Lead, Programs – Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Opportunity: Lead, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Grade: 4

Salary Range: $72,448 – $83,184

*Senior Lead Salary Range: $88,729 – 94,275


About Us: Delta Institute

We address Midwestern environmental, economic, and climate challenges today, so that our home and region are more resilient, equitable, and innovative tomorrow.

Delta exists because environmental, economic, and climate issues hit communities—urban and rural—through disinvestment, systemic inequity, and policy decisions. We collaborate at the community level to solve our home region’s new and legacy issues, by focusing on the self-defined goals and needs of our partners.

Our work takes us to population centers like Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit; to mid-sized cities such as Gary and South Bend, Indiana; to Great Lakes coastal towns like Michigan City, Indiana and Muskegon, Michigan; and to rural communities and watersheds with tens of thousands of acres of farmland and waterways across our region. It’s quite likely that you—or someone you know—lives, works, or passes through a community that Delta has helped since our founding in 1998.

Functional Hive – Programs

All Midwest communities and landscapes thrive through an integrated approach to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Our work is organized into distinct initiatives that move our mission forward, clearly define our work, and articulate impact. The programs functional hive strives to successfully address the challenges and creatively assist in sustainable solutions.

The Program You’ll Work Within: Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Impact Statement: By 2025, Delta will have assisted municipalities in integrating natural and green infrastructure – improving the environment, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and strengthening communities – reducing stormwater impacts by 100 million gallons and leveraging at least $100 million in investment.

Theory of Change: By standardizing green infrastructure, creating innovative financing mechanisms for municipalities, and using natural solutions to water management, Delta will help our community partners attain improved water quality, canopy cover, and address equity issues through the beautification and quality-of-life-improvements that healthier water and trees bring.

Goal 1: Increase adoption and integration of green infrastructure.

  • Objective 1: Create standards and educational products to increase efficiency and effectiveness of implementation activities; scale with dedicated marketing and communications.
  • Objective 2: Coordinate and scale implementation-focused projects across the region, with an emphasis on resource-limited communities.

Goal 2: Create an integrated administration program to scale up implementation of Green Infrastructure.

  • Objective 1: Expand and formalize Delta’s role in catalyzing and scaling up private investment and insurance markets to invest in GI.
  • Objective 2: Make it more streamlined for municipalities to access carbon and water markets.

Core Skillset

A Lead manages and provides leadership to a team delivering projects in one initiative, multiple projects, multiple administrative or organizational development functions or manages the day-to-day implementation of multiple programs for an affiliate of the Delta Institute. Leads are capable of key leadership roles representing the organization, developing new programs and obtaining funding and other resources for the work within their assigned responsibilities.

Other core skillset attributes are:

  • Work in a timely and collaborative manner on multiple deliverables with internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead specific organizational initiatives
  • Developing new initiative concepts that advance Delta and its mission
  • Manage multiple aspects of Delta’s work portfolio
  • Have strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Have strong written and verbal communication skills with deep experience in selling concepts and proposals
  • Have an established network of partners, collaborators, and funding relationships
  • Have advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues not only in the Midwest, but nationally and globally


Lead, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Position Specifics

A Lead provides strategic leadership and vison to Delta’s strategic initiatives with a focus on developing concepts and funding strategies to meet our impact objectives. Leads provide deep technical, analytical and project development leadership across Delta’s strategic priority areas. A Lead develops and helps implement methodological frameworks for projects, as well as related research and relationships. In this role, a Lead collaborates with project teams to implement tasks as assigned. They raise funds for implementing project work that creates impact on Delta’s strategic priority areas.

A Lead will bring strong technical skills, and real world topic experience, to the team including an aptitude for communication, networking and collaboration. A Lead will continue to build expertise in the team’s focus areas. A Lead should be adept at tackling difficult environmental and social problems with often unclear paths to success, or take iterative approaches with a long-term goal of seeking solutions to larger social and environmental issues. A Lead will also need to be comfortable working by themselves, among multiple types of personalities, on tight deadlines, in ambiguous and circuitous circumstances, and have an overall positive outlook on the change that happens in the world.

