Chief Executive Officer

US Water AllianceLocation Flexible

The Organization

Founded in 2008, the US Water Alliance advances policies and programs that build a sustainable water future for all. The Alliance is driving a One Water movement—an approach to water stewardship that is innovative, inclusive, and integrated.

The US Water Alliance advances One Water by its mission to:

  • Educate. Build a diverse base of One Water Champions through mutual discovery, education, and engagement with all who have a stake in our water future. Education and public awareness through initiatives like the Value of Water Campaign lead to public and political will for investment in sustainable water infrastructure and water resources.
  • Accelerate. Convene diverse interests to identify and advance practical, achievable solutions to our nation’s most pressing water challenges. US Water Alliance does this through a multi-faceted set of programs that support knowledge building and peer exchange, such as: An Equitable Water Future, Climate Resilience, One Water Hub, and more. ​
  • Celebrate. Celebrate what works to spread and drive innovation in water. The US Water Prize shines a light on those who engage in groundbreaking work and focuses attention on how One Water leaders are building stronger communities and a stronger America. 

The US Water Alliance is a national nonprofit organization with offices in Oakland, CA and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit their website at: uswateralliance.org

The Opportunity

The US Water Alliance has seen substantial growth in recent years and is poised for elevated and increased impact as it remains a leading entity working across sectors to drive a One Water movement. As a respected convening power that brings an informed, multi-layered perspective to the table, the Alliance’s leadership and partnership is valued, relevant, and necessary to drive inclusive innovation in water management, access, and equity. The Alliance is anchored by diverse stakeholder groups including nonprofits, consultants, OEMs, industrial companies, and over 70 water and wastewater utilities from across the country. The organization has advanced a One Water vision in tangible ways through the commitment and boldness of its members and partners. The incoming CEO is joining the organization and an incredibly talented, driven team at a time of great success.

The new CEO must balance the current work of the organization while charting a path forward to further its mission and reach during significant social, political, and environmental shifts. This person is expected to honor the guiding vision of the Alliance’s work, while proactively identifying and capitalizing on opportunities for innovation and leadership. The Alliance sits at a unique vantage point in that it works across a myriad of stakeholders in a truly collaborative and engaging manner. The incoming leader will maintain the nuanced approach needed to continue building the organization and uphold its distinct value-add. Catalyzing the Alliance’s current network and programs, the CEO will pursue audacious goals while simultaneously maintaining sight of operational capacity and sound financial management of the organization.

Key Priorities

Vision and Strategy

Remaining true to the organization’s vision and commitment to One Water, the incoming CEO will build off of the Alliance’s history of success and high-quality programs operating at the heart of the most pressing and relevant water issues of our time. Water and its intersection with racial equity and climate justice is gaining prominence on local, regional, and national levels. The CEO will prioritize retaining the best of the Alliance as it stands today, while ambitiously pursuing opportunities for expanded reach and innovation.

The new CEO must understand the core pillars of a One Water strategic framework, preserving the clarity and purpose of the Alliance’s mission as the organization delves into new issue areas. Anticipating and identifying future challenges and opportunities for the One Water movement, the CEO will establish and execute against a vision for the organization’s direction and programs in the years to come. This person will engage with the Board, staff, and external stakeholders to evaluate future opportunities to strategically serve and lead, pursuing thoughtful growth and overseeing the financial health of the organization.

Member and Funder Engagement

The new CEO will enter an organization with a robust, diverse, engaged member network. The Alliance’s members cut across sectors, perspectives, and communities served. As such, the CEO must move seamlessly across contexts and audiences with a desire to listen, understand, and synthesize varying points of view and related opportunities and challenges. Central to the Alliance’s theory of change is the genuine desire to bring all parties to the conversation with an understanding that tangible, sustainable, and scalable progress requires the authentic and solutions-oriented contributions and commitments of all stakeholders. This theory of change often involves creating a safe space for potentially uncomfortable conversations in order to advance the One Water agenda, and the CEO has a critical role to play in setting the tone for stakeholder engagement. The CEO will also serve as the public face of the organization, speaking at conferences, convenings, and in the media.

