MCDA Executive Director Services Contract

Skitkomiq Application
June 7, 2022






Do you care about the survival of indigenous plant and animal species and promoting healthy water systems? Do you enjoy building partnerships among principled, energetic, contributing players intent on converging their resources to achieve shared objectives? Do you like to solve meaningful challenges and enhance human endeavors? If yes, consider applying for this exciting opportunity to enhance the development of the Maliseet Community Development Authority as a leader in regional ecosystem management, while spearheading its signature Wolastoq-St. John Watershed Restoration Program.



The Maliseet Community Development Authority (MCDA) is a young 501(c)(3) non-profit organization seeking contracted management services including those normally provided by an executive director of a newly formed organization. We were founded in 2018 “to enhance the well-being of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (HBMI) and its neighboring communities through initiatives in the following areas: Economic, Education, Culture, Social, Health & Wellness and Natural Resources.” We are currently comprised of a president and a seven-member Board of Directors. Dedicated staffing is needed to operationalize our mission; we were awarded a capacity-building grant from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation in 2022 to fund this initial organizational development effort.


We are seeking one individual or firm to assume responsibilities of the MCDA Executive Director, sub-contracting with additional capacity as needed to fulfill administrative, funding and programmatic needs of the organization for the next two years while setting up for a robust decade ahead. It is anticipated that following a two-year contracted effort, both longer-term funding and a permanent staffing will be in place, which may be satisfied by direct employment, contracted work, or a combination of the two, based upon an alternatives evaluation conducted during the two-year term.


While a wide range of initiatives may be explored over time, the top priority for the foreseeable future will be providing leadership for the Wolastoq-St. John Watershed Restoration Program. Working with a diverse array of program partners, the contracted provider will be expected to develop and oversee a strategic plan and implementation program geared to address a prioritized set of physical improvements (typically road-stream crossings and dam modifications). The outcome of the program will facilitate aquatic organism passage (AOP) while improving infrastructure resiliency throughout a vast watershed of economic and cultural importance to the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and local/regional stakeholders. While most project implementation is anticipated to occur following the two-year initial contract period, some near-term field construction projects currently being managed by the Maliseet Natural Resources Department may be transferred to the MCDA as soon as capacity is available.



If selected for this position, you and your team will initiate all aspects of MCDA’s organizational and watershed restoration program policies and procedures, restoration staffing, and serve as a primary contact for watershed restoration initiatives to government agencies (including HBMI’s Natural Resources Department), other conservation organizations, and the academic community. You will coordinate and support restoration planning, prioritization, research, monitoring, communication, and outreach activities, with an initial focus on MCDA’s river and stream connectivity priorities. You will investigate and develop solutions to address critical threats to natural systems and individual species within the Watershed. Diverse skill sets will be called upon to accomplish key objectives. The primary work elements fall into two major categories:


  1. Organizational Development and Leadership

Duties will include establishment of organizational management systems and execution of progressive capacity building initiatives including but not limited to the following elements:

  • Board support
  • Financial planning
  • Resource procurement
  • Administrative systems (including financial and personnel management)
  • Communications systems
  • Program development
  • Initiative management (see detail below), and
  • Partner relationship-building and management, with particular attention to maintaining a strong, strategic relationship with HBMI


  1. Restoration Program Management

Duties will include overall program coordination, partner development, resource procurement and management, public relations and other essential functions such as:

  • Assisting and/or leading in organizing meetings with partners, technical experts, stakeholder representatives and/or stakeholder associations to gather input and additional information on priority aquatic connectivity projects
  • Coordinating the development and execution of strategic, prioritized assessment of high priority connectivity projects
  • Coordinating partnered proposal-writing and resource leveraging strategies to fund priority projects
  • Coordinating team meetings, communication, and task tracking among program partners
  • Working with partners to Identify, secure and manage the technical capacity needed to perform field evaluations and other specialized services
  • Continually growing the partnership base and inspiring productive relationships
  • Managing public relations and outreach activities to grow broad community awareness and support for the program
  • Partnering with the HBMI to grow and manage shared capacity and maintain strategic alignment




  1. Required
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in non-profit management and development, including new system development and capacity-building
  • Working knowledge and experience in conservation (or related field)
  • Demonstrated experience in successful fundraising
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies
  • Experience negotiating


  1. Desired
  • Multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience
  • Familiarity with geographic region
  • 5-7 years’ experience in conservation/restoration practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Relationship building skills to work closely a variety of partners (i.e., conservation NGOs, state and Federal agencies, municipal officials, internal scientists, etc.)
  • Experience managing staffing, workloads, planning, and finances
  • Knowledge of freshwater species, natural communities, ecosystems, ecosystem processes and their conservation needs
  • Ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and interpret scientific data and prepare reports of findings
  • Experience coordinating multiple projects with several variables, setting realistic deadlines, managing timeframes and completing tasks independently
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means and ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Experience facilitating effectiveness of collaborative partnerships and leading those over whom one has no direct authority
  • Experience in community outreach, education, and training
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation/restoration policy and plans
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and regions
  • Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives or related field




The Executive Director will not be required to live in the upper Wolastoq-St. John Watershed but may find performing essential functions of the position more manageable if located in the area. MCDA does not have office space or equipment to offer as yet, but eventual procurement will be among the capacity building investments to be discussed during the contract term. Initially the contractor will need to furnish all computers, software, travel vehicles, printing, telephone and other support systems needed to perform the work.



Email a single document in PDF to Christopher Phillips, MCDA President,

The document should, at a minimum, include the following: (a) interest in performing the work, identification and description of your proposed team and member availability, including date available to begin work, (b) a description of the approach you would propose to utilize over the two-year period to accomplish the listed objectives, including key milestones, (c) a cost proposal including hourly rates by team member as well as estimates and bases for other anticipated expenses to be billed to the project, and (d) at least three relevant client references, identifying the team member(s) and project. Attachments documenting qualifications and experience of key personnel are encouraged, as are links to relevant work samples.


Candidates of interest will be contacted for an interview. The proposal and interview will be evaluated as a basis for selecting the most qualified and affordable contractor, with a detailed scope of work and compensation agreement negotiated following selection of the preferred candidate. If negotiations ultimately fail, the next preferred candidate will be offered the same opportunity.