American Rivers

American Rivers

Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2024

National River Protection Director

South Fork of the Clearwater River | Lisa Ronald

TITLE: National River Protection Director
DEPARTMENT: Conservation
WAGE CATEGORY: Commensurate with experience
REPORTS TO: Senior Director, River Protection Program
LOCATION: Flexible

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.


The Director will support American Rivers’ river protection administrative and legislative initiatives nationally and in priority regions working with the Program Director, regional, Government Relations, and communications staff. The River Protection Director will also manage a high impact, federal public lands headwaters campaign for rivers to administratively protect high quality rivers and streams at the landscape scale to conserve threatened biodiversity and maintain climate resilience. The Director will shape campaign strategy development and lead implementation of the initiative including coalition building, strategic outreach and communications with a primary focus on building diverse, broad-based support. In support of the strategy, the Director will execute tactics to achieve success including, producing supportive materials, coordinating grassroots and grasstops outreach activities; build support from policy makers, elected officials, Native American tribes, water providers, federal and state agencies, and other relevant stakeholders.


  • Support American Rivers’ river protection administrative and legislative initiatives nationally and in priority regions.
  • Build support from diverse stakeholders in support of the initiatives. development of campaign outreach and communications materials including web and social media content, brochures, fact sheets, action alerts, maps and sign-on letters to build popular and political support.
  • Develop content for strategic communications and outreach assets in support of protection initiatives working with communications and government relations staff.
  • Lead implementation of campaign strategies for a federal public lands headwaters campaign including supporting an internal team of regional and national staff.
  • Represent American Rivers in meetings, events, and in written communications as needed.
  • Work with Advancement to seek resources from foundations and donors to support our river protection work.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with American Rivers’ staff in other regions and serve on relevant teams including internal and external Communities of Practice.
  • Develop tactics and strategies to support and scale public lands protection campaigns in priority regions working with regional staff and Program Director.


  • Experience in organizing and leading successful collaborations and campaign(s) through building dynamic coalitions and diverse support.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with team members and diverse partners, including tribes, local communities, conservation groups, water providers, state and federal agencies, and congressional staff.
  • Familiarity with the political, social and cultural dynamics of public lands issues.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission and core values, with demonstrated experience upholding diversity, equity, inclusion and justice values, and a strong passion for conserving rivers.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including public speaking and writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, take initiative, manage projects and meet deadlines with creativity, dependability and limited direct supervision.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, and to occasionally work evenings and weekends.
  • Knowledge of natural resources policy, collaborative processes, federal land management law and policy, preferred.
  • Experience fundraising, writing grant proposals and preparing donor reports.
  • Degree in environmental studies, natural resources, political science, or related field preferred.
  • Appropriate combination of education and experience with at least 9 years of relevant experience or an advanced degree in related field with a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience.


The salary for this position is $70,000-$80,000 annually depending upon qualifications and experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, and life insurance; a retirement plan, training budget, sick leave, 11 paid holidays, four weeks of paid vacation, paid sabbaticals every seven years, and a 3% retirement match. American Rivers offers TIAA-CREF Social Choice, including green impact, as an investment option.


Applications will be accepted through May 14th, 2023. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter No phone calls please.

Click Here to Apply

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.