and facilitate all internal MRN meetings with Policy Manager and Campaign Manager
  • Create agendas for and facilitate all internal MRN planning meetings for long-term strategy and last-minute opportunities (including Executive Director, Communications Manager, Policy Manger and Campaign Manager)
  • Manage MRN budgets
  • Coordinate the work of Campaign Manager and Policy Manager
  • Assist with editing of Mississippi-related materials, articles, press releases, grants, grant reports, fact sheets, website text, Power Point presentations and monthly Network updates
  • Represent the Network at non-Network meetings
  • Give presentations on MRN goals and strategies to partners, funders and peers
  • Recruit new MRN members
  • MRN member development (phone calls and check-ins) to ensure that all members are engaged
  • Supervise grants and foster relationships with corporate sponsors
  • Develop long-term communications strategies for MRN members, River Citizens and Media
  • Organize MRN annual meeting agenda and logistics
  • Perform other duties, as assigned


Responsibilities for Biodiversity Project work:

  • Attend staff meetings
  • Participate in group work sessions, like strategic planning, brainstorming, large mailings, etc.
  • Help with non-Mississippi related writing tasks, as necessary and appropriate
  • Targeted fundraising and grant writing



  • Experience managing a coalition
  • Experience working on a large, multi-faceted environmental or policy campaign
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and a friendly, outgoing manner
  • Ability to lead and facilitate meetings
  • Adept at managing and coordinating several different projects simultaneously
  • Comfortable with networking, meeting new people and building relationships
  • Must have previously worked as part of a team
  • Strong attention to details



This is a salaried full time position.



Biodiversity Project’s offices are located at 4507 North Ravenswood in Chicago.



Salary and Benefits

  • $40,000 annual salary
  • $300 per month towards a Health Reimbursement Account (this is different than a Health Savings Account)
  • Vacation:         Year 1: 15 days

Year 2 and on: 20 days

After 5 years: 25 days

  • Nine paid sick days
  • Ten paid holidays


The Mississippi Program Manager reports to the Executive Director. The Mississippi Campaign Manager and the Mississippi Policy Manager also report to the Executive Director. However it is the role of the Mississippi Program Manager to coordinate the work of the Campaign and Policy Managers.


Application Details

Prepare a cover letter detailing how you meet the qualifications listed above. E-mail cover letter and resume to Jennifer Browning, jbrowning@biodiverse.org. In the e-mail subject line write Mississippi Program Manager. No phone calls, please. Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2011.