Organization: E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Location: Durham, NC

Express Interest

About E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation:

 “Look closely at nature. Every species is a masterpiece, exquisitely adapted to the particular environment in which it has survived. Who are we to destroy or even diminish biodiversity?”

– E.O. Wilson

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s mission is to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. We believe that by enhancing our public understanding of biodiversity, we can foster a culture of stewardship in which people are inspired to conserve and protect the natural world.

The Foundation is shaped by the inspiration and guidance of Edward O. Wilson, one of the leading scientists and thought leaders of our time. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author and widely renowned biologist, E.O. Wilson is recognized as a visionary environmentalist whose work speaks to the urgent need for broader research and deeper understanding of our biodiverse planet in order to protect key species and avoid unintended destruction of the ecosystems that sustain our lives.

E.O. Wilson’s latest book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, is a call to action to protect half of the planet’s lands and oceans and end the extinction crisis facing our planet. E.O. Wilson’s book and revolutionary idea inspired the Foundation’s key project, the Half-Earth Project, a global initiative to:

  • Drive the research needed to better understand and care for our world
  • Provide leadership to guide conservation efforts
  • Engage people everywhere to participate broadly in the goal to conserve Half-Earth.

“The Half-Earth Project is founded on science but at its heart is our transcendent moral obligation to all life,” says E.O. Wilson.

The Foundation is seeking a creative and collaborative Vice President of Engagement to drive awareness of and engagement in the Half-Earth Project and build a groundswell of support for conserving half the Earth’s land and sea. There is no more important moment to engage in supporting ambitious conservation solutions than right now, and the Half-Earth Project is just that: the grandest conservation effort of our time.

To learn more, please visit and

Candidate Profile:

The Vice President of Engagement will be tasked with developing and implementing an array of engagement activities designed to spread the Half-Earth Project’s positive, hopeful goal and create a movement culture that supports the Half-Earth Project.

This new role presents an opportunity to build and oversee a team focused on engagement activities, partner relationships, development, events, and communications, including films, concerts, exhibits, and social media, all with the ultimate aim of reaching and inspiring a broad audience to participate in achieving the goal of Half-Earth.

The Half-Earth Project has already gained support from many of the world’s most innovative thinkers, from population, sustainability, and restoration specialists, conservation leaders, and economists to creative media producers and celebrity icons, including twelve-time Grammy winner Paul Simon, whose 2017 tour will directly support the Half-Earth Project. The Vice President will extend these partnerships, identify new supporters, and provide meaningful opportunities for engagement in the Half-Earth Project.

This is a full-time role located in Durham, NC.

The Vice President of Engagement’s key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Designing, leading, and managing engagement activities that build support for the Half-Earth Project programs
  • Developing and disseminating effective messaging that reaches a broad range of supporters and builds interest in and support for the Half-Earth mission and goal
  • Building an engagement team, which will include fundraising and communications expertise, and setting strategic milestones and deliverables in these key areas
  • Collaborating with internal and external partners, including the CEO, Research Team, Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, and Half-Earth Council, to ensure engagement strategies align with core scientific activities to achieve desired outcomes
  • Cultivating, stewarding, and supporting relationships and cooperation with key model conservation partners and stakeholders in support of Half-Earth Project objectives
  • Providing strategic and operational support for creative initiatives, organizational communications, and public engagement activities, including Half-Earth Project events
  • Serving as a key voice and spokesperson for Half-Earth Project engagement activities; representing the Foundation and the Half-Earth Project at public forums and events
  • Collaborating with internal research and mapping teams to populate an online educational resource and Knowledge Platform of maps, white papers, literature, policy papers, video, and best practices.


The ideal candidate for this position will be deeply motivated by the opportunity to support the growth of a uniquely positive and powerful conservation message and movement. S/he will bring a creative mindset and an understanding of how a wide range of tools and resources can be strategically implemented to build awareness and engagement in the goal of Half-Earth.

Other professional qualifications, competencies, and qualities include:

  • Significant experience leading communications, development, or related function; experience working in entrepreneurial, high-growth environments preferred
  • Strategic leadership skills, with the ability to think and plan across diverse activities in order to achieve deliverables in support of the Half-Earth goal
  • Ability to build and lead teams toward ambitious, measurable results; an inspirational, mentor-driven approach to leading multi-disciplinary teams across a variety of functional areas and geographies
  • Proven ability to initiate, develop, and manage relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders and partners, including experience supporting the cultivation of prospects and donors
  • Familiarity and comfort with web-based communication tools and social media platforms, with an understanding of how they can be used to effectively engage and motivate a wide audience to action
  • Strong project management skills demonstrated by experience designing, implementing, and managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders, work streams, and budgets
  • Exceptional speaking, writing, and editing skills; ability to communicate a compelling sense of core purpose and a positive, solutions-oriented outlook
  • Demonstrated interest in and passion for the environment and familiarity with global conservation issues and opportunities


Molly Brennan and Alena Guerra of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation 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