Job Opportunities

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is currently hiring a Director of ʻĀina Protection. Applications must be submitted by Friday, November 1, 2019.


Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) is looking for a Director of ʻĀina Protection to lead HILT’s efforts to protect threatened, privately-owned land with high conservation resources through voluntary conservation purchases and conservation easements. This position will play an integral role in the organizational strength of our nonprofit land trust. If the candidate is an attorney licensed in Hawaiʻi, the position may be expanded to also serve as In-House Counsel.

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is Hawaiʻi’s islands-wide land trust with a mission to protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations. We are a Hawaiʻi 501c3 nonprofit, and a nationally accredited land trust. HILT has protected over 21,000 acres throughout the islands, including Hawaiian cultural landscapes, working farms and ranches, and coastlines where we swim and play. Established in 2011 as a merger of four land trusts on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, HILT now owns and stewards 7 preserves, holds and monitors 35 conservation easements, is actively working to protect additional special places throughout Hawaiʻi, and connects residents and visitors to ʻāina through education and managed public access.


·       Execute the goals of HILT’s Strategic Land Protection Plan.

·       Conduct outreach to prospective landowners to promote conservation easements and voluntary conservation programs available to landowners.

·       Coordinate outreach with other providers of conservation programs including the NRCS to provide a minimum of four (4) public outreach forums on agricultural easements annually.

·       Respectfully engage stakeholders (neighbors, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, community leaders, involved community groups, and elected officials) about proposed conservation purchases or easements in their area, and find workable solutions where concerns arise.

·       Manage fee simple and conservation easement acquisitions including negotiation of Letters of Intent, Purchase and Sale Agreements, Grants of Conservation Easements, Deeds, Baseline Documentation Reports, and Management Plans.

·       Research land use history, including ancient Hawaiian use of the lands, changes to land use over time, current property status, conservation values, and future potential land uses.

·       Raise public and/or private funds to purchase fee simple properties and/or conservation easements, and cover project costs. Raising funds requires writing well crafted grant proposals, giving strong and clear oral presentations, galvanizing community support resulting in supportive oral and written testimony, storytelling, and conducting site visits to hike through the properties to be protected.

·       Timely meet the grant deliverables and report on grants secured.

·       Conduct due diligence, order and review transaction documents including title reports, appraisals, surveys, environmental studies, and where needed archaeological studies and/or biological surveys. Where due diligence issues arise, find solutions so that the project can proceed to closing.

·       Help facilitate the approval of projects through the HILT Land Committee and Board of Directors.

·       Manage transactions through to closing.

·       Provide updates and regular communications to HILT’s CEO, Board of Directors, Island Councils, Advisory Board, and HILT staff.  

·       Periodically review HILT’s Strategic Land Protection Plan with HILT’s CEO, and work with HILT’s CEO, staff, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Island Councils to revise the Plan as needed.

·       IF LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN HAWAIʻI: Serve as HILT’s In House Counsel, drafting all legal agreements, and providing general guidance to the nonprofit organization.


·       Passion for the mission of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.

·       Three years of experience in land conservation and real estate transactions.

·       Ability to lead all aspects land transactions from negotiation to due diligence to escrow and title matters.

·       Familiarity with legal contracts.

·       Knowledge of Hawaiʻi’s State and County land use laws.

·       Knowledge of Hawaiʻi’s political and land use history.

·      Knowledge of Hawaiʻi’s natural, cultural, and agricultural resources.

·       Comfortable with regular interisland travel.

·       Valid Hawaiʻi driver’s license and driving ability.

·       Comfortable hiking rough terrain.

·       Strong writing and public speaking skills.

·       Community engagement experience and skills.

·       Bachelor’s degree.

·       IF LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN HAWAIʻI: In good standing with HSBA, and experience in land use, environmental, water, nonprofit, Hawaiian rights, real property, and/or contracts law.

Send cover letter and resume by November 1, 2019 to:
Makana Reilly, HILT Executive Assistant & Office Administrator
(808) 791-0729