President & Chief Executive Officer

Posted 1 year ago

Who We Are

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.

Central to our approach is our commitment to principles for equitable and inclusive work. Through our programs, River Network provides organizations and communities with training and capacity-building services to strengthen their ability to restore and protect waterways, improve climate-resiliency, and ensure equitable access to safe, affordable drinking water.

Our Culture

We aspire toward humility, collaboration, equity, and inclusion, both internally and externally. We honor the contributions of diverse voices and favor distributed leadership across the organization. We believe the sustainability of our staff and their well-being is directly linked to our capacity to impact the protection and sustainability of our waterways, supporting a system of healthy people and environment simultaneously.

We Believe:

  • Joy and hope for our planet flow through our rivers.
  • All living beings share a common home and a fundamental right to clean water.
  • People, places, and nature are interconnected and must adapt to survive in a rapidly changing world.
  • Equitable and enduring solutions start with community – created with, by, and for the people most impacted.

Our Strategy

The United States is facing a crisis of water security, affordability, quality, and access.  In response, River Network focuses on three areas that define a new path forward and respond to climate impacts: Healthy, Resilient RiversSafe, Affordable Drinking Waterand Climate-Resilient CommunitiesBy aligning the network around these areas, River Network aims to scale on-the-ground efforts and advance Tribal, local, state, and federal policies to achieve a future of water security for people and nature.

To learn more about River Network visit our website.

Our President and Chief Executive Officer

River Network seeks a mission-driven, entrepreneurial leader who shares our vision of a powerful and inclusive movement that ensures abundant clean water for all people and nature to thrive.

We seek a leader that demonstrates humility, values collaboration, and brings the passion, skills, and enthusiasm needed to lead our national 20-person team and grow our $4M annual operating budget. Our CEO is the primary liaison to River Network’s Board of Directors and the leader and partner of our internal leadership team. This person will also play a pivotal role in forging new and important partnerships, including within the funding community, representing our organization’s vision, values, and strategies effectively. Our CEO supervises senior staff and provides leadership that aligns with River Network’s values, purpose, and programs. We seek an experienced candidate who values water as essential to both people and planet, and who is committed to centering racial justice at the intersection of water protection, access, and equity. Our CEO will promote and sustain a culture of distributed leadership across the organization, encourage innovation and new ideas, and create clear pathways of communication for staff at all levels.

Key Responsibilities

Our CEO’s specific areas of responsibility include:

Supporting Our Mission and Vision

Our CEO will work closely with the senior leadership team to refine and evolve strategies to advance the organization’s priorities. Our new leader will work to sustain a shared vision and understanding of strategies and implementation plans and ensure that all staff members understand key performance indicators and the use of data to track impacts and goals. Gathering continuous input and feedback from staff, member organizations, and board will be essential in fulfilling this role.

People and Culture Leadership

Our CEO will have the opportunity to work with a talented, mission-driven, and committed staff. Our CEO will center an inclusive leadership style, demonstrating cultural competency and emotional intelligence, and inspiring growth of our organization’s culture of centering equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice. Our CEO will oversee the teams and strategies necessary to maintain a sustainable and supportive work environment for all staff.

Fundraising and Resource Development

Our CEO will play a key role in fundraising efforts, and work with the philanthropy team and the board to diversify River Network’s revenue sources. They will work closely with the philanthropy and communication teams to strategically position the organization as a reliable partner and key ally with individual donors, significant corporate partners, key government agencies, and foundations in collaboration with our staff and board members.

External Affairs and Relationships

As the primary ambassador for River Network’s “brand”, our CEO will raise River Network’s profile through relationships with members; other nonprofits; federal, state, local, and Tribal government agencies; community leaders; foundations; donors; and businesses. Our CEO will also continue to nurture and expand relationships with frontline communities, community-based organizations, and justice-oriented organizers – all in an effort to support the organization’s goal of advancing environmental and climate equity and justice.

Fiscal and Operational Oversight

Our CEO will ensure the organization follows best financial practices, in compliance with applicable laws. Our CEO will also collaborate with senior team members and other staff to align budgets with program priorities, sustain or build efficient and effective systems, encourage transparency, ensure equitable staff compensation and professional growth, and promote effective communication across the organization.

Board Engagement

Our CEO reports to a board that meets four times per year – typically two virtual meetings and two in person. Our CEO will ensure a strong working relationship with the board and board chair, work to align organizational outcomes with mission focus, provide timely information to board committees, and serve as a conduit between board and staff.

Program Evolution and Oversight

Our CEO will provide strategic leadership and oversight of River Network’s programs, working collaboratively with staff to identify opportunities for better integration across our program areas.  This will include regular review of outcomes to ensure compliance with donor requirements.

Our Ideal Candidate

You are excited about the opportunity to work with a talented team that is deeply committed to River Network’s mission to grow and strengthen its network. You have the ability to champion member organizations, and will passionately and meaningfully engage with member organizations, a wide variety of water protectors, and others to build a community that embodies equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. The ideal candidate will bring significant leadership experience and have a track record of professional achievement. You will have successfully built both external partnerships and collaborative and trusting internal teams. You will have demonstrated success at fundraising. You are or have been the voice of an organization or a community, and/or a thought leader in the field.

Desired Qualifications

We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and skills:

  • Passion for River Network’s mission, its network members, and the waters on which all life depends;
  • Proven ability to inspire, articulate vision, and spark engagement with enthusiasm;
  • Proven ability to connect to funders and supporters, and to gain or grow investments, commitments, and partnerships;
  • Personal and professional understanding of how diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice play a central role in both advancing equity within an organization and in creating a more just and inclusive environmental movement;
  • Strong and effective oral and written communication skills with a high degree of emotional intelligence, humility, and compassion;
  • Demonstrated prowess in nonprofit leadership, management, governance, fundraising, and administration; experience working with or serving on boards of directors and similar advisory groups; reliable delivery of crucial contributions to teams and coalitions;
  • Financial acumen, including experience developing or overseeing the development of complex annual and multi-year budgets for organizations of similar size and complexity as River Network;
  • Ability to help staff reach their greatest potential; experience leading dispersed teams, and helping them thrive when face-to-face opportunities to build trust are not consistently available;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and to define and track deadlines, progress, and contributions of others;
  • Commitment to River Network’s Core Values, including respect, integrity, growth, and inclusion;
  • Ten years of relevant nonprofit leadership experience, and a degree in a field related to River Network’s mission and vision.

Salary and Location

Candidates can be located anywhere in the U.S. but must have the ability to travel as needed. The annual base salary for this role will be competitive and commensurate with the successful candidate’s skills and experiences. The projected salary for this role is $170,000-190,000, 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.

River Network’s EEO Statement

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, inclusion, and justice as stated above, River Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

To Be Considered

Please visit GoodCitizen’s website to submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button. Letters may be addressed to Martens Roc.

Applicants applying by March 20th will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by River Network to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Martens Roc
Vice President

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director

Celen Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate

Job Features


$170,000 to $190,000



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