Executive Director

Colorado Foundation for Water Education

Denver, CO, US

Download the announcement and application instructions here

About Colorado Foundation for Water Education

The legislature created the Colorado Foundation for Water Education in 2002 so that Colorado citizens have accurate water information and education, in a way to meaningfully participate in Colorado’s water dialogue. CFWE’s work raises the “water literacy” of all Coloradoans, helping them value and understand our state’s water. Our approach of fair, unbiased storytelling helps nurture dialogue (rather than debate), facilitating workable solutions. CFWE is uniquely qualified for this work. Our legislative beginnings and diverse Board of Trustees ensure even-handed representation of issues. We have a committed and supportive membership from all sectors of Colorado. CFWE is dedicated to enabling those with divergent perspectives to find common experiences and engage in civil and productive exchanges. CFWE was created to promote a better understating of water issues through educational opportunities and resources so Colorado citizens will understand water as a limited resource and will make informed decisions.

Our programs include the highly acclaimed Headwaters Magazine, Citizen’s Guides and Your Water Colorado blog. CFWE fosters leadership through our Water Leaders program, Water Fluency Boot Camp and Water Educator Network. In addition, we engage our community through river basin tours, workshops and conferences.

CFWE currently has an operating budget of approximately $600,000 per year. We are guided by a 21-member Board of Trustees and perform our mission with a team of five professionals. CFWE is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and works throughout the state.

Please visit https://www.yourwatercolorado.org/ to learn more about CFWE’s programs, publications, and history.

The Opportunity 

Reporting to a committed and engaged Board of Trustees, the Executive Director is responsible for strategic direction and overall leadership of the organization. S/he will serve as the public face of the organization and work to collaboratively advance the mission.

The Executive Director will guide all programs and lead all fundraising activities. The Executive Director is responsible for coordinating with the Board to shape the future of the organization and its programs. S/he works to ensure CFWE’s financial integrity and supervises the organization’s staff and contract personnel.

CFWE is committed to be a respected educator for water in the state. The Executive Director must ensure that CFWE is seen as an objective and unbiased source of information and education on water for all Coloradans. It is critical that the Executive Director establish strong working relationships and cooperative partnerships with the full array of stakeholders across the state and maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of Colorado water.

Candidate Profile and Experience Requirements

The successful candidate will have proven experience leading a program or organization that serves a diverse community. S/he will bring a commitment to and passion for education. The ideal candidate will bring a deep knowledge of and professional history in water issues in the west and ideally, Colorado.

This job is a combination of management, education, media/communications and community building. The Executive Director sets direction for all publications, trainings and workshops, and serves as a key educational resource for water leaders throughout the state. The Executive Director must maintain a high profile for the organization and its work with our members, funders, and others in influential circles through regularly speaking at and attending outside events, writing for CFWE and non-CFWE publications, and meeting with stakeholders.

The position requires statewide travel and considerable work outside of ‘normal’ business hours.

Prior Experience Desired 

  • Experience in a leadership position in education, media, public affairs, or nonprofit management. Preference given for experience in a water-related organization;
  • Experience with budget preparation and fiscal oversight;
  • Substantial experience successfully managing professional staff;
  • Experience working for and collaborating with a volunteer Board of Directors;
  • Experience crafting and building support for a long-term strategic vision, and marshaling human and financial resources to carry out that vision;
  • Proven history of collaborative leadership and ability to build effective partnerships; and
  • A proven track record in fundraising and development, cultivating major donors, ensuring foundation, government and business philanthropic support.

Skills and Abilities 

  • Ability to communicate clearly through written and oral, formal and informal, electronic and traditional media;
  • Solid financial management skills;
  • Strong human resources management skills;
  • Ability to hire, promote and develop the best people;
  • Strong public presence – articulate, optimistic and energetic – with an ability to motivate and inspire people to action.

Leadership Competencies

Leadership competencies are skills and behaviors that lead to successful performance. CFWE is looking for a candidate that is action-oriented, and politically and interpersonally savvy. Important management skills of clearly setting priorities and understanding delegation are critical to the success of the selected Executive Director, who should be both composed under pressure and approachable. The selected candidate should be strategic in focus, managing expectations through vision, purpose and, most importantly, integrity. These leadership competencies reflect CFWE’s important core values.

To Apply

Please submit a resume and letter of interest to: Jim Morris, Senior Consultant Solid Ground Consulting 1737 NE Alberta, Suite 205 Portland, Oregon 97211 503-249-0000 [email protected]