TO APPLY: Schultz & Williams is managing the search for the Turtle Survival Alliance. Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letters to TSAexecsearch@schultzwillstg.wpengine.com. Resumes will be reviewed starting August 1, 2019. Download the position listing as a PDF.



The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 as “an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.” The TSA arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis.

Since forming, the TSA has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered turtles and tortoises. Although the TSA was organized in response to the Asian Turtle Crisis, the group has been expanded as our understanding of the scope of turtle and tortoise declines has become better understood. The TSA has been particularly involved in recovery efforts where a managed breeding component is part of an overall survival strategy. Currently, the TSA supports projects or programs – both wild and captive – that benefit 20 of the world’s 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. The TSA employs a comprehensive strategy for evaluating the most critically endangered chelonians that identifies whether a species is prioritized for a captive program or through range country efforts, or a combination of both.

In the past 13 years, TSA secured nonprofit 501(c)(3) status (2005), created a formal Board of Directors (2008) and has centralized its base operations in South Carolina by opening the Turtle Survival Center (2013). The Turtle Survival Center achieved accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2018, and is now home to more than 700 turtles and tortoises, representing 30 of the world’s most critically endangered species. It has five full-time employees and operates an internship program. The TSA has also grown internationally, with significant field projects or programs in Madagascar, Myanmar and India, and additional projects in Belize, Colombia, and throughout Asia.

Today, the TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world. Widely recognized as a global catalyst for turtle conservation based on its reputation for swift and decisive action, the TSA has made a bold commitment to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st Century. The TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally. TSA’s conservation actions utilize a three-pronged approach: restoring populations in the wild where possible; securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and building the capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country.

The TSA’s annual operating budget is approaching $2,000,000. Based in the US, the TSA is led by a talented and committed staff of eight full-time employees and one part-time employee.

Learn more about the Turtle Survival Alliance – its mission, leadership and history – by visiting www.turtlesurvival.org.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director plans, coordinates, and directs the day-to-day operations and long-term management of the TSA. The Executive Director will have overall strategic management and operational responsibility for the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). S/he will lead the strategic planning, advance the organization’s mission, oversee operations at home and abroad, and ensure and advance its financial sustainability. The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring that the TSA’s strategic plan, objectives and goals as approved by the Board are implemented and fulfilled. S/he will have broad knowledge of conservation/animal/turtle field programs, non-profit operations, and organizational business planning. The Executive Director is ultimately accountable for the fiscal health and stability of the TSA, ensuring its programs are developed, administered and completed according to plan and on budget. S/he serves as the primary liaison with the TSA’s Board of Directors, staff, various partners, other key stakeholders and the general public.

Employment Type: Full-time, regular, exempt Reporting Relationships:

  • Reports to: TSA Board of Directors.
  • Supervises: All the TSA employees including, but not limited to administrative staff, COO, Development Director; Turtle Survival Center staff; Field Programs personnel, and any independent contractors to the TSA.

Location: Based in Charleston, SC region


Strategic Planning & Strategic Implementation

The TSA has been a global leader in turtle conservation. The future success of the TSA depends on continuing to develop strategic partnerships and programs, and successfully operating the Turtle Survival Center.

  • The Executive Director will be responsible for strategic oversight and leading an organization-wide strategic planning process with the Board and the staff along with input from other key stakeholders to determine short- and long- term goals, objectives and outcomes for both TSC and field programs. S/he will work to oversee the implementation of the strategic plan upon approval from the TSA Board of Directors.
  • S/he must be able to articulate an aspirational vision and long-term strategic plan for the TSA that energizes all constituencies and ensures its continued leadership in turtle conservation.
  • S/he will ensure that the TSA is compliant with all state, federal, and international laws, policies, and treaties relating to turtles.

Financial Leadership, Steward of TSA Resources & Active Fundraiser

The TSA is primarily funded through contributions and grants. The TSA continues to grow a national base for philanthropic support. Recently, through private donor support, the TSA built a stewardship which allows the TSA to support its annual recurring operating expenditures.

