TITLE: Associate Director, River Restoration and CA Dam Removal Program

CLASSIFICATION: Associate Director II

DEPARTMENT: Conservation


REPORTS TO: California Regional Director

LOCATION: Flexible: Nevada City, Sacramento, Berkeley, or home office elsewhere in the Central Valley or Foothills

Apply Here: https://americanrivers.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=89


Named one of the best groups to support by “Outside” magazine, 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 annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® and National River Cleanup® campaigns. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 350,000 members, supporters and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information, please visit www.americanrivers.org.

At American Rivers, Rivers Connect Us is more than just a tagline. Because people and communities are part of every watershed we work to protect, we have an opportunity to embody the diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do; to build a robust, powerful, and diverse movement for the conservation of watersheds that is representative of the communities we work within; to incorporate the values and needs of communities most impacted by environmental inequities and injustices; to build an organizational culture where people of all identities—particularly those who traditionally have not been included—feel a sense of belonging; and to continue to reflect upon the long history of inequity in our country and thoughtfully examine our operations, culture, and conservation work to address this history.


The River Restoration Manager will lead American Rivers’ efforts to restore rivers through dam removal in California. We are looking for candidates with the leadership to build partner coalitions to programmatically remove dams in California, the expertise to manage dam removal projects, and the initiative to cultivate additional dam removal projects. This includes leading an effort to strategically build regional capacity to remove dams with nonprofit, municipal, state, federal, and tribal partners. Our ideal candidate will have the ability and aspiration to be a national leader at restoring rivers through dam removal.


  • Provide leadership to increase California capacity to remove dams by working with partners to develop and implement a strategy that will likely include fostering new project managers in partner organizations, identifying and increasing funding sources, clarifying and/or working to coordinate permitting and regulatory approvals, and identifying incentives for dam owners to remove dams.
  • Work to increase the number of dam removal projects in California and serve conservation partners in the region by providing technical assistance on projects, helping to identify and generate new projects, and connecting potential dam removals with project managers.
  • Lead development of a dam removal assessment tool that builds on California’s Passage Assessment Database to identify and prioritize dam removal projects. Work with partners to maintain a list of active California dam removal projects.
  • Manage strategically selected dam removal projects, including developing and managing project budgets, schedules, scopes of work, and contracts.
  • Effectively communicate dam removal approaches and benefits to a wide array of audiences using a variety of mediums, including but not limited to traditional and social media, public and professional conference presentations, and potentially through published reports or papers. Represent American Rivers at conferences and other events.
  • Regularly respond to requests for assistance on dam removal and potentially other river restoration-related issues.
  • Work with American Rivers Restoration Program staff, California Regional staff, and development staff to coordinate dam removal efforts with other aspects of the California Program, fundraise for Restoration staff and projects in California.
  • Be an active teammate with the American Rivers California Regional Team and the National River Restoration team, engaging in team meetings, collaborating with colleagues on project ideas and approaches, working with team leaders to develop, refine, and implement effective restoration strategies, and participating in team retreats and other related activities.
  • Position location is negotiable with a preference for the Sacramento area.
  • Work will involve travel throughout California for partnership meetings, site visits, etc., as well as traveling nationally for conferences, trainings, and other American Rivers, California Program, and Restoration Program events as needed.
  • Some aspects of the job description may be tailored to fit the specific skills and interests of our selected applicant and may include other duties as needed.


  • Thorough understanding of effective applied river restoration approaches, including demonstrated experience developing and managing on-the-ground restoration projects. Experience with fundraising, partnership building for restoration work, western water issues, and dam removal are plusses.
  • A team player with strong interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as the ability to work well with a diverse range of people. Experience working in multicultural environments is a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated experience meeting challenging project deadlines.
  • Ability to manage budgets and project tasks in Excel spreadsheets.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to effectively communicate with partners and agency representatives.
  • Demonstrated strength in critical thinking, judgment, and dependability.
  • Must show initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in river restoration or an appropriate combination of education and relevant experience in an adjacent field.


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

Apply Here: https://americanrivers.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=89

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.