Associate Director of River Protection (Rivers of Puget Sound-Columbia Basin)

American Rivers

Bellingham or Seattle, WA, US


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 the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.  American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance.  For more information please visit


The Associate Director of River Protection will coordinate American Rivers’ river protection work in the Rivers of the Puget Sound-Columbia Basin. The position will provide leadership in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to protect and defend the region’s wild rivers and the public lands they flow through, with a primary focus on building broad-based support for new Wild and Scenic River and Wilderness designations in Washington’s North Cascades. The Associate Director will conduct outreach to local citizens, businesses, local and congressional elected officials, governmental agencies, tribes, and conservation and recreation organizations in the region. The Associate Director of River Protection will also perform a broad range of communications duties including maintaining a campaign website and social media pages; sending e-newsletters and updates to campaign supporters, members and activists; planning and overseeing special events; and developing and disseminating a suite of compelling outreach materials. This position is for one year, and may be extended.


  • Lead American Rivers’ efforts to secure new Wild and Scenic River protection in Washington’s North Cascades with a primary focus in the Nooksack River basin.
  • Develop and implement multi-faceted strategies to build broad-based support for long-term protection of Washington’s rivers.
  • Meet with community leaders, local residents, business owners, watershed groups, recreation groups, hunters and anglers, and private landowners to build support for new Wild and Scenic designations in the North Cascades.
  • Educate local elected officials, Washington State congressional delegation, and other congressional members about the importance of river protection and public lands defense.
  • Develop campaign materials and communications including web content, social media content, brochures, fact sheets, and sign-on letters. Organize outreach events.
  • Participate in a coalition of conservation and recreation organizations to advance Wild and Scenic River and Wilderness protections in Washington State.
  • Engage in efforts to prevent new dams and assist with FERC hydropower licensing/relicensing projects.
  • Monitor and engage (as appropriate and as resources allow) in Wild and Scenic River management issues and in planning processes as they arise to ensure evaluation of rivers for inclusion in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers system.
  • Assist with fundraising efforts including but not limited to drafting letters of intent, grant proposals and grant reports.
  • Ensure that the work of this position is communicated to and coordinated with American Rivers’ Policy and Government Relations team to ensure that annual goals and objectives are being met and regional field work is integrated with national work.
  • Effectively communicate river protection goals at public and professional conference presentations and to the media.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Political Science, Communications or related field and at least two years of relevant experience; or a minimum of three years of relevant experience.
  • Working knowledge of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and FERC hydropower licensing processes desired.
  • Must show initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking, judgment, and dependability. Astute political judgment essential.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to effectively communicate with partners and agency representatives.
  • Experience writing grant proposals, reports, and other fundraising activities desired.
  • Expertise in campaign strategy development and implementation, coalition building, and media and communications work desired.
  • Proficiency in and enthusiasm for using social media to shape public opinion. Website management and/or graphic design experience or skills a plus. Experience working with the media desired.
  • GIS experience a plus.
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and a good sense of humor.
  • Strong passion for protecting wild rivers and public lands.
  • Willingness to travel and work some evenings and weekends.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.


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


Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Associate Director of River Protection” in the subject line.  No phone calls please.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.