Executive Director

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Portland, OR, US

CRITFC’s mission is to coordinate the efforts of the four Commission member tribes (Warm Springs, Umatilla, Yakama, and Nez Perce) to restore salmon to the Columbia River Basin and to uphold the treaty rights of these sovereign nations. We seek a dynamic leader to serve as Executive Director of the Commission. Through a staff of approximately 100+ employees, and at the direction of the Commission, the Executive Director initiates strategies and manages all activities of the finance, administrative, research and development, legal, and law enforcement functions; develops and recommends programs designed to meet the Commission goals; implements policies and procedures approved by the Commission; and serves as a highly visible spokesperson for the Commission and its member tribes.

Position Details

  • Department: Office of the Executive Director
  • Classification: Full time, regular, exempt
  • Salary/Wage: Depending on experience
  • Location: Portland, Oregon

Essential Job Functions

This executive-level management position is responsible for the leadership, administration, and management of the organization. The position involves regular interaction with high-level tribal, federal, and state agency policymakers; requires local, regional, national, and international visibility; and serves as the voice of CRITFC.

The CRITFC Executive Director leads an organization with over 100 employees located at four locations in Oregon and Idaho. It is organized into nine departments: Office of the Executive Director, Human Resources, Policy and Litigation, Finance and Operations, Watershed, Fishery Management, Fishing Site Maintenance, Fishery Enforcement, and Fishery Science. The Executive Director initiates strategy and guidance to the Commission*, which consists of elected or appointed representatives from the Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. It is the Executive Director’s role to recommend and implement programs designed to meet the mission of CRITFC, protect treaty rights, and implement policies and procedures approved by the Commission.

*Please note: the term “Commission” as used in this description refers to CRITFC’s governing body.

The essential job functions are:

  1. Confer with Commissioners to plan CRITFC mission objectives and develop organizational policies that coordinate and prioritize functions and operations of the organization
  2. Direct and support department managers to ensure CRITFC is attaining its mission, goals, and objectives. Revise objectives and tasks in accordance with the Commission’s direction when needed.
  3. Oversee financial planning and expenditures of CRITFC. Provide final review and approval of contracts. Direct staff in seeking and managing outside funding sources.
  4. Direct the continued development of scientific knowledge, policy advocacy, and legal research necessary to support the implementation of Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit (the Tribal Salmon Restoration Plan).
  5. Plan and implement human resource and public relations policies to maintain and improve CRITFC’s reputation, image, and relationships with its member tribes, tribal members, employees, grantors and funding agencies, and the public at large. Guide public education efforts that emphasize tribal treaty rights and the importance of protecting traditional foods and restoring the Columbia Basin ecosystem for all fish and wildlife.
  6. Evaluate department managers’ performance implementing the established policies and objectives of CRITFC.
  7. Educate and regularly communicate with representatives of tribal, local, state, and federal governments and agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public at large to fulfill the objectives of the Commission.

Job Requirements/Qualifications

1. A Master’s Degree or equivalent; appropriate work experience may be substituted for formal education.

2. At least five years’ experience in direct management of large programs and staff, including strategic planning, setting and managing goals and objectives, developing and implementing policies, and personnel supervision.

3. Broad knowledge and experience with business and organizational principles, methods and techniques, systems of business development, contract and grant management including P.L. 93-638 and other federal contracts, auditing requirements, applicable federal statutes and regulations. Must be bondable.

4. Broad knowledge and experience with natural resources management.

5. Knowledge of Indian law and related treaty obligations.

6. Qualified candidates will have a considerable knowledge of the Columbia River treaty tribes’ histories and cultures, specifically, a thorough working knowledge of tribal treaties especially as they apply to fishing rights.

7. High personal standards and professional integrity are necessary to publicly represent tribal customs, practices and traditions, and to give credibility to the tribes and CRITFC.

8. Proven ability to understand and function in a highly political environment.

9. Excellent communication skills.

10. Must be free of any felony conviction and have no misdemeanor conviction on his/her record within the past year. Must possess a valid driver’s license, and satisfy CRITFC’s Motor Vehicle Policy requirement.

Additionally, the preferred candidate will be:

1. An enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, preferably a member of one of the four CRITFC member tribes; and

2. Computer literate.


Supervision Received: The Executive Director is evaluated by and works at the direction of the CRITFC Commission and receives financial, policy, and program directives/approvals from them.

Supervision Given: The Executive Director oversees the entirety of CRITFC through nine department managers. Additionally, a department staff of two report directly to this position.

Working Conditions

Must be able to work long hours and to travel extensively and frequently to national and international locations.

CRITFC Motor Vehicle Policy

The driver operating a CRITFC vehicle or their own private vehicle for business related purposes shall be in possession of a valid, unrestricted current driver’s license, or other operator’s license, as required by law; and be eligible for coverage under CRITFC’s Motor Vehicle insurance policy.  Upon request, CRITFC’s Motor Vehicle policy is available to applicants to review the required criteria.