Executive Director, Arizona Land and Water Trust

Cory King

Tucson, AZ


Arizona Land and Water Trust (ALWT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that protects Southern Arizona’s western landscapes, its farms and ranches, wildlife habitat, and the waters that sustain them.  The Trust has been Accredited by the Land Trust Alliance since 2013, and in 2016 ALWT received the Alliance’s Land Trust Excellence award and was asked to serve on its National Council.  ALWT is the only land and water trust working exclusively in Arizona.  Since its founding in 1978, the organization has conserved over 67,000 acres of the ranch and farmland, riparian areas and wetlands that draw visitors and residents alike to the region.


ALWT takes an entrepreneurial approach to protecting the land, working with willing landowners, municipalities and other organizations to protect resources through donated or purchased conservation easements.  As a nimble organization with great staff expertise and a talented board of directors, it can expeditiously pursue protection opportunities that may be more difficult for larger organizations or agencies.  ALWT helps its public and private partners achieve their specific land protection goals by providing expert negotiation, limited risk capital, legal skills and leveraged funding.  This partner-driven approach enables ALWT to act quickly and effectively to meet its conservation objectives as well as its partners’.  ALWT protects conservation priorities not eligible for outside funding by raising capital through its revolving Land and Water Fund.   In the face of climate change, and impending water shortages from the Colorado River, ALWT is positioned to secure and steward high priority conservation lands by developing and incorporating resilience adaptations into our work.


ALWT operates in one of most biologically rich regions in the country, one that will be seriously impacted by climate change.  The Trust is poised to not only protect these biologically rich lands and waters but also to work toward a resilient future.  The Trust will collaborate with our landowner and research partners to provide adaptation tools as we face a future of drought and aridification.  The working landscapes of Southern Arizona are the lifeline for a host of vulnerable plants and animals that call this region home.   Protecting these as sustainable and healthy landscapes is central to the Trust’s vision for the future.


The next Executive Director of ALWT will join the organization at a critical time.  The important work of ALWT over the past four decades has laid a foundation for further ambitious land protection projects.  There are two key initiatives that are driving the future impact of ALWT:  the Sopori Creek and Farm campaign and the development of the Land and Water Fund.


Arizona Land and Water Trust seeks a leader and advocate who is passionate about its mission and legacy, committed to its longstanding standards of excellence, supportive of its culture, and strategic about its future potential.  The person must be ready to join with the Board to lead ALWT in pursuing new strategic goals in land protection, conservation and stewardship through a proven ability in strategic leadership, fundraising, program management and oversight, collaborative ventures, and constituency building.  


The ideal candidate will have a background that includes a high-level of strategic leadership and management combined with an extraordinary understanding of relationship-driven philanthropy, partnership and constituent management with an emphasis on understanding the culture of landowners.  The ability to strategize, conceptualize, plan, organize, critically analyze, and follow through with programs, projects, budgets, staff, Board of Directors and advisory committee members, other volunteers, and a variety of constituencies is required.  Successful candidates will possess strong management and team-building skills, including ability to set clear priorities, realistic but ambitious goals, and delegate effectively.


Executive level achievement in the fields of conservation, environmental education, advocacy, policy, law and/or related fields is preferred but not required.  Nonprofit management experience is desired.  A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required; a master’s degree is desired.


The target salary for this position is $110,000 - $130,000 with some flexibility. Benefits include a robust health care package which include medical and dental benefits, paid time off for vacation, family care, mental and physical health, religious holidays, civic duties and bereavement, as well as a retirement plan.


For more information about Arizona Land and Water Trust, please visit www.alwt.org


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