Priority Deadline: October 15th, 2021

Applications accepted until October 31st, 2021

Position is 60% time with flexible hours. Salary is $3,000/month plus a future stipend for health care.

What is DERT?

The Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT) was organized in 2009 and became a Federally Recognized 501 c 3 nonprofit organization in 2011. DERT’s primary mission is to restore the Deschutes River Estuary by removing the 5th Ave dam in downtown Olympia, Washington to support clean water in South Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. DERT supports protection and restoration of the Deschutes River watershed and recognizes a need to expand our mission to include other watershed-based programs in the area.

In 2020, DERT became an affiliate of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and a member of the national Waterkeeper program. The DERT Executive Director is the designated Waterkeeper for South Puget Sound. DERT also partners with the Squaxin Island Tribe, Salmon Defense and the Nisqually Indian Tribe to develop the South Sound Healthy Watershed Program. These programs expand DERT’s presence in the watershed, increase the volunteer base, monitor water quality and pollution, and are developing story maps of the seven inlets gracing beautiful South Sound.

Position Description

The Executive Director of the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team reports to the Board President and the full Board of Directors (Board), serves as senior management for DERT, supervises staff and interns, and is responsible for mission achievement and meeting financial objectives. This position works 60% FTE, and the hours are flexible.

The Executive Director maintains overall responsibility for budget, staffing, management, fundraising, program development and implementation of daily operations pursuant to the direction of the Board. The Executive Director supervises staff and works closely with them in developing, implementing, and administering all programs and funds to achieve the organization’s mission and objectives, to maintain compliance with all applicable funding and corporate requirements, and to pursue partnerships and collaborations to ensure the long-term viability of DERT and its programs.

Program development, implementation, and administration

  • Provide leadership in achieving the organization’s mission. Work with staff to develop and implement programs and financial plans to support advocacy, education, research, communication, cooperation, monitoring and legal initiatives. Develop and implement communication strategies to keep supporters and policy makers informed of DERT’s initiatives and decisions;

  • Promote broad participation by partner organizations, members and volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work.

  • Lead legislative advocacy initiatives with Board and volunteers;

  • Develop a legal strategy for potential future litigation that includes sufficient funding and staff.

Budget, Finance and Fundraising

  • Work with staff and Board of Directors in preparing an annual budget and ensure that the organization operates within the approved budget.

  • Serve as primary grant writer and fundraiser.

  • Manage bookkeeper/accountant contract to ensure all contracts, accounts and preparation of financial statements are conducted in accordance with best management practices and regulatory requirements.

  • Oversee with the Board of Directors the development, implementation and reporting of fundraising plans to meet program and financial goals; and

  • Provide leadership and assist staff in representing DERT to all funding sources and prospects.

Policy Development

  • Work with the Board and staff to develop and implement a long-range strategy with plans, policies and procedures to guide DERT to achieve our mission;

  • Inform the Board of all important developments affecting the condition of the organization and its activities;

  • Serve as overall science policy lead in coordination with DERT’s technical advisory committee.

Staff recruitment and management

  • Recruit, retain and manage staff; and

  • Establish goals and standards for staff performance and systems of accountability and evaluate staff performance on an annual basis. 2

Board Development

  • Work with Board President to oversee the recruitment and development of an active, contributing Board of Directors to achieve organizational goals;

  • Ensure Board members have materials, meeting information and tools they need to be productive in their role; and

  • Foster development of Board relationships with staff, other Board members, supporters, and partners.


  • Ensure that all communications media are used to their fullest capability to promote the organization’s work in an accurate and timely manner;
  • Develop and maintain community partnerships to leverage media coverage of the organization; and
  • Assist Board members and staff to represent programs and points of view of the organization to supporters, agencies, organizations and the general public

Basic understanding of watershed ecosystems and how they function; proven fundraising abilities including grant writing, event planning and donor relationship building and maintenance; experience working in collaboration with partnership organizations; experience working with elected officials and staff of public agencies and Tribes; management and supervision of staff; excellent ability to communicate both verbally and in writing; Board of Directors management.


Minimum of BA or BS with emphasis on watershed health, environmental science, business administration, or leadership. Master’s degree a plus but not required. Outstanding skill set could substitute for some education if evidence and references provided.

Work Location:

DERTs office is located in downtown Olympia WA. ED is expected to work at the office primarily and remotely as needed or appropriate.

Submittal Requirements:

Please send a resume and cover letter to Attn: Sue Patnude. Priority deadline is October 15th, applications accepted until October 31st. References may be requested.