The Alliance has maintained and grown its funding base substantially over recent years, in large part by forming collaborative relationships with an array of philanthropies. Going beyond the transactional, the CEO will not only expand funding, but also establish thought partnerships with funders to advise on key issues, opportunities, and challenges that lie ahead for the One Water movement.

Board Relations

The Alliance Board of Directors is a highly collaborative and experienced resource that will provide diverse perspectives and guidance to the incoming CEO. They will build a transparent, trusting relationship with the Board and establish rapport with them as a group and as individuals. Leveraging each member’s respective areas of expertise and networks, the CEO will bring a natural understanding of how to maximize the potential of the Board and ensure alignment around roles, responsibilities, and strategy. 

Organizational Culture and Team Leadership

The Alliance is fortunate to have a deeply passionate, talented, and driven team already in place. As an incoming leader in the organization, it is essential that the new CEO take the time and create the space to listen and learn about the operating environment. They will focus on how to best leverage the collective talent of the staff and executive leaders around them, with a consistent emphasis on professional development and growth opportunities. The Alliance’s organizational culture is one that prioritizes respect and diversity of both staff and thought, empowering every individual to have confidence in the value of their voice and in their abilities.

Ideal Candidate

The Alliance seeks a visionary, entrepreneurial leader to move the organization into its next phase of strategic growth. Leading with a deep passion for the One Water movement and bringing a nuanced understanding of network and movement building among diverse stakeholder groups is essential. Equally important is the need for this person to lead with demonstrated experience with and commitment to racial equity and social justice – both critical lenses through which challenges and opportunities in the water space must be viewed. The incoming CEO will be able to articulate a holistic and inclusive theory of change capitalizing on social, policy, and cross-sector levers for impact.

The ideal candidate will enter the role with a respect for the Alliance’s successes and foundational pillars of work, as well as the strategic mindset to collaboratively set a future course. Responding to feedback and input from stakeholders in the space is critical, as is the ability to anticipate challenges and opportunities. In doing so, the new CEO will proactively identify ways in which the organization can continue to operate on the leading edge of these issues. This person will confidently and respectfully push boundaries, be bold, and keep the organization and its work relevant in the face of a changing landscape that has rapidly gained prominence and attention.

The CEO must delicately balance the need to listen and learn from the organization’s immensely diverse group of stakeholders, while also displaying the comfort and conviction to lead, innovate, and push towards shared outcomes and goals. Critical to success in this work is the ability to tailor one’s communication style appropriately to different audiences. From utilities to nonprofits and policy makers to philanthropic institutions, it is essential that the incoming CEO is masterful at conveying theories of change that garner buy-in and compel others to act.

Leading with humility, the ideal candidate will view the organization’s successes and challenges as shared opportunities for growth among the staff, Board, and members. This person will approach direction-setting and strategy development collaboratively, seeking to elevate and leverage the talent around them. The CEO will nurture an environment that reaches for the highest performance standards and facilitates a supportive approach to achieving those goals. This person will foster an organizational culture that values the whole person and embraces opportunities to respectfully challenge one another in pursuit of the strongest outcomes.

With experience working with and across sectors to influence broad and deep change, this person must possess a breadth of skills and understanding of the water space and the One Water approach. While CEO experience is not required, candidates must bring senior leadership and management experience setting strategy and direction. Candidates must also bring demonstrated experience in and passion for racial equity and community-centered approaches. Experience as a primary spokesperson for an organization, as well as the ability to fundraise and generate revenue via other channels is required.

The Alliance has offices in Oakland, CA and Washington, DC, but candidates may be based in other locations. When it is deemed safe to do so, the CEO will be expected to travel domestically. The projected salary range for this position is $275,000 to $350,000 plus a performance-based bonus. The exact compensation for the incoming CEO will be determined by level of experience and location.

To Be Considered

Please submit a resume and cover letter that expresses both your passion for the mission and fit for the role by clicking “Become a Candidate”

Chief Executive OfficerUS Water AllianceLocation Flexible

The US Water Alliance’s EEO Statement

The US Water Alliance is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace. We are an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, queer, and gender-fluid applicants to apply. We also consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment.

The search for a Chief Executive Officer is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen:

Alison Kaneko
Search Director
Direct: 415.678.5001
alison@goodcitizen.com

Celene Haque
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.462.6189
celene@goodcitizen.com