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Position Announcement & Invitation to Apply


Sustainable Northwest



Sustainable Northwest forges natural resource solutions that benefit nature, people, and local economies. We partner with Tribal and rural communities throughout the Northwest on projects that promote smart water use, clean energy, and healthy forests, farms, and ranches. Our solutions are as unique as the problems we solve and include entrepreneurship, policy, market innovations, public or private investment, collaboration, and technical assistance – but the ultimate success of our work is based on relationships, trust, and inclusion. Sustainable Northwest was founded in 1994 to forge collaborative solutions for conserving forest and community health. Today, our challenges have multiplied with climate change, catastrophic wildfires, and persistent drought plaguing our region. Yet we remain optimistic that nature, people, and local economies can thrive together.




We believe healthy, resilient forests support thriving communities. That’s why we partner with rural and Indigenous communities to develop locally-led solutions that advance forest health and resilience. For example, we are helping landowners affected by the 2020 Labor Day Fires reforest using climate-resilient practices.


Wood Markets

We are building a future that connects the built environment to healthy forests and people that produce wood products. We do this by partnering with rural, Indigenous, and urban communities to advance forest, climate, and community health. Our most recent accomplishment is sourcing wood for Portland International Airport’s new main terminal from 13 different family and Tribal forests in the Northwest. (Formerly known as the Green Markets program).



Our water program focuses on balancing water use among nature, people, and local economies. Our most recent accomplishment is helping amplify Tribal voices to successfully push for the removal of four outdated hydropower dams on the Klamath River.


Regenerative Ranching

We believe healthy food can and should be produced in harmony with nature. Our regenerative ranching program is the largest in the West, with 120 ranchers on 7 million acres in 13 Western states. We are helping ranchers adopt climate-resilient practices and measuring progress along the way.


Clean Energy

We believe everyone deserves affordable, clean energy produced locally. Our clean energy program partners with rural and Indigenous communities transitioning to clean energy. For example, we launched the nation's first e-tractor program for farmers and ranchers to accelerate the adoption of electric farm equipment.


Our budget and our staff have grown significantly over the last few years with an influx of federal investments in strategies that support a healthy climate. We are developing and implementing natural climate solutions that sequester carbon, reduce emissions, and support communities seeking to be more resilient to climate change. We do this in partnership with public agencies, other nonprofits, community organizations, for-profit companies, and numerous Northwest Tribes. Partnerships and relationships are vital to our work.



We are looking for a passionate, creative, and experienced professional to lead our Organization, and its committed team, through our next stages of growth and impact. This position will focus on supporting a strong culture of inclusion, maintaining a focus on strategic objectives, and ensuring the overall viability and sustainability of our program and organization. This is an excellent opportunity for a person passionate about conservation and natural resources and excited by the opportunity to bring community members together to identify solutions to environmental challenges that create long-term economic value for rural communities and the broader public.


Our ideal candidate will excel at engaging with people–community members, corporate and government partners, Tribal members, and donors—be a thoughtful listener and excellent communicator and be someone who can represent Sustainable Northwest with confidence throughout our regional service area as well as across the country.


Our next leader will also understand that behind every great organization is a supported and well-resourced staff team. Our leader will have the courage and creativity to listen to, represent, and lead this team with conviction, compassion, and heart.



Our Next leader will be someone who can:


• Effectively carry and communicate the message and the work of SNW to its various stakeholders, engaging the Board of Directors, Tribal Nations, neglected communities, donors, funders, and other external stakeholders, while simultaneously motivating the staff.


• Bring vision and strategic direction to the organization in a way that engages partners, creates consensus, and sets the stage for thoughtful and sustainable growth.


• Attract and steward the necessary resources to ensure the organization can accomplish its mission.


• Foster a sense of stability and planning that can help continue to build the structure that’s needed to support this new, larger organization.




• Exhibiting humility and the ability to “lead from behind,” respecting the knowledge and experience of the staff team and trusting them to manage their work and their responsibilities.


• Listening well, authentically building relationships, and leaning into the opportunity to learn from both staff and board members.


The next leader must bring the willingness and experience to:


• Be decisive while staying calm under pressure and conveying a steady and supportive demeanor and presence for staff.


