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Licensed Specialist/Program Director

Type of Job:
Landscape Architecture
Name of Firm:

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Job Location:

Buffalo, NY

As a member of the Waterway Revitalization Team, the licensed specialist/program director is responsible for managing and implementing multiple programs and projects in support of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s mission to protect and restore our water and surrounding ecosystems while connecting people to water. This position will be leading a team working under supervision of the deputy executive director/principal landscape architect to develop, manage, and implement organizational initiatives, programs, and projects associated with waterfront and watershed analysis; planning and design; habitat restoration; greenway and blueway trail development; public accessibility; green infrastructure design; site construction implementation; and post construction evaluation and monitoring.


  • Oversees the day-to-day work of the Waterway Revitalization Team, including employee supervision duties as well as program management, project personnel, and implementation.
  • Facilitates Waterway Revitalization Team meetings as needed; prepares meeting agendas and materials, and follows up on action items.
  • Responsible for building relationships with the external waterkeeper community with the goal of connecting them to waterkeeper initiatives and events.
  • Participates in strategic initiative development, grant development, workforce utilization, and employee performance evaluations, along with assisting in the facilitation of staff professional development opportunities.
  • Provides leadership in the organization as a program director on the senior management team, participating in the implementation of the organization’s vision and mission, strategic initiatives, and ensuring frequent and open communication between staff and management to align team members, programs, and projects in accordance with organizational strategic goals and initiatives.
  • In collaboration with other directors, oversees the cross-team program/project personnel and is responsible to ensure effective program/project budget management and work force utilization.
  • Serves as lead liaison with external partners, stakeholders, agencies, or officials, as needed.
  • Identifies new initiatives and projects, and vetting current initiatives and projects for organizational effectiveness.
  • Engages weekly with the senior management team and, when necessary, the executive management team and board of directors.
  • Collaborates with other project teams and disciplines as a technical subject matter expert when needed.
  • Directly manages programs, projects, and initiatives as needed.


Oversees or directly manages multiple planning, design, and construction projects as assigned, providing program and project oversight and management duties including:

  1. Lead project coordination and outreach efforts while in close contact with directors or deputy executives.
  2. Prepare and implement work plans, manage budgets, schedules and utilize project management software.
  3. Prepare site programming plans and schedules.
  4. Ensure all grant deliverables are being met.
  • Implement strategies to ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and to waterkeeper standards.
  • Participates in organizational fundraising and advancement activities and partnership development, business development, and grant writing.
  • May chair initiative teams or ad hoc working groups/teams as needed.
  • Fulfills day-to-day management functions for direct reports.
  • Assists executive management team with organizational management, as needed.
  • Directly engages with board committees as needed.
  • Assists in reviews and participates in the development of organizational policy, protocols, and structural documents.
  • Coordinates with the communications and marketing team to ensure program information is disseminated via social media, web, and other marketing channels.
  • Researches and prepares technical briefing memos for executive management review as required.
  • Attends public information and community meetings, as required.
  • Assists with grant writing, specific business development or fundraising tasks as needed.


  • Internal: Effectively reports to the deputy executive director/principal landscape architect. The executive director will engage directly with program directors when appropriate. This position requires clear, frequent, and consistent communications with multiple program and project team members and will have a close working relationship with peer program directors to enable cross-team collaboration and communication.
  • External: Effective communication with agencies, consultants, contractors, municipalities, public, partners, stakeholder committees, and the greater community.


  • Minimum professional bachelor's degree in landscape architecture or civil/environmental engineering. Consideration given to environmental, planning, and construction management degrees.
  • Strong preference will be given to NYS licensed and registered landscape architects or engineering professionals. Consideration will be given to those with extensive planning, design, and construction management experience.
  • 7 + years of practical experience in planning, design, and construction project management.
  • 3+ years managing people and leading teams required.
  • Grant or proposal development experience.
  • Direct experience in construction contract administration and working with contractors.
  • Experience developing and reviewing planning, design, and contruction contract documents.


  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with extensive cross-team collaboration.
  • Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to maintain a high energy level and be comfortable managing multi-faceted tasks in conjunction with day-to-day activities.
  • Excellent leadership qualities with the ability to overcome barriers and find meaningful collaborative solutions.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to deploy resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Ability to read, comprehend, produce, review, and administer plans, specifications, cost estimates, and permitting for site development restoration projects.
  • Knowledge of native plant communities and site management techniques considered a plus.
  • Knowledge of applicable laws, permits, and guidelines a plus.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office products, specifically Excel and Word.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office 365.
  • Proficiency in AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Suites a plus.


  • The majority of the work time is conducted in an office or meeting setting. Field work or site visits within the Niagara River watershed will be required.
  • Flexibility in schedule is required; occassional work in the evening and weekends for meetings or event participation.
  • Must be comfortable working outdoors in inclement weather.
  • Must be comfortable with and capable of performing field operations in and around water.
  • Must possess access to reliable transportation with the ability to travel to various work site locations throughout WNY.
  • Ability to occasionally lift and carry up to 30 lbs. preferred.

Salary is commensurate with experience. A robust benefits package is included with this position and the details of this package will be discussed with the final candidates.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical, or mental disability, or any other basis covered by law. Employment decisions are based solely on qualifications and business need.

Directions for applying:
No phone calls, please!

Apply by mail, or email, and include a cover letter, resume, and portfolio. PLEASE include the POSITION TITLE in the subject line of the email and the cover letter.

Address and send to:
Monica Lippens, Administrative Manager
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
721 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14203

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 26, 2020.

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