Executive Director at Ecotrust

Full Time

About Ecotrust:

Ecotrust was founded in 1991 with a mission to inspire fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being - the three E’s - and today works at the intersection of the three E’s in the pursuit of transformative change. With partnerships and projects from Northern California to Southeast Alaska, we aim to co-create an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. Structurally, Ecotrust is an intentionally unique organization: a nonprofit that also encompasses for-profit entities. Our dynamic structure and extraordinary staff bring diverse capabilities to address the greatest challenges of our time—economic inequality, racial injustice, ecosystem degradation, and climate change. 

Through the vision and efforts of many, we have grown into an impactful organization with a diverse and talented staff of 60+ that live and work across our region. Our projects have included co-founding the country’s first environmental bank; starting the nation’s first ecosystem investment fund; developing two campuses for economic and social exchange; co-creating a range of programs and original research in fisheries, forestry, food systems; and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic, and environmental decision-making. 

In 2020 the organization completed a five-year strategic plan which guides our current strategies and operations. Ecotrust’s work today spans food systems, forestry, fisheries, green workforce development, Indigenous leadership, and social finance. We do this work as an organization that is committed to becoming anti-racist, fosters a resilient business model, and promotes a culture of belonging.

Strong and sustained partnerships are critical to how we approach all of our work. We are committed to deepening existing relationships and developing new partnerships with BIPOC led and/or serving organizations, regional Tribes, tribal governments, and Indigenous networks. In 2021, we worked with over 160 programmatic partners to advance and co-create a more equitable, prosperous, just, and resilient climate future. As an organization, we practice working at the speed of trust; establishing authentic relationships with partners; seeking consent to collaborate; practicing humility and iterating our approaches; and serving as a valued partner that exchanges skills, knowledge, and capacity with BIPOC-led efforts throughout the region.

About the Opportunity:

Following a period of deep introspection and inspired strategic planning, Ecotrust seeks an Executive Director (ED) to steward the organization into its next chapter. The incoming ED will have the opportunity to partner with our committed, mission-driven team and outstanding external partners to drive the three E’s - equity, environment, and economy - in our bioregion while charting a path to an organizational culture where all of our team members are engaged and aligned with our shared vision for impact. We seek an ED who will cultivate a professional home for our team, that is committed to supporting each employee to contribute to a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. 

Our ideal candidate has led complex nonprofit organizations through evolution and growth and has experience advancing equity and inclusion within organizations that are deeply committed to antiracist principles and practices. They also bring a demonstrated commitment to our mission, values, and goals, and experience working toward at least one of the goals outlined in our strategic plan, ideally in our bioregion. This role presents an opportunity for an innovative leader to design an operating model that ensures Ecotrust’s financial resilience and sustainability. Our ideal candidate brings business acumen beyond fundraising that includes a track record of implementing revenue-generating/cost-minimizing structures in organizations with diverse business activities.


Areas of Leadership:

Executive & Organizational Leadership, Strategy & Vision: Harness the power of Ecotrust, including the strength of its legacy work, current work, partners, and team members, to carry out the strategic plan, with an eye toward the key strategies and activities that will advance Ecotrust’s ambitious goals, both externally and internally. In partnership with the board and team members, build out an operational plan that maps directly onto Ecotrust’s strategic plan and goals. Cultivate and nurture relationships with a board that is engaged and active in the communities that Ecotrust serves.

Key Qualifications: 

  • History of setting, driving, and implementing strategic plans at the organizational level. 
  • Track record of building productive partnerships with boards, stewarding strong relationships among boards and staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to create operational plans to support strategic plans. 
  • Significant nonprofit leadership experience, including leading organizations through evolution, growth, and change. 
  • History of guiding organizations along an antiracist trajectory. 
  • Familiarity with, and experience working in, our bioregion, strongly preferred.

External Representation, Fundraising & Financial Resilience: In partnership with the development team, lead resource development to secure funds to advance Ecotrust’s mission and vision. Build upon the “triple bottom line” DNA of our organization, alongside the financial tools we use to accomplish our mission, to ensure that Ecotrust is on a path for long-term financial sustainability and resilience. Build upon the organization’s long history of community engagement to cultivate new and existing external partnerships, engaging deeply in our region’s community.

Key Qualifications: 

  • Successful history of raising substantial funds for nonprofit organizations. 
  • Ability to build and maintain external partnerships with diverse constituencies. 
  • Comfort representing organizations externally with a variety of audiences.
  • Experience leading financially complex organizations with diverse income streams and successfully stewarding funds toward an organization’s mission.

People & Culture Leadership: Lead initiatives to cultivate trust with staff and support culture building with Ecotrust’s approximately 70 team members. Assess and evaluate Ecotrust’s current state, as well as the progress of its many initiatives, both internally and externally, to lead thoughtful, intentional change. In partnership with team members across the organization, update Ecotrust’s philosophy and practice for decision-making (e.g. further exploration / implementation of a shared leadership model). Rally team members around organizational initiatives and goals, aligning the team around a shared vision for impact in the bioregion.

Key Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrable history of building thriving, engaged teams and organizations. 
  • History of people-centered leadership that considers consequences, outcomes, and impacts of decisions on individuals and teams. 
  • Track record of advancing equity and inclusion in organizations, leading organizations along an anti-racist continuum.
  • Well established change leadership “tool kit,” including a track record of leading organizations and teams through substantial growth, evolution, contraction, and change. 
  • Outstanding communicator and relationship builder, both internally and externally.

Compensation, Location & Benefits:

The salary range for this role is $220k - $240k. Ideally, the ED will work from Portland, OR, but could be located anywhere in the bioregion (including AK, CA, OR, or WA), with regular travel to Portland. At the discretion of Ecotrust, relocation expenses may be reimbursed to the selected candidate

Ecotrust offers equity-centered benefits that include medical, dental, and vision insurance with employee contributions scaled to income, tax-deferred and Roth retirement plans with employer base contributions, term life insurance, and disability coverage.

Additional Information 

Ecotrust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a diverse staff of qualified, highly skilled, and creative individuals is necessary to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. Individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, or other People of Color, people who are queer, trans, non-binary, people with disabilities, people who are immigrants, people from poor and working-class backgrounds, and people who are/have been system-impacted are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to learn more about equity at Ecotrust.  

Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon law residents who qualify for veteran’s preference should send all required documentation to monica@axistalentpartners.com by the closing date of the posting. 

Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: We gladly provide reasonable accommodation to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing an application or participating in this recruitment process. Please reach out to monica@axistalentpartners.com in advance to request assistance.


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