Associate Director (California River Restoration)

American Rivers
Flexible, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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.


Named one of the best groups to support by “Outside” magazine, American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® and National River Cleanup® campaigns. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 350,000 members, supporters and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit

American Rivers embraces and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do. Rivers Connect Us is more than just our tagline. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field.  Each individual brings life experiences, knowledge, innovation and talent to our work, providing perspectives, experiences and competencies that are critical to our effectiveness.


The Associate Director, CA River Restoration will help American Rivers implement exciting new projects to protect and restore rivers and floodplains in the Sacramento-San Joaquin river and delta system, promote opportunities for Central Valley communities to recreate on Central Valley rivers, and promote a river stewardship ethic among California decision makers. American Rivers has recently secured funding for floodplain restoration projects that will contribute to flood safety, habitat restoration and improved water management. The position will report to the program Director and will work closely with the numerous partner organizations, including other conservation groups, government agencies, universities and communities. In addition to project management, the Associate Director, CA River Restoration will contribute policy and technical expertise to our efforts to restore Central Valley floodplain functions and reform flood management policy at the state and national level.

American Rivers’ vision is to restore vibrant river corridors across the Central Valley to solve two of the region’s most persistent problems – devastating floods and declining fisheries. Expanding floodways will restore fish and bird habitat, protect communities from flooding, improve reservoir flexibility and associated water supply reliability, and enhance the quality of life for residents of the valley. American Rivers is building its capacity to take best advantage of two interrelated forums – the Central Valley Flood Management Plan and the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan – to restore Central Valley fish and bird habitat, improve water supply security, and protect communities from flooding.


  • Project management: develop and manage project budgets, schedules, scopes of work, and contracts, and oversee teams of multiple consultants.
  • Help develop solutions to technical, legal and political challenges of expanding flood bypasses on the lower San Joaquin and Sacramento
  • Assist with implementation of floodplain restoration projects in Central Valley, including partner engagement, budgeting, contracting, invoice tracking, public outreach etc.
  • Identify, map, describe and evaluate new opportunities for floodplain restoration and multi‐benefit flood management projects in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, including reservoir re‐
  • Conduct analysis of local, state and federal laws and policies to identify changes necessary to expedite flood management reform in the Central
  • Conduct research, including literature reviews, interviews with issue experts and stakeholders, and data
  • Review plans and environmental Draft comments and advocacy letters to shape river management projects, programs and policies.
  • Draft fundraising proposals for restoration projects and write quarterly reports to funders.
  • Conduct quantitative analyses as
  • Represent American Rivers in public planning forums as appropriate to promote floodplain restoration and non-structural flood management strategies.
  • Coordinate with the American Rivers National River Restoration team.


  • Graduate degree in natural resources management, environmental engineering or related field, and at least 3 years of relevant experience; or an appropriate combination of education and at least 5 years of relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management.
  • Experience in permitting, and/or implementation of aquatic restoration projects.
  • Experience leading watershed management or river/creek restoration or similar projects/programs.
  • Experience developing work plans and budgets.
  • Good written and oral communication
  • Familiarity with GIS analysis and cartography.
  • Understanding of California water law and
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and a good sense of
  • Initiative, coupled with creative and strategic
  • Willingness to travel frequently to Sacramento and other parts of the Central
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’
  • Multi-media and/or graphic communication experience or skills a plus.
  • Experience with excel-based analyses a plus.
  • Experience working with flood control agencies on permitting restoration projects in flood control channels in California a plus.
  • Experience with fundraising for restoration and watershed stewardship a plus.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter at  No phone calls please.

 American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.