Associate Director, River Restoration


American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams.  Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations.  Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country, including three offices in California (Nevada City, Berkeley, and a newly opened office in Palo Alto) and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide.  American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance.  For more information please visit


American Rivers seeks an Associate Director for our River Restoration Program within the Conservation Department. The program’s mission is to restore the form and function of damaged rivers and floodplains to protect and enhance human and natural communities. The primary focus of the position is on building American Rivers’ stream barrier removal work in California. The position works directly with stakeholders, including state and federal government agencies, municipalities, dam owners, and conservation organizations, to actively promote the American Rivers-NOAA Community-based Restoration Partnership grant program in the state.  Additionally, expanding our barrier removal work includes leading efforts in the San Francisquito Creek Watershed to build support for removal of the Searsville Dam and implement stream barrier removal and other restoration projects.

This is an exciting opportunity for a high energy professional who is interested in achieving tangible benefits to rivers and the human and natural communities that depend upon them. The work will be focused in California and based out of our newly established Palo Alto office.  This is a one-year part-time (30 hours per week) position that is supported by a one year federal grant and private funding. The position may be extended beyond one year if the existing funding is renewed or new funding is found.


  • Serve as an advocate and information resource on barrier removal and river restoration in California.
  • Work with key state, federal, and nonprofit partners to programmatically build California’s capacity to generate and implement effective stream barrier removal and river restoration projects
  • Actively promote the American Rivers-NOAA Community-based Restoration Partnership grant program in the California region. This includes:

– Identification and proactive generation of eligible projects and solicitation of proposals;
– Serving as an information resource during the call for proposals;
– Coordinating and leading a regional grant review; and
– Providing assistance and grant oversight to newly selected grant recipients, as well as established grantees.

  • Act as project manager for a limited number of ongoing and new priority river restoration efforts in the region.
  • Coordinate all outreach and advocacy related to the Beyond Searsville Dam/San Francisquito Watershed Project, including event planning, developing presentations, attending local watershed events, preparing comment letters, fact sheets and other outreach materials, and maintaining an online presence via social media.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight in regard to the Beyond Searsville Dam/San Francisquito Watershed Project. This includes preparing a dam removal feasibility study scope of work; securing the necessary permissions and cultivating stakeholder support in order to conduct said work; coordinating with the JPA and USACE on downstream flood protection; and identifying options and opportunities for sediment management.
  • Lead and assist continued efforts to identify, cultivate, and secure increased funding opportunities related to the Beyond Searsville Dam/San Francisquito Watershed Project. This includes assisting in the development of fundraising proposals and donor cultivation for the California Regional Office,  as needed.
  • Establish relationships with key state and federal agency staff on the Beyond Searsville Dam/San Francisquito Watershed Project.
  • Coordinate with staff from other American Rivers departments in achieving program goals.
  • Represent American Rivers in public meetings, the media and other forums as needed.
  • Travel as needed to represent American Rivers and the River Restoration Program.


The successful candidate will demonstrate through educational experience, professional background, and recommendations, strong skills in the following areas:

  • Degree and/or professional certification in natural or physical science, engineering, natural resource planning or management, or other related discipline.
  • Understanding of fundamental watershed processes and water resources issues including land use policy, hydrology, ecology, flood protection, and water rights.
  • Project management and/or project leadership experience in an agency, consulting or conservation organization environment.
  • High energy level, flexible, self-motivated, and self-confident.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Ability to perform multiple tasks effectively and efficiently in a fast-paced environment.
  • Interest in collaborative approaches to achieving river restoration.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently within the geographic region.


This position is for one year and is part-time at 30 hours per week. Salary range is commensurate with experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, and generous leave time.


Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, salary history, and three professional references to: American Rivers, Attn:  Assoc. Dir., CA River Restoration Position, 1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005; or to:, with Assoc. Dir., CA River Restoration Position in the subject line. No phone calls please.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Palo Alto, California
American Rivers
Human Resources