Director of Inclusion and Community Partnerships

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Sedro Woolley, WA
United States

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North Cascades Institute is looking for a Director of Inclusion and Community Partnerships to join our Leadership Team. This is a regular, exempt, full-time position located at the Institute’s Sedro-Woolley office, with regular, scheduled time at the Environmental Learning Center (supervision and location TBD based on COVID-19 impacts). People of Color and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

We are seeking someone who brings a whole-hearted approach to work and strives to create a sense of kinship, inclusion, and stewardship that encourages all to care for and protect this special part of the world. The Director of Inclusion and Community Partnerships is a new position at North Cascades Institute which will provide vision, leadership and coordination to develop and implement an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Program that supports the Institute’s overall Strategic Plan and Operational Goals. Since this is a new position for the Institute, we intend for the selected candidate to help co-create/co-define the structure as this job evolves. We are committed to supporting this position as we work together to develop and implement strategies to carry out our equity goals.

The position has significant internal and external responsibilities: 

  • Develop and implement initiatives that promote growth, learning, accessibility, equity, inclusion and diversity throughout the Institute. 
  • Identify and nurture relationships with local and regional BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities (particularly local Tribes and Latinx organizations), and other local community organizations to cultivate shared values and build bridges for institutional and program collaboration.

Serve as a thought leader in conversations about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion with the Institute’s board of directors, leadership team, staff, participants, and community partners. 


CONTEXT: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at North Cascades Institute

We believe that everyone benefits when people have equitable access to nature and public lands for education, recreation and renewal. In 2013, the Institute Board of Directors approved an operational goal to promote diversity as a cornerstone of the Institute’s culture, which led to the formation of a staff-led Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee to engage staff in these critical issues. In 2017, we contracted with the Avarna group to conduct a Climate and Culture (equity) Audit of the Institute’s staff and graduate students. Since then we have engaged staff and board in learning that has increased our cultural competency, and formed Task Forces to implement specific changes in Institute policies and operations: Land Acknowledgements, Human Resources, Accessibility, Training, Curriculum and Website. We initially tried to share responsibility for these efforts widely across all departments and staff. Last year, we acknowledged that this approach was not working and decided we needed a leadership position to coordinate and support these efforts both internally and externally. 


Our Kinship Strategic Goal is to “cultivate an Institute community of belonging that is welcoming and accessible to ensure the Institute is relevant in a changing world.” In 2020 (pre-pandemic) our Leadership Team developed three operational goals to move this forward: 1) conduct a baseline assessment of staff and board and establish benchmarks to increase diversity; 2) develop a position description, seek funding and hire a staff position to lead and support this work, and 3) develop and implement 2020 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work plans. While the Covid-19 pandemic slowed us down, we made progress on these goals, and plan to hire this new position early in 2021.

We are committed to realizing racial, gender, environmental, and economic justice at the Institute and in our service area. We aspire to engage more directly with communities who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and support social justice initiatives as they intersect with the education, environmental and outdoor recreation sectors in our region. The challenges posed by the pandemic have exacerbated inequities in services, systems, and policies across all sectors. Because of the pandemic’s impacts on our audience and organization, we have a unique opportunity to re-think, re-structure, and re-imagine our programs and operations. 

We acknowledge that equity and social justice at North Cascades Institute is a work-in-progress and that we are still at the beginning of that journey. We look forward to a dialogue with interested candidates about our past and current initiatives and welcome your questions and ideas. More information on EDI at North Cascades Institute



  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment toward the vision, mission, and values of North Cascades Institute.
  • Five to ten years of relevant EDI experience, with five of those years in a leadership position, preferably with a nonprofit organization.
  • Strong empathy/emotional intelligence and the ability to connect and build successful working relationships with both marginalized and privileged identities. Demonstrated personal traits of maturity, kindness, humor and grace under pressure.
  • Demonstrated success as a leader working with staff and community partners to navigate discomfort and individual/group perceptions. Success at initiating and engaging in necessary, even if difficult, conversations to move initiatives forward.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and collaboratively, as both a team leader and a team player, on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to model and inspire informal leadership beyond the scope of formal role authority. Be proactive in seeing opportunities, providing solutions, resolving issues, and overcoming hurdles.
  • Excellent oral and written communications and facilitation skills. Proficient in Microsoft Office suite, Google Workspace, internet/data research, and web-conferencing software.
  • A thorough understanding of the elements and dynamics of organizational change as it relates to increasing access, diversity, equity and inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.
  • Demonstrated expertise in project management with strong organizational and analytical skills, and attention to detail.
  • Ability to speak with empathy, authenticity, and credibility across multiple constituencies to establish trust and inspire others.
  • Experience developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion programs, including leading organizational efforts towards becoming an antiracist, multicultural institution.