• Engage the board as appropriate to leverage their expertise


• Lead teams and manage up, down, and across the organization.


• Actively and enthusiastically engage with donors and other funding partners to build a viable and sustainable funding model and revenue streams for the organization; and


• Understand the field of natural resource conservation, with a true commitment to authentically engaging and utilizing the voices and perspectives of rural and Tribal communities, as well as other impacted stakeholders, in the work and in identifying solutions.


• Lead efforts to help the organization better understand, define, and execute on its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


If that’s you, here’s what we can offer:


• A salary in the range of $175,000 - $225,000 (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package.


• A team of committed passionate, and experienced individuals.


• An engaged, talented, and motivated Board of Directors who support the work of Sustainable Northwest.


• Considerable opportunity to put your creativity and ideas to good use. We have a well-established organization and systems, but new ideas are encouraged.


• An organizational culture that values teams, plays to the strengths of its members and is devoted to creative and viable solutions that support a healthy climate.




Leadership: Engage stakeholders within and external to the organization in the mission of Sustainable Northwest. Work in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff to further refine and execute the strategic plan, while also being responsive and flexible to respond to changing conditions. Lead the Executive Management Team in the development and implementation of strategic goals and annual work plans. Maintain a culture of change, growth, and learning within the organization and foster strong internal communication.


Program Development & Leadership: Provide leadership to the program team to support and nurture their creativity and ability to identify new services as identified by needs assessment and community/constituent input. Ensure the program has the resources necessary to deliver services according to established best practices of the field and in compliance with all relevant policies, regulations, and funding streams.


Fundraising and Resource Development: Enhance the organization’s funding strategy and ensure that Sustainable Northwest has the resources necessary to fulfill its mission and meet budget and operational goals. Maintain strong relationships with key donors and community leaders and cultivate prospective donors. Pursue the development of additional support for the agency through new funding streams and revenue sources.


Fiscal Oversight & Organizational Sustainability: In partnership with the Executive Management Team, prepare and oversee the agency budget and monitor cash flow as required and in keeping with established procedures. Understand the organization’s revenue sources, expenses, and overall financial model. Provide the Board of Directors with detailed financial updates as needed. Build and maintain the appropriate infrastructure to support Sustainable Northwest’s people and programs over the long term.


Governance: Work with the Board Chair to ensure the organization’s governance structure enhances and complements the needs of the organization. Recruit and engage Board members who can add to the body of knowledge and resources critical to the organization. Develop and maintain positive Board relations and look for opportunities to actively engage the Board. Meet regularly with the Board Chair to review organization/Board planning, progress, and issues. Ensure the Board of Directors is kept apprised of agency activity through Board meetings and other communiques and activities.


Staff Supervision & Development: Provide direct supervision to members of the Executive Management Team, including oversight of workload, problem-solving, and performance evaluation. Support an internal culture that values and nurtures teamwork, enables staff members to thrive, and respects, rewards and validates the contributions of each member of the team.


Outreach & Awareness: Serve as Sustainable Northwest’s primary liaison to community members and funding partners. Actively seek opportunities to promote the organization throughout the service area and engage new supporters.


WHERE YOU WILL WORK: Members of the Sustainable Northwest staff work a hybrid schedule, with team members located in the Portland metro area working remotely and in the downtown Portland office. Members of the team from areas outside of Portland work remotely, with regular in-person convenings of the full team. Our new President must be based in Oregon or Washington, with a strong preference for Portland. A candidate unable to be based in the Portland Metro Area must be able and willing to come to Portland frequently, on a schedule to be determined.



Sustainable Northwest is an inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. We are committed to fostering a workplace culture inclusive of people with respect to their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, marital status, age, disabilities, political affiliation, religious beliefs, or other characteristics.


We strongly encourage you to apply if you identify as part of a marginalized or underrepresented group. Some candidates may see a long list of job requirements and feel discouraged because they don’t match every single bullet point – we suggest, please apply anyway.


Please provide a resume with a brief cover letter that tells us how your skills, experience, and background meet our needs, why this position is of interest to you, and how you would describe your approach to leadership.


The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on July 29, 2024.

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