fbpx Job posting: Water Program Director | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy


The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) has been the leading legal and scientific voice for Minnesota’s environment since 1974. A growing nonprofit with offices in Saint Paul and Duluth, MCEA supports its employees through a commitment to a living wage, a good benefits package, and regular opportunities for professional growth and development. We value diversity, equity, an inclusive culture, and respect in the workplace. MCEA was named as one of the top Best Nonprofits to Work For across the country by the Nonprofit Times in both 2021 and 2022.



The Water Program Director provides strategic vision and leadership to MCEA’s Water Program and oversees the development and implementation of MCEA’s advocacy on water. This includes creating and communicating a broad vision for program success, setting clear program goals, identifying and managing execution of projects consistent with program goals, developing and managing a budget for outside contractors, building and managing important external relationships including with diverse communities, clients, coalition partners and funders, contributing to a diverse and inclusive workplace that values differences, and providing leadership to other MCEA staff.  MCEA values bold leadership and seeks to empower its leaders with creative license and control in a collaborative and supportive culture. This is a great opportunity to join a nimble team that is committed to working and laughing hard together, and to have a big impact on the state’s future.



  1. Establishes, with their team, a clear long-term vision for achieving clean, sustainable water in Minnesota. Establishes outcome-based goals, communicates goals clearly, and defines what success looks like for the team and other staff.
  2. Develops, with their team, advocacy projects designed to achieve program goals. Oversees implementation of projects.
  3. Ensures that all aspects of MCEA’s strategic advantage – legal advocacy, communications, mapping, etc. – are used to fullest extent in execution of advocacy projects.
  4. Manages project implementation, providing advice, leadership, and feedback to project teams as necessary and appropriate.
  5. Engages actively in outreach to build and maintain good relationships with a wide range of allies, partners, and other interested parties, including affected communities, regulatory agencies, academics, experts and other advocacy groups, to further MCEA objectives.
  6. Assumes oversight and shared responsibility for program funding and finances, including assisting with fundraising by fostering strong relationships with funders, filing required grant reports, etc.
  7. Develops and oversees, with organizational leadership, a program budget.
  8. Acts as spokesperson to the media and external contacts on issues related to program area.
  9. Stays abreast of emerging trends in law and policy that affect program area.



The Water Program Director supervises the Water Policy Associate and may be called upon to supervise additional staff in the future.



  1. Sound judgment with ability to balance independent action with adequate communication to the Chief Legal Officer and other MCEA staff.
  2. Creative and efficient use of resources in planning and managing advocacy for successful outcomes.
  3. Clear, logical, and focused analysis and synthesis of issues and the ability to identify and implement strategies that are practically and politically feasible.
  4. Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  5. Excellent writing ability.
  6. Positive contribution to team-oriented work environment



  • Significant experience and demonstrated expertise in water quality, environmental, and/or agricultural law and policy.
  • Experience setting goals, and identifying and implementing strategies to achieve sought outcomes.
  • Experience in program management including project implementation, fundraising and budget management, and program evaluation.
  • Excellent writing and analytic skills.
  • Commitment to public interest environmental advocacy and environmental justice.
  • Commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and culture that values differences.
  • Significant relevant work experience, J.D. degree, or advanced degree in environmental and/or agricultural policy preferred.



MCEA strives to create a mission-focused work environment that is equitable and inclusive. MCEA highly values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. We are proud to support our employees through a range of strategies, including generous benefits for employees and dependents, paid family leave, and support from an executive coach. The annual salary range for this position is $80,000-$95,000.

REPORTS TO: Chief Legal Officer/Deputy Director



Please send your resume and cover letter to hr@mncenter.org by June 6, 2022, for priority consideration. Please also indicate in your e-mail where you located this job posting. You must submit all materials directly to this email address – no applications via third party website (such as Indeed) will be accepted.