Central Regional Director

TITLE: Central Regional Director
DEPARTMENT: Conservation
REPORTS TO: Senior Vice President, Conservation
LOCATION: Flexible. Manages work in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota. Also works collaboratively with Great Lakes states leadership.

Click here to apply

American Rivers is championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. Healthy rivers provide people and nature with clean, abundant water and natural habitat. For 50 years, American Rivers staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on Rivers℠.

American Rivers centers the ongoing work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. 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. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that everyone brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.

The Central Regional Director (“Director”) will lead the regional team working to restore and protect rivers of the region through advocacy for clean water, healthy rivers and and implementation of on the ground restoration (e.g., dam removal and floodplain restoration). This individual’s responsibilities include managing staff, fundraising for the organization, managing Mississippi and Missouri River-focused projects and advocacy raising the profile of American Rivers in a way that builds the entire river conservation movement. Coalition partnership will also be required. This encompasses advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice practices in all venues, including community, partner, and Tribal engagements.

The Director will join a dynamic team at American Rivers working across the country and serve as the primary manager of the Central regional work being implemented by the American Rivers’ team. The Director will also be the primary spokesperson for the region on behalf of American Rivers. The Director must be an excellent verbal and written communicator and content creator, maintain required reports, and be the lead fundraiser in the region. The Director must also be a proven conservation professional capable of advancing advocacy and project work in the Region. The position will report to the Senior Vice President for Conservation and will be an active member of the national Conservation team working with national programs to implement strategies to reach American Rivers aspirational goals.


  • Build the regional team, including managing, developing, and evaluating programs, projects, and members of the regional team
  • Managing Mississippi and Missouri River-related project and advocacy work inclusive of engagement with Coalition partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
  • Supporting the creation and execution of regional workplans based on the American Rivers’ strategic plan, including some administrative tasks, such as budget management,
  • Helping draft, lead, and execute fundraising strategies for the institution in consultation with the development team,
  • Building and tending relationships at the local, state, regional, and federal level with community leaders, funders, regulators, both like-minded and fresh-perspective NGOs, businesses, and elected decision-makers,
  • Building the reputation of American Rivers in the region in a way that advances the entire river conservation movement centered on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion,
  • Ensuring solid coordination across the organization, including with national and regional projects, departments, and other regions,
  • Cultivating and supporting a regional river council of donors and supporters, and
  • Prioritizing and managing regional advocacy priorities and translating federal policies to the region.


  • Requires demonstrated, successful experience in the following areas: partnership building and collaboration, fundraising, verbal and written communications, project creation and implementation, program and budget planning and administration, and staff management,
  • Requires a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience,
  • Experience with grants management and fundraising from individuals, and
  • Experience with direct, indirect lobbying, or electoral campaigns.
  • The successful candidate must be a self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities and deadlines. They will have an ability to make decisions based on evidence and stakeholder feedback; listen, lead, and mentor a team; exercise discretion; exhibit political astuteness and good judgement. They should be able to forge connections with others to build trust and inspire enthusiasm in their endeavors. They must also have a strong commitment to working well with and supporting the voices of community leaders and have a desire to work with people across all spectrums. Knowledge of complex multi-benefit river management, floodplains, urban rivers, pollution prevention, river restoration, and/or dam removal issues are strongly recommended. Experience with engaging the public (in particular, Indigenous tribes and/or communities of color) could also be helpful to a successful candidate.

Candidates who are unsure if they meet all minimum qualifications or who have transferrable skills and experience beyond the conservation sector are encouraged to apply

Location flexible in one of the Central Regional states.

The salary range for this position is $102,600-$140,000 annually depending upon qualifications and experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, and life insurance; a retirement plan, training budget, sick leave, 11 paid holidays, four weeks of paid vacation, paid sabbaticals every seven years, and a 3% retirement match. American Rivers offers TIAA-CREF Social Choice, including green impact, as an investment option.

Our community’s core values motivate us to Lead with Collaboration and Trust, Infuse Equity and Justice, Deliver Results, and Ensure Staff and Volunteers Thrive. American Rivers offers staff professional development and training opportunities, engages in equitable hiring and retention practices, has taken the Green 2.0 pay equity pledge and participates in the transparency report, and hosts People of Color, Accessibility, LGBTQAI+, Women’s Leadership, Parents and Caregivers, and DEIJ affinity groups and committees led by staff and board members.


Click here to apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and list of three references here. Deadline to apply is April 1, 2024. No phone calls please.


American Rivers is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request reasonable accommodation, please contact the Human Resources department at 202-243-7050 or humanresources@americanrivers.org. Please note that one week’s advance notice is preferred.

Applicant must be legally allowed to work as an employee in the United States.

Candidates of all personal and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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