Executive Director: Merrimack River Watershed Council (Massachusetts)

Executive Director
Merrimack River Watershed Council
60 Island Street, Suite 211-E
Lawrence, MA 01840


BACKGROUND: The Merrimack River Watershed Council, Inc. (MRWC) is a non- profit 501(c)(3) organization formed in 1976 by citizens and regional planning commissions to promote citizen involvement in the clean-up of the Merrimack River. Its organizational mission is to protect, improve, and conserve the Merrimack River through science, advocacy, partnering and recreation. We are the advocate of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts; we are "The Voice of the Merrimack." See Merrimack River Watershed Council web site for additional information http://www.merrimack.org/

The Merrimack River watershed itself is currently considered the most threatened watershed in the country, according to the US Forest Service, due to the threat of loss of the privately-held forests that help keep  the water clean. The 125-mile long Merrimack River is one of American Rivers' 2016 Most Endangered Rivers. The River is ecologically one of the top three most important large rivers on the U.S. East Coast for migratory fish, and is home to bald eagles, the largest tidal freshwater marsh in New Massachusetts, and on the Atlantic flyway route for numerous birds.

REPORTS TO: President of Board of Directors

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: The Merrimack River Watershed Council is looking for an enthusiastic, creative, go-getter to take the helm and help us grow our organization! This is an exciting opportunity for somebody looking to take charge, build on our considerable recent momentum and national visibility, and help our Board of Directors make a splash in 2016. We are looking for someone who loves to build bridges and open doors of collaboration, is involved in local watershed management and conservation efforts, and can foster membership and donor relationships to help build our organization. The Executive Director is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Merrimack River Watershed Council including cultivating key partnerships and donor relationships, acting as the champion and voice of the Merrimack River, ensuring that all products and projects are produced and carried out in an effective, professional and timely manner, overseeing 3 staff and 45+ volunteers a year, and developing and managing the budget. The Executive Director is responsible for developing and implementing short and long-term strategic plans to help grow and strengthen the organization's ability to have a positive impact. Though not an exhaustive list, specific duties are outlined below:

  • Work with and at the direction of the Board of Directors.
  • Cultivate board involvement and board recruitment and training.
  • Create and maintain project partnerships with other watershed groups and related nonprofit organizations.
  • Act as a Merrimack River Champion, advocating for sustainable water management, riparian buffer protection and restoration, resource efficiency, improved stormwater management, increased public education and awareness, etc. Stay abreast of key watershed concerns and help to keep the MRWC current and relevant for our constituents.
  • Build the organization through fundraising and increased revenue from grants, membership, donors, and events.
  • Serve as primary organizational spokesperson and contact for MRWC with appropriate media outlets, other agencies and the public. Speak at or attend conferences on: water conservation, water quality, community collaboration, etc.
  • Conduct community outreach and outreach to youth, and promote greater citizen involvement in the MRWC and its projects.
  • Develop and update material for the MRWC website and social media.
  • Coordinate outreach via social and online media.


  • Enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a passion for serving in our community, building relationships and enhancing the well being of the Merrimack River.
  • Previous non-profit and management experience including budget management, fund-raising and grant management.
  • Thorough understanding of basic ecological and watershed principles.
  • Experience and knowledge of river restoration, water quality monitoring, fish restoration.
  • Experience conducting public education and education for youth.
  • Ability to work with minimal direction.
  • Charisma and the ability to motivate and inspire our membership and watershed constituency.
  • Marketing and fundraising background. Proven grant-writing experience.
  • Strong communication skills and public speaking experience.
  • Previous experience working with a Board of Directors.
  • Above average computer skills, including experience with the Microsoft Office Suite. Proficiency with spatial databases (GIS), web design, and Little Green Light (or other donor management software) highly desirable.
  • Degree in Environmental Science, Education, Environmental Management, Business Management, Communications, or related field is a plus.
  • Advanced degree preferred.


Compensation: Salary package and benefits are competitive for a small non-profit and will be determined by the Board of Directors based on experience and qualifications. Position is funded through grants and membership dues. Candidate will have the ability to increase compensation through program growth and fundraising.


Please submit a resume and detailed and compelling letter showing your passion and fit for the mission of the Merrimack River Watershed Council and why you should be the next Executive Director to: cshumway@merrimack.org with "Executive Director" in the subject line. No phone calls please. Please submit your application as soon as possible; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.