Executive Director, Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy

Phoenix, Arizona /
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy – Babbitt Center /
/ On-site
Our Mission
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, we integrate theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide. With locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Washington, DC; Phoenix; and Beijing, we organize our work around six goals: low-carbon, climate-resilient communities and regions; efficient and equitable tax systems; reduced poverty and spatial inequality; fiscally healthy communities and regions; sustainably managed land and water resources; and functional land markets and reduced informality. 

Executive Director, Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, Position Profile

Position Overview
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is an independent, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to help solve global economic, social, and environmental challenges to improve the quality of life through creative approaches to the use, taxation, and stewardship of land. Recognizing the important connection between land use and water issues, the Lincoln Institute established the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy in 2017. Connecting water to land use brings together two resources that have been managed irrespective of one another for too long. Coordinated planning is a step in breaking down these silos and will be increasingly necessary as communities strive to secure their water futures.
The Babbitt Center’s major area of focus has been the Colorado River Basin, which is dependent on one of the most heavily used and over-allocated rivers in the world. The Babbitt Center seeks to advance the integration of land and water management to meet the current and future water needs of the Basin’s communities, economies, and its environment. The Center develops tools and best practices to guide policy decisions through research, training, and partnerships for sustainable management of land and water resources in the Basin and beyond.
The Babbitt Center’s leadership is at an inflection point with the upcoming retirement of its founding Director. The Lincoln Institute seeks a new Phoenix-based Babbitt Center Director to ensure both continuity in programming and to advance the Center’s presence and impact in the Colorado River Basin and more broadly promote the integration of land and water management in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Here are some highlights of our content:
Growing Water Smart: Securing Our Water Future
Publications on Water Resilient Agriculture
Water challenges in the Colorado River Basin - Cultivating Change
Babbitt Center Programs and Projects

The Director will work closely with the Lincoln Institute’s CEO and Vice President of Programs to lead existing efforts and identify new opportunities to advance the Babbitt Center’s work in the Colorado Basin, nationally, and globally and collaborate with other Center Directors to cross pollinate ideas and fully leverage the Institute’s intellectual resources for maximum impact.
This is a full-time position in Phoenix, Arizona, COVID permitting, at 37.5 hours/week reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer. Willingness and availability to travel 15%-30%. The Director’s specific duties and responsibilities are enumerated below.

What You’ll Do - The Director will lead and engage with the Babbitt Center staff to advance work in the following areas:

    • Foster the creation of new tools to support decision making and land management
    • Advance techniques for addressing uncertainty, including adaptive management approaches
    • Develop and implement a Babbitt Center research plan and identify long term programmatic objectives
    • Establish and support research networks to advance long term the Babbitt Center objectives
    • Facilitate regional dialogue to collaborate across the multiple jurisdictions and interest groups that share watersheds
    • Assist stakeholder’s efforts to develop new approaches and to identify the local, state, regional, and federal actions that will enable communities to effectively address their challenges
    • Track and report on conditions throughout the Basin to illustrate needs and opportunities through periodic state of the Basin assessments
    • Establish and run expert and practitioner advisory groups contributing to the Lincoln Institute's research and dissemination effort

What You’ll Do – Program Assessment and Development

    • In consultation with the Babbitt Center staff and Lincoln Institute colleagues, develop and implement long term programmatic objectives and manage both existing and new partnerships and mentor the Babbitt Center staff to achieve these objectives
    • Lead the seven person Babbitt Center staff and work with staff to manage the approximately $1million dollar program budget and to continue building the outside leveraged funds, currently approximately $ 3 million
    • Contribute to the overall success of the Center by participating in direction-setting; establishing and maintaining strong relationships with practitioners, policy makers and researchers; building the credibility and relevance of the Center; and representing the Center at professional meetings
    • Serve as an author and editor on Lincoln Policy Focus Reports, working papers and other print and on-line publications, including technical reports and public information documents Private & Confidential 5
    • Analyze and articulate emergent land and water policy issues and translate the analysis into mid- and long-term program objectives and benchmarks as part of the Institute’s Annual Planning Process 
    • Identify opportunities for new programming and network building on land and water policy in the Colorado Basin and beyond
    • Assess and manage the Babbitt Center’s network of advisers, practitioners, and researchers
    • Assess and propose ways to nurture and build upon the network of academics and practitioners that advise and help guide the Center’s work
    • Create and build a national and global presence by transferring lessons learned in the Basin to other areas
    • Sustain a regional presence through interaction with policy leaders and through workshops, conferences, seminars and lectures, and other events within and outside of the Colorado River Basin
    • Raise funds to enlarge the scope and scale of the Babbitt Center’s work and collaborate with the Institute’s Partnerships and Resource Development team towards this end

