Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain Seeks New Executive Director

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain seeks an experienced Executive Director, to be based in Biloxi, MS, to lead an established 20-year Land Trust with staff of three and over 10,000 acres. Guided by the mission and strategic plan, the Executive Director organizes and leads the operational, public relations and administrative functions of the organization and ensures that the Land Trust creates and maintains financial self-sufficiency via different initiatives.  As the public face of the Land Trust, the applicant must demonstrate the ability to be accepted in the community and by local officials as knowledgeable and a good partner and must be able to articulate the synergy between economic development and conservation.  A successful candidate will also have knowledge of the science of conservation, land transactions and the use of conservation easements.

Please see the complete job description below and email your resume to jparker@harvesttrends.com. We will be accepting resumes until May 15, 2020 or until the position is filled. Thank you.

Job Description for the Executive Director

The Executive Director has active daily control of the affairs, business and supervision of the Land Trust and its employees and contractors, subject to the approval of its Board of Directors:

  • Executive Director owns community outreach and works with diverse partners, including landowners, donors, developers, political agencies, NGOs, and elected officials.
  • As the principal spokesperson, the Executive Director displays the highest standards of professionalism, cooperation and integrity and maintains positive relationships with landowners, funders, members of the community and our many conservation partners.
  • Executive Director oversees the day-today activities of the organization and reports to the Board.
  • Executive Director oversees the strategic aspects of the organization including land acquisition and ensuring the Land Trust creates and maintains financial self-sufficiency via different initiatives.

The Executive Director ensures the following activities are completed by managing a staff of three, volunteers, and working with external professionals e.g. CPA and Attorney.


Manage Restoration & Stewardship

  1. Provide oversight of Land Trust’s properties and maintain good relationships with property neighbors and conservation easement property owners.
  2. Find, interview, and manage contractors and volunteers for restoration and maintenance.
  3. Manage and track any contractual obligations on land parcels including agreements, insurance policies, government and/or foundation grants etc.
  4. Manage large, multi-year, projects (e.g. Turkey Creek) and work closely with stakeholders including DMR and other local, state and federal officials.
  5. Ensure the preparation and management of proactive restoration plans and work with staff and volunteers to respond to conservation easement stewardship issues as needed.


The Executive Director is responsible for developing and maintaining a Financial Plan for the Land Trust to achieve and maintain financial self-sufficiency. The Board will assist with executing the plan.

  1. Identify the operating and capital funding necessary to support the operation of the Land Trust and maintain the existing 10,000+ acres, working with the Treasurer.
  2. Control the growth of land acquisition in line with available funding for additional staff and incremental costs of conserving more acres.
  3. Manage the membership program, annual appeals, and grant writing, utilizing the staff and with assistance from the Board.

Manage Human Resources and Office Administration

  1. Supervise staff, including personnel recruitment and management, ongoing supervision and performance reviews. Supervise contractors that support identified project needs.
  2. Manage the day to day office administration.
  3. Manage the accreditation process with input and participation from the Board members.

Manage the Administration of Accounting and Finances

  1. Develop and oversee the administration of an operating budget, working with the Treasurer.
  2. Provide reporting to enable the Board to monitor the stewardship accounts for the land parcels.
  3. Monitor and report to the Board on the financial status of operating expense and stewardship.
  4. Supervise the filing of all tax returns and other government reports.
  5. Ensure the Land Trust passes an annual financial audit.

Outreach and Education

  1. Foster local support for the appropriate conservation of landscapes including those in need of restoration, agricultural, forests, open spaces, historic places, and wildlife habitat.
  2. Increase public awareness and provide membership with information of Land Trust work through the newsletter, website, press releases, public speaking and distribution of promotional materials.
  3. Act as spokesperson regarding projects (ongoing and new) as well as to any emerging issues/crises. Maintain a professional, proactive response to media inquiries.

Manage Acquisitions

  1. Identify and employ funding opportunities for land acquisitions, including government and private grants and partnerships.
  2. Ensure there is current and future funding available for additional staff and incremental costs of conserving more acres.
  3. Meet with potential donors and developers. Be physically able to walk new parcels and have the knowledge to assess initial viability of land parcels.
  4. Knowledge and experience with the policies and tools of voluntary private land conservation and conservation finance.
  5. Manage the negotiation and drafting of conservation easements and ensuring adequate financial resources to complete projects, working with the Board and diverse professionals.
  6. Ability to think strategically, develop and manage complex projects from to start to finish and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances

Personal Skills and Experience

As the public face of the Land Trust, the Executive Director must demonstrate the ability to be accepted in the local community and by local officials as knowledgeable and a good partner. Collaborative style able to bring parties with differing interests to a common outcome.

  • Integrity in relationships and ethical in decision-making
  • Ability to work independently with initiative, motivation, flexibility, and confidentiality
  • Self-motivated, energetic, creative, persistent, tenacious and optimistic
  • Prepared to go ‘above and beyond’ working hours to support the Land Trust.
  • Able to articulate the synergy between economic development and conservation.
  • Knowledge of the science of conservation.
  • Knowledge of both conservation easements and fee simple.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and execute a plan for creating an on-going income stream from a variety of sources.
  • Experience with managing human resources and office administration.