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Senior Director, Water for the Future

Net Impact
San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Oct 26, 2023

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Experience Level: Program development and management, staff supervision, research/monitoring design

Education: Masters/PhD in Ecology, Natural Resources, or related field

Start Date: November 1, 2023 (tentative)

To Apply: Please send your cover letter and resume to and include "Senior Director, Water for the Future" in the subject line.

Sustainable Conservation (a leading non-profit in its field) advances the collaborative stewardship of California's land, air, and water for the benefit of nature and people. Every day, we bring together businesses, landowners, scientists, government and others in some of the most productive yet economically disadvantaged parts of California, to steward the resources on which we all depend in ways that are just and make economic sense. Please visit to learn more about our work.

Sustainable Conservation is committed to addressing policies and practices that have historically prioritized economic benefits to some at the ecological, health, and/or economic expense of others. We engage with diverse entities like businesses, non-profits, agricultural communities, government, etc. to partner in co-creating solutions to catalyze more substantial improvements in areas of California where the stakes are highest for getting it right. We strive to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in our mission and vision and through everything we do - both within individual programs and the organization, both in the field and at the office - so we can help shape a California where all can truly thrive.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Senior Director, Water for the Future Program, will lead a well-established and growing program of our organization with far reaching impact. Our Water for the Future Program advances promising practices, tools, incentives and policies to help achieve long-term water sustainability in California. Our efforts mean reliable, affordable and clean water for healthy communities, vibrant waterways that support diverse wildlife and habitats, and a dependable supply of water for irrigating the crops that feed the nation. Key responsibilities include overall strategic guidance and day-to-day management in collaboration with the Director, Water for the Future Program. Success in this role will come from strong and creative strategic thinking for the program and the organization, a commitment to collaboration and building leadership skills within a very talented and growing team and a passion to grow and harness relationships with external partners to support and enhance our work.

Location: This position may be at our any of our offices - San Francisco, Modesto or Sacramento. Our teams work in a hybrid work environment with an option to work remotely a few days a week. Periodic travel throughout the state will be required.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Program leadership:
    • Lead and provide strategic direction to the Water for the Future Program.
    • Lead team in developing and quantifying long-range and quarterly/annual program goals and metrics to guide staff priorities and communicate progress to the Board and supporters.
    • Manage equitable allocation of program workload to staff according to skills and abilities, identify staffing needs and select new employees from eligible candidates.
    • Mentor staff with professional development and building leadership skills.
    • Provide technical leadership and guidance to staff to ensure scientific rigor in all aspects of program delivery and products.
    • Collaborate with the Development and Communications team to prepare and present program achievements and goals to funders and at various conferences, events, forums, webinars, etc.
    • Collaborate with the Director, Water for the Future and Financial/Administrative staff to plan and manage program and project budgets.
    • In collaboration with the Director, Water for the Future and other supervisors manage team timesheets, expenses, and performance reviews,
  • Fundraising and external relations:
    • Partner with the CEO and other program leads to raise funds for various initiatives.
    • Envision potential new projects/strategies and help with writing federal and state grants and contracts, including building budgets.
    • Build, maintain and harness relationships with external partners including state and federal agencies, other NGOs, industry groups and academic institutions to advance our collective goals and leverage resources.
    • Manage relationships with external funding partners to scope and contract for new projects and ensure our work products and collaboration provides mutual benefit.
    • Interact and interface with media as a representative of the organization.

Experience and Skills Required:
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills.
  • Very strong interpersonal skills that lead to building collaborative long-term relationships both internally and externally to support and enhance our work.
  • Strategic vision, analytic thinking, and a creative/innovative approach that leads to development and advancement of the program and team.
  • Deep knowledge of water management/issues in California, with emphasis on topics related to groundwater recharge.
  • Knowledge and keen interest in agriculture, ecosystems and a multi-benefit approach that helps disadvantaged communities.
  • Experience with supervising and managing a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Seasoned public speaker with demonstrated ability to represent the organization at various forums, events, workshops, webinars, etc.
  • Strong project management including ability to follow-up across all levels of the organization and with external partners.
  • Proven ability to multitask and balance the management of multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong problem-solving and independent thinking skills
  • Commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion; desire to work in collaboration with a broad range of partners.
  • Keen interest in nature-based solutions and climate change adaptation.
  • Excellent computer skills, including knowledge of MS applications such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Valid CA Driver's License and a willingness to travel as required.
  • Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (including booster) required.

Also Desirable
  • Spanish speaking.
  • Land management or on-the-ground project implementation experience.
  • GIS operation and analysis skills.
  • Familiarity with using logic models and defining theory of change.

What we offer: A competitive compensation package based on experience, fully paid health insurance benefits, generous match on 401k, FSA, EAP, vacation, floating days, sick leave, plus the week between Christmas and New Year's Day as holiday leave. Our greatest benefit is our culture. Our staff is collaborative, dedicated, and caring. We believe in articulating and practicing our values (Collaboration, Respect, Results, Honesty, Learning, Well-Being) at work and have a strong commitment to bringing a DEI lens to our work and workplace culture.

At Sustainable Conservation we value culture and diversity and as an equal opportunity employer we encourage qualified individuals from all backgrounds to apply to our job openings.

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