JCWC is Hiring: Executive Director

See the complete job announcement here.


Reports to: Board of Directors
Status: Regular, full-time, exempt position
Starting Salary: $53,000 – $63,000, depending on qualifications
Benefits: Health and dental insurance, retirement with 3% match, paid vacation and sick leave
Position closes: Friday, November 14, 2014


The Johnson Creek Watershed Council is seeking a dynamic, dedicated Executive Director to take our organization to the next levels of success and impact. This thriving organization is one of the strongest watershed councils in the state, consistently receiving an “excellent” rating from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. The Executive Director will lead a team of talented staff, an active board, and a diverse group of volunteers to protect and restore one of the most densely populated watersheds in the state of Oregon. The Council has successful programs in ecological restoration, monitoring and research, volunteer stewardship, community outreach, environmental education and regional land use advocacy.

The Council’s office is located in Milwaukie, near the southern edge of Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood. The Executive Director will manage five staff members and oversee an annual operating budget of $500,000.

The Johnson Creek Watershed is located on the east side of the greater Portland metropolitan region. Johnson Creek originates in rural Clackamas County and flows westward 25 miles to its confluence with the Willamette River in the City of Milwaukie. The watershed encompasses approximately 34,000 acres and includes parts of a number of jurisdictions including the Cities of Milwaukie, Portland, Gresham, Damascus, and Happy Valley, and Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. Johnson Creek Watershed is home to a number of native fish and wildlife species, including a small but promising run of threatened wild coho salmon, which appear to be re-establishing spawning grounds in Johnson Creek and tributaries.

Job Purpose

The Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
The Executive Director performs some or all of the following:


  • Participate with the Board of Directors and staff in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization
  • Act as a professional advisor to the Board of Directors on all aspects of the organization’s activities
  • Foster effective team work between the Board and the Executive Director and between the Executive Director and staff
  • In addition to the Chair of the Board, act as a spokesperson for the organization
  • Conduct official correspondence on behalf of the Board as appropriate and jointly with the Board when appropriate
  • Represent the organization throughout and beyond the watershed to enhance the organization’s community profile and strategic vision

Operational planning and management

  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization
  • Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its staff, clients, Board and Funders
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operation of the organization
  • Draft policies for the approval of the Board and prepare procedures to implement the organizational policies; review existing policies on an annual basis and recommend changes to the Board as appropriate
  • Ensure that personnel, client, donor and volunteer files are securely stored and privacy/confidentiality is maintained
  • Provide support to the Board by preparing meeting agenda and supporting materials

Program planning and management

  • Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services
  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities of the Board
  • Monitor the day-to-day delivery of the programs and services of the organization to maintain or improve quality
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of special projects

Human resources planning and management

  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery
  • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices including the development of job descriptions for all staff
  • Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations
  • Recruit, interview and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization’s mission
  • Ensure that all staff receive an orientation to the organization and that appropriate training is provided
  • Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting annual performance reviews
  • Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance and prepare staff for enhanced responsibilities
  • Discipline staff when necessary using appropriate techniques; release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures

Financial planning and management

  • Work with staff and the Board (and / or relevant committees) to prepare a comprehensive budget
  • Work with the Board to secure adequate funding for the operation of the organization
  • Research funding sources, oversee the development of fund raising plans and write funding proposals to increase the funds of the organization
  • Lead and / or participate in fundraising activities as appropriate
  • Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization
  • Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditure of the organization
  • Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments

Community relations/advocacy

  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the organization and to identify changes in the community served by the organization
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, politicians, conservation related organizations and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization
  • Articulate the organization’s vision to the watershed community, and elicit community support for implementation of that vision including long-term support for the endowment, capital campaign, and permanent facilities / center of operations outlined in the vision
  • Assure presentation of the “2015 – 2025 Johnson Creek Watershed Restoration Action Plan” (currently being developed) to the watershed community and elicit support for implementation of the plan

Risk management

  • Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization’s people (clients, staff, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill, & image, & implement measures to control risks
  • Ensure that the Board of Directors and the organization carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage
  • Ensure that the Board and staff understand the terms, conditions and limitations of the insurance coverage



  • BS or MS degree or relevant job experience in a relevant field such as environmental management, environmental science, natural resource management, or restoration ecology is desired. 

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit organizations
  • Knowledge of all legislation applicable to voluntary sector organizations including: employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, charities, taxation, health coverage etc…
  • Knowledge of an environmental specialty related to the health of the watershed, environmental management, environmental science, natural resource management, restoration ecology, water quality or conservation science, or job related experience in one of these specialties
  • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization
  • Knowledge of human resources management
  • Knowledge of financial management
  • Knowledge of project management

Proficiency in the use of computers for:

  • Word processing
  • Financial management
  • E-mail & Internet


  • 5 or more years of progressive management experience in a nonprofit organization 

Working Conditions

  • Executive Director generally works in an office environment, but the mission of the organization may sometimes take her / him to non standard workplaces.
  • Executive Director works a standard work week, but additionally will often work evenings, weekends, and overtime hours to accommodate activities such as Board meetings and representing the organization at public events.

Personal characteristics desired

Desired competencies should be exhibited in some or all of the following:

Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.

Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behavior and business practices, and ensure that own behavior and the behavior of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.

Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.

Communicate effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.

Consensus building: Recognize that watershed stakeholders have diverse goals and opinions that require careful and thoughtful management

Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and innovative ways to improve operations of the organization and to create new opportunities.

Delegate authority: Be able to delegate authority effectively, as appropriate and within clearly-communicated boundaries, to effectively advance the goals of the organization.

Focus on Client Needs: Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of internal and external clients to meet or exceed their expectations within the organizational parameters.

Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.

Lead: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.

Make Decisions: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.

Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities

Plan: Determine strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create and implement actions plans, and evaluate the process and results.

Promote Diversity: Demonstrate a commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity at all levels within the organization and seeking and building effective partnerships with diverse groups and communities, particularly those that are traditionally underserved. 

Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.

Think Strategically: Assess options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the organization.

How to Apply

Email a resume, detailed cover letter and three references by November 14, 2014 to Cathy Geiger at: cathy@jcwc.org. Please only use PDF or Microsoft Word format for attachments.

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