Executive Director

Great Lakes
Posted 11 months ago


The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with offices at Wells College in Aurora, NY, identifies key threats to Cayuga Lake and its watershed, and advocates for solutions that support a healthy environment and vibrant, sustainable communities. Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of central New York, the watershed is comprised of parts of three counties with lake shoreline (Cayuga, Seneca and Tompkins) and four counties (Cortland, Ontario, Schuyler and Tioga) in the uplands of the watershed. (See maps at

Recent strategic planning has identified three key goals for the CLWN:

  1. Monitor the impacts of climate change on the watershed and lead the effort to engage the community and organize mitigation efforts
  2. Educate youth and adults on detrimental impacts to water quality and encourage implementation of best management practices
  3. Serve as a leader and connector to help community members, conservation partners, businesses, and local governments work collaboratively to understand best management practices, address and prioritize threats, and pursue joint projects to improve the health of the lake and watershed

General Responsibilities

The Executive Director, who is also the Watershed Steward for the CLWN, manages the on-going operations and represents and is accountable to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director develops and maintains effective working relationships among the network staff, interns, volunteers and members. The Executive Director provides leadership for CLWN relations with local government and community leadership, funding agencies, and watershed related interest groups. This individual exercises professional judgment and executive skills in administering overall CLWN operations. (Note: the paid staff in 2021, all supported by grant income raised by the Executive Director and staff, consists of a full-time Executive Director, a ¾-time Program Associate and 4 summer interns.)


The Executive Director:

  • Receives support from and is accountable to the CLWN Board of Directors
  • Serves as an ex officio member on key standing committees of the CLWN
  • Supervises staff, interns, volunteers and contractors as requested or required.
  • May be on other watershed related boards or advisory committees as appropriate to the job and with permission of the Board



Competitive salary and benefits package is subject to negotiation. The Executive Director is reviewed annually with reappointment every four years.

Equal Opportunity Employment

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network is an equal opportunity employer. Employees are hired based on merit, ability, experience, education and training without regard to race, color, national origin or ancestry, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical ability, size, religious affiliation, or genetic makeup. The Network is committed to being an inclusive organization and encourages people from diverse communities to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities

Watershed leadership – approximately 30%

  1. Maintain a strong communication network through developing and maintaining relationships with diverse interest groups and collaborators. Build and maintain positive relationships with local government and community leadership, funding agencies, and watershed related interest groups, especially to:
    • Assist the appropriate committees in identifying key threats to the watershed
    • Advise the Board of Directors regarding watershed issues
    • Facilitate coalitions within the watershed related to specific threats and concerns
  2. Lead citizen and organizational involvement in watershed protection and enhancement, especially by:
    • Assisting the appropriate Board committees in the program development process, including the establishment of priorities, a staffing and volunteer plan, resource acquisition and allocation, and evaluation processes.
    • Assuring program quality and considering the diversity of the community while meeting Equal Program Opportunity guidelines.
    • Conducting CLWN programs
    • Recruiting, involving, and retaining volunteers
  3. Serve as spokesperson for the organization including its overall image, coordination of public relations efforts, and articulating a common vision for the watershed and CLWN.
  4. Jointly develop a learning plan and annual goals with the Board chair in conjunction with an annual performance review

Fund Development and Management – approximately 40%

  1. In partnership with the Board of Directors seek and obtain funding to:
    • Support the annual budget
    • Implement long-range financial and strategic plans.
    • Identify, screen, develop and obtain review of funding proposals, including those from volunteers, staff, and Watershed Steward for grant opportunities
  2. Work with appropriate committees to:
    • Develop and administer annual budget
    • Provide strong fiscal management and record keeping
    • Ensure follow-up on all proposed and funded projects and programs including reports, outcomes, and awards
  3. Work with appropriate committees to:
    • Build and retain Watershed Network membership
    • Produce and edit CLWN publications, website, and announcements

Organization Management and Support – approximately 30%

  1. Develop and maintain the main office to:
    • Provide day-to-day management including compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
    • Implement and manage policy established by the Board of Directors
    • Maintain CLWN record keeping and reporting
    • Secure, store, and maintain CLWN resources and assets
  2. Supervise staff and volunteers to:
    • Prioritize, delegate, and review work
    • Ensure training and annual evaluation of staff
  3. Developing annual work plans in collaboration with appropriate committees
  4. Assist the Board of Directors by:
    • Keeping them informed on work progress and problems
    • Working closely with the Board Chair to develop agendas and provide information and resources needed for productive Board meetings
    • Provide development opportunities for Directors
    • Assist standing and ad hoc committees of the Board
  5. With the approval of the Board, pursue professional development opportunities


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Bachelor’s degree in an environmentally related field plus demonstrated experience in areas such as water resources management, sustainability, education and outreach, or non-profit
  • Knowledge of climate change and water resources issues in the US, and ability to learn about New York State government and public administration policies on these issues
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively supervise volunteer and paid staff
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • A proven record of writing proposals, securing grant funding and administering grants as will be needed to support the staff salaries, operations and projects of the watershed
  • Experience interacting with a broad range of stakeholders, such as non-profit boards, local and state government agencies, land managers, business leaders, and others


  • Graduate degree in an environmentally related field
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office tools and communication tools
  • Demonstrated ability in strategic planning and the ability to establish and communicate goals and objectives and to set meaningful and achievable plans-of-work
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and work with diverse individuals
  • Experience with public relations and membership building

Special Requirements

  • Must reside within, or be willing to establish residence within the Cayuga Lake watershed
  • Must be willing and able to work flexible hours including nights and weekends as essential job functions require
  • Must be capable of working remotely from the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network office
  • Must be able to meet travel requirements of the job within and sometimes outside of the watershed

Application Information

Applicants should please submit the following information as attachments to an email to the secure mailbox (preferred submission is as a single PDF document):

  1. A detailed letter of interest, qualifications and intent (separate from and in addition to the brief cover email message)
  2. A detailed resume with full personal contact information
  3. Full contact information (name, affiliation, address, email and phone) of at least three references, including a brief description of the applicant’s relationship with each referee (Note: referenced will be contacted only at the near-final stage of the selection process)

Applications will be acknowledged by email, and the personal information will be securely protected and limited to the search committee and, for finalists, to the full Board of Directors.

[Address any questions about the application process to the same email address as for submission.]
Apply directly via the instructions above.

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