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.


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

The Opportunity:

The Foundation is seeking a Vice President of Research to provide strategic and operational leadership for the core research activities of the Half-Earth Project. The Half-Earth Project research programs include the Global Biodiversity Census (GBC) Initiative, the Mapping Core and Knowledge Platform, and the Half-Earth Biodiversity Fellows & Scholars Program. The Vice President of Research will build and oversee a small team of Program Managers / Scientific Leads to support the execution of these programs with Half-Earth Project Program Partner collaborators.

The Vice President of Research will:

  • Be the principle voice for the scientific activities of the Half-Earth Project,
  • Be responsible for achievement of program objectives, milestones, and deliverables,
  • Maintain good working relationships with program partners in support of our goals, and
  • Represent the EOWBF and Half-Earth Project at scientific meetings and events

The Vice President of Research will report to the President & CEO and will partner with the Vice President of Engagement to support the overall objectives of the Half-Earth Project. S/he will have a key leadership role in contributing to the vision for Half-Earth and advancing the success of the Half-Earth Project. EOWBF offers competitive compensation, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment.

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

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

  • Supporting and maintaining relationships and cooperation with key scientific partners and stakeholders in support of Half-Earth Project program objectives
  • Leading and managing the research activities and strategic programs of the Half-Earth Project, including:
    • Development and maintenance of relationships with Mapping Core data partners in support of mapping objectives, including identification of biodiversity and conservation priorities, and technical execution of maps to guide planning, decision-making, policy and engagement.
    • Strategic and operational support for program partners leading GBC field research and taxonomy initiatives, and
    • Creation and administration of the Half-Earth Biodiversity Fellows and Scholars program
  • In collaboration with the Engagement Team, creating and curating maps, white papers, literature, policy papers, video and best practices to populate an online Knowledge Platform.


The ideal candidate for this position will offer the following professional qualifications, competencies, and qualities, including:

  • Graduate degree with commensurate experience; Doctorate strongly preferred
  • 7-10 years’ experience in biodiversity conservation or equivalent
  • Keen interest in the environment, with a sophisticated understanding of large-scale trends in conservation, and of the major opportunities and threats that must be addressed
  • Demonstrated ability to work with colleagues and direct reports to ensure that goals, strategies, and assessments are grounded in, and informed by, the best available science
  • Experience designing, implementing and managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, work streams and budgets
  • Ability to build and manage diverse multi-disciplinary teams and to work effectively with others in a geographically decentralized organization
  • Ability to communicate a compelling sense of core purpose and positive solution-oriented outlook
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively to synthesize complex information and provide sound judgment
  • Ability to think strategically across diverse activities in order to achieve deliverables in support of the Half-Earth goal


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 mission-driven organizations, educational institutions 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, visit