Water Rights Bureau Chief

State of Montana

Helena, MT, USA

Water Rights Bureau Chief – 51000  (21142208) 

Work Unit Overview: 

Working to support and implement the Department’s mission to help ensure that Montana’s land and water resources provide benefits for present and future generations. The Bureau Chief provides overall vision, direction, and management to the Bureau and programs within the Bureau.  The Bureau Chief develops approaches and solutions to the challenges faced by programs and works with stakeholders to cultivate support for Department initiatives. The Bureau Chief coordinates Bureau activities with those of other bureaus, divisions, and departments; participates in policy initiatives; and implements or directs projects of high priority to the Department.  The Bureau Chief must consider a broad spectrum of factors when making decisions and recommendations, including technical concerns, public relations, legislative relations, public policy stances, effect on other organizations/agencies/divisions/bureaus, Departmental resources and mission, and economic impact.

NOTE: For this position, it is not required to fill out the state application. Please attach the required documents as indicated below.

Job Overview: 

As Bureau Chief, the incumbent performs the management and supervisory work necessary to plan, organize, and direct the activities of the Bureau.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities):  These job functions are the essential duties of the position and are not all-inclusive of all the duties that may be assigned to the incumbent.

A.    Program Management              50% of time

This position directs and coordinates the program activities of the Bureau;  develops and implements program operating and administrative policies, short and long-term plans and program objectives, priorities, strategies and goals with oversight of the Division Administrator;  ensures program activities are consistent with the laws, rules and regulations;  directs statutory enforcement activities and emergency actions for the programs when required and coordinates those activities with the division and department;  sets and communicates performance standards and work quantity for program activities and assesses operations;  ensures coordination of program activities with activities of other government regulatory or other governmental agencies;  directs the development, dissemination, interpretation and application of program policies where appropriate to do so;  provides guidance and direction for inter-agency interactions and ensures effective working relationships are maintained;  ensures the bureau is working in a coordinated and cooperative manner with other operating entities within the department in carrying out its program activities;  keeps the Division Administrator informed of all significant activities or media or legislative inquiries;  and prepares work progress and other types of reports and presents them to the Division Administrator, department director or other appropriate authorities.

B.    Personnel Management    15% of time

Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the state and federal law, and department policies and procedures.  Responsibilities include overseeing, interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.  Determines and recommends most appropriate organizational structure, reporting relationships and short and long-range staffing needs based on program goals, authorized staffing levels and current department policies.  The incumbent conducts performance review of the program managers and oversees performance review process for program staff and remains informed of any disciplinary actions required and assures that the staff maintains competency and technical currency with their professional disciplines for their program duties.

C.    Fiscal Management                      20% of time

The incumbent develops operational budgets for each program that may include state, federal and other funds to facilitate accomplishment of each programs requirements and objectives;  directs the preparation and timely submittal of grant applications in coordination with division Fiscal Manager;  oversees significant expenditures and contracts for the bureau; develops proposed program budgets for the programs;  reviews fiscal information to determine if programs are operating within budgetary limitations;  takes corrective action where necessary to avoid exceeding budget authority and grant allocations;  directs and coordinates fiscal matters with the division and department financial services staff.

D.    Legislative, Board, and Public Relations            10% of time

Under oversight of the Division Administrator or where delegated, serves as a spokesperson for the bureau with the legislature, members of the public, affected industry representatives and special interest organizations.  Represents the bureau and when directed, testifies on legislation or regulatory matters affecting the bureau.  Directs preparation and coordinates division review of administrative rules to implement program responsibilities or to make changes due to case law, technological change or policy reformulation.  Prepares of draft legislative bills to propose needed or desired changes to state laws that facilitate administration of the program’s goals and objectives and coordinates the development with other division and department staff.  Examines and reports on the impact of new or proposed federal and state legislation or rules and to determine the effect on its programs.  Under oversight of the division, communicates with Montana’s congressional delegation and agencies advising them of the effects of proposed federal legislation and regulations and recommend action to be taken.

E.    Other Duties as Assigned                5% of time

This position performs a variety of other duties in support of ongoing Division and Department operations.  This includes managing special projects, representing the Division or Department at various meetings and conferences, and participating in ongoing training and educational programs.


This position has direct reports as well as indirect reports.

What are some benefits that you can expect from working at DNRC?

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:  The DNRC may include the following factors in determining whether an applicant meets the qualifications of a position vacancy by: State of MT application form, cover letter, current resume, educational requirements, structured interview, a performance test, job-related reference checks, job-related work experience, job-related past and current performance.


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References
  • Supplemental Questions

Please answer the following supplemental questions and attach it as separate document along with your cover letter, resume, and references:

  1. Please describe your experience developing, implementing, or engaging with water right rules and policies in Montana and/or the West.
  2. Please describe how your education and/or experience prepare you for the Water Right Bureau Chief position.
  3. Please describe your previous supervision roles and responsibilities.

HELPFUL HINT: You must check the “relevant document” box to ensure your attachments are uploading correctly to the specific application. Failure to attach the required material will result in your application being incomplete.


Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

*  The position requires a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science degree in Hydrology, environmental sciences, water resources, engineering, or related field, along with five years progressively responsible work experience.

*  Work experience must include three years of progressively responsible supervisory, management, and leadership experience preferably in a natural resource management or an environmental regulatory field.  A Master’s degree is desirable.

*  The incumbent must possess extensive knowledge of all water use, law, and management and understand complex project and personnel management practices. The incumbent must be able to work independently in this field and the department relies heavily on the incumbent’s professional judgement.  Areas of expertise should include management of project development and planning, of technical operations, of personnel and budget management; project finance; public relations as well as water management, project management, construction management, economics, agriculture and other technical fields.  Must be able to manage new and continually changing conditions and controversial situations and projects.

Applicant Pool Statement:  If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. Training Assignment:  Not Applicable  

Job:  Project/Program Management 

Salary: $ 40.34  43.20  Hourly Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan  

Number of Openings:  1 Employee Status:  Regular Schedule:  Full-Time 

Shift:  Day Job 

Travel:  Yes, 20 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Helena    Agency:  Department of Natural Resources & Conservation Union:  000 – None Bargaining Unit:  000 – None  

Posting Date:  Sep 29, 2021, 8:32:12 AM 

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone)

:  Oct 29, 2021, 11:59:00 PM 

Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume, References, Supplemental Questions (Refer to Job Posting)  
Contact Name:  David Ames    Contact Email:  [email protected]    Contact Phone:  406-444-0513 The State of Montana has a decentralized human resources (HR) system. Each agency is responsible for its own recruitment and selection. Anyone who needs a reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process should contact the agency’s HR staff identified on the job listing or by dialing the Montana Relay at 711. Montana Job Service Offices also offer services including assistance with submitting an online application.

State government does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, creed, political beliefs or affiliation, veteran status, military service, retaliation, or any other factor not related to merit and qualifications of an employee or applicant.






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