Work at the Deschutes River Conservancy

Employment Opportunities


 (Download Job Description)


The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Director to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin. 

  • 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 streamflows 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 financing and implementation of voluntary ecosystem restoration projects.

Three major program areas provide focus to our work:

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

We are governed by a 15-person board of directors and managed by a full-time Executive Director with ​nine employees. The DRC has a $2.1 million annual budget.


We are an innovative, consensus-based, and highly collaborative organization. We proactively seek new solutions for solving old problems. We don’t engage in litigation, preferring instead 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.


You are someone who can:

  • Inspire innovation with internal teams and partners
  • Lead in a dynamic and evolving context
  • Think creatively around complex problems
  • Foster collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Leverage the strengths of a talented Program staff to accomplish our mission


  • Program Direction (~35%)

  • Develop streamflow restoration strategies to meet multiple water needs in the Deschutes Basin
  • Drive strategy for DRC’s Water Conservation and Water Marketing Programs
  • Provide leadership and focus to the Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative, a multi-stakeholder basin water management group
  • Develop new programs to meet DRC’s mission of restoring streamflow and water quality, including an emerging water quality program
  • Negotiate streamflow restoration programs with landowners, irrigation districts, and other parties
  • Coordinate the work of project teams, including other staff, subcontractors, and agency partners
  • Supervise four full-time staff and contracts with consultants in a variety of fields
  • Support the Executive Director in organizational strategy development
  • Lead key initiatives related to strengthening DRC’s institutional capacity, including advancing internal and external work on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Participate as a member of the DRC’s Leadership Team
  • Represent instream, fish, and wildlife needs in state policymaking
  • Partnerships/Relationship Building (~​30%)

  • Build and maintain trusting relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, including landowners, irrigation districts, government agencies, and other conservation organizations
  • Convene and facilitate stakeholder processes in priority stream reaches
  • Represent the DRC in strategic partnerships including the Deschutes Partnership and the Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative
  • Cultivate shared vision among stakeholders
  • Communications (~10%) 

  • Represent the DRC through presentations for public outreach, key stakeholder meetings, professional conferences, and policy forums
  • Work closely with Executive Director and Communications Director on strategic communication issues
  • In coordination with Executive Director, develop board agendas and materials.
  • Fundraising/Development (~25%)

  • In partnership with program staff, raise, manage, and grow an annual program budget of $2.1M through grants and partnerships
  • Support the Executive Director in growing financial resources to support DRC’s work


Email resume and cover letter to

Application deadline is June 30th. Ideal start date is August 1st. 

This is a full-time, exempt position. Benefits include a group medical 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.