Executive Director, The River Project

Lower Manhattan, on the Hudson R; small office and a wet laboratory, teaching space
Feb 08, 2019
Apr 09, 2019
Job Level
Mid level, Senior level
Employment Type
Contract, Permanent
Salary Type

The River Project, an oceanographic field station and environmental education non-profit, is seeking a full-time Executive Director with a spirit of adventure to manage the organization and lead fundraising.  The Executive Director will collaborate with the Board of Directors to implement board-directed goals and strategies.  This will include: providing leadership and guidance for the direction of The River Project during a time of transition; cultivating fundraising prospects; developing important relationships with members, supporters and allied Hudson River organizations; administering events and programs and expanding our public profile. 

About The River Project

Founded in 1986, The River Project connects people to the marvels and mysteries of New York Harbor and the Hudson River Estuary:  fish and other life forms, the river’s amazing power, and the issues which affect this urban estuary.  The fundamental and unique quality of our programs is rooted in conducting scientific research in a public setting.   The goal has been to help protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River Estuary through research and education.

We are headquartered on Pier 40 in lower Manhattan, with a small office and a wet laboratory for research, teaching and living displays, providing hands-on, get-wet, programs that monitor the progressive ecosystem dynamics of NY Harbor.

Though a small organization, our impact on knowledge of the river has been huge, including documenting new species in the Hudson and being the first to demonstrate the viability of raising oysters near Manhattan’s piers.   By engaging all ages of visitors in river research, we make the environment more understandable; after encountering the river in this exciting and personal way, our visitors feel like taking more responsibility for conserving it.  

Our Board of Directors is deep with scientific expertise whose particular strength lies in field studies of the Hudson River ecosystem. These studies have produced a comprehensive database of fish, colonization studies of shoreline invertebrates, surveys of important species such as oysters, ground-breaking advances in bioacoustics (fish sounds) and a variety of public demonstrations of fish species diversity, abundance and behavior. The River Project is highly integrated into and engaged with life in our local community, and with educational and environmental partners at the civic, city, state and federal level.

Applicants should be comfortable working in an independent work environment, demonstrate flexibility, and be committed to supporting our mission.  If you want immersion in hands-on, innovative environmental education, don’t mind getting wet and muddy, have a strong interest in the Hudson River ecosystem, please get in touch! We’d love to talk with you. 

Organization Structure: The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors with additional direction and consultation the Board.  The Director oversees staff and volunteer personnel and their various projects.


  • Be the “face of The River Project”: connect with media, allied organizations and supporters; be the spokesperson and advocate at public events; serve as the primary point of contact for sponsors and donors; work with the board to develop a reliable sponsorship base to fund events, programs, research, advocacy efforts and other River Project endeavors.
  • Oversee communications including website, e-blast updates and press releases, writing and editing, graphic display and outreach.
  • Manage administrative tasks including budgeting; record-keeping; supervise planning and execution of events coordinated by volunteers and staff.
  • Plan strategy to ensure that The River Project mission is fulfilled

Skills Preferred:

  • Not-for-profit management experience, preferably an advanced degree
  • Deep interest in oceanography, environmental education, marine biology and/or Hudson River Estuary
  • Experience with running fundraising events and winning grants
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, and with the ability to connect with diverse groups and convey passion and excitement for our mission statement
  • Strong leadership skills to implement and develop The River Project’s vision
  • Ability to provide guidance and assistance to board members and volunteers in a tactful and diplomatic manner
  • Outstanding organization skills and attention to detail
  • Good judgment on policy, public relations and advocacy issues
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Office and Google Suite.  

Salary: $70,000 per year, with benefits package including health insurance

Email Resume including References to:  

Ms. Mackenzie Pope, Development Manager, The River Project

mackenzie@riverprojectnyc.org   (212) 233-3030

Applications received by February 28, 2019 will be given priority



For more information:  https://www.riverprojectnyc.org/what-we-do