Director (California Central Valley River Restoration and Advocacy) via Idealist

American Rivers

Sacramento, CA, United States 🇺🇸



The Central Valley River Restoration and Advocacy Director will help American Rivers take advantage of major opportunities to protect and restore floodplains in the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Basin, promote opportunities for Central Valley communities to recreate on Central Valley rivers, and promote a river stewardship ethic among California decision makers. The Director will contribute policy and communications expertise to our efforts to restore Central Valley floodplain functions and reform flood management policy at the state and national level. The Director will work to achieve program objectives in close collaboration with numerous partners, including other conservation groups, government agencies, universities and communities.

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.


· Represent American Rivers and advocate to protect and restore floodplain habitat in public planning forums such as the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan, and the State Water Resources Control Board’s update of the Delta Water Quality Control Plan to promote floodplain restoration and non‐structural flood management strategies.

· Cultivate and sustain private-public partnerships with landowners, other non-governmental organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies to advance projects and programs in the Central Valley.

· Help develop solutions to technical, legal and political challenges of expanding floodways, restoring floodplains, and improving habitat for salmon and other wildlife in the California’s Central Valley.

· Take a lead role in developing public outreach and education strategies and materials to promote understanding of the benefits of floodplain restoration and non‐structural flood management strategies.

· Participate in outreach to key decision makers in the local, state and federal government to promote program goals.

· Draft fundraising proposals for restoration projects in collaboration with our project advancement team.

· Coordinate with the American Rivers National River Restoration team.


· Advanced degree with an emphasis in environmental planning, engineering, law, river science, economics, or policy; or appropriate combination of education and at least 7 years of relevant experience.

· Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to effectively communicate with senior agency and legislative representatives.

· Demonstrated success persuading decision makers to support novel programs or projects.

· 5 years of experience in environmental or relevant public policy and communications field.

· Excellent understanding of California water law and policy, with focus on flood management, hydrology/hydraulics and river restoration preferred.

· Proficiency in and enthusiasm for using social media to shape public opinion.

· Multi-media and/or graphic communication experience or skills a plus.

· A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and a good sense of humor.

· Initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking.

· Willingness to work from a home office near Sacramento and to travel frequently in the Central Valley.

· Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.


This position will be based in Sacramento, CA

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

[email protected]

Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: [email protected] with “CA Central Valley Director” in the subject. No phone calls please.


Full‐time employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.