Vice President of Headquarter Programs

Saving Cranes
E11376 Shady Lane Road
Baraboo, WI 53913
United States
$100,000.00 to $115,000.00 Per Year
Job Description

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is renowned as the only place in the world where you can experience all 15 species of the world’s cranes—one of the most endangered families of birds in the world.  But our Baraboo headquarters is much more. It is home to a captive breeding flock of more than 100 cranes, a place where Endangered Whooping Cranes are reared for reintroduction to the wild, where more than 250 acres of restored prairie, wetland, and savanna supports diverse wildlife, and a center for dedicated professionals who support a worldwide conservation mission.  ICF started 50 years ago as a dream of two college students and has grown to a world-renowned conservation organization with staff, programs, and offices across Asia, Africa, and North America.  Are you the next leader who will join this mission driven team as our Vice President – Headquarters Programs?

What is it like to work at ICF? Prepare to be surrounded by people who are passionate about our mission, dedicated to the organization, and engaged with their fellow staff and associates.  You will find deep commitment at all levels of the organization from staff and volunteers to our senior leaders and Board of Directors. You will play a critical role in our mission across the U.S. and around the world.  The salary range is $100,000-$115,000, plus a nice benefit package. The position is located in Baraboo, WI.

Position Summary:

The Vice President – Headquarters Programs (VP- HP) supports the ICF mission by leading, supporting, and integrating ICF Headquarters program teams that include, 1) Captive Crane Management, 2) Conservation Medicine, 3) Visitor Program, 4) Site Management, and 5) Information Services and Technology at ICF headquarters. The incumbent provides mentorship and supervision to the five staff who lead these major program areas, plus an Executive Assistant who supports the headquarters program teams and coordinates various projects, workshops, and committees. The VP-HQ facilitates construction and remodeling of exhibits and other facilities as needed. The VP-HP manages ICF’s role in captive management, rearing, and reintroduction of Whooping Cranes in the eastern US, supports wider engagement in reintroduction efforts worldwide, and maintains a strong relationship with key external partners such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others. The incumbent also supervises the management of IT needs across ICF headquarters (provided through IT contractor). The VP-HP reports to the President, serves on the ICF senior leadership team, and engages with the ICF Board of Directors on matters related to our headquarters programs and operations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervise the operations of five functional teams: 1) Captive Crane Management, 2) Conservation Medicine, 3) Visitor Program, 4) Site Management, and 5) Information Services and Technology, to ensure program productivity, quality processes, functional infrastructure, and strong communications and collaboration across these teams.
  • Assist Managers of the functional teams to develop and monitor their work plans, budgets, fundraising needs, and measurable program outcomes.
  • Provide vision and leadership for the overall growth and sustained quality of ICF headquarters “Cranes of the World” experience, including staffing, exhibits, landscaping, space planning, professional development, etc.
  • Facilitate planning and management of headquarters capital projects, including any new construction or renovation of exhibits, offices, and related.
  • Engage in high-level institutional planning and advancement through the senior leadership team (CEO, CFO, VP-Human Resources, VP-Development, Director of External Affairs, VP-Asia Programs, VP-Africa Programs, VP-North America Programs).

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Cultivate strong relationships with the ICF Board of Directors and provide staff leadership to the Board Site Planning and Management Committee.
  • Oversee and cultivate engaging annual visitor events at headquarters such as the Great Midwest Crane Festival in November.
  • Assure safe working conditions for all staff, volunteers, and visitors and verify Headquarters emergency preparedness.
  • Manage ICF’s Association of Zoo & Aquariums (AZA) accreditation and oversee other aspects of ICF relations with AZA, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and others.
  • Assure Headquarters program areas are in compliance with local, state and federal laws and appropriate professional standards.
  • Provide leadership to ICF’s sustainability programs and efforts.
  • Encourage and support headquarters team engagement in ICF’s global mission and programs, including reintroduction efforts, conservation medicine, conservation GIS, and others.

Qualifications Required:

  • Five or more years’ experience leading or managing a zoo or equivalent, including captive animal management and visitor relations.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, Conservation, Zoology, Biological Science or other relevant field, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience supervising and mentoring others to achieve desired results, delegate work, train and encourage skill development, and access/provide feedback on individual performance.
  • Demonstrated successful project management experience and proven track record of successful project accomplishments, including program measurement and evaluation.
  • Experience establishing, planning, monitoring, and implementing department budgets.
  • Valid state driver’s license and acceptable driving record.
  • Ability to travel 5-10% of the time, within the United States but primarily in Wisconsin, and to be accessible outside of normal business hours.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Passion for the environment and wildlife conservation.
  • Master’s degree in business, Conservation, Zoology or related field or equivalent experience.
  • Senior level management experience in an AZA accredited organization.
  • Experience with a species reintroduction program.
  • Management experience in a non-profit organization.
  • Willingness to travel and engage in regional or international meetings.
  • Successful exhibit design and/or construction project management experience in a conservation or zoo related environment. 

Core Competencies:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including speaking clearly and persuasively to individuals and groups; listening effectively; responding well to questions from conservation colleagues, ICF supporters, visitors, press and the general public.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write correspondence and reports in a clear, concise, logical, and grammatically correct manner.
  • Experience and comfort using word processing and spreadsheet software (MS Office) and internet search engines.
  • Attentive to detail and thoroughness.
  • Quickly, effectively, and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes, and technologies.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity and ethically.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

The physical abilities and work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Abilities:

  • Ability to operate computer and phones.
  • Ability to communicate with fellow staff and donors. Communication will include both one-to-one communication, small, and large group communication.
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for 5-7 hours a day.
  • Occasionally required to lift and move items up to 20 pounds.
  • Occasionally required to move throughout the building and throughout the site. 
  • Ability to travel regionally and nationally.

To apply send resume and cover letter to  Please put Vice President-HP in the subject line.

“ICF is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people.”

ICF is an equal opportunity employer.


E11376 Shady Lane Road
Baraboo WI 53913
United States