·       Bilingual in Spanish

·       Professional or personal experience in addressing issues of racial or economic injustice at the intersection with conservation/environment, outdoor recreation, experiential education or climate change.

·       Understanding of federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity regulations related to recruitment, hiring, onboarding and retention.

Other Requirements

·       Ability to comply with a smoke- and drug-free work environment.

·       Criminal history disclosure form and background check will be required.

·       Willingness to commute to and work in a remote National Park including experiencing snow-covered roads, avalanches, wildfire, smoke, wild animals, and flooding.



Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Leadership and Workplace Culture

  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Leadership Team, Board of Directors and EDI Committee to develop and implement EDI goals and practices into all levels of the Institute.
  • Work with Human Resources to support a workplace culture where all employees have equal opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Develop and recommend policies that institutionalize equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and a culture of welcoming and belonging.
  • Chair the staff EDI Committee and actively participate in the board EDI Committee. Facilitate meetings, work teams, task forces and communications, and manage selected projects.
  • Create and deliver high-quality presentations and trainings to internal and external audiences.
  • Develop and manage an EDI budget (TBD) to further equity, diversity and inclusion goals.
  • Participate in board meetings as a member of the Leadership Team.
  • Lead data gathering, analysis and reporting on key EDI metrics to address gaps in a meaningful and sustainable way.


Community Partnerships

  • Identify and nurture relationships with local and regional BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other community organizations to cultivate shared values and build bridges for institutional and program collaboration.
  • Work alongside local Tribal Communities and First Nations to accurately and effectively acknowledge their ancestral homelands and ongoing stewardship, and create opportunities for further learning, action, and collaboration.
  • Actively and openly address issues of institutionalized racism and the marginalization of peoples in Institute communications and programming.
  • Cultivate relationships with our peer organizations (environmental, education, outdoor recreation) to share, understand and learn from each other’s best EDI practices.

Staff Collaboration and Support

  • Collaborate with and support staff across all departments to achieve Institute EDI goals related to mission, human resources, finance, programs, operations, marketing and development. Participate in assigned committees, team meetings and task forces.
  • Collaborate with Human Resources to assess barriers and develop strategies to recruit, hire, onboard and retain a diverse workforce. Work with the BIPOC Affinity Group to understand and address staff concerns.
  • Collaborate with the Development and Marketing team to identify and produce competitive grant proposals and support donor cultivation in support of EDI initiatives, and develop an inclusive approach to Institute marketing and communications.
  • Collaborate with the Program Team to foster programs and activities that support the Institute’s EDI vision, including opportunities to generate revenue to reinvest in EDI initiatives.
  • Work with consultants, staff and volunteers to coordinate EDI trainings, workshops, orientations, and professional development opportunities for staff and board.


  • Support equity initiatives at the North Cascades Institute and actively contribute to NCI as a community of belonging that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. Develop a personal equity, diversity, and inclusion related goal(s) and track progress towards your goal(s) with your supervisor.


This is a regular, full-time, exempt position. We offer a competitive compensation package. Salary range is $65,000 - $75,000 per annum based on experience. Benefits include paid time-off, medical/dental insurance, long and short-term disability insurance, life insurance, tax-deferred annuity, contribution retirement plan, and a yearly stipend toward Institute programs.


Start Date
July 1, 2021

Application Deadline
Open until filled


Equal Opportunity Employer

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, military, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, age, citizenship or any other basis prohibited by law in any of its policies or programs. People of Color and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.


About North Cascades Institute

North Cascades Institute's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature. Since 1986, we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of natural and cultural history. Our goal is to help people of all ages and backgrounds experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place. 


North Cascades Institute is a respected leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. We believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $4 million budget and strong reserves, and 15 four-star ratings with Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

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