Southern California Project Manager
At TPL, we’re a team of outdoor advocates who believe in connecting everyone to the outdoors. As an ethos, we believe access to the outdoors is a fundamental human need and essential to our health and well-being. We’re committed to creating more places that bring us outside—parks, trails, playgrounds and public lands—and making them available and welcoming to everyone, everywhere, regardless of ZIP code. We also understand that land has meaning; it tells the story of our history. That’s why, through our Black History and Culture initiative, we're working to preserve sites that more fully represent the Black American experience; and we’re an ally and partner to Tribal and Indigenous communities, working in partnership to reconnect them with their ancestral lands.
TPL’s California Land Protection team is looking for a dynamic and dedicated Project Manager to join us in permanently protecting lands to ensure climate resilient communities and ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and improve equitable access to parks and open space. Through this work, TPL will help deliver cleaner air and water, healthier communities, equitable and connected neighborhoods, and a more resilient and livable environment for all.
The Southern California Project Manager is a key position for delivering TPL’s mission of conserving land for people by utilizing well-established nonprofit land acquisition techniques and sound business practices, in order to advance landscape-scale conservation. TPL’s conservation priorities in this region include working with community partners to protect climate-resilient lands and waters in the Transverse Ranges and elsewhere that support wildlife habitat, recreational access, working (forest, farm) lands, water resources, and historical and Indigenous cultural values, as well as other open space and environmentally important lands. Successful development and implementation of strategic priorities, including completion of real estate transactions that advance these goals for TPL. This position will be located in the greater Los Angeles area or south coast region unless otherwise approved.
Creating and Advancing Productive Strategic Partnerships:
- Develops trust-based relationships with conservation partners representing a diversity of interests including local and regional land trusts, Indigenous, rural, agricultural and working forests community members, public and private funders, private property owners, and philanthropists.
- In consultation with TPL’s leadership and key partners, identifies areas in which TPL’s protection strategy is needed for the preservation of open space lands of critical local, regional, or national importance; develops and maintains a portfolio of potential projects; responds to inquiries by individuals groups, etc.
- Explores potential projects by contacting owners, nonprofit organizations and public agency officials.
- Maintains current awareness of land conservation techniques, opportunities and issues by reading periodicals and other related documents, attending public forums and identifying and participating in training opportunities.
- With team support, holds the lead responsibility for identifying, negotiating, documenting and closing real estate transactions in coordination with legal and finance staff.
- Identifies and advances landscape-scale conservation opportunities and priorities in Southern California’s Transverse Ranges.
- With team support, takes a leadership role in securing interim financing and permanent funding for land acquisitions through existing or new public and private funding sources.
- Responsible for project management including researching and executing all phases of projects from initial outreach and landowner negotiation through coordination with attorneys and supervision of appraisers, surveyors, and other consultants; conducting necessary due-diligence for transactions; managing project budgets and timelines; and seeking internal TPL approvals.
- Supporting and advancing policies in support of land conservation, climate resilience, and public access, including for tribal and historically underserved communities.
- In partnership with TPL philanthropy staff, seeks philanthropic support of TPL’s transactions and broader conservation work, and in concert with other TPL staff, supports TPL’s fundraising in the public and private sectors.
- Assists in overall public relations by presenting TPL’s work to public agencies, conservation organizations, politicians, philanthropists and the general public as opportunities arise. Responsible for ensuring TPL conservation projects are structured to receive favorable press coverage and sustain and advance key partnerships.
- Writes or assists with competitive grant applications and budgets for project funding.
- Participates as a valued contributor in staff meetings, strategic planning sessions, budget preparation, development and fundraising efforts and project strategy discussions.
- Builds public awareness and understanding of TPL through outreach events, occasional public speaking engagements, fundraising efforts and creating a public presence for TPL in the community.
- Completes assorted administrative tasks required for a well-managed organization.
- Other relevant duties as necessary.
SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
- Able to combine sound business sense and judgment with commitment to land preservation.
- Articulate and effective listener and communicator, with both written and oral communication skills.
- Organized, innovative, positive and self-motivated.
- Computer proficiency using Windows-based software. Familiarity with GIS mapping tools desirable.
- Able to develop and maintain trust and effectively negotiate successful conservation transactions.
- Able to work on multiple complex projects with moderate level of supervision on deadline.
- Able to help initiate fundraising efforts.
- Familiarity with Southern California geography desirable.
- Works well in a team environment as well as independently.
- Interacts effectively with external professionals who are involved with buying and selling land: surveyors, attorneys, consultants, appraisers, landowners and elected officials.
- Should be comfortable with public speaking and with representing TPL to the public at outreach events.
- Brings a respectful and professional approach to engagements across the political spectrum.
- Bachelor's degree, or minimum of 4 years of directly relevant professional experience in land conservation.
- Minimum of 3-4 years additional project-related or equivalent land trust or non-profit experience desirable.
- Real estate transaction experience highly preferred.
- This position requires moderate travel. Evening and weekend work can be expected on occasion.
As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for TPL’s comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, sick days, a personal day, day of service and ten + holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We anticipate the hiring range for this position will be $80,000-95,000 annually. The offer will be commensurate with experience.
TPL is committed to cultivating diverse staff that is representative of the communities we serve. Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged. We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you are the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.