Executive Director

Prairie Rivers Network
Champaign, IL, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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At Prairie Rivers Network we protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, we protect and restore our rivers, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands, and transform how we care for the earth and for each other.  Learn more at www.prairierivers.org


The organization seeks an Executive Director to lead, mentor, and empower a qualified and committed staff to achieve the conservation goals of the organization; communicate an inspirational vision for river conservation; develop and foster strong organizational partnerships; develop and implement a fundraising plan that cultivates and builds strong relationships with donors and foundations; and work effectively with and leverage the skills of a dedicated board.



  • Articulate a clear vision that inspires support for PRN’s work; be an advocate and spokesperson for river and wildlife conservation, work together with local, regional, state and national partners to pursue resources, policies, programs and strategies that will ensure the long-term health and beauty of Illinois’ rivers and landscapes.
  • Provide strong, collaborative leadership with the staff and board to achieve the organization’s mission and goals consistent with a Five-Year Strategic Plan.


  • Ensure PRN’s operations and programs progress towards long term goals set forth in the Strategic Plan; assess and develop opportunities which align with organizational priorities while retaining the flexibility to act quickly and opportunistically.
  • Collaboratively develop and oversee the implementation of strategic, effective work plans; track progress and regularly evaluate programs and projects to measure success.
  • Lead, mentor, challenge, and retain a qualified and motivated professional staff; inspire confidence and trust; effectively delegate program responsibilities, and establish accountability; foster open communications with staff and board.
  • Coordinate and participate in regularly scheduled staff meetings; meet with individual staff on a regular basis to provide guidance, feedback and support.
  • Work closely with the Operations Manager to develop an annual budget for approval by the Board; administering the approved budget; and regularly report to the Board on the revenues and expenses, ensure fiscal and operational integrity.
  • Work closely with the Board to ensure strong Board governance and capacity; establish clear lines of communication related to the operations and strategy of the organization, providing the information necessary for the Board to function effectively and to make informed decisions; attend and participate in board committee meetings and board meetings.


  • Develop, direct, and maintain a focused fundraising program that includes foundations, members, corporate, and major donors, cultivating and maintaining key relationships.
  • Together with the staff and Board, actively pursue a strategy that builds greater support from new donors while continuing to cultivate existing relationships and ensuring continued commitment to PRN’s work.


  • Be the chief advocate and external face of PRN; effectively represent the organization in order to increase its impact, visibility and support for its operations.
  • Oversee a strong and effective Communications Program, enhancing and maintaining public understanding and support of the goals, programs, and priorities of the organization.



  • Be an established leader with experience in non-profit management, programs, advocacy, and fundraising;
  • Have strong communications and inter-personal skills;
  • Have a genuine interest in and understanding of the goals, priorities, and programs of the organization; and
  • Demonstrate a desire to lead the staff, manage the organization, and work collaboratively with the Board to achieve success.

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to that explains how your experience aligns with these qualifications and why you are interested in leading the organization. Subject line of your email should be “Executive Director Application” and attach your cover letter and resume with the file name consisting of “Last name, First name Resume/Cover Letter.”

This is a regular full time position located in Champaign, Illinois with frequent travel outside the office. Prairie Rivers Network offers competitive salaries and benefits, including health care and retirement benefits. Prairie Rivers Network is an equal opportunity employer.