Vice President, Land Conservation

Allegheny Land Trust

Join a dynamic team at Allegheny Land Trust (ALT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1993 in response to the rapidly declining amount of green space in Allegheny County. ALT has protected more than 3,900 acres to preserve our region’s unique natural beauty, provide accessible outdoor recreational opportunities, improve water quality, sustain biodiversity, and enhance the overall quality of life for all. Our strategic priorities include land protection, land stewardship, community conservation, and environmental education. Learn more and read our current strategic plan at

Position Summary

The Vice President of Land Conservation directs and executes strategies that identify, plan and protect land to achieve Allegheny Land Trust’s mission. This leader serves as a subject matter expert on conservation-related issues and originator of creative solutions for regional threats/opportunities around land use, conservation and greenway planning, ecosystem impact and valuation, and various methods of land protection. As a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, the professional in this position must be capable of actively contributing to senior-level organizational planning and decision-making while working closely with landowners, government agencies and partners to identify, secure and protect green space in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Duties and Responsibilities

Conservation Planning and Partnerships (50%)

  • Creates a departmental vision and develops a master conservation plan as a blueprint for land protection targets in ALT’s regional geographic service area.
  • Identify, investigate and recommend conservation targets that meet established criteria and annual conservation goals.
  • Evaluate, present and update various audiences about current conservation targets including ALT’s board of directors, Land Protection Committee, staff, and community.
  • Expand ALT’s influence by participating in conference presentations, sitting on nonprofit boards, actively participating in coalitions and associations to enhance knowledge, to develop new partners and identifying ALT as an expert in land conservation.

Deal Structuring and Negotiating (20%)

  • Comprehends traditional and creative real estate techniques to serve as the lead landowner liaison and deal negotiator and to garner the best conservation agreement possible for ALT regardless of a market-rate acquisition, bargain sale, land donation, conservation easement, land transfer to a partner or other type of conservation agreement.
  • Be the primary conservation liaison with various stakeholders including landowners, our real estate attorney, neighbors and designated funding sources. Delegate to Land Conservation staff responsibilities and project leadership as needed.
  • Ensures legal processes and practices are followed and align with federal, state, local and Land Trust Accreditation Commission requirements.

Operations and Fundraising (30%)

  • In partnership with Development staff, oversees planning, preparation and administration of land conservation projects including the completion of post-award reimbursement requirements and progress reporting for grantors including but not limited to private, local, state and federal agencies.
  • Oversees development of departmental and project budgets and funding plans to ensure financial feasibility for projects and supports marketing, fundraising and community engagement efforts.
  • Synthesizes complex and uncertain current and future conditions and creates strategies to provide subject matter expertise. Positions land conservation and ecosystem services as a tool to address regional issues regarding resiliency and sustainability.
  • Leads a high-performing Land Protection team, directing Community Conservation and Easement Programming focus. Identify opportunities to build skills and expertise in staff by working to clearly identify a professional development plan and perform annual evaluations of staff.
  • Identifies and pursues opportunities for carbon credit, mitigation banking and other types of creative revenue generating and conservation focused projects.


  1. A minimum of ten years of professional or managerial experience in land use planning, real estate sales or development, land use law, or related positions in for-profit or non-profit organizations or prior land trust experience.
  2. Comprehensive knowledge of land protection methods, site analysis, planning and design; state, county and local municipal land use ordinances; municipal development review and approval processes and related technical regulations.
  3. Expert in creating and negotiating private and public real estate transactional contracts and agreements including but not limited to term sheets, Agreements of Sale, conservation easements, option agreements and First Right of Refusals.
  4. Excellent verbal and written communications including writing grant applications, submitting and reporting reports for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) and other state and federal agencies and private foundations. In addition, the candidate should have a high level of emotional intelligence to effectively communicate sensitive topics with landowners, staff and partners.
  5. Familiarity with federal tax laws relating to charitable gifts. A Juris Doctor (JD) is preferred, but not required to apply.
  6. Utilize digital mapping and other imagery programs to support strategic conservation planning and implementation.
  7. Knowledge of environmental principles and an understanding of the vital role that land conservation plays in local and global sustainability.
  8. Ability to travel by automobile or reliable transportation to meetings and ALT properties. Must hold and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  9. Comfortable using Microsoft products (i.e. Word, Teams) and adapting to new project management software. Experience with Landscape is a plus.

For more information, see the FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

At ALT, we are dedicated to fostering a workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We actively encourage applications from individuals of all backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. We believe that a diverse and inclusive team fosters innovation, creativity, and success.

We do not discriminate against any employee or applicant based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws. We celebrate the unique qualities each team member brings to our organization and strive to provide an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected

How to Apply

Apply to be a part of our team by submitting a cover letter and resume to Emilie Rzotkiewicz at [email protected] by July 22, 2024, at 5:00 PM.

Cover letters should respond to the position responsibilities and qualifications presented in the job posting. Specifically, within the cover letter, please share examples of creative real estate deals you have negotiated as well as your experiences as a leader overseeing high performing teams.

Applicants may be asked to complete a Predictive Index assessment or similar workplace evaluation.