Program Analyst 4 (Water Resource Policy Analyst)

Salem, OR, United States 🇺🇸

This full-time Management Service position is located in the Director’s office with the Oregon Water Resources Department.

The Oregon Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with administration of the laws governing surface water and groundwater resources. The Department’s core functions are to protect existing water rights, facilitate voluntary streamflow restoration, increase the understanding of the demands on the state’s water resources, provide accurate and accessible water resource data, and facilitate water supply solutions. The Department serves the public by practicing and promoting restoration and protection of streamflows and watersheds in order to ensure long-term sustainability of Oregon’s ecosystems, economy, and quality of life.

This recruitment will be used to establish a list of qualified candidates.
Duties & Responsibilities

This position is located in the Director’s Office and is a member of the Agency Management Group. The primary purpose of the position is to provide operations and policy support in the Director’s Office concerning communications and rule development and coordination.  This position serves as Department’s media contact and public records coordinator, responsible for timely, accurate responses.  The position plans, leads and implements communication efforts and works closely with Department staff on public outreach. The position ensures that appropriate staff are kept informed of current developments in the field that affect their work. The position is the Department’s rulemaking coordinator, responsible for posting notifications to the Secretary of State’s website.

Public Information, Communications and Records:
Serve as spokesperson to media and as the primary media contact. Respond in a timely manner to media inquiries with accurate and concise information. Research issues, identify appropriate staff and managers for interviews, and assist in preparation for media interviews.
Administer the statutory Public Records function for the Department. This includes seeing that staff are responsive to public records requests, properly gather records, provide estimates of time and cost to requestor, and determine responsiveness of records.
Monitor local and statewide media for coverage, pertinent information and developing issues. Evaluate effectiveness of agency messages, policies and programs.

Assess communication needs and use a variety of tools to increase staff understanding of agency programs and goals. Research and recommend new modes/methods of communicating within the agency. Communicate using best method, including social media. 
Advise section managers and other appropriate staff about formulating public response to sensitive and controversial issues. Develop and present training for agency staff in public contact skills, media contact, writing and other communication skills.
Assist program staff in developing and editing materials for conferences and workshops. Determine method of printing, ordering and maintaining supply of printed materials. 

Initiate one-page and background articles to further the public’s understanding of the Department’s programs and issues.

Government-to-Government Representation:
Represent the Department in explaining program priorities and operations to target populations, including the federally recognized Indian tribes and citizens living in reservation areas. The position maintains contact with the various Oregon tribes through the Government-to-Government natural resource working group and cultural resource cluster; prepares the annual report to the Legislative Commission on Indian Services. Acts as liaison between Oregon’s Indian tribes and the Department’s various divisions. This position coordinates contact with the tribes related to their involvement in Department programs such as the Water Resources Development Program.

Agency Administrative Rule Coordinator:
Knowledge of Oregon Laws and Administrative Rules related to the development, amendment, and adoption of administrative rules. Reviews agency rule notification lists to assure that rule notifications are sent to the required entities and individuals. Works with staff to assure that rules are written consistent with state guidelines and to inform of notice filing deadlines. Maintains a calendar of current and proposed rule activity.

Under the Governor’s Executive Order 15-09, works with agencies to achieve the 15 percent non-essential water savings goal and submits the annual report to the Governor.

Member of the agency’s management and Director’s Office teams.
Other duties as assigned by supervisor, which include special projects relating to water policy or agency operations.

The employee in this position operates in a highly legalistic environment with little direct supervision. The employee must exercise considerable professional judgment, within the context of agency guidelines, to determine the factual and legal foundations of frequently complex situations. The employee must be capable of clear thinking and must be able to communicate complicated law and complex on-the-ground situations to a wide audience, including citizens, reporters, lawyers, and technical staff. Superior analytical and writing skills are critical to success in this position.  Incumbent must demonstrate an ability to work with groups of individuals with divergent views toward resolution of a policy or programmatic issue.

Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills

You must have: 

  • a Bachelor’s degree in Business or Public Administration, Behavioral or Social Sciences, Natural Resource Management or a related degree; AND
  • five years experience coordinating or administering a natural resource program; OR
  • Any combination of experience or education equivalent to eight years of experience that supports the knowledge and skill requirement stated above.

In addition to your application, you must submit a cover letter addressing the following questions in no more than one page per question:

1. Please describe an example that demonstrates how you approached communicating a difficult and complex policy issue to a variety of audiences; and
2. You have received several media contacts about the Department’s handling of a resource management issue in a specific region of the state. The issue has captured the attention of state and national news media, and is occurring during the legislative session. You are the single point of contact with the media. How would you manage this situation and what steps would you take?
Additional Information
The state of Oregon is now requiring all applications have a valid e-mail address.
If you do not currently have an e-mail address and do not know where to go to get one, please refer to our Applicant Frequently Asked Questions web page, scroll to How to Apply for a Job section to view several links to internet providers where you can get a free e-mail account. The state of Oregon does not endorse any particular provider.
You must have a current e-mail address to apply for jobs with the Oregon Water Resources Department. All communication regarding your application and status will be done by e-mail.
To apply, follow the “Apply” link above and complete the Oregon employment application online. All application materials must be received by the closing date and time posted on the job announcement.
  1. Completed E-recruit application: A resume will not replace the work experience section of the application.
  2. Work experience is based on a 40 work week. (Example: 20 hours a week for one year would equate to six-months of full-time work experience.
  3. Transcripts: Must be attached if using education to meet minimum qualifications. Note: To protect your confidential information, please redact (black out) your social security number on all transcripts before attaching to your application.
Only complete applications will be considered. Be sure to answer all supplemental questions and attach all required documents. Qualified applicants whose responses most closely match the requirements and/or the desired attributes for this position will be invited to an interview.
This job announcement has supplemental information required for submission. Please see the “Supplemental Questions” section of this announcement.
For information on veterans’ preference points, please visit
NOTE: The Oregon Water Resources Department does not offer visa sponsorships. Within three days of hire, the successful candidate will be required to complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s form I-9 confirming authorization to work in the United States.
The pay on all announcements may change without notice.