  • The Executive Director must effectively manage the TSA’s budget and ensure it meets revenue goals. S/He will also be expected to oversee the TSA’s development of a viable financial plan that ensures all resources are carefully monitored and fully leveraged through fiscally prudent leadership. S/he will be expected to grow, where possible, revenue streams as well as identify new sources for operating and program support and increasing the stewardship fund.
  • S/he will work to sustain and expand existing field programs as well as review potential new ones.
  • S/he will work with the Board of Directors and the Development Director to define and implement fundraising strategies, direct donor solicitation and cultivation, and coordinate strategies and write grants.
  • S/he will ensure the stewardship of the TSA’s facility and other capital resources. S/he will facilitate the design and implementation of new capital projects and ongoing maintenance.

Principal External Spokesperson

The TSA is positioned to continue to increase its prominence within the global turtle conservation field. This will require increasing its presence at key events, publications and overall marketing.

  • The Executive Director will be the principal external spokesperson who represents the TSA at the local, state, national, and international level. S/he will leverage and engage the TSA Board, independent consultants (including TSA’s President) and staff where appropriate as spokespeople.
  • As spokesperson, s/he will interact with other conservation leaders; work closely with the TSA Board of Directors; partner with public and business leaders; and address a variety of public forums.
  • S/he will maintain a strong public presence with all stakeholders and will be persuasive in representing the TSA’s mission, programs, and impact to ensure ongoing support.
  • S/he will work to build the brand of TSA as a vital, critically important component of wildlife preservation and, in connection with this, ensure a pro-active communications strategy and process.

Provide Inspiring Leadership to the TSA Staff

The TSA employees are passionately committed to the mission and strive to demonstrate daily the highest standards of professionalism. The TSA staff will look forward to the leadership of an Executive Director with knowledge of employee development and motivation, as well as performance management and accountability systems.

  • The Executive Director will foster an atmosphere in which team work is expected and rewarded.
  • S/he will be expected to promote a culture of clear, consistent and open communication with all staff. S/he will be responsible for the hiring, evaluation, disciplinary action, terminations, motivation, and development of direct reports.
  • S/he will set the standard for mutual respect and for meeting the highest professional standards. S/he will work to promote ongoing professional development and to ensure all employees are compliant with the TSA policies.

Board Related Duties & Responsibilities

The TSA Board of Directors is a highly-respected, passionate group of conservation leaders that actively serves as strategic advisors and supporters of the Executive Director.

  • The Executive Director will present the strategic plan, annual operating budgets, and periodic financial reports to the Board, as appropriate.
  • S/he will ensure the Board stays fully informed about the TSA and all happenings related to the TSA so that they may provide educated guidance and actively serve as advocates for the TSA in the community.


Desired Qualifications & Other Requirements:

  • Passion for the TSA mission and conservation.
  • At least ten years of progressive managerial and administrative responsibility; ideally at a conservation organization or related type of public/private organization.
  • Desired Master’s Degree or higher from a four-year college or university, or equivalent of educational and professional experience.
  • A broad-based knowledge of wildlife conservation, ideally turtle conservation, and an appreciation for the TSA’s programs.
  • The vision and strength of leadership to develop and execute long-term strategic plans for an organization; Experience managing a complex organizational and financial structure.
  • Proven success as a general manager with oversight of leadership, finance, fund-development, operations, and programs; Evident ability to prioritize and delegate responsibilities.
  • A track record of financial management that includes revenue growth, expense management, and wise operating investment.
  • Demonstrated, exemplary leadership of staff and other stakeholders; Experience working with a volunteer board of supporters, especially in keeping them informed, engaging them in strategic discussion, and mobilizing them in activities to which they are best suited, such as strategic planning, making connections, and fundraising.
  • Proven communication, leadership, and relationship-building skills; Demonstrated community outreach ability and experience with diverse populations.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include evenings and/or weekends and holidays.
  • Availability for global, as well as US national travel.