Skip to content
Jan 28 / BARD CEP

Director, River Basin Project-Boulder CO

Organization: Colorado River Basin Project

Position Title: Director, River Basin Project

Location: Boulder CO

Hours & Compensation: Not listed.

Application Deadline: Not listed.


With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

Overall Function

The Colorado River Director leads EDF’s sophisticated multi-disciplinary Colorado River team and campaign as it develops, advocates for, and implements solutions to the water shortage and ecosystem damage challenges society faces on the Colorado River. The Director plays a central role in our work to create a more flexible and dynamic management system for the Colorado River that meets both human and ecological needs, including healthy flows, net agricultural productivity as tied to food security, and urban economic vitality. S/he must do so with full knowledge of stresses placed on the river by climate change, development pressure, and an obsolete river management system.

Key Responsibilities

S/he will develop and embrace a sophisticated societal change vision for how to implement a Colorado River campaign and closely coordinate with other groups, partners, consultants and funders. S/he will lead the strategic planning for the project in collaboration with key EDF staff and allies. S/he will establish and maintain close collaboration with EDF’s key government, industry and NGO partners to achieve the goals and objectives in the Colorado River Project. S/he is responsible for effectively communicating about EDF’s Colorado River Project with a diverse set of partners, decision-makers, industry professionals and funders and includes frequent public speaking, interacting with media professionals, communicating through social media tools and through other written media. S/he must develop and use deep knowledge and expertise on the legal, diplomatic, policy, institutional, economic, cultural and scientific issues in the Colorado River Basin and water resource issues.

The Director also:

Supervises, manages and creatively motivates legal, policy, economics, science, communication, and administrative staff and consultants to achieve program goals

Raises, directs, manages and has direct responsibility for multi-million, multi-year budget, including planning the budget, working with development staff to prepare proposal budgets, and expenditure.

Oversees a federal and state legislative and policy campaign, including personally acting as a member of the policy team and representing EDF and coalition partners before legislators and high-level appointed agency officials.

Initiates and negotiates collaboration, partnership, and other agreements with economic interests.

Develops and implements cross-program partnerships and joint programs with other EDF programs.

Provides regular and direct briefings to EDF executive staff, trustees, and funders on program progress and strategic direction.

Negotiates, initiates, implements, and oversees partnerships to realize large-scale ecosystem restoration.


The ideal candidate will be a seasoned conservation professional with 12 to 15 years of experience working in a position of significant responsibility with experience building and running a successful advocacy campaign. The ideal candidate must possess outstanding strategic thinking, planning and communication skills and be an innovative thought and action leader who demonstrates collaborative teamwork, flexibility, adaptability and creativity as well as program management skills that yield successful outcomes. The ideal candidate will have strong negotiation and deal-making skills, a strong focus on – and track record with – pragmatic, market-based solutions to conservation problems as well as demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing effective strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

The ideal candidate has a understanding of legal, policy and operational frameworks dictating current western river management and/or understanding of market-based tools and policy solutions for modernizing river management. The ideal candidate for this position will possess a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Graduate-level training and degrees are highly desirable.

In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience with and an ability to communicate and collaborate effectively and build relationships with diverse partners and decision makers. Experience with high-level conservation contacts (partners, community, government, etc.) and fundraising is required. The ideal candidate will work with EDF staff and our allies to identify the largest solvable problems and propose solutions to address them. S/he will build durable relationships with key stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin and across the country, working closely with staff and allies on the Colorado River Project.

This individual will possess excellent management experience, including the ability to build a team and inspire and motivate team members, set goals, and lead efforts to achieve and sustain excellence. They will also have successful experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects. The ideal candidate must have demonstrated strategic planning and management skills to implement program goals.

Location: The position will be based in Boulder, CO

Apply online:

Please mention how you heard of our job opening.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate. Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Leave a comment