Local recruitment: Executive Director

Willamette Falls Locks Authority (WFLA)

West Linn Oregon (Portland Metro Area), OR, USA 🇺🇸

The Willamette Falls Locks Authority (Authority), an Oregon public corporation, seeks a skilled leader to be the Authority’s first Executive Director. The Executive Director will report to the Authority board and will lead the effort to restore and reopen the Willamette Falls Locks as directed by the Authority. A proven track record of building energy and momentum on a project is critical, as are skills for managing complex projects and drawing in new funders and partners. 

The historic Willamette Falls Locks are located on the west bank of the Willamette River in West Linn, Oregon. They were built in the early 1870s to move river traffic around the 40-foot horseshoe-shaped basalt ridge forming the Willamette Falls between Oregon City and West Linn.

The Authority was created by statute in 2021 to establish ownership, oversight and management of the Willamette Falls Locks project, for the purposes of enhancing the economic vitality of Oregon through facilitating the resiliency and navigability of the Willamette River. The mission of the Authority includes overseeing the repair, maintenance, upgrade and operation of the Willamette Falls Locks project for commercial, transportation, recreational, cultural, historic, heritage and tourism purposes. Upcoming tasks for the Authority include negotiating the transfer of the Locks property from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and planning/contracting for capital repairs to the Locks structure and mechanism. Also in 2021, the Locks were allocated $7.2 million in lottery bond funding to support capital repairs. 

Position Details

Classification: Independent Contractor

Compensation: up to $150,000, plus incentive, per year depending on candidate qualifications.

Location: West Linn and metro Portland, Oregon area. Hybrid work options are negotiable.

Closing Date: Open until filled, applicants are encouraged to apply early. Application review begins immediately and will continue until position is filled.

Responsibilities/Scope of Work

Expectations of the Position

The Executive Director serves at the will of the Authority to implement the mission of the Authority. 

The mission of the Authority is to establish ownership, oversight and management of the Willamette Falls Locks project, for the purposes of:

  • Enhancing the economic vitality of Oregon through facilitating the resiliency and navigability of the Willamette River; and
  • Repairing, maintaining, upgrading and operating the Willamette Falls Locks project and associated properties and facilities for commercial, transportation, recreational, cultural, historic, heritage and tourism purposes.

The Locks project is a work in progress requiring sometimes different skills or expertise during its phased implementation.  The Executive Director will be able to lend their strengths to an evolving project intended to serve the public.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Brings energy to a project to generate enthusiasm and build partner interest
  • Proven track record of achieving results and overcoming obstacles
  • Team player, with the ability to identify strengths in project supporters (especially the Authority Members) and build coalitions to accomplish collective goals
  • Can perform independent work, anticipate needs, proactively pursue solutions and opportunities to advance the project
  • Leader who thinks “outside of the box”

Required Knowledge and Skills

Comprehensive Knowledge

  • Project promotion and relationship building
  • Project Management
  • Fundraising
  • Negotiating complex agreements

Preferred Working knowledge

  • Public contracting, public meeting requirements, leading a public project
  • Advancing capital projects
  • Water and/or transportation infrastructure projects, management, maintenance
  • Real estate transactions
  • Permitting
  • Familiarity with applicable state and federal regulations
  • Heritage and historic preservation

Skills and Attributes  

  • Problem solving skills including creativity and the ability to build something new
  • Develop and execute a business plan to support Locks operations
  • Maintain and enhance relationships with industrial and jurisdictional neighbors

To Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter describing your interest and relevant experience via email to: Ramona.Perrault@oregonmetro.gov with the subject “WFLA Executive Director Application”.  Please send inquiries/questions to WFLA Chair Christine Lewis at Christine.lewis@oregonmetro.gov. The subject line for inquiries should read “WFLA Job Posting Inquiry”.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

LANGUAGE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development