Organization: Bat Conservation International

Location: Austin, TX or Washington, DC,

Express Interest!

About Bat Conservation International:

Bat Conservation International (BCI) is dedicated to the enduring protection of the world’s 1,300+ species of bats and their habitats to ensure a healthy planet. Based in Austin, Texas and with offices in Washington, DC, BCI is devoted to conservation, education, and research initiatives involving bats and the ecosystems they serve. BCI was founded in 1982, as scientists around the world became concerned that bats, which are crucial for maintaining the balance of nature and the health of many human economies, were in alarming decline. Under the founding guidance of Dr. Merlin Tuttle, an internationally recognized authority on bats, the organization achieved unprecedented progress by emphasizing sustainable uses of natural resources that benefit both bats and people.

BCI now employs a staff of more than 30 biologists, educators, and administrators, supported by members in some 60 countries. BCI’s educational achievements include major television documentaries, such as The Secret World of Bats, and award-winning exhibits that continue to reach millions of people each year. Its publications and audiovisual programs empower thousands of BCI members and partners to greatly extend the organization’s philosophy and mission.

Bat Conservation International is dedicated to finding “win-win” solutions, benefiting bats and people, to secure the future of the world’s bat species in the midst of today’s unprecedented threats and challenges. Our approach is multi-dimensional, utilizing science to drive conservation action, focusing on local capacity building and education to ensure the sustainability of our work around the globe, investing in policy and legislative frameworks to institutionalize bat conservation practices and awareness, and developing effective marketing campaigns to expand our membership and support base.

The organization also owns several facilities and manages the Bracken Cave Preserve. Located less than 20 miles from downtown San Antonio, Bracken Cave is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats making it the largest bat colony in the world. BCI first purchased the land on which the cave is located in 1992. Since then BCI and its conservation partners have continued to purchase land around the cave to conserve not only the bats, but also the many other native and endangered species found on the Bracken Cave Preserve. BCI stewards the entire property, protecting endangered birds and rehabilitating the land by removing invasive vegetation and reviving native plants.

Why bats? Bats are often considered “keystone species” that are essential to some tropical and desert ecosystems. Without bats’ pollination and seed-dispersing services, local ecosystems could gradually collapse as plants fail to provide food and cover for wildlife species near the base of the food chain. By devouring pest insects, bats increase agricultural production for a hungry planet. Bats have saved farmers billions of dollars worldwide and enormously helped reduce the needs for the pesticides that can affect the health of our ecosystems, and the health of humans and animals. For more information on the importance of bats and on Bat Conservation International, please visit

The Opportunity:

BCI is seeking an entrepreneurial, proven, and strategic leader who will direct the organization through an exciting time of transition and global growth. Working closely with the Board of Directors and a talented staff, the Executive Director will lead the development and implementation of strategies to ensure the operational and financial health of the organization as it continues to grow and evolve in the pursuit of its mission. This is an incredible opportunity for an outstanding leader to join a well-regarded organization and lead a passionate and talented group of stakeholders in important efforts to conserve and protect bats across the globe.

The Executive Director’s key responsibilities include:

Strategic Leadership & Vision

  • Set organizational vision; develop and implement strategic plans and goals with clear measurable milestones in partnership with Board and senior leadership team
  • Ensure that programs and initiatives are conceived of and consistently delivered with high quality and fidelity and are rigorously monitored and evaluated
  • Develop strategic plans to thoughtfully maximize capacity and resources to reach organizational goals

Resource Development & External Relations

  • Serve as a compelling spokesperson, communicating BCI’s vision and mission with passion and authenticity to a wide variety of audiences
  • Oversee all of BCI’s fundraising activities, including the solicitation of private, individual, and institutional donors
  • Build and develop a team of skilled fundraisers to successfully achieve annual revenue goals to meet or exceed the approved budget for expenses each year
  • Promote and sustain collaborations with the research community of bat biologists and with other regional and multinational organizations that promote the conservation of bats
  • Strategically grow, leverage, and galvanize BCI’s membership base to increase organizational awareness, revenue, and to accomplish other strategic goals
  • Promote and financially support conservation research on bats and empower the next generation of bats conservation scientists through BCI’s student grants program 

Operational & People Management

  • Oversee a staff of 28, with five direct reports, in the management of all BCI activities and ensuring the financial and operational health of the organization
  • Collaborate closely with the senior leadership team, including the Chief Finance & Administrative Officer, the Sr. Director of Global Conservation, Sr. Director of Conservation Science, Sr. Director of US/Canada Conservation, and the Director of Communications & Public Engagement, to ensure optimal levels of operational and programmatic performance
  • Direct the operations and management of Bracken Cave Preserve and facilities
  • Serve as an inspirational internal leader and build a strong organizational culture across locations in Austin, TX and Washington, DC

Board Relations

  • Partner with the Board of Directors to drive vision and develop strategic organizational priorities
  • Leverage the experience and expertise of the Board on key initiatives and thoughtfully grow the Board as the organization moves forward
  • Ensure that Board members are up to date and engaged in all aspects of organizational governance

This is a full-time position located in Washington, DC or Austin, TX.

Candidate Profile:

The Executive Director will be a credible spokesperson and advocate for BCI. S/he will be able to inspire others to protect bats and their habitats by sparking interest in and passion for the critical role that bats play in our ecosystem. The ideal candidate will be an inspirational leader, skilled organizational manager, accomplished fundraiser, and an excellent strategist and innovator.

The Executive Director will also possess the following experiences and skills:

  • Passion for BCI’s mission and vision to protect bats and their ecosystems via conservation, education, and research
  • At least 10 years of experience in senior leadership and management experience
  • Experience with and knowledge of environment and/or wildlife conservation work; international experience strongly preferred
  • Excellent fundraising and stewardship skills with foundation, government, individual, and corporate donors
  • Dynamic and inclusive leader with strong organizational management skills and the ability to unify key internal and external stakeholders around a common vision
  • Proven ability to develop clear, measurable, and ambitious strategic plans
  • Charismatic and compelling spokesperson who can message BCI’s mission and work to a variety of stakeholders
  • Adept people manager with ability to build and develop high-performing teams
  • Knowledge of real estate and public land management a plus
  • Experience working in partnership with an engaged Board of Directors, with specific ability to strategically drive Board growth and effectiveness
  • Strong cultural competence and emotional intelligence
  • High level of flexibility and ability to manage shifting priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Personal values of humility, collaboration, integrity, and a sense of humor


BCI has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Sam Simmons here.

BCI is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit