Local recruitment: Deputy Administrator

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Helena, MT, USA 🇺🇸

At DNRC we are passionate about ensuring that Montana’s land and water resources remain a benefit today and for future generations. We are actively seeking a Deputy Water Administrator who values the vast resources in our treasure state as much as we do.

Work Unit Overview: 

The Water Resources Division (WRD) is responsible for the development and utilization of the state’s waters, the protection of existing uses, and to promotion of adequate future supplies for domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreation, the conservation of water for wildlife, aquatic life, and other beneficial uses. The Water Division has five policy bureaus and eight regional water offices that implement policy located throughout the state.

The Water Division five major bureaus:  

  1. Water Rights Bureau oversees new appropriations, changing existing water rights, a statutorily mandated centralized records system, and adjudication of Montana’s existing or pre-1973 water rights.
  2. State Water Projects Bureau oversees state-owned water projects and maintenance of 18 state water projects, rehabilitation of state-owned water storage projects (DNRC’s and other state agencies), operation of state-owned hydroelectric plants, and provides water purchase contract accounting and other assistance to water user associations involved with state projects.
  3. Water Sciences Bureau oversees basin studies and hydro-sciences technical support, interstate, and international water allocation.
  4. Water Planning, Implementation, and Communications Bureau oversees water basin planning, the ongoing responsibilities, and tasks of implementing the state’s water compacts, planning and negotiations, and water communications.
  5. Water Operations Bureau is comprised of dam safety, floodplain management, Board of Water Well Contractors technical and administrative support, and water measurement.


Under the direction of the Administrator, the Deputy Administrator is responsible for administering and overseeing the Water Division.  Oversight includes advocating for policy initiatives in support of Division programs and managing operations to ensure compliance and efficiency in support of the Division’s mission.  The Deputy Administrator must work jointly, and in close coordination, with the Division Administrator and the Director’s office to ensure outcomes are both cohesive and effective regarding achieving water policy objectives.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities):  These job functions are the essential duties of the position and are not all-inclusive of all the duties that may be assigned to the incumbent.

Program Leadership, Outreach, and Advocacy Under the direction of the Administrator, provide oversight, expertise, and advice regarding the development and implementation of water related programs to ensure compliance and effective use and stewardship of Division resources:

  • In conjunction with the Administrator, formulate Division programs to meet executive plans and determine areas to improve program efficiency to effectively meet Division objectives. This involves assessing program utilization, executive policy, statewide stewardship objectives, budget limitations, and statutory requirements to develop program initiatives or alterations required to provide effective services.
  • Manage processes to provide ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of statewide policies and procedures for water management and business operations.
  • Monitor and evaluate funding, personnel resources, constituent needs and legal opinions affecting Division programs.  Monitor, and oversee written work plans and objectives of the bureaus by evaluating strategic goals, reviewing trends, assessing effectiveness, and analyzing statistics pertaining to the Division.  
  • In coordination with the Administrator, consult and negotiate with advocacy groups, federal, state, and local agencies, tribal governments, private industry and other executives, on behalf of the Administrator, to identify program priorities, negotiate agreements, solve problems, and implement the Division’s mission.
  • Assist the Administrator with the development of strategies for dealing with controversial or sensitive issues that are likely to attract broad public attention. This involves defining key aspects of issues, exploring possible approaches and positions, and determining actions and statements regarding issues.
  • Represent the Division and attend conferences as assigned by the Administrator for the purpose of building public awareness about Water Division’s objectives, increase support of and cooperation with Division programs and gain an understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and related impacts of Water programs. 
  • In coordination with the Administrator, identify issues or areas of concern that with appropriate legislation could improve water related programs.  Work with the Administrator, local government, peers in other state agencies, Montana industry and special interest groups, and the public to obtain diverse insight, determine the level of support/controversy, gauge economic impacts and assess political ramifications to determine if legislative changes are appropriate.  Using information gained, coupled with guidance from the Administrator, analyze and determine what prospective legislation would be necessary, major areas of uncertainty, where local, federal, and state concerns might interplay, legislative merit, and ultimately if legis­lation is warranted.  Draft appropriate legislation based on existing state and federal laws and the synthesis of information.
  • Along with the Administrator, coordinate closely with interim committees and provide guidance and methodology for conducting studies so legislators can make well-informed decisions about bills to govern Division programs more effectively.
  • On behalf of the Administrator provide expert opinions and respond to proposed state and federal regulations and legislation affecting water programs.  Provide feedback that constitutes the State of Montana’s formal position; testify as needed or as requested; and work with members of the Legislature and Congress and peers within state and local agencies to identify, address and solve complex, highly controversial sensitive issues and problems.  Represent the Administrator and Department at rule hearings, legislative committees, legislative interim committees, public meetings, congressional sessions, and national association meetings.  Provide testimony, evaluate information, and direct or formulate policy.

Operations Management Coordinate and implement Division policies, goals, objectives, and procedures in the capacity of Deputy Administrator to ensure the effective administration of Division operations consistent with the Department and State requirements:

  • Review and monitor goals and objectives for the Division and bureaus to support the Administrator in the development and implementation of comprehensive annual plans. This involves assessing the impact of changes in state and federal laws on Division and bureau operations, determining methods to improve effectiveness and increase efficiency, reviewing Division and bureau policy to ensure continued compliance, and establishing strategies to improve service.
  • Manage Division operations on behalf of the administrator to ensure the effectiveness, compliance, and continuity of Division operations. This includes monitoring operations to ensure consistency with program goals and policies; evaluating and approving or denying operational requests (e.g., out-of-state travel requests, pay exceptions, procedure modification, major expenditures, etc.), and representing the Administrator at leadership meetings and in other venues as assigned.
  • Monitor Division policies to ensure state compliance with federal regulations and state laws.  Identify concerns and problem areas through personal analysis of Division functioning and management input to ensure that priority issues are addressed, potential impacts determined, and that alternative actions are prepared and analyzed. Develop appropriate solutions by establishing and managing forums for discussion, analysis, and decision-making, developing new or modified policies and rules, and implementing solutions by making appropriate assignments to Division managers and staff.
  • Plan, direct, or coordinate human resource (HR) management functions for the Division to maintain adequate and qualified staffing needed to meet program objectives in compliance with state policy and employment law.  This includes developing and administering Division recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, performance management, discipline/corrective action, career advancement, succession planning, and professional development activities.  Coordinate with DNRC leadership, human resource officials and contractors as needed to successfully complete HR projects.  Provide long-term HR plans for staffing, compensation, and policy to ensure the ability to effective recruit and retain qualified personnel.
  • Oversee the administration of budget, accounting, and fiscal activities to support Division operations in compliance with state regulations.  This includes ensuring compliance with state accounting policies; evaluating and providing financial information to the Governor’s office, the Legislature; and developing administrative plans and operating procedures.
  • In coordination with the Administrator, plan and direct the Division Executive Planning Process and Legislative Budget request to ensure adequate funding for Division operations.  This includes ensuring proposals reflect current and anticipated funding requirements; directing the resolution of budgetary problems such as deficiencies and discrepancies; developing accurate forecasts and analyses of Division operations; developing and presenting financial information and program documentation; and providing testimony and responses including the preparation of fiscal notes related to legislative proposals.

Supervision: Directly supervise three (3) manager positions and managerial oversight of their respective programs (technology, records, admin, and fiscal operations). The number of employees managed is approximately 11 FTE.

Other Duties as Assigned: Perform a variety of other duties as assigned by the Director, Deputy Director, or Chief of Staff in support of Division and Department mission and objectives. This includes managing special projects, attending meetings and conferences, participating in ongoing training and educational programs as directed, and a variety of other duties.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • May require 8 or more hours a day using a computer.
  • May involve fieldwork.
  • May require more than a 40-hour workweek with fluctuating workload, priorities, and deadlines.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:  The DNRC may include the following factors in determining whether an applicant meets the qualifications of a position vacancy by: State of MT application form, cover letter, current resume, educational requirements, structured interview, a performance test, job-related reference checks, job-related work experience, job-related past and current performance.  


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

TIP:  When attaching your resume and other material, you must mark the attachments as “relevant”

If you would like further information about this position, or would like to see the full job description please contact Kellie Richetti at Krichetti@mt.gov

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

  • Requires education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management, Water Resources, Law, Water/environmental Sciences, Public Administration, or a related field.
  • Six (6) years of increasingly responsible in program and/or project management, personnel supervision, and fiscal management in water resources or related areas of expertise experience.
  • Directly related experience may substitute for the education requirement.  Postgraduate degree preferred. Other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Required knowledge:

  • Extensive knowledge of and experience with project and/or program management including goal and objective development, organizational theories and concepts, fiscal management, and personnel management.
  • Extensive knowledge of supervisory practices and procedures.
  • Considerable knowledge of government operations and procedures including fiscal management systems.
  • Advanced knowledge of the principles and practices of natural resource management.
  • Advanced knowledge of the Montana Legislature and legislative processes.
  • Knowledge of the Montana water adjudication process and Montana Supreme Court water right claim examination rules.
  • Some knowledge of technical aspects of water occurrence and water use.
  • Some knowledge of environmental assessments.
  • Considerable knowledge of various software, applications, and computer devices.
  • Some knowledge of geographic information systems and computer data systems.

SPECIAL INFORMATION:  Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.  A valid driver’s license is required with less than 12 conviction points in the most recent completed 36 months. 

 ELIGIBILITY TO WORK: In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the person selected must produce within three days of hire documents that show authorization to work in the United States. Examples of such documentation include a birth certificate or Social Security card along with a driver’s license or other picture I.D., or a U.S. passport, or a “green card”.

Applicant Pool Statement:  If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. 

Training Assignment:  Not Applicable  

Salary: $ 47.55 – 47.55  Hourly 

Telework Eligibility:  Not Telework Eligible 

Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan  

Number of Openings:  1 

Employee Status:  Regular 

Schedule:  Full-Time 

Shift:  Day Job 

Travel:  Yes, 10 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Helena 

   Agency:  Department of Natural Resources & Conservation 

Union:  000 – None  

Posting Date:  Jan 18, 2023, 4:35:05 PM 

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone):  Ongoing 

Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume  

Contact Name:  Kellie Richetti  |  Contact Email:  krichetti@me.com  |  Contact Phone:  4064440513 

The State of Montana has a decentralized human resources (HR) system. Each agency is responsible for its own recruitment and selection. Anyone who needs a reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process should contact the agency’s HR staff identified on the job listing or by dialing the Montana Relay at 711. Montana Job Service Offices also offer services including assistance with submitting an online application.

State government does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, creed, political beliefs or affiliation, veteran status, military service, retaliation, or any other factor not related to merit and qualifications of an employee or applicant.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development