Executive Director

 (via Idealist)
Hudson River Watershed Alliance
Poughkeepsie, NY, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

The Hudson River Watershed Alliance seeks a dynamic and highly motivated individual with a passion for watershed protection and the desire to lead a small, growing nonprofit to the next level. The ideal candidate will have a blend of skills and experiences including excellent organizational and administrative skills, a solid scientific and policy understanding of watershed issues, excellent communication and community organizing skills, and demonstrated leadership abilities. We are looking for someone with passion and a clear vision for guiding and growing the organization into the future.

Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Alliance programs, organizational development, and execution of its mission and strategic plan, including overseeing and maintaining daily operations, implementing programs in line with approved annual workplans and budgets, and supervising staff and consultants (when applicable).

About the Hudson River Watershed Alliance: 

HRWA is a nonprofit organization, launched in 2004 and incorporated in 2010, working to support and unite the people and communities who are protecting the streams and tributaries of the Hudson River.The Alliance’s goal is to provide the education, resources and tools these groups need to advance the protection and management of their water resources. The Alliance does this by offering services such as technical support, resources, peer contacts and opportunities to connect and learn about regional watershed issues. The Alliance aims to create a network of information, innovation and effective stewardship across the Hudson River watershed. The Alliance currently has 10 board members and serves approximately 25-30 active groups working on watershed issues in the Hudson River region. As the region’s leading organizer of educational and networking events, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance reaches hundreds of citizens, professionals and elected leaders annually to build the capacity for protection and restoration of streams and rivers in the Hudson’s 13,000-square-mile watershed.

Key Duties/Responsibilities:

Leadership & Management:

●       Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.

●       Actively engage Alliance staff and volunteers, Board Members, committees, partners, members, other watershed groups and donors in the Alliance mission and activities.

●       Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors: serve as ex-officio member of each committee, seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing operations and programmatic growth.

●       Regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the Board, funders, and members.

●       Ensure adherence to organizational Bylaws and policies on an ongoing basis; suggest updates and improvements to organizational policies as needed.

Fundraising & Communications:

●       Implement revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations, Board-approved fiscal year budget and programmatic expansion.

●       Manage all aspects of external communications, including web presence, newsletters and mailings, watershed group/membership communications, and social media, with the long-term goal of creating a stronger brand and greater visibility for the Alliance in line with our strategic plan and mission.

●       Maintain regular communications with existing and emerging watershed groups, partners and communities within our networks, and maintain a presence as much as possible in the region as a leader in watershed protection.

●       Identify, develop and cultivate new partnerships and relationships to garner new programmatic and funding opportunities.

●       Research and prepare grant applications, and cultivate existing donor relationships to achieve fiscal year and strategic goals.

●       Oversee all grant administration and invoicing to ensure timely adherence to grant requirements.


●       Achieve financial objectives by preparing an annual budget in conjunction with the Treasurer, Finance and other committees; schedule expenditures; analyze variances; initiate corrective actions; oversee bookkeeping and ledgers.

●       Maintain operations and procedures; implement organizational and reporting systems; and review and approve purchases within Board-approved annual budget.

●       Keep Board, committees, membership and donors informed by producing reports.

●       Implement quarterly Board/other meetings including the drafting and overseeing the completion of an agenda and minutes.

●       Oversee staff and consultants (when applicable) by planning, monitoring, and evaluating performance.

●       Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing publications; establishing networks; and participating in professional societies and meetings.

Program Implementation:

●       Attend watershed group meetings and other regional water-related meetings as an Alliance representative (upon request and as needed)

●       Coordinate logistics and event planning for all Alliance program events (workshops, roundtables, speaker series, community resilience workshops for climate adaptation, and our Annual Watershed Conference)

●       Help prepare all post-program event materials, including follow-up emails, reporting and evaluation summaries

●       Work on special projects, often grant funded, such as watershed needs assessments, watershed water budgets, creating position papers, guidance documents, etc.

Skills and Qualifications:

●       Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science, Studies, Policy, or related field

●       Master’s Degree preferred. 3 years experience may be substituted for graduate degree.

●       Minimum 5 years experience working in a related position. At least 3 of those years must be in a management role.

●       Experience managing a growing nonprofit or a department of a large nonprofit highly desirable.

●       Experience leading a board of directors or similar advisory board.

●       Extensive knowledge of watershed management issues, tools, and techniques.

o   This includes related fields including general water resources management, land use planning and administration, NYS and local government, climate change, open space planning and protection, biodiversity, etc.

●       Experience with community organizing at local and/or regional level a must. 

●       Experience planning and managing events such as workshops, conferences, and fundraisers.

●       Excellent public speaking skills.

●       Excellent writing skills including that for grant proposals and reports, public education materials, policy analysis and recommendations, press releases, website content, etc.  

●       Experience managing a website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

●       Experience with grant writing and reporting, including meeting state and federal requirements.

●       Experience creating and managing annual budgets.

●       Experience using Quickbooks.

●       Knowledge of local Hudson River watershed-specific issues, people, partners, programs, etc. a plus.

●       Spanish fluency a plus.

●       GIS skills a plus.

Position Term and Relevant Details:

●       This position is currently being offered as an hourly Independent Contractor position. We anticipate after an interim period to transition the position to full Employee status, which may be hourly or salaried, but will include statutory and fringe benefits. At this time no health or retirement benefits are being offered.  

●       The position is full time, approximately 35 hours a week, year-round, with the normal work week of Monday-Friday. Some nights and weekend work will be required sporadically. As an Independent Contractor the candidate will have some flexibility to manage their own schedule to accommodate personal/family responsibilities, and allow for (unpaid) time off.  

●       HRWA does not have an office. The candidate must be able to and comfortable with working from a home office or other location of their choosing. Basic office expenses are reimbursed by the Alliance.  

●       The position requires frequent travel throughout the Hudson River watershed, primarily in the estuary portion of the watershed from Albany to NYC. The candidate must be comfortable with this and maintain adequate personal transportation. Mileage is reimbursed by the Alliance at the federal rate.

●       The position will be paid hourly at a competitive rate commensurate with experience. 

●       The position is ready to be filled as soon as possible with a targeted latest start date of March 1.

Hudson River Watershed Alliance Diversity Policy:

The Hudson River Watershed Alliance (“the Alliance”) is committed to encouraging diversity and prohibiting discrimination in both its role as an employer and as a provider of services. We seek to foster an organizational culture that respects and values each other’s’ differences, promotes dignity, equality and diversity, and encourages all individuals to develop and maximize their true potential. The Alliance is committed, to the greatest extent practicable, to achieving and maintaining a workforce that broadly reflects the community in which we operate and the individuals that we serve.

 To Apply:

Send cover letter, resume, and 3 references to Ryan Palmer, .

Please send all as one PDF document named “First Name_Last Name”.

References will not be contacted until late in the selection process and the candidates will be given advance notice.

Position is open until filled, deadline to apply February 7.