American Rivers

American Rivers

Posted on Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Director, River Restoration – Dam Removal

Hell's Canyon, Lower Snake River, ID | Photo by Alison M. Jones

TITLE: Director of River Restoration – Dam Removal
DEPARTMENT: Conservation
WAGE CATEGORY: Full-time, Exempt
REPORTS TO: Northwest Region Director
LOCATION: Puget Sound Area, Washington, USA

Click Here to Apply


American Rivers is championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. Healthy rivers provide people and nature with clean, abundant water and natural habitat. For 50 years, American Rivers’ staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on Rivers℠.

American Rivers centers the ongoing work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that everyone brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.

With Regions across the country, American Rivers’ Northwest Region serves Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Regional programs include: riverscape restoration – dam removal and floodplain restoration; hydropower reform; and wild & scenic river and public lands protections.


The Director of River Restoration will support American Rivers’ efforts to restore riverscapes through dam removal in the Northwest Region. We are looking for candidates who can lead coalitions of land managers, State and Federal agencies, other NGOs, and Tribal Nations to further develop the Northwest Dam Removal Program through process-based river restoration approaches that balance ecological, social, and cultural values as well as feasibility considerations. The Director will work locally to help scale dam removal efforts in the Northwest through pipeline development, regional and national policy and advocacy work, and by providing technical support for regional dam removal and related river restoration projects.


  • Lead dam removal and related river restoration efforts in the Northwest Region.
  • Lead the development of a multi-benefit dam removal project pipeline based on a planning-level assessment of feasibility and benefits with American Rivers’ staff and partners.
  • Regularly respond to requests for technical and strategic project planning assistance and serve as a subject matter expert to advance multi-benefit dam removal projects and associated river restoration policy in the Northwest.
  • Effectively communicate dam removal approaches and benefits to a wide array of audiences including Tribes, scientists, community-based organizations, landowners, and the public, using a variety of mediums, including but not limited to public and professional conference presentations, and potentially through published reports or papers. Represent American Rivers at conferences and other events.
  • Advocate for and incorporate the perspectives and solutions presented by frontline BIPOC communities and Tribal Nations into regional strategies and project plans.
  • Develop funding applications and manage grant awards for the Program.
  • Be an active teammate with the American Rivers’ Northwest Region Team and the National Dam Removal Community of Practice, engaging in team meetings, collaborating with colleagues on project ideas and approaches, and developing, refining, and implementing effective restoration strategies.
  • Work will involve travel in Washington and Oregon for partnership meetings, site visits, etc., as well as traveling nationally for conferences, trainings, and retreats as needed.
  • Some aspects of the job description may be tailored to fit the specific skills and interests of our selected applicant and may include other duties as needed.
  • This position may supervise others.


  • Holistic understanding of Northwest rivers and riverscape restoration.
  • No less than 5 years of relevant experience in river restoration project or program management.
  • Demonstrated ability in the evaluation of tradeoffs to identify and prioritize multi-benefit river restoration projects, including ecological, social, and cultural values.
  • Experience developing funding applications and managing grant awards preferred.
  • A team player with strong interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as the ability to work well with a diverse range of people. Experience working with multicultural communities, including engagement of Tribal nations and organizations, BIPOC, and Latinx communities.
  • Strong project and contract management organizational skills, with demonstrated experience meeting challenging project deadlines by effectively managing teams and developing/managing project scope, schedule, and budgets.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking, effective communication, and the ability to facilitate partners and agency representatives in decision-making, consensus-building, and collaboration.
  • Demonstrated strength in critical thinking, problem-solving, judgment, and dependability.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Four-year college degree in natural resources with training in hydrology, geomorphology, and biology. Proficiency in using ArcGIS Pro preferred.


The anticipated salary range for this position is $71,196-$86,535, depending on experience and qualifications. Full-time and full-time equivalent employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, short and long-term disability plans, a retirement plan, and generous leave time. American Rivers offers flextime and telecommuting options to maximize work-life balance.


Click Here to Apply

Apply through BambooHR. Please include a Cover Letter with your submission.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.