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Texas State Director

Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land

Dallas, TX, USA
Posted on Monday, May 20, 2024
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Texas State Director

Posted on May 20, 2024
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national not-for-profit organization that works to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. For over 50 years, TPL has been a national leader in the parks and conservation movement, working to connect communities across the country with nature and advance equity and access to public lands, parks, trails, and schoolyards. Over its extraordinary history, TPL has created more than 5,000 parks, protected 3 million acres of natural areas, generated $85 billion for parks and conservation, and help put more than 8 million people within a 10-Minute Walk of a park. The organization has deep expertise across a range of disciplines including real estate, public policy, park design and development, data, planning, government relations and community engagement, allowing TPL to take a comprehensive approach to solving some of the biggest challenges facing our country today, such as climate change, health, and equity.

Active in Texas since 1979, TPL has protected over 43,000 acres of the state’s most important natural areas, including iconic places like Palo Duro Canyon, Government Canyon State Natural Area, and the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin. From their Texas state headquarters in Dallas, TPL is working to ensure that every resident of the Lone Star State has close-to-home access to parks, trails, and the outdoors. Current projects and programs include developing a 17-mile cycling and walking trail following Five Mile Creek in Dallas, designing and conserving over 400 acres of new parks in Dallas, and converting 15 vacant lots into new community greenspaces in Dallas. Building on its 45-year history in the state, TPL is also advancing numerous land conservation projects statewide which will permanently protect and make publicly accessible more of Texas’s beautiful landscapes for the benefit of all.

Position Summary:
TPL is seeking a dynamic and driven Texas State Director to lead the organization forward into its next great chapter in the state. As one of the largest parks and conservation organizations in Texas, Trust for Public Land leads a wide range of work across the state, including park and trail design and development, city-scale and statewide park and open space planning, acquiring land for conservation purposes, and advancing public policy and funding that benefits parks and conservation. Serving as the market lead for TPL in Texas, the State Director works with the Texas Advisory Board, 8-10 field staff, and the national organization to execute TPL’s vision for Texas: to be a state where every resident can enjoy the joys and wonders of the outdoors.

Key responsibilities of the position include setting high-level strategy for the organization’s trajectory and growth in Texas; securing public and philanthropic funding to support the organization’s work; managing a large network of relationships with elected officials, donors, public agencies, and community partners; and delivering on-the-ground results in the form of new parks, conserved land, and other outcomes related to our mission. The role is highly collaborative and requires working closely with the Texas Advisory Board, the Texas State Director of Philanthropy, the Texas field staff, TPL colleagues from various departments located across the country, and a wide range of external partners and stakeholders. The ideal candidate will be highly adept at relationship building and management, leadership, fundraising, and mission delivery.

The Texas State Director will report to the Vice President of the Mountain West Region and will collaborate on strategic mission delivery with other programs in the region. The Texas State Director leads the Texas team in continually developing, implementing, and evolving local programmatic initiatives that deliver on TPL’s mission of creating parks and protecting land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.


25% Strategic Vision and Leadership: The State Director is responsible for collaborating with the Texas State Advisory Board to align the state program with TPL strategic priorities, set the state program’s vision for its work in Texas, and lead the field staff’s implementation of that vision across the state. Working with the Advisory Board, field staff, and colleagues from across the organization, the State Director evaluates new program and program opportunities that create parks, land, trails, and community schoolyards in line with our strategic commitments to health, climate, equity, and community. In all of this work, the development and maintenance of positive relationships with internal staff, key public and non-profit partners, as well as major donors will be paramount. This position collaborates with senior TPL leadership and volunteer leaders in developing and implementing strategies that achieve goals and are compelling and financially viable.

25% Fundraising and Philanthropy: Working in close partnership with Texas State Director of Philanthropy, other colleagues from across the organization, and the Texas Advisory Board, the State Director is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for securing all necessary funding to support the organization’s growth, mission and priorities in Texas. TPL’s work in Texas is supported through a blend of public and private philanthropic support, with most capital projects supported by public funding sources, and most operational expenses supported through private philanthropy. Key activities include cultivating and soliciting major gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations; stewarding a portfolio of significant donors; and partnering with the Texas State Director of Philanthropy to develop and engage the Texas Advisory Board. The State Director also plays a critical role in securing public funding from local, state, and federal sources, and the position requires the ability to navigate local politics and understand and anticipate trends in public funding.

20% Team Management: The State Director is responsible for supervising 8-10 field staff, and for creating a positive working environment for the entire office, strong staff morale and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff. The State Director is expected to maintain a work climate which attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people.

20% External Relations: The State Director will be expected to represent TPL and build the organization’s visibility throughout Texas. This position will develop and maintain relationships for the benefit of TPL in the parks/conservation/environmental and philanthropic sectors and among other sectors as needed. Demonstrated existing relationships and ability to cultivate and maintain new ones with state and local elected officials, civic leaders, partner nonprofits, the media, and the philanthropic community.

10% Financial Administration: The State Director is the budget manager for the state program’s budget, responsible for working with the Finance team to develop and manage the office budget and taking necessary actions to meet or exceed financial goals.

Critical Success Factors:
Within the first year, the successful candidate will:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of TPL’s history in Texas, existing portfolio of work, and position within the ecosystem of parks and conservation non-profit organizations working in the state. This includes an understanding of TPL Strategic Plan and the national strategies of TPL.
  • Learn how to leverage TPL’s significant national resources to advance the organization’s work in Texas, including working with TPL experts based in other geographies and organizational departments, including Philanthropy, Marketing, Federal Affairs, Legal, and Finance.
  • Manage and deepen relationships with key donors, board members, elected officials, civic leadership, community leaders and other stakeholders, building trust between these individuals and TPL.
  • Build an effective partnership with the Texas State Director of Philanthropy to steward and expand philanthropic support for the organization.
  • Effectively lead Texas staff, as demonstrated by strong cohesion and positive relationships across the team.
  • Be recognized in the broader community as a leader within the Texas parks and conservation movement.

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • At least five years’ experience in an organization focused on public urban work and/or land conservation.
  • At least eight years of relevant non-profit work experience or the equivalent, including at least five years of staff management experience. Experience serving as an Executive Director or other positions of leadership preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience working with underserved communities and communities of color.
  • Experience interfacing with and effectively engaging diverse groups (staff, volunteers, stakeholders, politicians, agency partners, etc.)
  • Extensive experience working with fundraisers and securing funding for mission support from public and private sources.
  • Experience with public finance techniques, government funding practices and procedures, the foundation community, fundraising, marketing practices, best management practices and budgeting practices.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, energy, the capacity to lead, mentor and inspire others, the capacity to be both a high performer and a team player, common sense, and a sense of humor.
  • Excellent communication skills including writing and public speaking.
  • An ability and willingness to travel as required and to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule.
  • A passionate commitment to Trust for Public Land’s mission of connecting everyone to the outdoors.
  • A commitment to TPL’s shared values of Belonging, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Hope.
As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to a 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the range for this position is $130,000 - $145,000 annually.

Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities it welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets and experiences.