Drinking Water Program Director 

Posted 1 week ago

POSITION TITLE: Drinking Water Program Director 

REPORTS TO: Vice President, River Programs 

LOCATION: Flexible/Remote 

TERM AND SALARY: $80,000-$85,000 for a full time / 1 FTE (40 hours/week), exempt position with comprehensive benefits including: medical, dental, and vision health insurance; 403b retirement savings plan; vacation and well-being leave; employee assistance program; life insurance; technology stipend; and paid holidays. 

POSITION SUMMARY: River Network seeks an experienced candidate to oversee our work to increase access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water nationwide by growing the capacity and connectedness of our network to advance equitable drinking water policies and practices to ensure sustainable drinking water access for all. Individuals with interest and experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:  drinking water access and affordability, water infrastructure funding and management (drinking water, sewer and stormwater), water and climate change resilience, water conservation and efficiency, adaptation and nature-based solutions, public policy and/or public health, environmental justice, and conservation issues. 

This role is fully remote and the ideal candidate has comfort and experience managing remote projects and teams. The Drinking Water Program Director will lead a training and research team focused on building the capacity of grassroots advocates to increase equity in clean drinking water access. This role will provide strategic oversight of the organization’s drinking water work, including fundraising, budget and team management, and ensure programs and activities are in line with our strategic plan and network priorities (learn more about our current drinking water work). While most work is performed remotely, travel will be required for conferences, staff retreats and other work-related meetings (estimated on average one trip per month). 

Our ideal candidate understands and has experience working with nonprofit organizations and with under-represented groups, particularly racially and ethnically diverse communities. The Drinking Water Program Director will work directly with the Vice President of River Programs and serve as a member of the Policy Team and the broader River Programs Team.  This person must be flexible and able to take initiative in accomplishing tasks, as well as seeking support from other River Network staff. We seek a candidate who is excited about building the capacity of organizations in our network to advance equitable access to clean, safe and affordable water with an emphasis on sustainable and climate resilient solutions that address historical inequities nationwide. 

ABOUT RIVER NETWORK: River Network envisions a powerful and inclusive movement that ensures abundant clean water for all people and nature to thrive. Our mission is to grow and strengthen a transformational national network of water, justice, and river advocates. Visit to learn more about our current priorities. We are committed to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas to achieve our mission – explore our core values and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, our explanation for why equity, diversity and inclusion is the foundation of our mission, and our principles for equitable and inclusive work. Through our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water. Through our internal practices and external leadership, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.  

River Network’s headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado and we have staff located in communities across the U.S. While we are a dispersed staff team, we are highly collaborative, and value distributed leadership approaches that aim to disperse authority and responsibility to the staff closest to the work. All staff are encouraged to engage in cross-cutting, internal staff committees and initiatives that provide opportunities to work with colleagues outside of their primary focus area. Our staff is deeply invested in creating and tending to a healthy workplace culture and engaging all staff to influence and shape that culture. 

Find information about our financials here (annual reports, financial statement, 990).


Program strategy and oversight 

  • Provide overall thought-leadership and strategic thinking for River Network’s Drinking Water Program, assessing Network members’ evolving needs and developing and refining overall strategies to address emerging needs and opportunities 
  • Oversee implementation of drinking water program activities, including trainings, peer calls, peer learning networks, webinars, policy research and other activities, and ensuring quality and continuity of progress toward programmatic goals and objectives 
  • Represent River Network externally on coalitions, at conferences and other venues 

Partnership development & management 

  • Identify and establish long-term relationships with peer organizations and field experts to form collaborations and opportunities for collective impact, including joint trainings and toolkits, reports, webinars, and other educational activities 
  • Manage historic partnerships with individuals and organizations, including understanding of roles and expertise  

Fundraising and grant management:  

  • Manage current drinking water funder relationships, including communications and report writing, in close coordination with Philanthropy team and Vice President of Programs 
  • Oversee budgetary and deliverable requirements of current grants, including review of monthly grant and expense reports, development and execution of contracts and invoices, and tracking progress of deliverables within grant period 
  • Work with River Network’s Philanthropy team to identify and develop relationships with new funding sources 

Internal management and coordination:  

  • Manage a team of two direct reports, including weekly check-ins, oversight of annual workplans and coordination with org-wide workplan and identify opportunities for cross-team coordination and collaboration 
  • Participate in River Programs and Policy and Issue Lead team meetings; lead Drinking Water program meetings 


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education in a related field and 5-8 years professional work experience OR master’s degree or equivalent education in a related field and 3-6 years professional work experience; 
  • Strategic thinker and quick learner with interest and experience in working with colleagues and teams from diverse backgrounds; 
  • Detail-oriented and organized, with experience in grant management and simultaneous oversight of multiple projects, completing tasks on often fast timelines, and effective communication around shifting needs and/or priorities; 
  • Experience with team management, including comfort and confidence in leading direct reports, working independently and as part of a team; defining and tracking project deadlines, soliciting and incorporating input from team members and partners while continuing to move projects forward; 
  • Experience working with community-based organizations (CBOs) and leaders and organizations representing communities of color; 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written); good sense of humor and interest in building connection and community with coworkers and partners;  
  • Ability to adapt to changing conditions in the sector and needs of our network; and 
  • Commitment to River Network’s vision and mission, and to our core values of strength, mutual respect, integrity, balance, growth and inclusion.   

TO APPLY: Please submit a cover letter addressing how your experience, knowledge and abilities make you a good fit for this position and a resume by July 10th. References, work samples, and questions will be part of the selection process. No phone calls please.  

What to Expect: We’ll review your application materials for experience, knowledge, and abilities required to successfully perform the job. Only those selected to advance in this process will be contacted for an interview. Candidates must possess current and valid U.S. Work Authorization and be eligible to work for any U.S. employer without sponsorship. As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon the successful completion of a background check 

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every qualification. We are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with each qualification in the job description, please go ahead and apply anyway! You might be just the right candidate for this role. Consistent with our values and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion as stated above, River Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees 

Drinking Water Director Application Form

OPTIONAL: Do you identify as BIPOC?
This information is used to track applicant diversity.
Please submit a cover letter addressing how your experience, knowledge and abilities make you a good fit for this position and a resume by June 26th. References, work samples, and questions will be part of the selection process. No phone calls please.
Accepted file types: doc, pdf, Max. file size: 200 MB.


Job Features

Job Category

River Network





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