Job Description: Conservation Director (Click here to download a pdf of this document)
Hours: 40 hours per week
Location: Boise, Idaho
Status: Exempt
Supervisor: Executive Director

Idaho Rivers United is a result-driven, campaign-oriented conservation organization formed in 1990 to help citizens protect and restore the rivers of Idaho. We achieve our goals through a mix of direct advocacy, education, citizen involvement, collaboration and, when necessary, litigation. Today, Idaho Rivers United has approximately 3,500 members, an active volunteer board of directors and a professional staff of organizers, advocates, activists and technical experts.

About the Position: 
The Conservation Director is the senior staff position responsible for directing IRU’s conservation program. This position requires a deep commitment to the mission of IRU and a strong passion for protecting rivers and the species that depend on rivers for their survival. Additionally, this position requires a broad skillset that includes strong natural resource, public land, legal, political, collaborative, communication and social skills.

More specifically, the essential skills required of this position include:

  • Strategic thinking and a collaborative mindset.

  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills.

  • A strong working knowledge of state and federal laws and management policies related to rivers, water management, water conservation and energy development.

  • An ongoing understanding of local, state, regional and federal water politics and the ability to communicate with and/or educate public officials and elected leaders when necessary.

  • An ongoing understanding of the threats and challenges to Idaho’s rivers and streams and the ability to develop creative solutions.

  • Grassroots organizing skills and the ability to work effectively with volunteers.

Primary Duties:

  • Work with the executive director, board conservation committee and conservation staff to develop conservation priorities in accordance with the direction provided by IRU’s strategic plan.

  • Lead the development of annual conservation work plans.

  • Supervise conservation staff and assist the executive director in annual performance evaluations.

  • Assist the executive director and development staff in fundraising and outreach activities.

  • Assist outreach staff with conservation messaging for electronic, print, event and website use.

  • Prioritize conservation staff workload based on funding requirements, staff skillsets and levels of threat.

  • Engage in high priority conservation projects.

  • Where possible, build and maintain relationships with state and federal congressionals and their staffs, state and federal agencies and tribes.

  • Coordinate IRU’s conservation program work with other conservation groups in Idaho and nationwide.

  • Represent IRU in a positive light in the press, and with members, volunteers and allied organizations.

  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Minimum of three years of river conservation, advocacy and outreach experience with a demonstrated passion for rivers and watershed conservation.

  • Collaborative team player with excellent written and oral communications skills.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Adobe applications.

  • Experience with nonprofit fundraising and donor management.

  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple, diverse tasks.

  • Ability to travel and work after normal business hours and on weekends.

  • Advanced degree or significant commensurate work experience required.

Benefits and Compensation: 
Annual salary is competitive and benefits include employer-provided health and dental insurance and generous leave. IRU is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Applications Deadline: 
Applications should include a resume, professional references, writing sample and cover letter addressed to: Kevin Lewis, Executive Director via e-mail at Please include “Conservation Director” as the subject line in your communication. Open until filled.