What You’ll Do – Administrative Duties

    • Develop and oversee the Babbitt Center budget and contracts: (a) work with the CEO and program staff to prepare annual budget; (b) plan and estimate costs for courses, research, demonstration projects, publications; (c) work with Associate Directors to monitor commitments and disbursements and to recommend midyear reallocations as necessary; (d) Review, monitor, and approve the work of partners, agencies, researchers, faculty, and authors working on contract with the Center; (e) Maintain active program involvement in all community of practice, tool development, research, and educational contracts
    • Work with the CEO and the Institute’s staff to prepare and frame the Babbitt Center’s annual objectives in the context of the Institute’s evolving institutional structure and global aspirations
    • Develop a strategic plan of research, courses, programs, pilot/demonstration projects, activities, and publications that supports the Institute’s mission
    • Be available to present to the Board of Directors and Planning & Budget Committee, and prepare related documentation as necessary, regarding the Babbitt Center’s programmatic work
    • Supervise and maintain active/significant involvement in all community of practice, tool development, research, and educational contracts initiated by the Babbitt Center

What You’ll Need

    • Master's degree, Juris Doctorate, or Doctorate preferred
    • Expert-level subject matter expertise on land and water policy issues and related policy implementation in the Western U.S., and a minimum of 10 years of professional leadership experience on western water policy, including work with municipal governments, other public agencies, NGOs and researchers 
    • Superior communication, leadership, and presentation skills to act as the public face of the Babbitt Center
    • Demonstrated acumen and experience addressing strategic and operational issues when managing initiatives, complex projects, teams, and individuals
    • Demonstrated ability and interest in training policymakers, their advisors, and staff
    • Demonstrated ability and interest to initiate and negotiate collaborative work with relevant institutions working in the Basin and in other geographies
    • Management experience, and extensive track record, leading project teams to successful completion of work
    • Excellent critical thinking/problem solving skills and ability to develop new/creative approaches to difficult issues
    • Successful track record bringing rigor and best practices to bear in the development of land and water management policy, program implementation, research, and technical work products
    • Professional demeanor with positive, collegial, and collaborative leadership skills for multidisciplinary programs
    • Task-oriented work ethic, responsiveness to deadlines, and a commonsense approach to moving projects and agendas forward
    • Integrity and sound judgment
Our Benefits
Benefits highlights include but are not limited to (a) 3x employer contribution towards retirement matching your employee contribution up to 15%, (b) health insurance, (c) dental insurance, (d) vision insurance, (e) 100% reimbursement of the health care deductible through a health reimbursement account, (f) short-term disability coverage, (g) long term disability coverage, (h) paid parental leave, (i) voluntary insurances such as accident insurance, (j) health care flexible spending, (k) dependent care flexible spending, (l) paid time off for holidays, vacation, personal, sick, bereavement, and jury duty, (m) office closure between December 24 – Jan 1 each calendar year, (n) flexible schedule and option for a compressed 4 day workweek, (o) tuition and staff development reimbursement, (p) pet insurance, and (q) Employee Assistance Program.

How to Apply
August Leadership, a global firm with a leading Social Impact/Non-profit practice has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Leading the search are Nicole Kamaleson and Kristina Kalkman, Partners in the firm. They will be supported by a team of consultants and researchers. To make recommendations or to express your interest, please send an email to babbitt@augustleadership.com
All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Our Values
We support a culture of forthright feedback, initiative, cooperation and teamwork, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and accepting responsibility.

Equal Opportunity Employer
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is dedicated to creating an inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Individuals seeking employment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), ancestry, citizenship status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital or domestic/civil partnership status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.