Work at the Deschutes River Conservancy

Employment Opportunities


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The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Director to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin. This is a senior position accountable for executing DRC Programs in accordance with the DRC’s Strategic Plan.

  • Reports To: Executive Director
  • Salary Range: Negotiable: starting at $85,000
  • Location: Bend, Oregon


The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC), based in Bend, Oregon, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1996 to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin. We bring together tribal, irrigation, environmental, hydropower, and federal, state, and local government interests to accomplish our mission through planning, financing, and implementation of voluntary ecosystem restoration projects.

Three major program areas provide focus to our work:

  • Voluntary Market-Based Transactions: The DRC integrates technical support, innovation, program design, financing, and project execution to implement voluntary market-based transactions to restore streamflow.
  • Irrigation Infrastructure Improvements: The DRC facilitates water conservation projects that restore streamflow and improve water quality.
  • Basin-Wide Water Management Planning: The DRC leads basin-wide water planning efforts with a large group of diverse partners.

We are governed by a 15-person board of directors and managed by a full-time Executive Director with nine employees. The DRC’s annual budget ranges from $2-5 million.


We are an innovative, consensus-based, and highly collaborative organization. We proactively seek new solutions for solving old problems. We use our organizational expertise to leverage partners’ strengths to get the watershed-scale outcomes we seek. And we live the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our full Mission, Vision and Values can be found here: (

We honor the native people who have called this region home for thousands of years. We join them in stewardship of our rivers for the next seven generations and beyond.


You are passionate about collaborative conservation and want to work with a group of dedicated professionals committed to restoring freshwater ecosystems. You are an experienced program and people manager with excellent interpersonal skills and proven team management skills. You enjoy working with implementation teams that include internal and external partners and have a firm commitment to collaboration as a keystone principle of progress. As a key member of the organizational management team, you will lead programs and provide strategic direction that is aligned with organizational objectives. You value team culture that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and effective communication. This position reports to the Executive Director and works closely with peer positions in finance and administration, communications, and development.

You are someone who can:

  • Embrace and contribute to the long-term organizational vision
  • Leverage the strengths of a talented program staff to accomplish the mission
  • Manage complex programs and program budgets to ensure program execution
  • Inspire innovation with internal teams and partners
  • Lead in a dynamic and evolving context
  • Think creatively around complex problems
  • Engage with ambiguity to create clear outcomes
  • Foster collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Collaborate with finance, development, and communications staff to optimize outcomes


  • Program Direction

    The Program Director is accountable for ensuring the organization develops, funds, and implements the technical programs necessary to achieve DRC’s mission, in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan. This includes the following:

  • Develop and drive streamflow restoration strategies to meet multiple water needs in the Deschutes Basin
  • Negotiate streamflow restoration programs with landowners, irrigation districts, and other parties
  • Coordinate the work of program teams, including internal program teams, subcontractors, and agency partners
  • Manage four full-time staff as well as consultants working for DRC under contract
  • Develop and evolve programs to meet DRC’s mission of restoring streamflow and water quality, including an emerging water quality program
  • Provide organizational leadership as a member of the DRC’s Leadership Team
  • Support the Executive Director in organizational strategy development
  • Assist with key initiatives related to strengthening DRC’s institutional capacity, including advancing internal and external work on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity
  • In coordination with the Executive Director, develop board agendas and materials
  • Represent instream, fish, and wildlife needs in state policymaking
  • Budget Management

  • Develop, track, and manage the annual program budget
  • Manage overall program budget needs, and supervise management of individual project funds
  • Secure, manage, and report on cross-cutting programmatic grants
  • Identify and cultivate new funding opportunities
  • Enhance and expand partnerships for overall financial support of DRC, in partnership with Executive Director
  • Provide support to program staff on monthly basis for expenses, time sheets, and other managerial tasks
  • Partnerships/Relationship Building

  • Build and maintain trusting relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, including landowners, irrigation districts, government agencies, and conservation organizations
  • Represent the DRC in strategic partnerships including the Deschutes Partnership and the Crooked River Water Quality Partnership
  • Cultivate shared vision among stakeholders
  • Build relationships with statewide partners engaged in Oregon water law and policy 


  • 7-10+ years of experience in conservation, or equivalent applicable experience
  • Graduate degree in natural resource-related field, or equivalent experience
  • Proven track record in successful grant writing and budget management
  • Proven track record in team management
  • Proven track record in successful partnerships and collaboration
  • Preferred qualifications include knowledge of western water law and policy, experience with streamflow restoration transactions, experience negotiating complex multi-stakeholder agreements, and/or expertise in water quality issues
  • Regardless of experience, the qualified candidate will be a proven problem-solver who can see through barriers to realize opportunities.


This is a full-time, exempt position. Benefits include a group medical, vision, and dental insurance policy, access to a retirement plan with an employer contribution, and a competitive personal paid-time-off policy. The DRC supports continuing education opportunities for all staff.

DRC is actively working to diversify its staff and encourages applications from people of all races, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, beliefs, national origins, or abilities.