Chicagoland Conservation Manager

About IEC

Since 1975, the Illinois Environmental Council has worked to safeguard Illinois—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends by building power for people and the environment. Representing over 100 environmental organizations in the state, IEC carries out its mission to advance public policies that create healthy environments across Illinois through education, advocacy and movement building.

What We Do

We advance sound environmental laws and policies at all levels of government by bringing together the Illinois environmental community to influence decision makers and ensure clean air, clean water and healthy communities. From lobbying at the State Capitol to building consensus around an annual environmental agenda, IEC takes pride in leading our environmental movement in Illinois. We coordinate our affiliate member organizations to share resources, mobilize supporters and respond quickly to the most pressing issues facing the environment in Illinois.
IEC also supports environmental activists across the state, building programs to cultivate the next generation of environmental leadership, such as our Young Professionals Board, Community Council, annual environmental scorecards and other educational programs like our Civics for Environmentalists and Lunch & Learn series

About the Position

The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund (IECEF) is looking for a self-motivated individual for the role of Chicagoland Conservation Manager. The Manager will develop leadership on conservation issues in Chicagoland among conservation organizations, decision makers, and stakeholders. They will conduct outreach and education using their expertise in conservation practices and current initiatives underway in the region. They will develop education materials, organize listening sessions, town halls and tours of conservation areas.

Previous experience with conservation policies, practices as well as experience giving public presentations and involvement in coalition building is desired. Previous professional work experience is required.

This position will be located in Chicago, IL with allowances for remote and/or field work. The candidate must live in Illinois. The position is full-time and may include evening and weekend work with travel throughout Illinois.



  • Build relationships with conservation organizations and recruit new members for IECEF affiliation.
  • Develop and increase leadership on conservation issues in the Chicago area. Build legislative champions for conservation and agriculture.
  • Organize tours for decision makers of conservation areas. 
  • Support conservation and open space policy initiatives at the city, state, and federal level.
  • Build power and alignment of the Illinois conservation community.

Outreach and Education

  • Maintain an expertise of conservation science issues that impact the Chicago area.
  • Develop relationships with community level organizations that are interested or impacted by land use decisions.
  • Develop informative and actionable educational materials and give presentations to the general public and community level organizations on conservation and civic engagement.
  • Collaborate with the Conservation Director on listening sessions for the Nature Based Solutions Coalition focused on nature-based solutions.


  • Understand the process and politics by which laws are enacted or rules are made at the city, county, and state level.  
  • Understand the city of Chicago zoning & budget process. Maintain a basic understanding of land use decisions made by local governments in the Chicago area such as county or municipal.
  • Develop relationships with elected officials who chair conservation committees.


  • Experience with conservation issues, including current and past state legislation and/or city ordinances
  • Experience working on collaborative initiatives with coalitions and partners
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Proficiency using both the Microsoft and Google software suites
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and people
  • Highly organized
  • Ability to coordinate multiple tasks and work independently
  • Interest in environmental issues and policies
  • Preferred but not required for the candidate to have a valid Illinois drivers license and an automobile
  • Permanent eligibility to work in the United States without visa sponsorship
  • Ability to comply with IEC’s vaccination requirement, or an eligible medical or religious exemption

About You

We’re looking for a self-motivated individual who is excited to address the biggest challenges facing Illinois by bringing together diverse stakeholders. You should be a stellar communicator with excellent attention to detail who enjoys building, executing and evaluating strong programs and activities. You should be a hard-working individual that is excited to take on any task.

We are a small, dynamic team that rely on each other to produce high-quality work. You like to work collaboratively with other organizations and community leaders.

We strongly encourage candidates of all different backgrounds and identities to apply. Each new hire is an opportunity for us to bring in a different perspective, and we are always eager to further diversify our company. IEC/IECEF is committed to building an inclusive, supportive place for you to do the best and most rewarding work of your career.

About Our Pay and Benefits

This full-time position is based in Chicago or Springfield Illinois. IEC staff follow a hybrid work arrangement where in-office and remote work are expected. Benefits include health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, a 401(k) plan, and generous paid time off.

Salary range is $50,000-$65,000 commensurate with experience. Cover letter MUST include salary requirements. Candidates with salary requirements above the listed salary range will not be considered.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IEC/IECEF is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, gender expression or identity, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, protective order status, veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, ancestry, religion, pregnancy, certain arrest or criminal history records, homelessness and use of lawful products outside of work during non-working hours or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

Equity, Allyship and Powerbuilding Values

IEC/IECEF is working always to ensure that everyone on our team feels engaged and supported in all areas of the organization’s operations as we work to become a fully inclusive, multi-cultural and anti-racist organization.

We are only as powerful as the people in our movement and those we serve. Building power for people and our environment in Illinois requires us to actively combat social and political power dynamics that disenfranchise marginalized communities across a broad range of issues beyond those that fall squarely within traditional environmental policy. When marginalized communities are empowered, environmental protections become more possible. Thus we are called to stand in solidarity as allies with those fighting for justice and to strengthen our democratic institutions where power drives policy change.

IEC/IECEF is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Introduce yourself to us as a colleague. Show us your future here and let us know what you’d bring to our organization! We value great writers, so be yourself, be creative, and take your time with the application.

The application deadline is 10/1/2022, but resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants in accordance with the application date.

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and salary expectations. Please send all application materials, along with questions, via email to:

Jeff Shelden
Deputy Director

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