Skip to content
Apr 7 / BARD CEP

California Central Valley River Restoration Director, American Rivers

Organization: American Rivers

Position Title: Director, California Central Valley River Restoration

Location: Sacramento, California

Application Deadline: Position open until filled

Description: The Central Valley River Restoration Director will help American Rivers protect and restore floodplains in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Basin, promote opportunities for Central Valley communities to recreate on Central Valley rivers, and promote a river stewardship ethic among California decision makers. The Director will work to promote program objectives in close collaboration with numerous organizations American Rivers has partnered with, including other conservation groups, government agencies, universities and communities. The Director will contribute policy and technical expertise to our efforts to restore Central Valley floodplain functions and reform flood management policy at the state and national level.


  • Help develop solutions to technical, legal and political challenges of expanding flood bypasses on the lower San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers.
  • Identify, map, describe and evaluate opportunities for flood plain restoration and multi-benefit flood management projects in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, including reservoir re-operation.
  • Conduct analysis of local, state and federal laws and policies to identify changes necessary to expedite flood management reform in the Central Valley.
  • Conduct research, including literature reviews, interviews with issue experts and stakeholders, and data collection.
  • Review plans and environmental documents. Draft comments and advocacy letters to shape river management projects, programs and policies.
  • Draft fundraising proposals for restoration projects.
  • Conduct quantitative analyses as needed (Excel-based modeling and data analysis).
  • Represent American Rivers in public planning forums such as the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan, and the State Water Resources Control Board’s update of the Delta Water Quality Control Plan to promote floodplain restoration and non-structural flood management strategies.
  • Take a lead role in developing public outreach and education strategies and materials to promote understanding of the benefits of floodplain restoration and non-structural flood management strategies.
  • Participate in outreach to key decision makers in the local, state and federal government to promote program goals.


  • Master’s degree with an emphasis in environmental planning, engineering, science, economics, policy or equivalent professional experience. Law degrees considered.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in California river and water policy field or equivalent.
  • Proven experience developing, funding and advancing on-the-ground projects, including land acquisition, particularly wetland and river restoration projects.
  • Excellent understanding of California water law and policy, with focus on flood management, hydrology/hydraulics and river restoration preferred.
  • Proven involvement in analytically complex projects and the ability to read and synthesize large amounts of data. Strong analytical skills coupled with a solid understanding of and interest in data and metrics preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to effectively communicate with senior agency and legislative representatives.
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and a good sense of humor.
  • Initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking. An insightful, curious, pragmatic, and strategic mind.
  • Willingness to work from a home office near Sacramento and to travel frequently in the Central Valley.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.

How to Apply: Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: [email protected] with “CA Central Valley Position” in the subject line or to American Rivers, Attn: CA Central Valley Position, 1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005. No phone calls please.

Leave a comment