Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $85,000 to $95,000
Deadline Jul 02, 2021

This is your chance to shape and lead a treasured environmental education and wilderness experience organization at a time of great opportunity and renewal!

About Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center was formed in 1996 as part of the legislation that established the Opal Creek Wilderness Area and instituted our unique role and responsibility as stewards, educators, and in-holders within the protected wilderness area. Though our administrative staff is primarily based in Portland, our base of operations has been in the historic mining town of Jawbone Flats, situated in the stunning temperate rainforest of the Opal Creek Wilderness Area and surrounded by 5,000-foot peaks. This land was traditionally inhabited by the Kalapuya and the Molalla tribes, who are now part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Our mission is to provide transformative wilderness experiences that grow a community of environmental advocates. In a typical year, we directly serve more than 3,000 youth and adults through a variety of programs, including backcountry expeditions throughout the Central Cascade Mountains of Oregon, Outdoor School, workshops, and cabin rentals.

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a small year-round staff, a larger seasonal staff, and a budget of approximately $1,000,000, and we’re looking for an Executive Director to lead us into a new future. For more information about Opal Creek, visit

This Executive Director Opportunity

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center now finds itself at a pivotal moment in our history. Last fall, the Beachie Creek Fire burned much of the Opal Creek Wilderness, including all but three buildings in Jawbone Flats. Though the fire inflicted great losses, we are inspired by the resilience of the forest, and we see the opportunity to reshape Jawbone Flats into a center for wilderness education and experience for decades to come.

We are actively re-envisioning a new operations and site plan that’s in harmony with the land and supports our mission to provide transformative wilderness experiences. We are exploring how our programs can help people witness firsthand the dynamics of a regenerating old-growth forest, and we’re exploring ways that Opal Creek can become an inclusive provider, steward, and host for all.

This job is an incredible opportunity to shape the future of environmental experiences and education in the heart of the Oregon Cascades. If you’re selected for this position, you’ll lead us into this exciting new phase of development, so that we can inspire future generations of Oregonians to become environmental advocates and leaders.

Qualifications, Experiences and Capacities

After surveying our board, staff, and community partners about what they want to see in our next Executive Director, we have determined that a successful candidate will possess these minimum qualifications. (We are less interested in the titles you’ve held and more interested in what you’ve actually done and who you are.)

  • Have a passion for and personal alignment with Opal Creek’s mission.
  • Has the ability to retain and develop a strong team and forge a strong and supportive organizational culture.
  • Has excellent communication skills and can be an energetic and inspiring ambassador for Opal Creek.
  • Has experience creating a dynamic vision, seeking out diverse perspectives and developing inclusive strategies to help an organization navigate challenges.
  • Has nonprofit leadership experience (as a staff leader and/or on a Board of Directors).
  • Has demonstrated skills in budgeting and financial management.
  • Has experience with successful fund development.
  • Is committed to advancing equity and anti-racism in work environments and out in the community.

Ideally, candidates will also:

  • Have demonstrated skills in developing and maintaining community partnerships.

We are committed to having an applicant pool for this position that reflects the diversity of the people we serve, and we highly encourage Black, Indigenous and People of Color to apply.

We value all relevant lived experiences, and if this position speaks to you, we encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our described qualifications. If you’re unsure whether you meet the qualifications of this position or how this would be determined, please feel free to contact us at the email listed below to discuss your application.


Please submit an application packet that includes:

  • A cover letter explaining how you have the qualifications, experience, and passion to be the next Executive Director of Opal Creek.
  • A detailed resume that speaks to the qualifications listed above.
  • The names, contact information, and professional affiliations of four professional references. (We won’t contact your references until we’ve cleared it with you.)

Please send your materials to with “Opal Creek Executive Director” in the title. Please also email this address to request any accommodations you would like made during this hiring process. We will keep your application confidential, and you will soon receive an acknowledgment email.


The position will remain open until filled. However, we prefer to receive applications by 5:00 p.m. on July 2, 2021, when we will begin reviewing them. Interviews are scheduled to begin the week of July 18, with successive rounds of interviews held the weeks of July 25 and August 1. We project a start date at the end of August.

For more information about this position, please contact Ben Moorad of Page Two Partners at We’ll do our best to respond promptly to all queries and to keep all applicants up to date on how the process unfolds. Thank you!