Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) |

The Organization

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education, and advocacy. Founded in 1970, PEC combines policy work with on-the-ground programs. By spending time in the field improving water quality, encouraging clean energy, educating the public, and promoting trails and outdoor recreation, PEC can best collaborate with the public and private sectors to find solutions that benefit the environment and all stakeholders. Every day, PEC manages challenges facing Pennsylvania’s water, land, and air resources whether from past activities, current practices, or potential future impacts. PEC is respected for its informed policy advocacy and research and its “big tent” approach to finding innovative solutions to the environmental challenges facing Pennsylvania.

PEC houses its programs and initiatives under four primary pillars:

  • Air: Through advocacy for effective emission controls and market-based decarbonization strategies, PEC is working to confront the climate emergency and set the policy agenda for a prosperous, clean-energy future.
  • Land: To enrich the lives of the millions of Pennsylvanians who recreate outdoors, PEC fights for ongoing investment in public lands, promoting conservation-focused approaches to local economic development and working with partners to build inclusive and welcoming regional trail networks.
  • Water: PEC works directly to advance watershed health through education and public outreach, providing support for community-level efforts to protect and improve local waterways, and helping municipalities to sustainably manage stormwater.
  • Policy: Backed by the latest science and more than fifty years of accumulated expertise, PEC advocates for environmental protection and restoration at local, state, and federal levels.

At the heart of PEC’s success are partnerships with the private sector, government, communities, and individuals that improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. With offices in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, State College, and Wilkes-Barre, PEC also maintains a strong presence in Harrisburg as well as professional staff who collaborate actively on projects and policy initiatives.

To learn more about PEC, please visit:

The Opportunity

PEC seeks a bold and visionary President who will continue to grow the organization strategically and programmatically while serving the mission with purpose and pride. Responsible for a budget of over $4M and a staff of 25, the President will manage overall strategic direction of PEC while also holding themselves accountable to a Board of Directors.

The President of PEC will be an accomplished and savvy fundraiser, able to raise support for PEC’s regional and statewide programs and projects while diversifying funding streams. A believer in partnership and collaboration, the President will seek to forge alliances among foundations, government, and other organizations with a commitment to leadership commitment, innovative action, convening, and educating diverse partners.

The President is primarily responsible for the following:

Leadership and Organization Management

  • Oversees senior leadership staff with responsibilities for operations, finance, fundraising, programs, and policy and government affairs.
  • Serves as an expert on the programs and policy initiatives of PEC, statewide as well as locally or regionally.
  • Manages the Staff with transparency and respect, creating a professional and positive workplace.
  • Creates a culture of support, collaboration, engagement, and growth, including creating opportunities for team-building, individual professional growth, and organizational development.
  • Institutes a strong, collaborative work culture and climate that carries across statewide offices in order to make staff feel connected.
  • Engages employees in strategic discussions and empowers them to work autonomously.

Strategy and Vision

  • Continually evaluates programs and their alignment with the mission to ensure that PEC is in a leadership position. Actively researches and identifies areas of improvement, new opportunities for environmental innovation, social responsibility, landscape development, and community development.
  • In collaboration with the Staff, Board, and community stakeholders, creates and oversees the implementation of a strategic plan and vision – to include short- and long-term objectives, practical action, and a comprehensive plan for marketing and fundraising strategies to support organizational goals.
  • Identifies and engages with key community leaders, forms strategic alliances, and regularly surveys the broad environmental community to keep abreast of new thoughts and technologies and strengthens conversations and progress around PEC initiatives.

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Stewards relationships with current philanthropic partners while identifying and cultivating potential opportunities for advancement and diversification in resource development.
  • Oversees brand strategy; ensures messaging is cohesive and impactful.
  • Cultivates rapport with key decision-making bodies. Actively engages with government entities as well as community and business decision-makers and practitioners and convenes leaders at all levels to accelerate environmental solutions and policies.
  • Facilitates partnerships among groups outside the organization with a vested commitment to the environment and recreation.

Board Relations

  • Develops, maintains, and supports a high-performing and passionate Board of Directors.
  • Provides ongoing education to the Board of Directors on emerging issues and unmet needs.
  • Generates and tracks metrics that monitor the organization’s performance with respect to the mission and critical objectives.
  • Provides leadership in developing the organizational, program, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and carries out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Prepares and presents mission and programmatic information at each meeting to ensure Board understands the work and people associated with the organization.

The Candidate

PEC seeks a leader committed to the mission of the organization, primarily environmental policy and programming across Pennsylvania. The new President must be a bold and visionary leader who is passionate and knowledgeable about public policy and advocacy. This individual must take personal responsibility for driving the organization’s success, demonstrating a high level of ownership for results.

As the foremost voice for PEC, the President will be comfortable and accomplished in external relationships including donors, public officials, media, volunteers, and other stakeholders. Internally, the President will set the tone for Staff and use their strong leadership skills to effectively manage and unify diverse and widespread offices.

All candidates should have exceptional and proven nonprofit management, leadership, relationship management, and resource development experience.

Demonstrable experience, competencies, and qualifications include:

  • Passion for and commitment to PEC’s mission and vision.
  • Educational background and work experience aligned with the requirements of the position.
  • Past success working collaboratively with partners, including but not limited to philanthropic leaders, like-minded organizational partners, and a Board of Directors.
  • A successful record of accomplishment with fundraising from diverse sources.
  • Knowledge of best practices and leading trends, solutions, and innovations in environmental policy, resources, and outdoor recreation.
  • Experience in mission-based messaging to small and large groups with a call to action.
  • Strong knowledge of how marketing, communications, and public relations can further PEC’s reputation and fundraising efforts and a record of using these tools to improve and optimize these efforts.
  • Demonstrated success in creating and promoting a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace environment. A working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Eagerness to travel extensively throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Experience and confidence with public speaking before a wide range of professionals and community audiences.
  • Advanced strategy and planning skills; demonstrated success with program development.

Performance Objectives

In the near term, the new President will continue to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing the following in the first 6-12 months:

  • Knowledge of all programmatic and operational functions of PEC.
  • Building strong and trusting relationships with Board, Staff, funders, and various stakeholder groups.
  • Reviewing and analyzing fundraising and marketing plans to explore and maximize opportunities with additional and diverse sources of revenue.
  • Evaluating the organization’s current strategic matrix – collaborative goal and vision setting with Staff.

Compensation & Benefits

This position offers a competitive salary of $165,000 – $180,000 with robust benefit offerings.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Pennsylvania is a large and diverse state and PEC works in communities across the entire Commonwealth. As such, PEC is committed to including DEI principles and practices that reflect that diversity in all of our work as well as in our hiring and human resources practices. When seeking new talent, we strive to recruit employees who represent the state’s diversity in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and ability.

How to Apply

Pennsylvania Environmental Council has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

Resume, position-specific cover letter, and salary expectations can be uploaded here:


About Nonprofit Talent

Nonprofit Talent is a boutique firm with a deep understanding of the nuanced cultural and financial landscape of the nonprofit and philanthropic community. We know the organizations and the people that commit to the sector. Our candidates, through regional and targeted national recruitment, frequently come from the same communities as our clients. We firmly believe in uplifting the extraordinary talent of our region in addition to seeking out new and vibrant talent through national networks.

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