Executive Director

Friends of Cedar Mesa

Posted: 12/18/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Other

City: Bluff

Postal code: 84512

State: Utah

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$1M - $3M



Mission statement:

Friends of Cedar Mesa works to build protect and build respect for the culture and natural landscapes of the greater Bears Ears Region. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region

The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful, complex, diverse, and culturally rich areas on earth. In recent years it has been the focus of intense political drama, from the Obama Administration’s declaration of a National Monument in 2016 initiated from a proposal by a coalition of Native American tribes, to President Trump's reduction of that land area by 85% in 2017. 

This land is sacred to many; the Bears Ears buttes themselves are considered a place of healing to the multiple tribes. Both Navajo and Ute people call San Juan County home today, but it is revered as an ancestral home to Hopi, Zuni and other Puebloan people. The canyons of southeastern Utah are held in awe by archaeologists for their high density of ancient rock drawings and habitation sites. The iconic Hole in the Rock Trail traverses the county, built by the early Mormon pioneers, whose descendants still live here. Multiple and sometimes conflicting uses include recreation, grazing, woodcutting, uranium mining and oil and gas development.

In concert with the Intertribal Coalition, which was created to help establish tribal oversight and conserve and balance uses of the greater Bears Ears landscape, this National Monument has the potential to become the first to be co-managed by Native American tribes and the United States government.

The Biden Administration will seek to restore the Monument to a size that honors and legitimizes the needed protection of this remarkable landscape.

FCM’s work, and our opportunities, are about to multiply.

The Role of Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM)

Working closely with the Intertribal Coalition, FCM plays a dual role. First, we are the boots on the ground, working at the project level to protect cultural sites, educate visitors, and balance relationships with economic actors who make a living from this land. Second, we work at the local, regional, state, and national level to help ensure policies friendly to protection and stewardship.

The Opportunity for the Incoming Executive Director

Our outgoing Executive Director, Josh Ewing, has built a robust, effective, and growing, organization. It is an immense accomplishment. Today, we seek a new executive who can build on these successes. FCM has an extraordinary opportunity to help define how a truly unique and culturally significant landscape can be collaboratively managed and protected. 



Personal Qualities Sought in the next Executive Director

  • Possesses both leadership qualities and management acumen. 
  • Is an inspirational teacher and visionary who also understands organizational fundamentals: organization strategy, operations, and nonprofit financial management.
  • Manages our able staff, fostering success without inhibiting performance. 
  • Builds, maintains, and sustains trusting relationships, partnerships and alliances. 
  • Possesses a rare level of cultural competency: able to work fluidly and respectfully among the multitude of stakeholders in our work: Native Americans from multiple tribes, conservative residents of San Juan County, conservationists, government agency personnel, archeologists, policy makers, ranchers, outdoor sports interests, and oil and gas companies.  
  • Is comfortable raising money from a variety of donor sources.
  • Shares our passion and love for this region, its history, and its people.

Skills & Knowledge sought in the next Executive Director

  • A demonstrated, successful history of executive level management, as opposed to hands-on executionof fundamental organizational functions: operations, finances, HR.
  • Demonstrated acumen for nonprofit financial management.
  • Demonstrated experience in a policy/advocacy environment.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of relevant government agencies, policies, and processes: public land managers, NEPA, etc.
  • Demonstrated diplomacy and negotiation skills. 

Selected Details

  • Compensation and benefits commensurate with experience and sector.
  • Frequent travel required: up to 20%.
  • Reports to the Board of Directors.
  • Manages 10 full time and 2 part time positions. 
  • In order to build the relationships and establish trust across multiple communities, the Executive Director must establish an abiding presence in and around Bluff, Utah. Bluff is a delightful, progressive, small town in an extremely rural location. As a gateway to Bears Ears, Four Corners, and the Navajo Nation, it is the permanent and temporary home of a remarkable variety of fascinating residents and passers through: writers, artists, scientists, river runners, back country afficianadas, farmers, ranchers, and tourists as well.

Friends of Cedar Mesa: Six Primary Programs

  1. Advocacy, policy and legal: Working collaboratively with partners to create robust protections and prevent damage through harmful policies
  2. Education: Influencing visitor behavior by inspiring appreciation and teaching “Visit with Respect” principles, both at the Bears Ears Education Center and on the landscape
  3. Field: Carrying out real, tangible on-the-ground projects to protect resources and improve the visitor experience
  4. Monitoring: Active on-the-ground presence to identify and stop threats to cultural sites, wilderness values, and natural resources
  5. Indigenous Connections: Support Tribal leadership by providing technical expertise, local knowledge, fieldtrip logistics, and policy/advocacy for strong Indigenous collaborative management
  6. Research: Enhance knowledge of cultural and natural resources through recording/documentation, partnerships, fiscal sponsorship, and volunteer support of research projects


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

APPLY HERE: https://grnh.se/4a46e6da2us

All qualified applicants will receive consideration without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition, disability, or sexual orientation. As an equal opportunity employer that values the organizational benefits of a diverse staff, Friends of Cedar Mesa is committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people with a variety of backgrounds and attributes.

Friends of Cedar Mesa has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this search. In order to apply, please submit a current resume and thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest and outlines your relevant skills and experience.

Please refrain from contacting Friends of Cedar Mesa directly. All inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at [email protected]. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled

Posted By: Schaffer&Combs


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