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Executive Director
Category: Manager

Duke Farms
Hillsborough, NJ

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012



Duke Farms, located in Hillsborough, New Jersey, consists of more than 2,700 acres of farmland, woods and meadows. Recently re-opened to the public after a $45 million master planning and capital improvement project, the grounds of the former Duke estate are now used by the public for hiking, biking and other recreational activities. Classes, workshops and convening opportunities are provided for professionals in the environmental field and related governmental and non-profit organizations. In addition, children and adults from the local community farm 400 organic garden plots and participate in educational programs offered by Duke Farms and its partners. The property, which is three times as large as Central Park in New York City, is anchored by a restored barn that now serves as a visitor orientation center and staff offices.

As Duke Farms embarks on this new era of public accessibility and robust programming, the organization seeks a visionary leader to propel the organization into the future as a significant and relevant regional resource for learning about, understanding and exploring environmental stewardship, as that concept evolves.


The Executive Director will be a motivated leader with the experience to manage the staff and inspire them to excellence; develop, implement and maintain robust programming for a wide range of audiences; develop, implement and maintain a stewardship plan that safeguards the natural resources of Duke Farms and effectively utilizes them for educational and recreational purposes; develop, implement and maintain a facilities and grounds plan that allows for maximum public use while being mindful of stewardship issues; and provide effective management of constrained but reliable financial resources. Specifically the ED will:

 Manage and lead a staff of approximately 40 people focused on programs, environmental stewardship, and facilities, ensuring each staff member has clarity about the goals of his/her role, the guidance and support to meet them, and an understanding of how they connect to the work of others and the overall mission of Duke Farms.

 Assess current staff structure and roles and alter as necessary to better meet the organization’s needs.

 Work closely with Doris Duke Charitable Foundation staff in finance, human resources and information technology who provide back-office support to Duke Farms.

 Assess current programming and develop new programming designed to attract and serve audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds with a particular emphasis on reaching underserved school districts.

 Develop and maintain partnerships with academic institutions, nonprofits and others to enhance and broaden programmatic offerings in areas outside the expertise of internal staff.

 Maintain an organizational culture and atmosphere that welcomes and supports all visitors.

 Design and oversee the implementation of an environmental stewardship strategy that is a model to visitors while taking into account the practical realities of effectively managing a large and evolving property.

 Develop and maintain partnerships with like-minded organizations to pursue ecological research, habitat and native landscape conservation, and agricultural development that are compatible with sustainable environmental stewardship practices.

 Oversee the operation and maintenance of a diverse array of built and landscape environments, including several primary buildings and many less utilized out-buildings, a geothermal heating and airconditioning system, a 640 KW solar array, and a constructed wetland waste water treatment system.

 Develop and implement a cost-effective landscape maintenance system that meets stewardship guidelines.

 Ensure a safe and secure environment for employees, volunteers and visitors.


The Executive Director must have proven, significant, and successful leadership and management experience with the ability to oversee programmatic initiatives, operations, and staff development. S/he must have the ability to work with foundation leadership and the board to guide the organization. The successful candidate must also possess the talent to communicate effectively and to build relationships with multiple constituencies, including the board, staff, regional and state government officials, media, programmatic partners and other community leaders. Work experience in or knowledge of an aspect of the environmental field is highly desirable.

TO APPLY: Send brief cover letter, resume to Pamela Riess at

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