As part of a truly multidisciplinary organization, a Lead will also interface with and provide support for other projects that require unique skills and knowledge; and will have the ability to translate complex ideas to a variety of audiences both internally and externally.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Further develop and lead the Nature-Based Climate Solutions initiative by engaging with external partners and funders in coordination with the Director, Development and Communications; and, CEO
  • Outside revenue generation and cultivation of, municipal and governmental agency, non-governmental and community, and private sector partners defined in Delta’s Nature-Based Climate Solutions strategy to identify development, implementation, and impact opportunities
  • Lead program ideation, concepting, pre-development, funding identification, and proposal development to support your position and dedicated program staff providing consistent and expanding project work, while meeting program metrics as identified in the Delta Institute strategic plan
  • Lead proposal pre-development and development for projects that contribute to the Nature-Based Climate Solutions initiative area
  • Collaborate with Specialists and the CEO, to develop budgets and work plans for project and program proposals
  • Collaborate with Specialists and other programmatic staff on multiple projects to ensure high-quality, on-time, and on-budget deliverables
  • Manage staff, interns, and partners to plan and execute Program strategy
  • Assist in the creation of decision support tools for a variety of stakeholders
  • Collaborate on team planning and implementation meetings
  • Where project structures require it, take a hands-on approach by developing work plans with tasks, timeframes, milestones, resources, and dependencies; or, when required, a hands-off approach by providing project teams with the resources they need to execute high-quality project deliverables
  • Develop and maintain key professional affiliations in support of organizational and professional development goals
  • Build networks and maintain relationships with academic, scientific, business, governmental and other partners; identify program partners and collaborate across boundaries to meet common objectives
  • Identify and understand the primary users of products, services, and deliverables
  • Maintain effective communication with clients and stakeholders managing and meeting project expectations
  • Be adaptable in occasional ambiguity; and be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done

What you’ll have:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in planning, program administration, engineering, sustainability, environmental science, or related field with Master’s degree desirable or equivalent experience;
  • At least 7-10 years of relevant professional experience
  • Proven track record of engaging foundations, government agencies and businesses including farmers and their partners
  • Strategic and excellent organizational skills, be a self-starter and motivated and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Ability to apply systems thinking to complex environmental issues
  • Demonstrated success developing and evaluating program models, and selecting and successfully operationalizing innovative programs
  • Proficient in using technology as a management reporting tool and experience working with information technology staff to develop and implement program evaluation systems
  • Ability to organize, analyze and visualize data
  • Proficient in analyzing data and technical documents to produce deliverables
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multi-faceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
  • Experience in managing and motivating people to meet high performance standards
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple tasks and deadlines, and manage work in sometimes ambiguous situations


Core competencies are the values and defined behaviors that we believe are central to the ability of every employee to do the work of the Delta Institute. These core competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are the mark of a good Delta employee. Core competencies are a distinguishing characteristic of Delta employees for our clients, customers and stakeholders. They are a visible demonstration of our shared values and are evident in how we work together. Individuals can be at different levels of ability on a specific core competency which is why we measure ability each year and provide feedback and development suggestions.

All Delta employees have these core competencies:

  • Adaptive
  • Cooperative
  • Equitable
  • Passionate
  • Pragmatic
  • Transparent
  • Tenacious

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Continually required to sit
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Continually required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Continually required to talk or hear
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move up to 10 pounds

Delta offers its employees a competitive salary with a robust benefits package that includes generous paid time off, 401k, and medical, dental & vision insurance. Delta is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please email application packet (one PDF) that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume

All as one PDF to: careers@delta-institute.org
Subject line: Lead, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions
Application submission due date: 9/19/22
No phone calls, please.


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