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May 21 / BARD CEP

Executive Director, International Rivers – California

Organization: International Rivers

Position Title: Executive Director

Location: Berkeley, California

Application Deadline: Position open until filled

Description: International Rivers seeks a proven, visionary, and global leader to advance its mission of protecting the world’s rivers and the people who depend on them. She or he will build upon International Rivers’ strength in defending rivers from harmful projects while advancing the organization’s capacity to offer viable alternatives that allow river communities to flourish. The ideal candidate will inspire others to join this cause by clearly articulating the urgent need to safeguard river-based cultures and ecosystems from extinction and by outlining a clear, compelling and provocative strategy for moving forward.

As the chief executive of the organization, the Executive Director is responsible for the strategic direction, management, and financial well-being of the organization. The Executive Director will be appointed by and report to the Board of Directors.


  • Lead the development of the strategy of the organization to carry out its vision and mission. This includes spearheading creation of the next strategic plan and communicating a clear and compelling strategy to funders, staff, partner organizations, the media and the public.
  • Build an organizational culture that attracts, sustains and motivates a diverse staff across many regions and time zones. Oversee and help develop appropriate policies and procedures to manage and motivate staff to deliver their best, creative work.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of all aspects of International Rivers programs, including campaigns, communications, fundraising, finances, and administration.
  • With the Management Team, oversee the development and implementation of program priorities and coordinate departments to ensure harmonious, efficient and effective operations. Ensure that the overall conduct and work of the organization is of exceptionally high quality.
  • Sustain and improve the financial well-being of International Rivers, where available funds are wisely used towards the mission and vision.
  • Work with staff and Board to raise funds needed to carry out the mission and to strengthen the organization. Oversee the development and implementation of the annual fundraising plan and engage directly in donor cultivation and solicitation.
  • Demonstrate leadership in promoting and maintaining the profile of International Rivers, representing the organization in public settings, including with media and government officials, speaking knowledgeably and persuasively about its mission and impact.
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships with organizations, including non-governmental organizations and dam-affected communities, among others, to create greater impact.
  • Serve as the liaison between board and staff and guide board development. The Executive Director will attend all Board of Directors meetings.

Qualifications: This is an influential and high profile position in the national and international environmental and human rights community. The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • At least five years of demonstrated success in managing complex organizations as a CEO or senior leader of a nonprofit organization, with an orientation towards catalyzing social change.
  • Demonstrated success in raising at least $1 million annually from a variety of sources, including cultivating and soliciting large institutional and individual major donors.
  • A superb ability to chart strategic directions that result in clear operational goals and results in fulfillment of the organizational mission and vision.
  • Proven experience in managing budgets and in financial and operations management.
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills and a deep understanding of media and public relations.
  • Experience with and success in developing and implementing strategic international campaigns on environmental or human rights issues.
  • An inspiring and collaborative leadership style that engages the commitment and talent of staff, leads by example, and encourages creativity and productive, high-quality work.
  • The ability to build effective teams among a culturally and geographically diverse staff working across countries with varying legal, political, and economic contexts.
  • The passion and energy to engage with and create enduring partnerships with individuals and institutions that can support and further International Rivers’ agenda.
  • A nuanced understanding of the dynamics of working with local and regional groups, and experience in developing alliances and strategies with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Commitment to International Rivers’ mission; demonstrated understanding of the principles of environmental and social justice.
  • Willingness and availability to travel internationally.
  • California Bay Area preferred or willingness to relocate to Berkeley, CA. Washington, DC will also be considered for the right candidate.

How to Apply:  Applications will be reviewed as they are received. A letter of interest explaining why you would like to join International Rivers and why your skills are appropriate for this position, date of availability, and salary requirements, accompanied by a resume and a writing sample, should be sent via email to: [email protected]

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