Executive Director

Fountain Valley, CA, United States 🇺🇸

Job Posting: NWRI Executive Director

Click here for a PDF of the job description.

The National Water Research Institute (NWRI), a Joint Powers Authority and 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Fountain Valley, CA and dedicated to advancing sustainable water management, seeks an Executive Director to work with the Board of Directors in charting NWRI’s future growth and strategic activities.  NWRI was established by water, wastewater, and recycled water agencies for the purpose of collaborating on research projects, programs, conferences/workshops, and publications that produce beneficial change and improved policy decisions.  To do so, NWRI is committed to:

  • Investing in critical-needs research and public policy development.
  • Building strategic partnerships to maximize resources and address industry needs.
  • Promoting industry innovation in research, technology, and management.
  • Serving as a source of independent industry expertise in water science, technology, and public policy.

NWRI achieves these goals by providing the following:

  • Access to the scientific and technical knowledge of world-renowned, industry leading academics, practitioners, consultants, and decision makers.
  • Practical, expert-driven research, which allows for collaborative partnerships and relationships.
  • Quality-driven publications and conferences that enhance our brand as a trusted industry leader in scientific and technical information.
  • Forward-thinking and problem-solving focus, which enables us to support, promote, and enhance leading-edge research and policy decisions.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, which is comprised of representatives  of NWRI Member Agencies, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for NWRI’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will develop deep knowledge of the water/wastewater/reuse field, NWRI core programs, operations, and business plans.

Technical, Project Development, Project Management, and Member Services

  • Responsible for supporting leadership activities (e.g., board support, human resources, administration, and organizational planning).
  • Promote NWRI’s activities in water reuse, drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and topics related to water resources and water supply.
  • Effectively plan and facilitate technical- and policy-focused meetings and workshops attended by scientific experts, regulators, utilities, and consultants.
  • Support the development of new activities and projects.
  • Lead staff to deliver outstanding work for client agencies and organizations.
  • Build and maintain strong industry relationships.
  • Represent NWRI at industry conferences, professional associations, and other venues.
  • Develop thought leadership around emerging practice areas.
  • Share in knowledge dissemination, reporting, and communications.
  • Manage segments of human resources (i.e., recruiting, reviews, staff deployment, and workload balancing) with related communications and budgeting/finance duties.
  • Identify best practices and improve internal systems based on future needs.


  • At least 8 years in a management position in a nonprofit organization, consulting firm, or government agency, including experience directly managing staff.
  • Strong policy and/or technical experience in the water/water reuse/wastewater sectors.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in water science, engineering or related field.
  • Advanced degree preferred.
  • Track record of delivering results and assuming leadership roles.
  • Experience with grant writing and proposal development.
  • Success in roles requiring multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Proven ability to work efficiently and flexibly.
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of individuals and organizations.
  • Strong communication (oral, written) and interpersonal skills.
  • Self-starter and self-disciplined.
  • Imagination and creativity are desired.
  • Valid California driver’s license required


Desired attributes include the following:

  • Water resources experience. Familiar with water resource issues in California and the Southwest.
  • Technical and scientific background. Scientific or engineering background on water quality and engineering topics.
  • Water reuse background. Understanding of water reuse practices, including potable reuse.
  • Regulatory experience. Understanding of regulations (drinking water, water reuse, etc.)
  • Experience with water utilities and agencies. Experience with water utilities in California and the Southwest, including specific contacts.
  • Project management. Ability to manage projects, budgets, scheduling, and deliverables.
  • Board experience. Ability to support a Board of Directors.
  • Facilitation experience. Ability to manage meetings, including facilitation skills.
  • Presentation and communication experience. Ability to communicate effectively with NWRI’s target audiences.
  • Confidence and outgoing personality. Ability to interact positively with industry representatives, senior managers and elected officials.
  • Character. Ability to be respectful, responsible, courteous, demonstrates self-control, cooperative, and related attributes.

Questions and Information

The position is located in Fountain Valley, CA.  Salary range $150,000 to $175,000, dependent upon qualifications. The position receives full benefits including a 401(a) retirement plan administered through the Orange County Water District. Travel is a necessary part of the job.

For more information on NWRI, visit NWRI’s website at www.nwri-usa.org.

For questions regarding the search, email Brandi Caskey in NWRI’s office at:

Brandi Caskey

National Water Research Institute

18700 Ward St.

Fountain Valley, CA


[email protected]


To apply, send in a cover letter and resume in confidence to Brandi Caskey at [email protected].  Applications are due by October 14, 2016 or until the position is filled.

Other Information

The provisions of this job announcement may be modified or revoked and do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Qualified women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable an individual with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job.