Grassroots Jobsource

Executive Director Posted Mar 25
Walker Basin Conservancy , Reno, NV

The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while protecting agricultural, environmental and recreational interests in the Walker Basin of Nevada and California.

Since 2017, the Conservancy has taken the lead as the steward of the Walker Basin Restoration that began in 2009. Specifically, the Conservancy acquires and protects water to reestablish native Lahontan cutthroat trout, and other keystone species in Walker Lake, while promoting a healthy river and watershed. Through an established property and water acquisition program, the Conservancy cultivates relationships and completes contractual agreements with willing sellers to restore the Walker River and Lake. With state and local partners, the Conservancy manages intensive restoration and stewardship activities on thousands of acres in the Basin. This includes overseeing revegetation and reclamation activities and habitat enhancement of land and river. It also facilitates ongoing monitoring and research of river and lake with federal (e.g., US Geological Survey) and state (e.g., Nevada Department of Wildlife) collaborators. Through a series of successful water rights purchases and transformation of water for environmental benefits, the Conservancy protects and monitors acquired water resources to ensure that they are used as intended for riparian habitat and to increase stream flows to Walker Lake.

The dynamic nature of the Conservancy and its diverse resource management portfolio provide unique opportunities to develop innovative, interdisciplinary conservation solutions while working closely with a dedicated and passionate staff. The Conservancy team is comprised of approximately 25 full-time employees and increases up to 70 during our field season. For more information about the organization, please visit the website at

Position Summary

Walker Basin Conservancy is seeking a creative, visionary and highly organized leader to serve as its new Executive Director. The Executive Director will work with Board, staff, partners and the community to continue to develop and enhance the Conservancy’s programs to achieve the strategic vision created in 2019. Under the direction of a committed and engaged Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead and grow the organization through effective operational management, outreach to key constituents, and use of financial resources. The Executive Director will lead, develop and engage approximately 25 staff members responsible for water conservation, land stewardship, community engagement and outreach, and overall operations, and will work with staff, board, and the community to identify and fill evolving capacity needs to meet the organization’s mission.


Strategic Leadership

• Execute the initiatives of the strategic plan to attain short and long-term goals aligned with the mission and vision of the organization. Communicate and direct activities of staff toward strategic objectives. Provide a broad perspective of strategic planning that pushes outward and balances opportunities within the organization’s capacity.
• Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for the Conservancy as it transitions from its initial funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This could include any or all of the following: soliciting gifts from major donors, foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships, partnership investments, and other financial opportunities.
• Inspire, manage and empower a staff of professionals and rising conservation leaders in a positive, inclusive, and collaborative culture.
• Administer Board of Directors’ meetings and maintain effective communications with the Board.
• Pursue a commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the organization, including hiring and partnership building. Lead efforts to improve equitable access to and engagement with public conservation areas.

Financial Management

• Optimize operations and budget through effective utilization of resources.
• Provide leadership that diversifies and grows revenue, maintains financial health, manages risk, meets reporting and auditing requirements, and plans for the future.


• Promote and communicate the water conservation and land stewardship activities of the Conservancy.
• Share the story of the Conservancy in compelling ways to increase awareness and expand the network.
• Actively engage the Board of Directors, volunteers, partners, and supporters of the Conservancy.
• Assist in the strategic recruitment and support of an actively engaged Board of Directors.
• Strive to develop and maintain positive, productive working relationships with local, state and federal agencies partners, tribal collaborators and other key stakeholders.

Professional Qualifications & Personal Characteristics

• Passion for the mission of the Conservancy to restore and maintain Walker Lake and the surrounding area.
• Visionary leader with collaborative style, excellent listening skills and ability to build strong relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders.
• 6-10 years in senior leadership and supervisory roles with progressively increasing responsibility and impact, in areas including developing and executing business/strategic plans and successfully implementing new projects and/or growing existing major projects.
• Strong fundraising, marketing, and public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
• Highly independent, proactive and entrepreneurial with experience in managing and growing an organization.
• Previous experience with rigorous financial management. Prior experience managing federal funds is a plus.
• An understanding of Western water rights and previous experience with real property transactions for conservation purposes would be a strong plus.
• Bachelor’s degree in applicable field, with MBA, Master’s degree or equivalent preferred.

Location & Compensation

The Executive Director of Walker Basin Conservancy is based in Reno, Nevada, with frequent travel to WBC’s Yerington, Nevada, office and other locations within the Walker Basin to be expected. Some additional travel required.

The salary range for this position is projected to be $120,000-$180,000 annually, with final determination to be commensurate with experience. Excellent employee benefits package includes:

• Employer paid health, dental, vision and life insurance plans for employee;
• Retirement 403(b) plan includes a 6% automatic company contribution;
• 120 hours of annual paid vacation, increasing to 160 hours after first year of employment;
• 16 hours of annual personal leave;
• Company paid holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s Day;
• 60 hours of annual sick leave;
• 11 paid holidays;
• Health and wellness subsidy; and
• Employer paid professional development.


Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. The Conservancy does not discriminate against any employee, applicant, director, officer, contractor, or any other person with whom it deals because of race, creed, color, disability, age, sex, veteran status, religion or political affiliation. The Conservancy complies with all federal and local statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment. Reasonable accommodations may be provided for qualified individuals with a disability.

Application Process

The search for the new Executive Director is being conducted for Walker Basin Conservancy by The Moran Company. To apply for this position, submit cover letter and resume to Steven Byers through the secure online portal.
Questions may be directed to Steve.Byers(at) For best chance of consideration, we recommend you apply by April 23, 2021, as the interview process will start after that.

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