TITLE: Hydropower Reform Program Director 
DEPARTMENT: Conservation   
REPORTS TO: Vice President for Conservation Strategies 
LOCATION: Preference for DC; Flexible for the right candidate 


Named one of the best groups to support by “Outside” magazine, American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® and National River Cleanup® campaigns. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 350,000 members, supporters and volunteers.  American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit www.americanrivers.org. 

American Rivers embraces and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do. Rivers Connect Us is more than just our tagline. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. Every individual brings life experiences, knowledge, innovation and talent to our work, providing perspectives, experiences and competencies that are critical to our effectiveness. 


American Rivers has a long track record of leading and advancing hydropower reform nation-wide. American Rivers is a founding member of the Hydropower Reform Coalition and continues to serve as a key member. The Hydropower Reform Program Director is responsible for leading American Rivers’ hydropower relicensing and policy work, serving as a technical resource to groups across the country seeking to engage on hydropower relicensing and reform and serving as American Rivers representative on the Hydropower Reform Coalition. 


  • Expertise in hydropower issues and policy; emphasis on federal policy but ideally with understanding of regional and dam-specific issues and differences.  
  • Experience with federal and state hydropower licensing. 
  • Demonstrated experience and ability to provide trainings, presentations, and/or technical assistance. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills. 
  • Demonstrated excellence in leadership, strategic and critical thinking, time management, sound judgment, and dependability.  
  • Ability to work both independently (with minimal direct supervision) and collaboratively to advance the organization’s goals. 
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission, including a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Experience writing grant proposals and other fundraising activities is desirable. 
  • Experience tracking, interpreting and sharing conservation metrics and progress towards achieving conservation goals. 


  • Lead American Rivers’ Hydropower Reform program. 
  • Implement American Rivers’ Strategic Plan goal related to hydropower reform to “Improve water quality and flow in rivers through relicensing and reoperation of 25 dams”.  Metrics include 25 dam relicensings completed and 500 miles of river improved. 
  • Represent American Rivers on the Hydropower Reform Coalition, including providing expertise and leadership on policy and legislative hydropower issues.  
  • Represent American Rivers in high-level dialogue and negotiations, e.g. Uncommon Dialogue and DOE’s Hydropower Vision.  
  • Collaboratively develop and promote American Rivers’ hydropower reform policy agenda for both federal and non-federal projects. 
  • Develop American Rivers’ hydropower policy positions on issues such as pumped storage, tax incentives, etc. in coordination with American Rivers’ Policy & Government Relations, Restoration, River Protection, and Basin staff. 
  • Develop annual Hydropower Reform Program goals, work plan, and budget to achieve Strategic Plan Hydropower Reform goals.  
  • Engage with resource agency staff on hydro policy concerns.  
  • Represent American Rivers in hydropower project licensings in the northeast, and other high-priority projects outside the northeast as needed.  
  • Engage in both federal and non-federal (FERC) projects.  
  • Provide licensing guidance for American Rivers staff in priority basins outside the Northeast and serve as resource to American Rivers’ partners on licensing and hydropower-related questions.  
  • Review hydropower-related nominations and listing materials for Most Endangered Rivers.  
  • Experience managing budgets   
  • Lead American Rivers Hydropower Reform Community of Practice  
  • Provide technical assistance to American Rivers’ staff and other groups.  
  • Serve as a member of the Conservation Strategies Group leadership team. 


The salary range for this position is $87,000-$100,000 depending on qualifications and experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time. 


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter at https://americanrivers.bamboohr.com/jobs/ No phone calls please. 

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer  
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply